Going to Trader Joe’s on a Sunday morning, with a hot coffee in hand, is probably one of my favorite weekend activities. If you can manage to get there close to opening, it is heavenly, even therapeutic. The shelves are stocked, the aisles are clear, and you can take as much time as you want to find the perfect pieces of produce.
I also love that Trader Joe’s has such an assortment of items, from Holiday focused goodies, to new ways to ensure we all get our servings of vegetables. Of course, there are some misses, but I’ve found I’ve got a pretty stable list of items that make sure to have on hand at all times. These items are almost always used some way or other for my healthy breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. The next time you’re at Trader Joe’s and feeling overwhelmed by the choices, just pull up this list and let it guide you to checkout!
Spinach – I mostly use this bag of greens for my smoothies each morning, but I also like to toss a handful into an omelette along with a sprinkling of feta. It’s also great to have to whip up a quick salad alongside dinner.
Teeny Tiny Avocados – These little guys are the perfect size, and they keep forever if you put them in the fridge. I love to put them in salads, or throw one in my lunch bag to eat with chilis. They’re also great to mash and spread on toast.
Sugar Plum Tomatoes – I make a Greek salad nearly every week, and these are always one of the main ingredients. They are so juicy and the perfect amount of sweet. You can toss them into any salad just as they are, or slice them into halves.
Cut Butternut Squash – These are so nice for convenience, as it takes all the work out of preparing a squash. I use these mainly to add extra veggies to my turkey chili, but they’d be great roasted in olive oil and rosemary for a healthy side!
Cooked lentils – I’m going to say this way too much in this list, but these are so convenient! You could use them to beef up a salad, as a meat replacement in pasta sauce, or as the base of a curry dish.
Green Goddess Salad Dressing – This is one of my favorite dressings to spice up an otherwise boring salad. It’s fresh and healthy, and it would even be great added to a burrito bowl. The bottle is also plastic and portable so you can take it on the go.
Cauliflower gnocchi – I love this stuff. If you’ve been living under a rock, then maybe you’ve never seen it. But if you’re not, then you know that this stuff is PERFECT for a quick and healthy meal. I like to prepare it and serve with sauce and chicken sausage (also on this list).
Cooked brown rice – Like most things in the frozen section, I love TJ’s frozen brown rice for convenience. It’s a staple ingredient in so many of my meals, from burrito bowls to chicken soup, and I never have to worry about the time it takes to cook rice.
Frozen fruit – I have yet to find anywhere else that stocks so many frozen fruit options at such great prices as Trader Joe’s. These are absolutely a staple in my home as I put them in my smoothies every morning.
Riced cauliflower – You will never catch me ricing my own cauliflower, that’s thanks in large part to Trader Joe’s. I keep a bag of this in my freezer to whip a quick and healthy fried “rice”. Check out my recipe for this here!
Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers – These are truly one of my favorite TJ’s finds. They are delicious on their own, with a bun, or over a bed of greens for a quick and easy salad.
Chile Lime Chicken burgers – These are so nice to have on hand when I haven’t prepped or planned for dinner. All you need to go with these delicious patties are some black beans and salsa, and you’ve got yourself a complete meal.
All Natural Ground Turkey – A meat staple in my household. I like to keep this on hand for pasta sauce, meatballs and chili, just to name a few!
Chicken Breast Strips – These usually come at a great price, and they’re perfect to toss into the crockpot with a jar of salsa. This makes a week’s worth of chicken for me to toss into burrito bowls, enchiladas, chili’s, etc!
Chicken Sausage – These are great to toss into pastas, cauliflower gnocchi, or alongside eggs for a quick and filling breakfast. There’s a pretty large assortment of flavors, but my favorite is the Sweet Italian Style.
Sliced Turkey Breast – The price of this is so great, and I love to have it for snacks. Pair it with a piece of fruit, and you’ll be satisfied until dinner.
Everything But The Bagel Seasoning – My favorite way to jazz up a piece of avocado toast is to sprinkle an abundance of this combo on top! That’s about all I use it for, but I’ve seen it used on eggs among other things!
Yellow Curry Sauce – Combined with those cooked lentils, some broccoli, and chicken, this sauce is amazing. It adds much needed flavor to chicken!
Organic Tomato Basil Marinara – I keep this stocked in my pantry for those nights when I don’t want to put too much time or thought into dinner. All you do is heat is up and pour over pasta, veggies, whatever you want. It also has no added sugar, which I love.
Coffee + Tea – The coffee pods at Trader Joe’s are much cheaper than regular Keurig pods, and they have a huge variety of teas. One of my favorites is the Moroccan Mint.
Brown rice and quinoa pasta – I love pasta, but I like to keep it light when I can. This pasta is the perfect way to do that. It goes great with the above sauce + some fresh Parmesan.
Tomato Basil Soup – My favorite way to make this is on the stove top, mixing in a little bit of cream cheese until fully melted, along with lots of fresh chopped basil. It’s a delicious and quick meal, and goes great with grilled cheese!
Harissa Salsa – I already mentioned this with the chicken, but for the easiest meal prep ever, simply pour one jar of this spicy salsa over a few chicken breasts in your crockpot. That’s it! Then add it to salads, bowls, whatever you want for lunch all week.
Snacks + Miscellaneous
Black Bean Quinoa Chips – These are the perfect afternoon snack! I like to have them with salsa or hummus.
White Cheddar Corn Puffs – These are addicting! And so easy to eat an entire bag in one sitting. They’re so light and fluffy and the white cheddar flavor hits the spot.
Dried Mango – We love to pick up a package of these to have on the way home. Though they’re not a snack I’d have every day because there is a lot of added sugar, they are great treat to have after a shopping trip!
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – I use this in my smoothies every single morning! It’s also great for overnight oats and cooking oatmeal on the stove top. Though I’m not lactose intolerant, I will use this as a milk replacement when I’m trying to cut down on dairy for things like cereal.
Kalamata Olives – These are what make my Greek Salads, and they’re so cheap! I also like to snack on these, the saltiness is something I can’t resist!
Vanilla Cake – This is one of Levi’s favorite desserts, and it is so tasty. It reminds me of cupcakes you’d get a a fancy bakery, except the entire cake is probably the same price of one cupcake!
Handfuls of Trek Mix – These are pre-portioned so they are perfect for a snack on the go. Whether you’re going to work or on a hike, these are the way to go.
Cheese – Trader Joe’s has the BEST selection of cheeses at unbeatable prices. Some of my favorites are goat cheese medallions, perfectly portioned to toss in bag for salad at work, brie, and crumbled feta for omelettes and salads.
Savory Thins – These go great with any of the TJ’s cheeses, and help to make up a lovely cheese board.
Are you already a Trader Joe’s fan? What’s on your list that’s not on mine? I’m always looking for my next favorite Trader Joe’s find! Thank you so much for reading 🙂