The 8 Healthiest Frozen Dinners at Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's is synonymous with convenient dinner options. As you traverse the chain's narrow aisles pushing your little red cart, all you have to do is stroll by the freezer case for a multitude of easy frozen dinners. From single-serving microwave meals to larger, family-style bake-able casseroles, Trader Joe's offers something for everyone.
Still, as with many frozen foods, not all of Trader Joe's frozen dinners are brimming with healthful ingredients. Many are high in saturated fat, sodium, and sneaky added sugars. Rather than reaching for any old cold case dinner, it's always best to take a look at nutrition facts labels for healthier options.
Thankfully, we've done the work to get you started! The following eight items are healthy Trader Joe's frozen dinners—perfect for those busy evenings when you want to get something nutritious on the table without a ton of effort. Then, for more helpful shopping tips, check out 15 Best Costco Foods To Buy, According to Dietitians.
Sometimes it seems like all of your favorite dishes have gotten a cauliflower makeover in the last few years, but don't knock Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi until you've tried it (and checked out its nutrition information). This vegetable spin on an Italian classic is made with just five familiar ingredients: cauliflower, cassava flower, potato starch, olive oil, and sea salt.
The simple goodness of veggies adds up to a healthy frozen dinner. In a 1-cup, 140-calorie serving of TJ's Cauliflower Gnocchi, you'll get 3 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 0 added sugars, and even a little dose of protein (2 grams). Turn this one into a more satisfying meal by adding a tomato-based sauce and a minimally processed meat like ground turkey.
Bean & Rice Burrito
Trader Joe's Frozen Bean & Rice Burritos pack two of the Mexican roll-ups in one package. Depending on how hungry you are, you'll have your choice to heat up just one or the entire package. Either way, you'll get plenty of fiber (5 grams from one burrito) and protein (13 grams).
Stir-Fried Garlicky Cabbage
For an Asian-themed dinner that's even faster than takeout (and a whole lot healthier), check out Trader Joe's Stir-Fried Garlicky Cabbage. As a leafy green in the Brassica genus, cabbage is an unsung hero of nutrition. It's high in antioxidants and vitamins C and K, and research shows it might even help reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Trader Joe's lets cabbage shine alongside flavor-enhancing garlic and a zippy stir-fry sauce. The result: a low-calorie meal (130 calories per cup) that's oh-so-simple to whip up in the microwave or on the stovetop. To make it more filling at dinnertime, top the garlicky cabbage with chicken or tofu.
Chickenless Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry
All about that plant-based lifestyle? Snag a bag of the Chickenless Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry in the TJ's freezer aisle. This vegetarian meal uses textured pea protein to recreate the look and mouthfeel of chicken. And since each 1 1/3-cup serving has a sizable dose of protein (7 grams) and fiber (10 grams), and not too much fat (8 grams unsaturated, 1 gram saturated), there's no need to add anything extra here. Simply heat and eat!
Mahi-mahi burgers can give you the feel of an elegant island vacation on a hectic Tuesday night. These fish burgers are a healthy go-to for their simple ingredient list of mahi-mahi, water, oil, and a handful of spices—not to mention their excellent nutrition profile. Each fish patty contains 15 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (most of them unsaturated), 0 carbs, and only 13% of your daily value of sodium.
Besides serving these tasty frozen burgers between the usual buns, try chopping them up and tossing them on a salad. Their mild taste pairs well with zingy fruits like citrus or strawberries.
Bulgur Pilaf with Butternut Squash & Feta
You can always count on Trader Joe's to expose you to new tastes and global cuisines. Their frozen Bulgur Pilaf with Butternut Squash & Feta Cheese is a convenient take on a Mediterranean dish known as pilafi pourgouri. Like many Mediterranean-inspired dishes, this one offers nutritious veggies and whole grains with a side of lower-fat dairy.
Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers
Grab your cowboy hat and fire up the grill! Trader Joe's Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers are the perfect partner for blazing a good-for-you dinnertime trail. They're one of the healthiest Trader Joe's frozen dinners, made with a mix of quinoa, black beans, red peppers, roasted corn, and onions.
Each cowboy burger comes with 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber, and just 13% of the daily value of sodium. Granted, their 5 grams of protein doesn't compete with beef burgers' higher levels of this macro, but serving them topped with cheese on a whole wheat bun will round up their protein content significantly.
Vegan Pasta Bolognese Bowl
Pasta Bolognese is typically created with ground beef or veal crumbles, but TJ's vegan version serves up savory deliciousness with textured wheat protein, an animal-free alternative that shaves off calories and fat. Though this single-serving frozen dinner is a bit high in sodium (30% of the daily value), it makes up for it with 13 grams of fiber, 30 grams of protein, 35% of your daily potassium, and 30% of your daily iron—all with just 10 grams of fat and no added sugars.