When you get home at the end of a long day or finally step away from work and your other responsibilities, the last thing you want to do is spend hours by the stove, creating a mess that you’ll have to clean up after dinner. Washing a mountain of dishes is never fun, particularly if it cuts into the short window of time you have to wind down before bed. When it comes to dinner, the fewer dishes, the better. That’s why we like to rely on a few trusty one-pan Trader Joe’s recipes to make after-dinner clean-up an absolute breeze.
These meals take a bit of strategy—you have to consider cooking order more carefully than if you used every pan you have—but thanks to a few TJ’s staples, the actual cooking process couldn’t be simpler. These one-pan Trader Joe’s recipes are just what you need to get dinner on the table fast with minimal clean-up needed.
1. Gyoza potstickers, mixed frozen veggies, miso ginger broth
Potstickers might be your go-to appetizer at your favorite Asian restaurant, but have you tried them in soup? For a yummy, Asian-inspired soup that takes minutes to throw together, start by frying your potstickers in a large soup pot with some oil. When the bottoms are nicely browned, remove them from the pan and add in your veggies of choice (and some extra oil if needed). Sauté until the veggies are soft, then pour in your broth and bring it to a simmer. Stir in some soy sauce and/or sesame oil for an extra boost of flavor and add the potstickers back into the pot. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with some of TJ’s Chili Onion Crunch or chopped cilantro.
2. Chicken thighs, broccoli, frozen cauliflower gnocchi
Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken to cook because they’re super flavorful and also keep their moisture better than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut some up into bite-sized pieces, add a small splash of avocado oil, and cook through. Then, remove your chicken pieces from the pan (I use the lid so I’m not using another dish) and add a little more oil if needed. Add sliced or minced garlic, broccoli, and red pepper flakes and sauté. Once that’s done, add the cauliflower gnocchi and cook through. Put the chicken back into the pan and toss it all together to warm everything up. Top with a bit of olive oil, shaved parmesan, and parsley.
3. Meatballs (or meatless meatballs), frozen zucchini spirals, sauce of your choosing
My spiralizer is a pain to use, so the frozen zucchini spirals at Trader Joe’s are a huge help—and a freezer staple in my house. Heat the meatballs (or meatless meatballs, if that’s what you’re using) in a shallow pan until they’re cooked through. Remove them from the pan and add the spirals and a splash of liquid (you can use a bit of wine, vinegar, stock, or water). Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and quickly sauté the spirals. Add the meatballs back in along with your sauce (Trader Joe’s has tons of choices, depending on the overall taste you’re going for: marinara, pesto, curry—the options are endless).
4. Protein of choice, honey pale ale mustard, veggies
Trader Joe’s Honey Pale Ale Mustard is delicious as a condiment but even better to cook with. Slather it on some chicken or a piece of salmon, or toss some chickpeas in it and place them on a sheet tray. Add the vegetables of your choice (seasoned with avocado oil, salt, pepper, and whatever else you’d like to use—maybe a bit of garlic powder?) and roast the lot of it until the veggies look roasted and the salmon or chicken is cooked through.
5. Creamy chicken and poblano ravioli, fire-roasted frozen corn, cilantro, arugula, cultured butter
Trader Joe’s Creamy Chicken and Poblano Ravioli could be a meal by itself but doctored up with some extra veggies, it’s divine. Start by cooking the ravioli in boiling water. Drain it and let the ravioli hang out in the colander while you throw together the rest. Melt some of the (delicious) Trader Joe’s cultured butter in your pan. Add the fire-roasted frozen corn and sauté it, then toss the ravioli and arugula in your sauce. Garnish with cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Mixed frozen veggies, frozen cauliflower rice, stir fry sauce, fresh eggs, cilantro
The Organic Riced Cauliflower works in tons of different Trader Joe’s recipes, but we love using it for a riff on classic fried rice. Splash some sesame oil or a mix of sesame and peanut oil into your pan. Pour in the frozen veggie mix and sauté, then add the cauliflower rice. Add a bit of stir fry sauce and mix it all up. Pour your mixture into a serving bowl. Add a bit of oil to the pan to fry your eggs. Serve your veggie stir fry with a fried egg and minced cilantro on top.
7. Gorgonzola gnocchi, mushrooms, spinach, butternut squash, walnuts
Packed with tons of nutrient-dense ingredients, this one-pan recipe is hearty, filling, and absolutely delicious. Start by toasting your walnuts in a dry pan, then set them to the side. Add a bit of avocado oil to your pan and sauté the mushrooms and butternut squash until they’re cooked. Season your veggies with salt and pepper before adding the gorgonzola gnocchi to cook. Add the spinach and let it wilt down a bit. Then serve with walnuts on top.
8. Zhoug, meat of choice, pita, hummus, cauliflower tabouli
Trader Joe’s has all kinds of meat to choose from, including chicken, lamb, and beef. Pick your favorite (if you’re not a meat eater, you can do this with chickpeas!) and toss your chosen protein in Trader Joe’s Zhoug Sauce. Cook your protein using your method of choice (roasting, frying, etc.). Warm your pita, then stuff it with hummus, protein, tabouli, and maybe a bit more zhoug.
9. Salmon, avocado tzatziki, English cucumber, sweet potato
For this healthy Trader Joe’s recipe, begin by baking your sweet potato. When it’s nearly done, remove the pan from the oven, add the salmon, and season it very simply, then put the pan back into the oven. Cook until the salmon is cooked to your desired doneness and the potato is cooked through. Top with avocado tzatziki and wedges of cucumber.
10. Mac and cheese, kale pesto, chicken sausage
One-pan Trader Joe’s recipes truly don’t get any easier than this. Make your mac and cheese. Stir in kale pesto and chicken sausage for some added flavor and protein. Dinner = done.