Trader Joe’s is synonymous with convenient dinner options. As you traverse the chain’s narrow aisles pushing your little red cart, all you have to do is stroll by the freezer case for a multitude of easy frozen dinners. From single-serving microwave meals to larger, family-style bake-able casseroles, Trader Joe’s offers something for everyone.
Still, as with many frozen foods, not all of Trader Joe’s frozen dinners are brimming with healthful ingredients. Many are high in saturated fat, sodium, and sneaky added sugars. Rather than reaching for any old cold case dinner, it’s always best to take a look at nutrition facts labels for healthier options.
Thankfully, we’ve done the work to get you started! The following eight items are healthy Trader Joe’s frozen dinners—perfect for those busy evenings when you want to get something nutritious on the table without a ton of effort. Then, for more helpful shopping tips, check out 15 Best Costco Foods To Buy, According to Dietitians.
The simple goodness of veggies adds up to a healthy frozen dinner. In a 1-cup, 140-calorie serving of TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, you’ll get 3 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 0 added sugars, and even a little dose of protein (2 grams). Turn this one into a more satisfying meal by adding a tomato-based sauce and a minimally processed meat like ground turkey.
Trader Joe’s Frozen Bean & Rice Burritos pack two of the Mexican roll-ups in one package. Depending on how hungry you are, you’ll have your choice to heat up just one or the entire package. Either way, you’ll get plenty of fiber (5 grams from one burrito) and protein (13 grams).
For an Asian-themed dinner that’s even faster than takeout (and a whole lot healthier), check out Trader Joe’s Stir-Fried Garlicky Cabbage. As a leafy green in the Brassica genus, cabbage is an unsung hero of nutrition. It’s high in antioxidants and vitamins C and K, and research shows it might even help reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Trader Joe’s lets cabbage shine alongside flavor-enhancing garlic and a zippy stir-fry sauce. The result: a low-calorie meal (130 calories per cup) that’s oh-so-simple to whip up in the microwave or on the stovetop. To make it more filling at dinnertime, top the garlicky cabbage with chicken or tofu.
All about that plant-based lifestyle? Snag a bag of the Chickenless Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry in the TJ’s freezer aisle. This vegetarian meal uses textured pea protein to recreate the look and mouthfeel of chicken. And since each 1 1/3-cup serving has a sizable dose of protein (7 grams) and fiber (10 grams), and not too much fat (8 grams unsaturated, 1 gram saturated), there’s no need to add anything extra here. Simply heat and eat!
Mahi-mahi burgers can give you the feel of an elegant island vacation on a hectic Tuesday night. These fish burgers are a healthy go-to for their simple ingredient list of mahi-mahi, water, oil, and a handful of spices—not to mention their excellent nutrition profile. Each fish patty contains 15 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (most of them unsaturated), 0 carbs, and only 13% of your daily value of sodium.
Besides serving these tasty frozen burgers between the usual buns, try chopping them up and tossing them on a salad. Their mild taste pairs well with zingy fruits like citrus or strawberries.
You can always count on Trader Joe’s to expose you to new tastes and global cuisines. Their frozen Bulgur Pilaf with Butternut Squash & Feta Cheese is a convenient take on a Mediterranean dish known as pilafi pourgouri. Like many Mediterranean-inspired dishes, this one offers nutritious veggies and whole grains with a side of lower-fat dairy.
Based on a foundation of bulgur, this grain bowl starter also has significant amounts of fiber, iron, and manganese. Heat it up any time you’re craving fall flavors.