Happy Thanksgiving

Best Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving

Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving

Trader Joe’s just released its Fearless Flyer 2021 Thanksgiving Guide and proved that it is, once again, the grocery chain to visit for all of your Turkey Day needs. Whether you’re on the hunt for cranberry sauce or some stuffing to go with your turkey, TJ’s has a plethora of holiday musts you can choose from that’ll help you save some precious time in the kitchen.

On the stuffing front, for example, the California-based chain has two boxed options (including a gluten-free variety) as well as a heat-and-serve version made with cornbread croutons, dried cranberries, and roasted apples, which debuted this year. Returning Thanksgiving items, like the time-saving Holiday Vegetable Hash and Fresh Cranberry Sauce, are also in stock this year, and Trader Joe’s even took a risk with an interesting new item dubbed Turkey Sausage Stuffing Fried Rice. While fried rice isn’t exactly a Thanksgiving staple, this savory new entrée merge the classic Asian dish with several nods to the November holiday, including chunks of turkey sausage, breadcrumbs, and a holiday spice blend.

Overhead of Turkey meal on plate
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES/TRADER JOE’S

Whatever you choose, just remember to shop early: Trader Joe’s isn’t open on Thanksgiving in 2021. Here’s a list of some of our favorite classic Turkey Day dishes at Trader Joe’s, plus some innovative ones, too.

Related Items

1Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple, but if you don’t feel like making it from scratch, Trader Joe’s sells a packaged version made with whole cranberries that have been stirred and brought to a boil with water and sugar just until they pop. This deep red sauce is as classic as it gets, but you could always elevate it a bit using one of these simple cranberry sauce recipes as your guide.

2Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast Fully Cooked

The turkey is undoubtedly the star of the show, but if you’re cooking for a small group or don’t have many meat eaters in the bunch, whipping up a whole bird might not make the most sense. In that case, no one will judge you if you saunter over to your local TJ’s and purchase this Brined Bone-In Half Turkey Breast. The turkey is already fully cooked and marinated in a mixture that includes salt, sugar, black pepper, and garlic-herb butter. It’s then seared, and slowly cooked sous-vide, meaning it definitely won’t be dry.

But if you simply can’t have a bite of turkey that isn’t doused in gravy, pick up some Turkey Gravy to go with your protein. All you need to do to enjoy this version is to open it, pour it in your gravy boat, and heat it up in the microwave.

RELATED: 7 Insider Secrets All Trader Joe’s Shoppers Should Know

3Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast

If you’re planning a meat-free Thanksgiving this year and have no idea what to put on your plant-based menu, consider this vegan option that even comes with its own vegan gravy. Made mostly from wheat gluten, this flavorful roast is stuffed with wild rice, cranberries, celery and onions. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, it’s coated in a breading seasoned with herbs and red pepper flakes, in an effort to give it that trademark crispy texture. You can find this Thanksgiving dinner option in the freezer section.

4Cornbread Stuffing

There is certainly no shortage of ways to prepare your stuffing, and Trader Joe’s is well aware that many consumers can’t get enough of cornbread stuffing in particular. Not only does TJ’s sell its own boxed Cornbread Stuffing Mix, which you can prepare at home in under 20 minutes, but the retailer also stocks an even simpler heat-and-serve version of the Cornbread Stuffing in the prepared foods section.

This carb-packed dish boasts a base of fluffy cornbread croutons (just like the boxed version), which are seasoned with herbs such as parsley, rosemary and sage. The stuffing also includes dried cranberries and roasted apples, which add a bright pop of flavor.

5Holiday Vegetable Hash

Not a fan of slicing and dicing vegetables? We hear you. This hash takes care of all that tedious prep work, as it consists of small dices of butternut squash, sweet potatoes, red onions, and celery, accompanied by parsley, sage, and rosemary. For Thanksgiving, add this hearty mix to your stuffing, or serve it as a healthy side all on its own. Beyond the holiday, this mix is best served sautéed or roasted beside the protein of your choice.

