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    12 Three-Ingredient Trader Joe's Meals I Swear By When I'm Not Sure What To Cook

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    If you know me, you know I'm kind of obsessed with Trader Joe's.

    The author holding a Trader Joe's bag after grocery shopping.
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    I'm always on the lookout for their newest products, I keep a running list of store tips and tricks, and I even (in pre-COVID times!) turned my 92-year-old grandma into a Trader Joe's convert.

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    Read more about that here.

    I've written before about some of my favorite three-ingredient TJ's meals, but I wanted to share the most recent ones I've been making for fall. Here are a handful of three-ingredient Trader Joe's dinners for when you want something easy, fast, and delicious.

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    All of these meals can be customizable, so if you're vegetarian or hate a certain ingredient, swap in something different! Also, each of these recipes makes more than one serving, so they're great for meal-prepping.

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    Frozen Vegetables + Miso Ginger Broth + Frozen Potstickers

    Stir fry vegetables, a carton of miso ginger soup, and frozen potstickers in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it: Cook the potstickers and vegetables according to package directions (but leave the sauce off of the mixed veggies) and heat up the soup. Combine everything and enjoy.

    TJ's tip: Trader Joe's has tons of frozen dumplings like shrimp shumai, vegetable gyoza, and pork potstickers, so use your favorite. They also sell frozen shrimp tempura for something a bit different. I've also made this recipe using T.J's miso ramen cups.

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    Cauliflower Gnocchi + Broccoli (fresh or frozen) + Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce

    Frozen broccoli florets, cauliflower gnocchi, and a jar of autumnal harvest pasta sauce in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it: Cook the cauliflower gnocchi. I find that roasting it on a baking sheet or sautéing it in a little bit of olive oil is best — it makes the gnocchi crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Cook the broccoli and combine, then toss with the autumnal harvest sauce.

    TJ's tip: Of course, you could use any T.J's frozen gnocchi if you don't love the cauliflower version. I especially love the sweet potato gnocchi. If you have Parmesan in your fridge, add a generous sprinkle.

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    Frozen Chicken Strips + Shredded Cabbage with Carrots + Peanut Udon Noodle Salad

    Peanut udon noodle salad, shredded cabbage, and frozen chicken breast strips in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it: Heat up the grilled chicken strips and toss them with the peanut udon noodle salad and some extra cabbage in a large bowl. Don't skimp on the peanut ginger dressing.

    TJ's tip: I've made this recipe with shrimp, smoked salmon, and even tofu instead of chicken. Whatever protein you use, it always tastes delicious.

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    Pita Bread + Shawarma Chicken Thighs + Mediterranean Hummus

    Mediterranean style hummus, pita bread, and shawarma chicken thighs in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it Cook the chicken then toss it in the pita bread with plenty of hummus.

    TJ's tip: You can really customize this recipe to fit your preferences. It tastes awesome with the shawarma chicken thighs, but it's equally as delicious with TJ's gyro slices or frozen falafel. I always love adding hummus, but you could opt for cucumber tzatziki, creamy cauliflower dip, romesco dip, etc...

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    Pasta (like farfalle) + Sausage (like spicy Italian chicken) + Frozen Spinach Artichoke Dip

    Farfalle, spicy chicken sausage, and creamy spinach and artichoke dip in a shopping cart.
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    • How to make it: Boil your favorite pasta, heat up the spinach and artichoke dip, and cook the sausage. Combine everything in a big pot and enjoy.

    TJ's tip: Soy chorizo also works great here if you're vegetarian.

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    Asian-Style Vegetable Stir-fry + Rice + Spicy Pumpkin Curry Simmer Sauce

    Frozen brown rice, spicy pumpkin curry simmer sauce, and Asian style vegetable stir fry in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it: Heat up the rice, sauté the stir fry vegetables in a pan, then combine everything with the spicy pumpkin curry sauce and bring to a simmer.

