• Erin Sheehan

Top 10 Trader Joe’s Freezer Finds

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

We’re all for shortcuts in the kitchen. Not everyone has time to make every meal from scratch. Even when we make meals from scratch, sometimes we just need a quick and healthy side dish to round everything out. Cue healthy, delicious items you can have ready in minutes straight from your freezer? Yes, please!

Proceed with caution though - many frozen food items can be major sources of added sugars, vegetable oils, and sodium. We hit the freezer aisles of Trader Joe’s to find out what healthy and convenient items are hanging out there.

Here’s what we found:

Cauliflower Gnocchi - $2.69

Cauliflower is having a moment right now, and for good reason! It’s a cruciferous veggie full of fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi has created a huge buzz on instagram and we have to say - it’s totally delicious. It makes for a great last minute dinner. The key is to cook it in a non-stick skillet until crispy. We love it with regular pasta sauce, pesto, or even alongside some fried eggs and mashed avocado. While the ingredients look good, we wouldn’t consider it to be a replacement for vegetables. Make sure you’re still getting those servings in!

Cooked Organic Brown Rice - $3.49

Sold in a box of 3 10-oz bags, this pre-cooked and frozen brown rice is only one ingredient and can be on your table in 3 minutes. Brown rice is a whole grain that provides the body with a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is less processed and more nutritious than white rice, which has its nutrients stripped when the hull, bran, and germ are removed from the grain. Brown rice makes for an excellent addition to burrito bowls, soups, risottos, and other rice dishes.

Riced Cauliflower - $1.99

Cauliflower rice is a popular replacement for traditional rice in things like burrito bowls and stuffed peppers. Some people even sneak it into their smoothies. We love to keep frozen riced cauliflower on hand to throw into soups for a boost of veggies. Try out the Defined Dish's Ginger Scallion Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice or What's Gaby Cooking's Cauliflower Rice Kale Bowls.

Cooked Organic Quinoa - $3.99

If you don’t have 20 minutes to cook quinoa, this is the next best thing! It contains about four half-cup servings and is ready in about 4-5 minutes depending on how you choose to reheat it. We love to use quinoa in salads, burrito bowls, soups, tacos, the possibilities are endless.

Organic Superfood Quinoa Pilaf - $3.99

This is a delicious blend of quinoa, kale, carrots, and sweet potato. Use it to make a quinoa bowl or as a side to baked chicken or salmon.

Zucchini Spirals - $2.99

This product only contains zucchini and sea salt and could come in mega handy when you’ve got leftover pesto or pasta sauce to use up! To cook from frozen, you just pop them into a skillet, cover and cook in under 10 minutes. Try adding shrimp or chicken for some protein and you’ve got a meal.

Grilled Asparagus Spears - $3.99

Trader Joe’s has an amazing variety of frozen vegetables. These grilled asparagus spears are different. They have that freshly grilled, smoky flavor to them. Just heat, top with some parmesan cheese, a fresh squeeze of lemon - we’re drooling. Perfect steak night side to balance out those buttered potatoes. They’d also taste great mixed in with spaghetti squash or as a topping on pizza!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes - $2.49

Whether you’re team savory or team sweet, sweet potatoes are the only ingredient here so you can tailor them to your liking. Word on the street is these are only seasonal, so grab them while you can!

Crushed Garlic - $2.29

This item isn’t a side dish, but it is a super convenient alternative if your recipe calls for fresh garlic cloves and you don’t have time to peel and chop them yourself. These come in mini trays, each little cube the equivalent to one garlic clove. A major plus of TJ’s frozen garlic is that they’re less likely to burn when added to a hot pan because they take a bit to thaw. Another plus? No garlic fingers!

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon - Price Varies

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids but sometimes it can be expensive to buy wild caught. We found the portions and prices to be pretty fair at Trader Joe’s.

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