7 Trader Joe’s Meals You Can Make Without a Full Kitchen


A college reader of mine reached out and asked me to post meal ideas for students to make who don’t have access to a full kitchen. Most of these students only have access to a microwave and maybe a small rice cooker (if you don’t have one, I have and love this one for $18.96).

Meals You Can Make Without a Full Kitchen

1. Dinner Bowls

Chicken, brown rice, and broccoli with avocado is one of my favorite dinners. You can buy the already made “just chicken” in the refrigerated section (near the cheese). For the rice, you can buy the frozen rice bowls and microwave them, or, if you want to save money, you can buy a whole bag of rice & the rice cooker I linked to (you’ll love it!). If you buy the rice cooker, it also acts as a steamer, so you can even steam your broccoli or cook your chicken up top! Cool, right? By the way, it’s tiny, so it won’t take up much space.

2. Soup & Avo Toast

Do you have a toaster for the toast? I hope so! If not, use crackers or croutons instead. Trader Joe’s has a fun selection of soup. I love their lentil soup and their vegetable medley soup. To make avocado toast, simply toast some Ezekiel, drizzle olive oil on top, and slice up some avocado. When you’ve pressed the avocado on top, sprinkle sea-salt and red chili pepper flakes. If you wanna get real crazy, cut the avo toast up into little squares and let it float on top of your soup.

3. Chicken Caesar

Again, for the chicken, buy the “just chicken” or get the rice cooker and steam it. For the salad, you can either use the kit or make your own. It’s usually healthier to make your own. I love TJ’s caesar dressing with their garlic croutons, parmesan cheese, and cherry tomatoes.

4. Indian Food

Trader Joe’s has an AWESOME indian food selection. My favorites are Palak Paneer and Channa Masala (both vegetarian). You can microwave both of these frozen entrees and pair them with rice &/or naan bread. I’m not afraid of carbs, so I have both. The Chicken Tikka Masala with rice is also good!

5. Nacho’s

Nacho’s are just too fun to leave out! I’ve posted a tribute to nacho’s on the blog before, and you can easily make them in the microwave, so check out that post for ideas.

6. Enchilada’s

Ah, the Corn & Black Bean Enchilada’s in the frozen section are simple and already made for ya! Enjoy them with rice & beans on the side (canned refried beans heat up just fine in the microwave) and you’ve got yourself a meal! Cook the rice in a rice cooker, or buy the individual frozen rice containers.

7. Pasta

Feelin’ pasta? I love the frozen Pesto Tortellini and I’ve heard a lot of people love the Fusilli with Vegetables & Basil Pesto. You can pair these with a little salad (maybe leftovers of the caesar one we talked about up top?).

8. Pre-Packaged Meals

Trader Joe’s also has a huge selection of pre-made sandwiches, wraps, and salads that are deeeelicous. I love the Lemon Chicken & Arugula Salad from Trader Joe’s pictured at the top of this blog post. Mmm-mmm, good! I mean, if you don’t have a full kitchen, why not!? Go crazy in this section.

I’m sure there are PLENTY more ideas of what you can make a Trader Joe’s. Heck, just take a visit to the store and you’ll get plenty of ideas.

I hope this post was helpful! Share with us! What are your favorite super easy to cook Trader Joe’s meals that you don’t need a full kitchen for?

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