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There’s a laundry list of reasons why we’re so obsessed with Trader Joe’s—and we’re like, 80 percent sure you probably are too. The chain’s budget-friendly price points, ridiculous friendly (and somehow, always just really cool) staff, and ridiculously easy frozen food meals (okay, and actual ingredients to cook meals) that aren’t totally lame are just a select few of the things that we love about the grocery store. Oh, and have you seen their vast selection of fall-themed seasonal launches?
I’m talking pumpkin-shaped tortilla chips, a turkey and pumpkin mole burrito, and plenty of pumpkin-spice-spiked desserts—but, I digress. Normally, I consider grocery shopping to be a dreaded chore (hence, my addiction to InstaCart), but grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s feels more like a fun adventure at a culinary theme park of sorts than another errand to run (okay, that was dramatic, but you feel me.).
If you’re a millennial and well, a not-so-skilled “chef” like myself, you know that Trader Joe’s groceries make it easy to whip a meal that doesn’t feel like you’re eating an old-school TV dinner or straight-up jail food, in my case. Whether you toss in some of their frozen risotto into the pan for a quick dinner or you’re embarking on making your own Thanksgiving dinner from scratch with the help of good old’ TJ’s, this chain just makes cooking, regardless of your level of prowess in the kitchen—more fun. So naturally, when I discovered Trader Joe’s cookbooks were a thing I was thrilled. Sure, you can peruse Pinterest and Google to find recipes using TJ food, but you find the creative ones you’ll find in these tangible books. Scroll through to check out some of my favorite TJ-focussed recipe books.
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1. Cooking Through Trader Joe's Cookbook Paperback
Using recipes consisting of all of TJ’s most popular items (yes, including that ridiculously addicting Cookie Butter spread and game-changing cauliflower gnocchi), Trader Joe’s influencer (she’s a star on both Instagram and TikTok) Kelsey Lynch’s creative cookbook showcases a vast selection of meal ideas you’d probably never dream up yourself. Some of my favorite recipes include Siracha cauliflower bites and the brioche french toast, and they’re all super beginner-friendly.
2. The Eat Your Way Healthy at Trader Joe's Cookbook: Over 75 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Every Meal
For those looking to start cooking lighter, this Trader Joe’s cookbook is the one. It’s jam-packed with tasty recipes that focus on mindful, nutrient-dense eating, and includes vegetarian and vegan options as well. Some standout recipes from this illustrated cookbook include brown rice pasta with sweet basil pesto chicken sausage, green curry shrimp stir fry, and there’s even a hand-tossed pizza that’s surprisingly foolproof.
3. The Trader Joe's College Cookbook: 150 Cheap-and-Easy Gourmet Recipes
Okay, so I’m definitely not in college anymore and I do not live in a dorm (thank god), but this Trader Joe’s cookbook was perfect for my less-than-stellar kitchen skills. It’s chock-full of super easy and straight-forward recipes using cult-favorite TJ’s products, and they don’t take a lifetime to make or break the bank either. I loved the tortilla soup recipe.
4. Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook Dinner's Done
As one of the O.G. Trader Joe’s cookbooks to hit the scene, Deanna Gunn and Wona Miniati’s cookbook is still one of the best choices on the market. This updated edition contains plenty of quick and easy meal recipes inspired by some of the chain’s best-selling products. Some of the best recipes in the book (in my humble opinion, of course) are the Low Fat Wide Awake Coffee Shake and Eggs Bueno-dict (OMG, so good.).