Trader Joe's Superfans Share Their Favorite No-Cook Meal Ideas

Black man preparing vegetable salad


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Black man preparing vegetable salad
Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit Trader Joe's
Lentil and Bulgur Salad with Feta and Fresh Spinach

Lentil Salad

Trader Joe's sells pre-cooked lentils, which are packed with nutrients such as folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber. They're also low in fat. Mixing them with generous amounts of TJ's Bruschetta Sauce, a scoop or two of pesto (such as vegan cashew), and a handful of crumbled feta cheese makes another yummy salad, according to multiple Reddit users. You can also try adding cut-up watermelon, cucumbers, and chickpeas to this recipe to make it even more substantial.

Related: 30 Under-the-Radar Trader Joe's Pantry Staples

Ceviche 2
Luiz Henrique Mendes/istockphoto


If you're craving something cool and refreshing to counteract summer heat, try ceviche. Look for fresh white fish in the seafood section, but a Reddit user says frozen shrimp works too, along with lots of lime juice, cucumber, onion, and cilantro. You can add some sliced avocado for an extra serving of healthy fat and creaminess. Trader Joe's also has an easy recipe for scallop ceviche. The only catch is you have to allow time for ceviche to sit in the refrigerator before it's ready to eat.

Veggies to Buy Instead of Kale

Chicken/Veggie Wrap

Another popular Trader Joe's item is its pre-cooked grilled chicken strips. Simply wrap the chicken, whatever veggies you have on hand, and your choice of spread in a tortilla. The Reddit user sharing this idea also recommends creating rice paper salad rolls or lettuce wraps, and filling them with pre-made Asian salad from TJ's as a shortcut — but cautions that it's not the cheapest option.

turkey and cheese sandwich

Foolproof Sandwich

For a delicious and easy sandwich that is sure to hit the spot, try Trader Joe's Sweet Pull Apart Aloha Rolls with sliced peppered turkey breast, mayonnaise, horseradish Dijon mustard, pepper jack cheese, and romaine lettuce. Although the Hawaiian buns can be warmed for a few minutes in the oven, according to the package directions, you can also "enjoy as is."

Related: The 29 Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe's

Assortment of charcuterie and cheese on wooden board on concrete table. Top view.
Anastasia Dobrusina/istockphoto

Easy Charcuterie

Charcuterie boards don't always have to be super fancy. Trader Joe's offers a wide variety of nuts, jams, fruits, cheeses, and deli meats to help you build a visually impressive but virtually effortless meal. Unexpected cheeses such as cheddar, brie, and goat are some favorites mentioned on Reddit. Try adding cooked beans for an extra kick of protein and fiber.