My Favorite $5 Trader Joe’s Buy for Incredibly Busy Weeks

updated May 30, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Some weeks, I set aside two hours on Sunday to knock out meal prep for the entire week. Other weeks, Sunday totally escapes me and I start the week with a bare fridge and no meal plan to speak of. That’s where my new favorite Trader Joe’s product comes into play.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Trader Joe’s Sauté Kits Make Dinner Prep a Breeze

In November, the beloved grocery store launched a new line of Sauté Kits, which are ready to eat in just five minutes and cost less than $5 a piece. Both varieties — there’s a Brussels sprouts kit and a haricots verts kit — are packaged similarly to Trader Joe’s salad kits, in that there’s one larger bag that contains the veggies and several smaller bags that hold the rest of the ingredients, such as nuts or cheese. Each contain 4 1/2 servings.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My personal favorite is the Brussels sprouts kit, which comes with chopped hazelnuts, shaved Parmesan cheese, and a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. The detailed instructions on the bag, complete with cute illustrations, are easy and fun to follow, and I appreciate that the whole process is really quick while still being smart. Instead of dumping the entirety of the kit into the skillet to heat, I toast the hazelnuts first, set them aside, warm up some olive oil, sauté the Brussels sprouts so they have a chance to crisp and become tender, then add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. I then garnish with the hazelnuts and Parmesan for a fancy-looking dish that took way less effort (total time: about five minutes) than if had I started from scratch.

If you like classic Thanksgiving green bean casserole, you’ll want to try the haricots verts kit, which comes with crispy fried onions, roasted almonds, and a mushroom shallot cream sauce. I found it a little rich for a weeknight, but it was still delicious.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Although I likely won’t turn to them every single week, these kits introduced me to some great new ingredient pairings that I can try out in homemade dishes, too. Now that I know Brussels sprouts taste so great with hazelnuts, the possibilities are endless.

Your turn! What’s your favorite store-bought buy for busy weeknights?