We love Trader Joe's for their snacks and pantry staples, but what's really special is the freezer section. Amongst the frozen veggies and appetizers, there's a selection of frozen shortcuts that help ease our dinner woes on harried weeknights. Here are five of our favorites.
1. Frozen Whole Figs
Did you totally miss fresh fig season? Not to worry — Trader Joe's has your back. Instead of opting for dried, look to the freezer section. Once defrosted, you can use these whole frozen fruits just as you would fresh figs.
Try These Recipes with Frozen Figs
2. Semi-Dried Frozen Apricots
Unlike most frozen fruit, these whole apricots are semi-dried before hitting the freezer. Once thawed, they don't release excess moisture, and the taste and texture are remarkably similar to fresh apricots. Swap them for fresh in baked goods, throw them into a simple rice pilaf, or use them in place of peaches.
Use Semi-Dried Frozen Apricots in These Recipes
3. Superfood Pilaf
Sure, you could make this combo of tricolor quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes, and carrots yourself, but this frozen version is a huge timesaver. This is what you want on your side when you need to get dinner on the table fast. Serve this pilaf on its own, top it with an egg, mix in shredded rotisserie chicken, or stuff it in a tortillas.
Use Superfood Pilaf in These Recipes
- The Superfood Baked Potato
- Farro Bowl with Crispy Salmon and Toasted Sesame Spinach (swap the farro with pilaf)
4. Riced Cauliflower
This is a shortcut we can easily get behind. You can leave the box grater where it is and forget about turning on the food processor — the work is already done. All you need to do is thaw the riced cauliflower and start cooking.
5. Mandarin Orange Chicken
For an easy dinner that beats another night of takeout, this flavorful chicken delivers every time. Once cooked, use the chicken pieces for a fun spin on tacos, toss them with steamed frozen broccoli, or add them to a grain bowl.