10 Things I Buy from Trader Joe’s for No-Cook Dinners

updated Aug 2, 2021
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Credit: Diana Liang

It’s August. Which means the stickiest parts of summer are probably just on the horizon. And that’s where Trader Joe’s comes in. See, my favorite buys at Trader Joe’s go well beyond the usual snacks and frozen foods. These days, the items on the top of my list help me prepare no-cook suppers when I can’t stand the heat. These are 10 of my favorite picks.

Credit: Lauren Masur

1. Steamed Lentils, $3.79

These pre-cooked, steamed lentils (found in the produce section) are all about convenience — one quality I’ll happily take. Turn these toothsome pulses into cold salads and hearty vegetarian wraps.

Credit: Lauren Masur

2. Sesame Crusted Hardwood Smoked Ahi Tuna, $5.99

This tuna, which costs $5.99 for 4 ounces, is a new-to-Trader Joe’s ingredient as of 2021. You can find it in the refrigerated section, right next to the smoked salmon selection. Lots of Kitchn editors have been using this stuff to make poke bowls at home all summer long. If making rice is too much cooking for you, you can also put this tuna on a salad.

3. Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast, $4.99

This thinly sliced turkey breast is a staple in my fridge because when all else fails and I need a filling dinner, it’s sandwiches to the rescue.

Credit: Lauren Masur

4. Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip, $3.99

Forget cooking! Some nights it feels too darn hot to even put an uncooked meal together — and those are the nights when yogurt dip and pita chips (plus a glass of rosé) is a totally sufficient dinner.

Credit: Grace Elkus

5. Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit, $4.49

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of the salad kits at Trader Joe’s. This one is a current fave because it’s got feta cheese and crunchy roasted chickpeas.

Credit: Julian Montijo

6. Channa Masala, $2.49

Using the microwave (for just two minutes) does not count as cooking. This frozen meal is immensely flavorful and pairs especially well with TJ’s garlic naan.

Credit: Lauren Masur

7. Organic Brown Rice, $2.99

Another microwave option! Zap this and add some black beans for quick and filling dinner.

8. A Dozen Cousins Mexican Cowboy Pinto Beans, $2.49

Speaking of beans! Trader Joe’s recently started carrying A Dozen Cousins, which is one of our favorite bean companies here at Kitchn.

Credit: Mercedes Davis

9. Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Quiche, $2.29

Breakfast for dinner is always a winner. This cheesy, mini quiche is enough for one and, you guessed it, cooks in the microwave.

10. Sardines in Olive Oil, $1.69

Tinned fish, particularly sardines, are the savory, salty backbone of simple and satisfying no-cook summer meals.

Get a recipe: Sardine Snacking Toasts