MORE Quick Trader Joe’s Dinner Ideas + Weekly Meal Plan

Hello my friends!  Forgive me for the lack of posts lately- life has gotten BUSY the past few weeks and I need about 3 extra hours in each day (at LEAST) to get everything done.  I say it all the time, but seriously, if I could choose a super power, it would be that I would never get tired or never need to sleep.  Wouldn’t that be the best?!

ANYWAY- over the last two weeks I was able to compile even MORE quick and easy dinner recipes from my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s!  We’ve gone the last three Sundays, and I’ve been able to try out so many amazing TJ’s products and worked out several really easy recipes that cook up super quick.  Take a look and jot a few down for easy dinner ideas!

I have been sharing my haul each week in my Instagram stories, and yesterday I was thinking I’d skip sharing, but a few friends messaged me and asked if I’d be sharing dinner ideas!  I am constantly looking for new, easy, realistic dinner ideas, and if I can help out another mama to put a tasty, healthy dinner on the table before heading out to evening activities like us, then I’m all for it!  So here are some MORE quick Trader Joe’s dinner recipes, perfect for busy weeknights.

Carnitas Black Bean Soup
We LOVE soup, and once it gets cold out, we’ll eat it at least once if not two or three times per week.  This version of black bean soup was SO EASY and cooked up in no time, though it tasted like it had been simmering all day.  From TJ’s I used:

  • Frozen Chimichurri Rice and Veggies
  • Traditional Carnitas
  • Box of Black Bean Soup

Then I added a few additional ingredients that I already had on hand (but you don’t necessarily need):

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chiles)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

I added the black bean soup and broth in a soup pot, then added the rice mix, corn, black beans, and Rotel and stirred to combine.  Once everything was warmed through, I shredded the carnitas by hand in to the soup, and let everything get nice and warm and bubbly.  We ate this last week with cornbread waffles, and it was delicious!  It took about 20 minutes to make and we will definitely have it again!

Fish Tacos with Mango Jicama Slaw
This is my favorite meal TJ’s meal we’ve had lately!  I made corn fritters to go along with the tacos, but nobody even ended up eating them and just ate all the tacos (though I thought the corn fritters turned out good too)! Items from TJ’s:

  • Panko Breaded Tilapia
  • Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Mango Jicama Slaw Mix
  • Green Dragon Hot Sauce

I usually make my own slaw to go on fish tacos, but the TJ’s mango jicama slaw kit was perfect and delicious.  And the Green Dragon Hot Sauce is sweet with a solid spicy kick.  It took about 20 minutes for the fish to cook in the oven (it was SO crispy!!), and made about 8 tacos with each fish filet cut in half.   While the fish cooked, I quickly made the slaw, but once the fish was done, the tacos came together in literally one minute.  Fish tacos done and on the table in 25 minutes, with very little effort!

Chicken Sausage with Kale and Mushrooms with Sweet Potato Gnocchi
A very hearty fall meal!  And with five ingredients (onion not pictured above), it is cheap, quick, easy, and good.  From TJ’s:

  • Organic Tuscan Kale (any kale is fine)
  • Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage (any chicken sausage would be fine)
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I diced an onion up and added it to my cast iron skillet with a bit of olive oil, and cooked until the onion was translucent.  I added the mushrooms and cooked them until they were soft and releasing some liquid.  Then I added the kale and about a 1/3 cup of water, and cooked the kale down until it was very tender and wilted, then added a bit of salt.  Once the kale was wilted, I cut the sausage into small coins (maybe a 1/2 inch thick), and added it to the kale and mushrooms.  Sauteed everything until the sausage was heated through.  Then I cooked the gnocchi on the stove according to the package directions, which only took 5 minutes!  It’s taken the kids a bit, but they like kale when it’s cooked down, and they’re big fans of the chicken sausage.

