Find a $2.99 ​​Trader Joe's freezer I always stock.

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If you're looking for a quick but delicious meal on the cheap, Trader Joe's has you covered. And while I spend my fair share of time in the cool frozen aisles of my local TJ's, there is a surprisingly short list of frozen items that I buy regularly. They're the workhorses I pull out when I'm short on fresh ingredients and/or energy, and they save me time and time.

Number one on the list is Trader Joe's Vegetable Fried Rice. At only $2.99, it's a steal and makes enough to feed my husband and I dinner in about five minutes.

Why I Love Trader Joe's Vegetable Fried Rice

First, let's talk about convenience. Since this product is frozen, it will last for months in the freezer, so you don't have to worry about food waste. It doesn't take up a lot of space, so I pick up a bag or two every few trips to TJ's to make sure we're always stocked up. is almost always At least one bag in my freezer, and if not, it's on my shopping list.

Frozen meals only take five minutes or so to heat up—talk about convenience. And it's on the stove, which is better than heating in the microwave. Few things take less than 10 minutes to get to the table, even if they're ready-to-eat frozen meals, but this is one of them.

Second, there is quality. If you cook the rice on the stove (I always do), it tastes surprisingly similar to fried rice. The right textures and flavors are all there, with soft but not mushy rice and a mix of vegetables. I love that it's not just peas and carrots – there's also leeks, corn, edamame and bell peppers. It makes colorful and delicious fried rice.

Finally, you can't deny the price. At just three bucks, it's enough to feed my husband and I for lunch or even dinner, especially if you stretch it a little.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph


How do I make Trader Joe's Vegetable Fried Rice?

When preparing this frozen fried rice, I have a few tips. Before opening the bag, break up the rice as best you can with your hands. This way it will heat up quickly and evenly. Also, use a non-stick pan. The oil will help, but the rice will still want to cement itself to anything but non-stick.

In a pinch, you can reheat this fried rice on the stove and serve it as is and you'll be happy. A little soy sauce and sriracha doesn't hurt, and neither does the chili crunch. Adding a little toasted sesame oil at the end of cooking is another easy upgrade.

If you're not vegan (this fried rice is naturally vegetarian), get a little more protein by adding an egg, a classic fried rice ingredient. Once the fried rice is hot, push it to one side of the pan and add a little more oil. Crack in one egg and gently scrape it before adding to the rest of the mixture. Alternatively, you can top each bowl with a fried egg.

I regularly add some more vegetables as I am a vegetable lover. I'll toss in whatever I have at the beginning, whether it's leftover or frozen chopped broccoli, chopped kale, or even diced, cooked sweet potatoes. Cubed baked tofu is also a great addition.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph


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