Best Trader Joe’s pantry items to include in any dish

These staple Trader Joe’s items are the best ingredients to spice up easy meals

Best Trader Joe’s pantry items to include in any dish

Trader Joe’s is known for its unique, name-brand items that make for quick and tasty meals. For college students who are either cooking at home or on their own, making simple but delicious meals is everything. Here are some of the best pantry items for Trader Joe's fanatics in need of simple ways to spice up easy meals. 

Instant Miso Ramen 

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Instant ramen is a well-loved classic in the college community. The rich, flavorful broth and slurpable noodles of Trader Joe’s instant miso ramen and spicy ramen will have you trading in your ordinary instant ramen for this steaming bowl of deliciousness. The miso broth is comforting and tasty, and the noodles are the perfect al dente and taste as if they have been freshly hand-pulled. With a few extra steps, you can turn this ramen into restaurant quality. My favorite way to prepare this ramen is to follow the instructions on the packaging by adding boiling water to the cup and, while that sits, I soft boil an egg for six minutes and add Trader Joe’s dried seaweed snacks. If you want to add something more substantial, I recommend sautéing mushrooms in sesame oil and coconut aminos to give it an extra flavor burst.

Turkey Chili

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The Trader Joe’s canned turkey chili recipe will be a fan favorite for the wintertime. Add some extra ground turkey and brown sugar to the pot of simmering chili. If you want a Southern twist to this pantry item, put a layer of the Trader Joe’s corn dippers at the bottom of your bowl with a sprinkle of cheese. Next, place the turkey chili on top of corn chips and top it with more cheese and more corn chips to make the perfect Frito pie.

Hot and Sweet Jalapeños

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These hot and sweet jalapeños will perfect any dish you create. Add them on top of a Tex-Mex dish or even eat them on their own. They are extremely flavorful and the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and tangy. My favorite way to enjoy these is on avocado toast. After spreading avocado on your favorite toasted bread, I recommend sprinkling salt and crushing pepper onto your avocado. Then, add a dash of garlic powder, red pepper flakes and a healthy amount of Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. Finally, scoop out the hot and sweet jalapeños and cover your avocado with them as well as adding some of the juice to your toast. Bonus points if you add hot sauce as well!

Taco Seasoning

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The Trader Joe’s taco seasoning is magical and can heighten your dish, especially when paired with their chili seasoning blend. Add your favorite veggies to a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil and heavily sprinkle the taco seasoning over your produce and roast until tender. I like to add the veggies to a bowl and top it off with an avocado lime sauce made of avocado, lime, Greek yogurt, and salt and pepper along with the Trader Joe’s chile lime seasoning.

You can also use this to make a quick and easy chicken tortilla soup. Add onions, garlic, and salt and pepper to a big soup pot and simmer until the onions become translucent. Then, add a can or two of diced tomatoes along with the taco seasoning and chili seasoning, and let that simmer. Later, add your broth of choice. Trader Joe’s low-sodium chicken broth and veggie broth are delicious. After this mixture has simmered for a while, it is time for the add-ins. You can add either shredded chicken or Trader Joe’s canned green jackfruit for a vegan option. The jackfruit has a similar texture to chicken or pork when shredded and will soak up all the flavor of the soup. I also like to add black beans, Trader Joe’s frozen sweet corn and whatever I can find in my fridge at the time. Finish seasoning the soup with a couple of limes, and add the taco and chili seasoning to taste. While this mixture simmers, cut corn tortillas in triangles or small strip shapes. Drizzle oil on top of them along with the taco seasoning and place them in the oven to make tortilla chips. Once those are crispy, top your soup with fresh avocado, lime and your tortilla chips.

Vegan Kale, Cashew, Basil Pesto

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This pesto is one of the freshest tasting store-bought pestos I have tried. The mint-forward flavor makes it so fresh-tasting. There are so many ways to enjoy a good pesto, but my favorite is on a veggie sandwich. Get a delicious multigrain bread (I enjoy the Trader Joe’s gluten-free whole grain bread), and spread the pesto on one of the slices of bread and your favorite hummus on the other. Add Dijon mustard for zing. Layer on veggies of your choice — I recommend cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce, avocado, onion and tomatoes. Top with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

There is nothing better than creating an easy, quick meal that tastes amazing. After trying these Trader Joe’s ingredients and simple tips, you will refuse to have another boring meal again!

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