11 Trader Joe's Items For People Who Don't Have Time To Cook

Trader Joe's

Cooking? How about no? Who has the time for that, between work, school, relationships, family, and trying to catch up on Real Housewives? If you're constantly on the go but don't want to sacrifice your meals, keep reading for 11 Trader Joe's products to buy if you don't have time to cook.

Maybe it's not exactly that you dislike cooking. In fact, you might love it. You might get more pleasure from it than you do anything else. Perhaps nothing tickles your pickle quite like rolling up your sleeves, turning up some Frank Sinatra, and working on perfecting your great grandmother's marinara sauce. But let's be honest, here. The 200 unread emails in your inbox, stack of bills on the table that have yet to be paid, and your weekly catch-up call with your mother-in-law that you've been avoiding all have other plans.

The amazing thing about Trader Joe's is that they have plenty of food to choose from that's just about ready to eat. Maybe you have to pop it in the microwave or oven, but even the most time-strapped of us can manage that. If you want to treat your taste buds but don't have a ton of time to spare, here are 11 things that you should add to your Trader Joe's grocery shopping list.

1. Jackfruit Cakes

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These sound like they should take hours in the kitchen, but TJ's jackfruit cakes are nothing like that. All you have to do is toss them into the oven or a frying pan and voila — dinner is served, and a vegan dinner, at that.

2. Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos

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Joe's black bean and cheese taquitos are bursting at the seams with Monterey jack cheese and black beans, and they're ready to eat in minutes. Whether you're enjoying them as a crispy, crunchy little snack or you're eating them as part of your meal, you can't go wrong with this easy and satisfying pick.

3. Chicken Tikka Masala

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If you haven't tried the chicken tikka masala at TJ's yet, you're seriously missing out. It's got roasted chicken served in a creamy, tomato-based curry sauce that's got just a little kick. Less than five minutes in the microwave and it's ready to be devoured. Yes, please.

4. Outside-In Stuffed Gnocchi

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This stuffed gnocchi is taking things to a new level. Normally, gnocchi is served with sauce and cheese. But Joe put his own unique spin on it by stuffing it with sauce and cheese. A classic Italian meal ready in mere minutes? Fine by me!

5. Sesame Crunch Chopped Salad Kit

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Salads are cute and all, but assembling them is a real pain in the can, with all the washing and chopping and tossing and whatnot. This sesame crunch chopped salad kit makes it such a breeze.

6. Buttermilk Protein Pancake Mix

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I'm not sure of many things in life, but I am sure of this: Joe's buttermilk pancake protein mix is a perfectly acceptable choice for any meal of the day. Smother them in butter and syrup and get an extra kick of protein while you're at it.

7. Creamy Chicken & Poblano Ravioli

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I'm drooling. Trader Joe's chicken and poblano ravioli is made with chicken, tons of poblanos for a little bit of heat, and four — count 'em, four! — kinds of cheese. Add to that heavy cream, bread crumbs, and seasonings like oregano, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper, and you have a meal fit for royalty — hardly any preparation required.

8. Egg Frittata

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Who can resist a good egg frittata? Not me. Joe makes these with egg, cheese, and cauliflower. They've got tons of protein, and you can enjoy them in a variety of ways. Heat them up in the microwave or the oven — whatever works best with that busy schedule of yours.

9. Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo

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I don't know what's best about this chicken chilaquiles rojo: that it can be ready in under 10 minutes or that there are countless ways to customize it. Fried corn tortilla chips are topped with tomato sauce, cheese, chicken, and pinto beans. From there, feel free to get creative. Think of adding sliced avocado or even a fried egg. And then invite me over to eat this with you.

10. Vegetable And Soba Noodle Stir Fry Kit

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You can have the vegetable and soba noodle stir fry kit from Trader Joe's ready in less than 10 minutes, for a hot, savory, and absolutely delicious Japanese noodle dish that can't be beat. Hide the bag and tell your friends you prepared everything from scratch.

11. Shakshuka Starter

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The shakshuka starter is ready in just five minutes, and the only other things you need are two eggs and a microwave. Simple! The base is tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic, all cooked together to make a chunky and wee-bit spicy stew. Crack the eggs on top and let it cook in the microwave a little bit longer. Boom. Done. Who needs time to cook when you have a Trader Joe's in the neighborhood?