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

(Image credit: Bag: Courtesy of Trader Joe’s)

As the stickiest part of summer rolls in, my favorite buys at Trader Joe’s go well beyond the usual snacks and frozen foods I always pick up. 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 my 10 favorite picks.

1. Steamed Lentils

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.

2. Boneless, Skinless Canned Pink Salmon

This flaky Alaskan salmon is a nice change from canned tuna. Toss it with a variety of veggies for a meal-worthy salad, or fold it into a wrap.

3. Lightly Smoked Sardines in Olive Oil

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

Get a Recipe: Sardine Snacking Toasts

4. Kumatos

I first discovered this greenish-red to purple tomato variety at Trader Joe’s, and enjoy their sweetness and unique hue. These are a staple in my shopping cart; I use them in everything from classic tomato sandwiches to salads to gazpacho.

5. Fresh Rice Noodles

Hot water is all you need to prep these soft noodles. Try tossing them with crisp shredded veggies, leftover chicken, and peanut sauce.

6. Organic Broccoli Slaw

Make a traditional slaw or use this mixture of broccoli, carrots, and cabbage to create any number of dinner-worthy salads.

7. Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

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.

8. Smoked Sockeye Salmon

Tender slices of smoked salmon feel like a little luxury when you can’t bear to turn on the stove. Try them over toast with pickled onions or tossed into a crisp salad.

9. Grilled Chicken Strips

When you can’t bear to heat up to kitchen to cook dinner, these pre-cooked chicken strips feel like a savior. Use them for a meaty sandwich, bulk up a bright salad, or toss with leftover pasta.

10. Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast

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.