10 Things I Buy from Trader Joe’s for Easy Summer Suppers

updated Jun 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

Now that summer is finally around the corner, I want extra-easy dinners so I can grab a glass of rosé and spend more time outdoors and less time in front of the stove. We already know that Trader Joe’s is a total win for picking up items that save us time in the kitchen, so it’s no surprise that the grocery store also has plenty of options to help us get easy summer suppers on the table. Here are 10 of my favorites.

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  1. Smoke House Pulled Pork, $6 for 16 ounces: When it’s too hot to turn on the oven and I don’t have time for the slow cooker to do its thing, this is the most convenient way to get pulled pork on the table. Mixed with just the right amount of Texas-style BBQ sauce, this pork is bold and smoky with a hint of spice. Use it as a filling for quick tacos, quesadillas, and sandwiches, or as a salad topping.
  2. Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Ravioli, $3.50 for 8.8 ounces: Attention, cheese lovers! You need this ravioli in your life. They have a rich and savory filling that can make pasta night feel fancy, even when topped with a simple jarred marinara.
  3. Pork Gyoza Potstickers, $3.30 for 16 ounces: These frozen apps also make a quick and convenient dinner served on their own, steamed in a soup, or tossed into a stir-fry. The dough is just the right thickness, and the meat is well-seasoned and mixed with cabbage, scallions, and a hint of soy sauce and ginger.
  4. Carrot Spirals, $3 for 12 ounces: Found in the freezer section, carrot spirals are the latest in Trader Joe’s ultra-convenient prepped veggies. They can go straight from the freezer to a skillet for a super quick-dinner, and can be used just like you’d use zucchini noodles or pasta.
  5. Pastrami-Style Atlantic Smoked Salmon, $5 for four ounces: If you love pastrami and smoked salmon, this somewhat untraditional combo is going to be a hit. Put some slices on a cheese board and call it dinner, or use some pieces to give noodle bowls an extra boost.
  6. Wild-Caught Crab Meat, $8 for eight ounces: This mix of lump, backfin, and claw meat (all from blue swimming crabs) is fully cooked, picked from the shell, and frozen. Defrost and use it as the filling for summer rolls, add it to salads, or toss it with pasta for a quick weeknight dinner.
  7. Riced Broccoli, $2.30 for 15 ounces: You know how cauliflower rice is so popular? Well, allow me to introduce you to broccoli rice. This stuff is found in the produce section and can be used in all the same ways you’d turn riced cauliflower into a quick dinner.
  8. Steamed Lentils, $3 for 17.6 ounces: These steamed and lightly seasoned French lentils are ready to eat right out of the pouch. Just open them up and dump them right into a cool, crisp salad.
  9. Frozen Turkey Meatballs, $3.70 for 16 ounces: Pick up a bag of turkey meatballs in the freezer section, and there’s a roster of quick dinners that await. If the low price doesn’t win you over, the charred, flame-broiled flavor will do the trick.
  10. Frozen Cooked Shrimp, $8 for 16 ounces: These guys are peeled, cleaned, cooked, and individually frozen, so all that’s left to do is thaw them before adding them to your salad or grain bowl, tossing them with pasta, or stuffing them into tacos. They taste fresh and tender with a totally unbeatable price.

Your turn: What are your favorite finds at Trader Joe’s for easy summer suppers?

P.S.: This post (and indeed, all other Trader Joe’s posts) are not sponsored or affiliated with Trader Joe’s in any way. We just love the store, and our readers do too. If there are other grocery stores you’d like to see similar coverage of, please tell us! Grocery shopping is a huge part of the cooking experience and we focus a lot of our editorial attention upon it.