3 Quick, Budget-Friendly Recipes Using Just Trader Joe's Ingredients

Disclaimer: This article is NOT sponsored by Trader Joe's. I chose to work with Trader Joe's ingredients because Trader Joe's is a popular, accessible, and budget-friendly option.


I'm no expert in cooking, and being on my own with a kitchen has motivated me to experiment with the ingredients I have laying around in my fridge. Here are my three go-to recipes that always leave me feeling satisfied after each meal.


Pesto ravioli


If you are looking to recreate your favorite restaurant pesto pasta or are just looking for a simple and tasty homemade version, try this recipe!


Ingredients:

  • Kerrygold butter

  • Arugula and parmigiano ravioli

  • Salt and pepper

  • Small tub of Trader Giotto's Genova pesto

  • Shredded cheese (optional; there is already cheese inside the ravioli, but you can choose to add more if you wish)


Supplies:

  • Colander

  • Pot (at least 2-qt.)

  • Wooden spoon

  • Butter knife

Preparation:


1) Fill the pot just over halfway with water and boil water on medium to medium-high heat.


Photo by Jamie Han

2) Adjust the heat to medium and pour the ravioli inside the pot. Stir carefully and occasionally with a spoon for 5 minutes to make sure the ravioli is cooked evenly. Do not overcook to prevent tears in the ravioli.


Photo by Jamie Han

3) Drain the pasta.

4) Turn the stove to low-medium so that the butter does not turn brown. While ravioli is cooling, rub half a thumb's size of Kerrygold butter (add more if desired) on the bottom of the pot until melted.

5) Pour the ravioli inside immediately and toss with butter. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

6) Add pesto and toss. Top with cheese if desired.


Photo by Jamie Han

Soy Sautéed Broccoli


This is my favorite dish to make when I need a dish that's both healthy and savory. I came up with it when I had just moved into my new dorm and broccoli was one of the only foods I had readily available. After a lot of experimenting to make the perfect seasoned broccoli, this recipe is one I would recommend to anyone who loves savory food or simply needs a side dish.

Ingredients:

  • TJ's olive oil (organic or extra virgin) or other oil of your choice

  • TJ's soy sauce

  • Bagged or fresh broccoli

  • Salt and pepper

  • Red pepper flakes (optional, but great for a spicy kick)


Supplies:

  • Pan

  • Spatula

  • Knife (if needed)

  • Cutting board (if needed)

Preparation:


1) Wash broccoli. Cut broccoli into smaller florets if pieces are too big. To save time, use pre-bagged, refrigerated broccoli from Trader Joe's since it will already have smaller-sized florets.


Photo by Jamie Han

2) Turn on the stove to medium heat. Heat up the pan until it's warm, then add enough olive oil to coat the center of the pan. Spread the oil evenly on the pan.

3) Transfer broccoli to the pan, then use the spatula to spread them out evenly.


Photo by Jamie Han

4) Leave the broccoli for about a minute or two until it begins to turn bright green. While broccoli is cooking, slowly start adding soy sauce. The amount of soy sauce should be about the same amount of oil you used. Keep in mind that you will also add salt afterwards, so do not add too much. Use the soy sauce as an "oil" to cook the broccoli in.

5) Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper. Seasoning at this stage will give the broccoli more flavor than if you season at the end, as it gives time for the seasoning to integrate with the taste of the broccoli.


Photo by Jamie Han

6) Stir until the broccoli has turned bright green. Add in red pepper flakes if desired and toss.


Photo by Jamie Han

Potato Omelette


I like making this dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as it's a great source of the carbs and protein I need to get through my day. It's a minimal dish in terms of ingredients, yet filling. You can serve it with potatoes either on the side or also inside the omelette.


Ingredients:

  • TJ's olive oil

  • TJ's frozen country potatoes with haricots verts and wild mushrooms

  • 2-4 eggs (depending on how thick you want your omelette)

  • Salt and pepper


Supplies:

  • Pan

  • Bowl

  • Plate

  • Whisk or fork (used to beat the eggs)

Preparation:


1) Turn the stove to low-medium heat. Give the pan time to heat up. Crack 2-4 eggs in a bowl and beat until yellow. Season with salt and pepper.

2) When the pan is warm, add olive oil, and then slowly pour in the egg mixture. Tilt the pan so that the egg fully coats the bottom.


Photo by Jamie Han

3) Flip when the eggs have taken shape and cook the other side.

4) Gently remove the omelette and place aside.

5) Turn up the heat to medium and add more olive oil. Spread the oil on the pan, then add country potatoes.

6) Give the country potatoes a few minutes to cook then mix, making sure the oil gets distributed evenly throughout.


Photo by Jamie Han

7) Add salt and pepper (although this step is optional). The country potatoes may still taste bland even though they come pre-seasoned.

8) Once the potatoes finish cooking, place them on top of the omelette. Fold the omelette in half or bring two sides of the omelette together to create a rectangular French-style omelette.


Photo by Jamie Han

There you have it! Three easy and delicious recipes that don't require more than 5 ingredients each.


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