I could wax poetic about my favorite Trader Joe's finds all day long (currently cannot get enough of the Mixed Nut Butter!), but beyond the snacks, condiments, and cheeses, the freezer section is a gold mine. Trader Joe's really gets frozen vegetables in a way that most other stores don't. Sure, you can pick up the standard bag of peas and broccoli florets, but the freezer cases are stocked with even more fun, interesting, and convenient finds you can't pick up anywhere else.
Here are five favorites that I keep stashed in my freezer for quick sides, simple soups and stir-fries, and dinners when I don't feel like cooking.
- Grilled Cauliflower, $3 for 16 ounces: Buy this once and you will not go back to regular frozen cauliflower. What's hiding inside this bag of frozen vegetables is so much more than a quick side dish (although, yes, it does pair well with anything you make). Grilling not only gives these florets a smoky char, but it also pulls out the cauliflower's natural sweetness.
- Country Potatoes with Haricots Verts and Wild Mushrooms, 16 ounces: My friend Meghan alerted me to these potatoes years ago, and I am forever indebted to her. I consider this frozen trio the MVP of frozen veggies. It's a mixture of thinly sliced potatoes partnered with slim, tender green beans, and meaty mushrooms — flecked with plenty of herbs. This mix has a place on the table any time of day, from breakfast through dinner. Serve it as a side, or top it with an egg or bulk it up with ground meat or sausage for dinner.
- Organic Superfood Pilaf, $4 for 16 ounces: This wholesome pilaf, mixed with quinoa, kale, sweet potatoes, and carrots, wins huge points in the convenience category. Serve this pilaf on its own, add a fried egg, mix in shredded rotisserie chicken, or stuff it in a baked potato or tortilla to turn it into dinner.
- Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry, $3 for 16 ounces: We already know that cauliflower is a winning choice as the base for quick and easy weeknight stir-fries, and this find from the freezer makes it even easier. Toss it into a screaming-hot skillet slicked with oil, and you've got dinner in about five minutes.
- Carrot Spirals, $3 for 12 ounces: Even if you already have a spiralizer, these lightly-salted carrots noodles are the ultimate convenience and totally worth stashing in the freezer. Cook them up in minutes to toss in stir-fries, salads, as the base of a grain bowl, or an easy weeknight side.
Your turn! What are your favorite frozen veggie finds from Trader Joe's?