6 Trader Joe’s Meal Prep Hacks That’ll Get Lunch Ready, Stat

Because the frittata comes precooked and keeps well in the freezer, this recipe is perfect for those days when “we’re just too busy or too tired to prepare anything, really, from scratch,” Lopez says. What’s more, it’s almost endlessly tweakable. Consider adding hash brown patties and switching up the bread type. (Lopez subs out the English muffin with a bagel or biscuit when she wants a change.) For an extra kick, drizzle hot sauce over top. The frittatas come two to a pack, so you can prep one for today’s lunch and have another ready for tomorrow’s.

3. Greek Chickpea Salad with Crackers

Garbanzo beans are delicious on their own, but Trader Joe’s goes the extra mile here by adding cumin and parsley for a result that’s almost like a “deconstructed” hummus, as TJ’s describes it. Chickpeas provide “a good pack of fiber and protein together, which is really important for giving you a nice, filling lunch,” Leah Gorham, MPH, RD, a cofounder of Love & Grits Nutrition Therapy, tells SELF.

Make your salad by chopping up a tomato and a cucumber—“really the only work involved,” Gorham says—toss the pieces with Trader Joe’s Greek chickpeas, and sprinkle some feta cheese on top. (If you follow a plant-based diet, TJ’s has you covered with a vegan option too). Flavor- and texture-wise, you get “a little bit of saltiness from the cheese, crunchiness from the vegetables,” and juiciness from the tomatoes and cukes, Gorham says. If you want to bulk the meal up even further, she says, scoop up the salad with some carb-rich crackers (or eat them on the side) for some added crunch: “That should definitely keep you full for a few hours.”

Plus, the crackers are excellent for meal prepping because they’re easily portable and won’t make a mess. “[A]ll you have to do is put your desired portion into a baggie or reusable silicone bag—my favorite for packing lunches—and you are good to go,” Gorham says. She’s particularly fond of Trader Joe’s Organic Seedy Crackers, which are gluten-free and made with fiber-rich whole grains and seeds.

4. Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit With Black Beans and Avocado

There’s absolutely no cooking necessary here. Just add a diced avocado and a can of organic black beans to Trader Joe’s Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit, and you’ve got a combo that will cover all your nutritional bases and keep you fueled throughout the day. The protein-packed black beans in the salad will keep you full for a while, so you won’t immediately be reaching for a snack, Nichols says. Meanwhile, she adds, the avocado and dressing contain healthy fats, and the cheese in the salad adds flavor, which makes the whole thing just as satisfying emotionally as it is physically.

This recipe takes just about five minutes to prep, which may play a part in why Nichols has some variation for lunch on an almost weekly basis. (One of her recommended riffs: sub in tofu or Trader Joe’s precooked grilled chicken strips). When all is said and done, you’ll likely end up with enough food for two to three meals, Nichols says. Pro tip: When refrigerating leftovers, keep the dressing in a container on the side to prevent the greens from getting soggy.

5. Baked Zucchini Parm

If you’re looking to eat more veggies, this baked ziti alternative is a must-try. Zucchini “is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants,” Elyse Metelka, MS, RD, a dietitian based in New York City, tells SELF. Grease a pan, then mix together zoodles, roasted garlic marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. Top with more mozz and Parm, and stick in the oven to bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

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