The biggest impact Trader Joe’s has made in my life (besides peppermint Joe Joe’s) is that I never get carryout anymore. Trader Joe’s freezer selection of meals has alleviated the need for me to get carryout when I have nothing for dinner. Here’s the other bonus of these meals: they are very inexpensive.
While I have not tried everything in the freezer section (yet), I’ve done some damage here. Now I understand why people have deep freezers to store all their goodies, as my freezer unleashes an avalanche of Trader Joe’s boxes each time I open it.
Here are some of my picks for meals from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. While this is obviously not a comprehensive list, it is a good place to start. Most of these meals are pre-cooked and just require heating up. Some require very simple methods of cooking which are detailed on the packaging.
I love all the fish here, especially the scallops and the ahi tuna. It is restaurant-quality and that is no exaggeration. The catch (no pun intended) is that it is not available all the time. When it is, reel it in. (Okay, I’ll stop).
The pre-marinated ahi tuna and salmon are great.
I even love the fish nuggets and the battered shrimp. The last time I ate a fish “stick” or “nugget” of any sort was the St. Michael’s cafeteria in the 1980s. For me to recommend this is a big big step.
Mini-Beef and Mini-Chicken Tacos are fantastic. They are a meal or a great appetizer. I recommend you buy at least two boxes if you are feeding your family. You will eat two just as testers out of the oven to make sure they are not poisonous.
I would recommend buying a can of the Cuban Black Beans as a side item for this.
ASIAN a.k.a Trader Joe-San’s
The Asian freezer meals here rival any restaurant. I have not ordered Chinese takeout since Trader Joe’s opened here – true story. I do the entire poo-poo platter of Potstickers, Shrimp Fried Rice and Mandarin Orange Chicken.
If you don’t want fried rice, their selection of Jasmine and Brown rices are great. They are easily microwaved in a couple minutes.
The Beef and Broccoli and Chow Mein are also delicious. For a family of 4 or more, buy two bags because the portions are small.
Technically, they are just patties and not burgers, but the Salmon, Chile Lime Chicken and Vegetable Masala are my favorites.
I have yet to eat a bad pizza from Trader Joe’s. My favorite is the Tarte d’Alsace (known as the ham pizza in this house). The individual pepperoni pizzas are a good after-school snack or appetizer. The Pollo Asado, which could be classified in the Mexican section as well, is made on a corn masa crust reminiscent of a tamale.
I did not include all the frozen vegetables, as I really have not made the leap into that area yet.
Hope this helps as a good starting point to guide you through the great freezer selection.
Let me know what your favorites are in the freezer section by leaving a comment below, so we all can try it.