RELATED: 19 Healthy Foods Nutritionists Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

6Turkey Sausage Stuffing Fried Rice

This Thanksgiving-focused item made its debut this year and quickly became one of the most talked about items at Trader Joe’s stores around the country. Sure, fried rice isn’t your typical Turkey Day fare, but TJ’s has definitely given this version a holiday revamp. It’s made with long-grain rice, and includes onion, celery, and breadcrumbs (just like stuffing) along with holiday herbs such as rosemary, parsley, and thyme. As if that wasn’t enough, this frozen dish also includes familiar Thanksgiving veggies like slivered green beans, corn, and carrots. There are even some fried onion pieces thrown in for good measure.

7Green Bean Casserole Bites

Casseroles can be a real pain to make, but these new casserole bites, which would make a great Thanksgiving appetizer, are as easy as can be—all you need to do is bake them in the oven or air fryer for about 10 minutes. Each bite has a fillo dough cup base filled with that familiar mixture of green beans, mushrooms, heavy cream, and Cheddar cheese, with a sprinkle of crispy fried onions on top.

8Turkey & Stuffing En Croute

If you’ve ever wondered what a Thanksgiving version of Beef Wellington looks like, this decadent dish is pretty much it. Your guests will go crazy for this turkey tenderloin, cranberry sauce and stuffing rolled into a flaky, buttery puff pastry. It also comes with an herb blend to sprinkle on top and a side of flavorful gravy, so you really get the whole deal.

RELATED: Trader Joe’s Is Coming Out With Four New Pastas—Including Tri-Color Spaghetti

9Pre-Cut Vegetables

Thanksgiving meal prep can be quite intense, so Trader Joe’s has gone ahead and released several pre-cut veggies that will work well as the foundation of a nutritious side dish. While the retailer sells pre-cut produce all year round, the chain ups the ante during the holiday season and stocks generously-sized, two-pound bags of peeled and cut butternut squash or trimmed Brussels sprouts. Both bags are big enough to feed a crowd, and ready to roast (or mash, or bake) to your heart’s content this Thanksgiving. For some inspiration on how to use these veggies as part of your holiday feast, check out this gallery of make-ahead Thanksgiving dishes.

10Scallopini Potatoes

If you don’t feel like making a potato dish from scratch (there are so many things that can go wrong, after all) but want your guests to think you spent hours in the kitchen perfecting the popular side, consider purchasing these Scallopini Potatoes. Made in Italy, this dish features layers of thinly-sliced white potatoes swimming in a creamy sauce that consists of a blend of provolone, Montasio, Grana Padano, and fontal cheeses. You can find these decadent spuds in the freezer section.

Trader Joe’s Best Thanksgiving

Some people spend all Thanksgiving day in the kitchen, working hard to prepare the turkey, multiple side dishes, and desserts for their friends and family. And while those people are heroes, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a little lazier than those people. Those hard-working folks have stopped reading at this point, so it’s just us and we can speak freely.

Ok, why do they spend so much time cooking when there’s so much bourbon to drink and football to watch? It’s the wrong way to spend Thanksgiving!

But even us lazy people sometimes have to throw together something for Thanksgiving, and Trader Joe’s is the perfect place to help with that. Sure, they have all the basics like turkey and stuffing for folks who want to season their food with elbow grease, but they also have inventive, delicious food that makes it look like you spent a ton of time in the kitchen! Here are the best entrees, sides, and desserts to buy at Trader Joe’s to help you cheat at Thanksgiving.

Turkey & Stuffing En Croute

You can find an uncooked, organic, free-range turkey from TJ’s for $3.49 a pound. But preparing a turkey takes a little bit of elbow grease and following these safety rules from the CDC so everyone at Thanksgiving doesn’t end up sick. Instead, how about buying this pre-made, puff-pastry wrapped bird with sweet cornbread stuffing? The most difficult aspect of preparing it is remembering to thaw it in the fridge 24 hours prior to Thanksgiving. It feeds eight people for just $12.99, which is McDonald’s value meal-type pricing for something way more high-end. Trader Joe’s even knows what this dish is all about — the sign underneath this item at my local store reads: “Tell Everyone You Made It — Impress Your Pals!” Color us impressed.

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish

If people see cranberry sauce on the table in the shape of a can, they’ll assume that’s where you got it from. But does pre-prepared cranberry sauce ever come with Valencia oranges? No. You’ve fooled them again. You have pulled one over on everyone at the table. You are now both King and Queen of Thanksgiving now and forever.

