9 Trader Joe’s Frozen Dinners That Are Even Better for Breakfast

published May 26, 2022
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Credit: Lauren Masur

Breakfast for dinner is a weekly occurrence in my house (think: stacks of lofty buttermilk pancakes, cheesy and meaty breakfast sandwiches, and a rich and cinnamon-y French toast casserole). I eat eat breakfast for dinner all the time, which got me thinking: Could I flip that and eat dinner for breakfast? I needed to investigate. So, of course, I visited one of my favorite sections at one of my favorite grocers.

In true fashion, the freezer cases at Trader Joe’s were stacked with exciting frozen finds to choose from. I’m talking French-style pizza, Vietnamese-inspired soup, vegetable quesadillas, and more! The frozen dinners are all hearty and filling — I’m talking full until lunch time — and, bonus, $5 or less! These are the nine frozen-dinner-for-breakfast picks worth picking up.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

1. Quinoa Duo with Vegetable Melange, $3.99 for 16 ounces

This frozen melange of quinoa and vegetables comes all the way from France and includes two types of quinoa (a great source of fiber and protein!) to keep you full for hours. The sweet potatoes and zucchini medley add color and texture. Plus, it’s a great way to work some extra veggies into your morning meal. Add a fried egg and you’re golden.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

2. Chicken Shu Mai, $3.49 for 11 ounces

These shu mai are packed with chicken and vegetables and come with a tangy soy dipping sauce. A common breakfast staple (along with other types of dim sum) in China and many other Asian countries, these can be served alone or as part of a dim sum spread for a fun weekend brunch with friends or family.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

3. Cha Siu Bao, $4.49 for 8 ounces

A particular favorite of mine, these bao are light and fluffy buns filled with sticky, sweet, and salty umami-rich pork. If time is a factor, they take just 45 seconds in the microwave (they can also be steamed on stovetop).

Credit: Taylor Kocher

4. Chipotle Vegetable Quesadillas, $3.69 for 12 ounces 

When you don’t have the energy to make your own, these ready-made onion-, black bean-, and corn-filled quesadillas are the shortcut to cheesy, smoky early morning meals.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

5. Corn & Cheese Arepas, $3.49 for 13.96 ounces

A mainstay of Colombian, Venezuelan, and Central American breakfasts, arepas are yet another handheld delight. These frozen corn griddle cakes — stuffed with a layer of mozzarella in the middle — do take a bit of time to prepare, including a 30-minute thaw at room temperature, followed by frying them in a pan or baking them in the oven. So, plan accordingly.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

6. Greek Spanakopita, $4.99 for 14.1 ounces

Spanakopita is typically eaten before a larger meal, or as an afternoon snack to tide you over for dinner. It can also easily tide you over until lunchtime. Much like a quiche is a hearty breakfast pie, so too, is this spinach- and cheese-filled pie.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

7. Beef Pho Soup, $3.49 for 13.23 ounces

This Vietnamese-inspired beef and rice noodle soup comes ready to serve with your choice of sliced jalapeños, basil, and bean sprouts. In just six minutes in the microwave (or 10 minutes on the stovetop), you can have yourself a comforting, hearty bowl of deliciousness for breakfast.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

8. Potato Pancakes, $2.79 for 10.6 ounces

In my opinion, potatoes belong in a well-balanced breakfast. And so too can these potato pancakes (latkes aren’t just reserved for holidays). Make them a part of your breakfast routine by dunking them in some sour cream and applesauce, or even with a bit of shredded cheese melted over them.

Credit: Taylor Kocher

9. Tarte aux Champignons, $4.49 for 9.52 ounces

Pizza-for-breakfast-lovers, here’s your moment! Turn to France for some inspiration with this French-style flatbread topped with mushroom and a blend of Emmental and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses.

What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s frozen dinner? Tell us in the comments below.