Easy Chicken Parmesan
Brantley declared this her “favorite chicken EVER!” And it really is so good, and can only be made easier if you just pick up chicken tenders from the Publix deli (which we have also done, and is so good!).  From TJ’s you need:

  • Breaded Chicken Tenderloin Breasts
  • Roasted Garlic Marinara (I”m sure any tomato sauce would be fine)
  • Shredded Mozzarella

And in addition, you just need a few things for the side.  We got a pack of zucchini and bowtie pasta, but good old fashioned spaghetti would be just fine too.

I cooked the chicken tenders in the oven according to the package directions, which took about 20 minutes.  While the chicken was cooking, I sauteed zucchini with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and italian seasoning, and boiled the bowtie pasta (again- you could just boil some spaghetti and be done with it!).  Once the pasta was tender, I added it to the zucchini and tossed it together.  Once the chicken was done, I took it out of the oven and laid each piece in a single layer in a 9×13 casserole dish.  I topped the chicken with about 2/3 the jar of marinara and about a cup and a half (or so) of cheese.  I stuck it back in the oven until the cheese melted.  Then I served the chicken with the pasta and zucchini on the side!  It was all done in about 30 minutes, and was a HIT.  Highly recommended, super easy, and very kid friendly!

Carne Asada with Roasted Corn and Pepper Salad
This one is on the menu for this week!  From TJ’s I grabbed:

  • Carne Asada
  • Fire Roasted Bell Peppers and Onions
  • Roasted Corn
  • Feta Cheese
  • Flour Tortillas

I’ll be grilling up the carne asada on my grill pan on the stove, and while it’s reaching medium rare perfection, I’ll sautee the corn and peppers to warm them through and add the feta at the very end.  I’ll serve the tortillas alongside the steak and salad, though I’m thinking they’ll be perfect to roll up like a fajita!  Top with a bit of sour cream and this dinner will be ready in 20 minutes!

Garlic Chicken Sausage and Kale with Roasted Fall Vegetables
Another one on the menu for this week!  I’ve made this before, and it’s a simple go-to dinner that we have on a regular basis.  I love roasted veggies because all you do is chop and throw them in the oven with some olive oil, and they come out perfect.  From TJ’s I picked up:

  • Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage (any chicken sausage would be fine)
  • Bag of Kale
  • Red Onion
  • Beets (at Trader Joe’s they are a STEAL for $1.69!  They can run as much as $6 at other grocery stores!)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash (Sweet Potato or Carrots would be good too)

The only other additional things you might want to pick up would be:

  • Extra virgin olive oil

First- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and dice the butternut squash and beets, and add them to a large sheet pan.  Cut the stalk off the brussels and cut them in half and add to the sheet pan.  Chop the red onion into large-ish chunks and add to the pan too.  Dice 4-5 slices of bacon and add to the pan.  Drizzle everything with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat well and evenly.  Slide into the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until the squash and beets are tender and the sprouts are charred and the bacon is crispy!  While your veggies are roasting, cook your kale and sausage the way I already explained in the meal above.  Once the kale is wilted, sausage is cooked through, and veggies are done, you are ready to eat!  All together from start to finish, it probably takes about 45 minutes sicne it takes a bit to chop all the veggies.  But if you do like I do, and take the day’s frustration out on those poor veggies as you chop them, it will be time well spent!  Serve the sausage and kale alongside the roasted veggies for a very healthy and hearty fall meal.


So what else will we be eating this week?  Here’s what’s on the menu for the week ahead:

  • Pizza (I’m gone Monday night for a work event)
  • Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
  • Carne Asada with Roasted Corn and Pepper Salad and Tortillas
  • Panko Breaded Tilapia with Mac and Cheese and Broccoli
  • Garlic Chicken Sausage with Kale and Roasted Fall Veggies
  • Carnitas Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls with Refried Black Beans, Corn, Guacamole, Salsa, and More!

What are YOUR favorite Trader Joe’s meals?  I am always up for new ideas, new suggestions, and new products to try!

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