5-Ingredient Trader Joe's Dinner I Make on Busy Weeknights


I'm welcome fearless eating, A column where we help you get through your busy week with quick, easy, low-stress dinner recipes that call for 5 ingredients or less from our favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's.

As a busy mom of two boys under three, I'm always looking for easy dinners that come together quickly. Also, as a professional food stylist and recipe developer, I'm usually not in the mood for elaborate cooking when I already spend all day cooking for clients. That's where some favorite Trader Joe's items come in handy.

I came up with this sheet pan gnocchi on a cold winter night when I was craving something comforting but didn't want to run to the store or order takeout. I had some pre-made pesto and Italian meatballs from Trader Joe's in my pantry along with some packaged gnocchi. 30 minutes later, dinner was ready!

Trader Joe's Magical Combo of Ingredients

One thing I love about Trader Joe's is their selection of sauces and dips, and their Pesto Genoese is no exception. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge and has a bright, balanced flavor with plenty of basil and garlic. I also use it on pizza and I often keep a container in my freezer for last minute meals. Although my family is not vegan, TJ's Vegan Kale, Cashew and Basil Pesto also works great in this recipe.

I also love Trader Joe's shelf-stable potato gnocchi—whether it's pan-fried with some sausage or served with red sauce and plenty of mozzarella cheese, it makes for a quick and satisfying meal that's my go-to. Always impressed with husband and toddler.

I always make sure to buy Parmigiano Reggiano at Trader Joe's—they have the best prices on the cheese, and a big wedge will last in my fridge for weeks, with everything from pasta to Caesar salad to garlic bread. included. Then I freeze the rind to add to homemade stock or large batches of beans.

Just recipes / Maren Ellingboe King

How I Make My Trader Joe's Sheet Pan Gnocchi and Meatballs

To make 4 servings, you will need:

  • 1 (1 pound) package Trader Joe's Gnocchi
  • 1/2 (10-ounce) bag Trader Joe's Tuscan kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 (1 pound) bag Trader Joe's Italian-style meatballs (frozen)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Pesto Genoese
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss one pound of gnocchi and a 10-ounce bag of Tuscan kale in a large bowl with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with a little olive oil and spread the gnocchi and vegetables on the baking sheet.

Add as many meatballs as desired (bag comes with 15). Bake for 20 minutes, shaking the baking sheet halfway through for further browning.

Spoon a generous spoonful of pesto into each serving bowl. Top with three or four meatballs and as much gnocchi and vegetables as you like. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

This recipe is endlessly adaptable, depending on what you have on hand. Sometimes I add leftover roasted vegetables, use cherry tomatoes, or substitute broccoli or cauliflower florets for kale. Try using marinara sauce instead of pesto, or swap the meatballs for sliced ​​mushrooms cooked with butter and shallots for a vegetarian version.

Just recipes / Maren Ellingboe King


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