Kitchn Love Letters

This $2 Trader Joe’s Find Is the Best Thing to Happen to Leftovers

published Jun 16, 2023
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Trader Joes shopping bag on countertop
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Cooking for one comes with its challenges — the biggest, by far, is what to do with leftovers. After years of cooking for just me, I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve to keep leftovers interesting. 

This one gets me through my groceries, and thereby my budget, efficiently. As those warm-weather months hit, my leftover tactics switch gears from hot stir-fries and soups to the cold and crunchy fare. This summer I’m all about the pita pocket.

Credit: Corynn Crutchley

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Whole-Wheat Pita Bread Pockets?

I’m not too picky these days about what brand I use, but I do find myself going back to Trader Joe’s Whole-Wheat Pita Bread. Their flavor is a bit bland, but ever-so-slightly nutty, which makes them the perfect canvas for any flavor variation I choose. It takes a careful hand to open the large pocket, but the pita holds up well to my fillings as I eat, which is key. 

An extra tip for the solo cook: Keep these in the freezer. They thaw quickly, and are less likely to mold or dry out on my counter in the summer heat. So I have them on hand when leftovers take over. 

Credit: Corynn Crutchley

What’s the Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s Whole-Wheat Pita Bread Pockets?

The memories of my college town’s pita sandwich counter have been flooding back as I take each and every leftover and turn it into a new pita creation. Leftover elote from Cinco de Mayo became an elote-stuffed pita for the lazy Saturday that followed. One Sunday I made a huge farro grain salad to eat throughout the week, and I knew I needed something different by Wednesday. Some lettuce, onion, and a fresh toss of dressing all settled into a whole-wheat pita made it feel like a new meal. 

Credit: Corynn Crutchley

Pita pockets haven’t just spiced up leftover meals — they’re also great for the veggies, meat, and condiment scraps not used in a recipe. My fridge is frequently filled with odds and ends, like half a bell pepper and that wedge of an onion I’m slowly slicing away at. On a recent fridge cleanup, some Greek yogurt, part of a cucumber, leftover turkey, and lettuce became a gyro-inspired sandwich that traveled with me for a lakeside lunch.

Find it in stores:Trader Joe’s Whole-Wheat Pita Bread Pockets, $1.69 for 6 pitas

What’s your favorite $2 Trader Joe’s find? Tell us about it in the comments below.