    TJ's tip: This is one of my favorite meatless meals because it's still filling and delicious, but you can always add a fourth ingredient for extra protein. Tofu, shrimp, salmon, stir-fry beef, or chicken works great.

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    Aloha Rolls + Pulled Pork + Coleslaw Kit

    Pulled pork, aloha rolls, and coleslaw kit in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it: Toast the aloha rolls, heat up the pulled pork according to package directions, and toss the coleslaw with the dressing. Assemble the pork and slaw on rolls and enjoy.

    TJ's tip: I've also tried these sliders with Trader Joe's fish sticks and shrimp burgers, and it always tastes sooo good. So feel free to get creative!

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    Frozen Shrimp + Lemony Arugula Basil Salad + Mexican-Style Roasted Corn with Cotija Cheese

    A bag of frozen roasted corn, frozen shrimp, and a lemony arugula salad kit in a shopping cart.
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    How to make it: Assemble the salad kit, thaw and cook the shrimp, and heat up the frozen roasted corn. Toss everything together in a big salad bowl and enjoy.

    TJ's tip: For something a bit more indulgent, try using T.J's frozen coconut shrimp. You could also swap in carne asada, pre-cooked carnitas, or any protein you prefer.

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    Scallops (fresh or frozen) + Frozen Mushroom Risotto + Shredded Brussels Sprouts

    Mushroom risotto, fresh sea scallops, and shaved Brussels sprouts.
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    How to make it: Heat up the risotto according to package directions then sauté the Brussels sprouts and combine.. Cook the scallops on the stovetop. I usually sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then pan-sear them in a little bit of butter or olive oil for about two minutes on each side. Plate the scallops on top of the Brussels and mushroom risotto.

    TJ's tip: Trader Joe's fresh sea scallops are one of my go-tos. In my experience, they are great quality, taste super fresh, and they're more affordable than your usual sea scallops. For crispier scallops, coat them in a tiny bit of flour before searing.

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    Buffalo Ranch Salad Kit + Breaded Chicken Tenderloin Breasts + Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Breaded chicken tenders, buffalo style chicken dip, and buffalo ranch chopped salad in a shopping cart.
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    • How to make it: Heat up the breaded chicken tenders and cut them into btie-sized pieces. Add them to the buffalo ranch chopped salad (one of my favorite salad kits) with a scoop of the buffalo style chicken dip for more flavor.

    • TJ's tip: If you're buffalo'd out, nix the dip and go for blue cheese, chopped celery, or any of T.J's pre-made dips. You can always eat this buffalo chicken salad on a wrap or in a pita.

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    Rice + Cuban-Style Black Beans + Chicken Asada

    Chicken asada, canned Cuban style black beans, and frozen rice medley in a shopping cart.
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    • How to make it: Cook each of the ingredients according to package directions and assemble in a big bowl.

    TJ's tip: If you don't love black beans, try using refried beans or Trader Joe's pre-made Mexican-style corn and quinoa salad. Instead of on rice, you can also try this on a tortilla in taco or burrito form.

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    Tortillas + Battered Fish Nuggets + Southwestern Salad Kit

    Frozen fish nuggets, southwestern chopped salad kit, and corn tortillas in a shopping cart.
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    • How to make it: Heat up the fish nuggets, toss together the salad kit, and heat up some tortillas on the stove top or in the microwave. Assemble everything into tacos.

    • TJ's tip: I love the southwestern salad kit because it tastes like a slaw perfect for tacos. It has cotija cheese, tortilla strips, cabbage, cilantro, and a really delicious spicy avocado dressing. I often leave the dressing off the salad and then drizzle it on top of my tacos like a crema. Try making these tacos with your favorite like filling (think: coconut shrimp, pork belly, carnitas, skirt steak, or portobello mushrooms).

    1. What are your favorite easy dinners from Trader Joe's that only need a few ingredients? Share in the comments!