Organic Savory Vegan Gravy

But what if you’re vegan? What then? Organic Savory Vegan Gravy, that’s what. Don’t you know? Trader Joe’s got you, Boo.

Roasted Vegetables

Are you so lazy you can’t chop up a bunch of veggies and dress them with garlic and herbs? Yes! Yes you are! Buy this vegan necessity in the refrigerated section and stop worrying if your Thanksgiving table has too many cheese-based sides and not enough healthy stuff. Now you have a one-pound tray filled with zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts on the table too. Mission accomplished.

Corn Pudding

This is one of the more boring names for a side dishes we’ve ever encountered, but don’t judge the Trader Joe’s side dish by its name. It’s white and yellow corn baked in a corn puree with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and if there’s a dish with corn and cheese in it that doesn’t taste good, I haven’t had it. But the best part for all you lazy bums out there is that it takes three-and-a-half minutes max in the microwave to prepare. You’ll be back to watching the Falcons/Saints game in no time.

Cauliflower Tot Casserole

People may thing tater tot casserole is easy, but they forget it has layers. It’s deep. And say you want to make it cauliflower? How do you even make cauliflower tots? You’ll never have to find out, thanks to this Cauliflower Tot Casserole for $5.99, made with Cheddar cheese, a “special seasoning blend,” and a dreamy sour cream sauce.

Riced Cauliflower Stuffing

As long as we’re making cauliflower do a lot of the heavy lifting again this year, might as well pick up some Riced Cauliflower Stuffing. And you’re not even going to pretend to stuff your turkey with it. Heat it in a hot pan with oil like a civilized person. Your gluten-avoidant guests will still see the carrots, cranberries, and celery they expect in a stuffing. And since it’s made with vegetable broth, vegans will appreciate it, too.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin

A newcomer to the selection of TJ’s Thanksgiving sides in the frozen section, this gratin is heavy on the broccoli and cauliflower (50% of the dish, according to TJ’s!) along with mozzarella and Grana Padano cheese. It feeds four people for the startingly low price of $3.99, but considering the presence of a ton of delicious cheese in the dish, we’re going to guess this feeds you and absolutely no one else. We recommend placing the side dish right next to your plate so your family can’t tell if it’s one of your plates or if you’re supposed to be passing it around.

One Potato Two Potato Gratin

If that sounds a little too nutritious for you, a proper carb fest awaits in the freezer section. Say hello to the One Potato Two Potato Gratin. It’s two of everything you love: white Agria and sweet California potatoes, Champignon and Porcini mushrooms, provolone and Grana Padano cheeses. And it’s made in Italy, so you fancy to boot.

Harvest Spaghetti Squash Spirals

You don’t have to slice and shred your own squash to make pasta this year as TJ’s Harvest Spaghetti Squash Spirals come pre-shredded and spiraled. It comes with a Autumnal Harvest Pasta Sauce-inspired tomato sauce that’s sure to win over anyone at your dinner table. The best part? This easy-to-make dish will only take 10 minutes to prepare.

Everything But the Leftovers Seasoning Blend

You can make everything in your kitchen taste vaguely like Thanksgiving leftovers thanks to this seasoning blend—yet another installment in Trader Joe’s attempt to completely overhaul your spice rack. With dehydrated onion, yeast extract, ground sage, rosemary, thyme, and other herbs your grandmother folds into her stuffing, this seasoning can boost any Thanksgiving dish you’ve haphazardly thrown together.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar

Yeah, you can get top-notch pumpkin and apple pie with a lattice crust from TJ’s at reasonable prices ($5.99 and $6.99, respectively), and you should! And if you serve one pie that’s clearly store-bought, you might be able to convince everyone you actually made one dessert yourself! The other key to cheating is buying a dessert that’s so unique it could’ve only come from your kitchen. Or Trader Joe’s. That’s why you need to buy the Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar, with all gooey, buttery, pecan goodness of a pie, but with chocolate and four corner pieces to fight over.

A Flock of Milk Chocolate Turkeys

C’mon, it’s a pack of four milk chocolate turkeys for $3.99! How can you pass this up? Bring a few of these in addition to your dessert and you’re everyone’s favorite cousin.

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