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Quick and Easy Trader Joe’s Meal Prep Hacks to Transform Your Lunch Routine

Trader Joe’s is famous for its variety of fun and filling snacks, but it also offers a bounty of products perfect for lunch—many of which are ideal for meal prepping. This is a lifesaver, especially when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning and don’t have time to throw together a sandwich.

Meal prepping is not just about convenience; it’s also a great way to maintain sustainable eating habits and ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs regularly. According to Alexa Nichols, MS, RD, lead associate dietitian at Nourishing NY, preparing meals in bulk can save you time and money, as it reduces the need to buy from the nearest food stand when hunger strikes at the office.

Finding the right meal prep strategies can be tricky, so we’ve asked some registered dietitians to share their favorite meal prep hacks featuring Trader Joe’s products. These recipes are substantial enough to keep you full, flavorful enough to keep you from straying to takeout, and quick to make. Dive in—you might discover your new favorite quick and easy lunch.

1. Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit with Shawarma Chicken Thighs

If you find yourself sluggish after breakfast, this lunch option will give you a much-needed boost. It combines fat from feta cheese and dressing, protein from chicken, and fiber from vegetables. Start with Trader Joe’s premarinated shawarma chicken thighs, cooking them in an air fryer or oven for about 20 minutes. Once done, place the chicken on top of the Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit. This meal, according to Mia Rossi, MS, RD, an associate dietitian at Nourishing NY, will help keep you energized throughout your workday. Preparing the chicken in advance makes assembling the salad a breeze, taking only about five minutes.

For an extra twist, consider turning the salad into a wrap. Use Trader Joe’s Lavash flatbread and dip the wrap in TJ’s Vegan Tzatziki Dip. This method not only adds variety but also stretches your meal prep for a few more days. By opting for wraps, you can make enough salad and chicken to cover four days’ worth of lunches.

2. Egg Muffin Sandwich

For those who love breakfast-for-lunch, this sandwich is perfect. Start with Trader Joe’s frozen cheesy egg frittata, which is a solid source of protein. Microwave the frittata, then sandwich it between two halves of an English muffin, adding tomato, arugula, and perhaps some avocado for added flavor and texture. Jamie Lopez, MS, RDN, a dietitian nutritionist based in New York City and New Jersey, notes that the vegetables provide filling fiber and essential vitamins and antioxidants. The English muffin adds a carbohydrate element for quick energy.

The frittata comes precooked and stores well in the freezer, making it a perfect option for those busy or tiring days. Feel free to get creative by adding hash brown patties or switching up the bread type. For an extra kick, drizzle some hot sauce on top. Since the frittatas come in packs of two, you can prep one for today’s lunch and have another ready for tomorrow.

3. Greek Chickpea Salad with Crackers

Trader Joe’s Greek chickpeas, enhanced with cumin and parsley, create a dish that’s almost like a deconstructed hummus. Chickpeas offer a good mix of fiber and protein, making for a satisfying lunch. Leah Gorham, MPH, RD, a cofounder of Love & Grits Nutrition Therapy, suggests making a salad by chopping a tomato and a cucumber, mixing them with the Greek chickpeas, and sprinkling feta cheese on top. If you’re on a plant-based diet, Trader Joe’s has a vegan feta option as well.

For added crunch and to bulk up the meal, Gorham recommends pairing the salad with carb-rich crackers. Trader Joe’s Organic Seedy Crackers, made with whole grains and seeds, are a gluten-free option that works well. These crackers are great for meal prepping because they are portable and mess-free.

4. Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit with Black Beans and Avocado

This no-cook meal is as simple as it is nutritious. Add a diced avocado and a can of organic black beans to Trader Joe’s Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit for a combo that covers all your nutritional needs. The black beans provide protein, keeping you full longer, while the avocado and dressing add healthy fats. Alexa Nichols emphasizes that this mix ensures you stay satisfied both physically and emotionally throughout the day.

This recipe takes just five minutes to prepare, making it a staple for Nichols, who enjoys some variation of it almost weekly. You can also sub in tofu or Trader Joe’s precooked grilled chicken strips for a different take. To keep the greens fresh, store the dressing separately when refrigerating leftovers.

5. Baked Zucchini Parm

For a veggie-rich meal, try this baked ziti alternative. Zucchini is packed with vitamin A and antioxidants, as Elyse Metelka, MS, RD, a dietitian based in New York City, points out. Mix together zucchini noodles (zoodles), roasted garlic marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella, and grated Parmesan cheese. Top with more cheese and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Metelka suggests prepping this dish on a Sunday to have easy lunches ready for the week. For added protein, include Trader Joe’s precooked grilled chicken strips or another frozen chicken product.

6. Rice Bowl with Baked Tofu, Veggies, and Sriracha Mayo

This Asian-inspired recipe is incredibly easy and nutritious. Start by microwaving a pouch of Trader Joe’s frozen rice, then add precooked shelled edamame, cucumber slices, shredded carrots, and Trader Joe’s organic baked tofu in either teriyaki or sriracha flavor. Estee Glikman, RDN, CDN, a cofounder of Love & Grits Nutrition Therapy, loves adding a DIY mix of mayo and Trader Joe’s sriracha sauce for extra flavor.

The versatility of this recipe is one of its best features. You can choose white or brown rice, teriyaki or sriracha tofu, and as many or as few veggies as you like. If you prefer, swap the tofu for Trader Joe’s precooked Hardwood Smoked Pulled Chicken. If you’re not a fan of sriracha mayo, try soy sauce or make a savory dressing with maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, teriyaki sauce, and a dash of oil.

If you have a bit more time, bake the tofu in an oven or air fryer for added crunch. Otherwise, it’s ready to eat straight from the package, making it perfect for a quick lunch.

These meal prep hacks using Trader Joe’s products are designed to make your lunch preparation easy, quick, and nutritious. By planning ahead and using these tips, you can enjoy delicious and balanced meals without the daily hassle.