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I rely on Trader Joe’s preprepared ingredients and dishes to feed my family. Here are 12 things I always buy.

Trader Joe's red cart full of different foods

I buy many preprepared foods at Trader Joe’s. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

  • I’m a mom and my health issues can make it difficult for me to stand or sit upright for a long time.

  • Tasks like peeling, chopping, and sautéing can be challenging, so I appreciate kitchen shortcuts.

  • Trader Joe’s has products that allow me to conserve time and energy and easily feed my family.

The all-in-one seasonings pack a convenient punch of flavor.

Trader joe's chili lime, everything bagel, and bbq 101 seasoning blends lined up in a cart

I enjoy Trader Joe’s chili-lime, everything-bagel, and barbecue seasoning blends. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

Sometimes it’s too much for me to stand at the counter measuring out half a teaspoon of one spice and a tablespoon of another to create the right combination, but Trader Joe’s sells a range of seasoning blends that contain all of the flavors I need to dress up a bland dish.

My favorite is the Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend, which enhances a number of foods, from hard-boiled eggs to avocado toast to chicken breasts.

Frozen ginger adds all of the fresh flavor without the hassle.

Trader Joe's red-and-purple container of frozen crushed ginger

This ginger from Trader Joe’s comes in frozen cubes. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

The zing of fresh ginger can elevate a dish, but peeling and mincing the gnarled root is often too much work for me. I either rush the job and end up with uneven chunks, or I have to lie down before I can complete the rest of the meal.

Luckily, this product provides a way to keep flavorful minced ginger on hand at all times.

The chain’s Mandarin Orange Chicken satisfies takeout cravings.

Trader Joe's mandarin orange chicken in orange packaging

Trader Joe’s Mandarin orange chicken makes for a great dinner. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

I’m not one to shy away from ordering takeout, but when I want the flavor without the grease, this is one of my go-to options.

I always have a bag waiting in the freezer. The whole family loves this meal, and it cooks in less time than it takes for delivery to arrive.

When paired with some microwaved rice and broccoli, it’s a quick alternative that really satisfies.

Roasted corn is a big step up from the canned alternative.

Trader Joe's roasted corn in the original orange-red packaging

Trader Joe’s roasted corn would make a tasty side dish. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

I use this product when I need a quick side dish or want to brighten up a casserole.

Although canned corn can sometimes be too sweet for savory plates, this roasted version has wonderful smoky notes that pair well with many different meals.

Since it’s frozen, it’s easy to keep on hand and portion the exact amount you need at any time.

These turkey corn dogs are a quick lunch for adults and kids.

Trader Joe's turkey corn dogs in original box in red cart

My family loves how Trader Joe’s turkey corn dogs taste. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

Although comfort food is delicious, it’s often not the most wholesome option, which is why I like these corn dogs.

They’re made with turkey rather than beef, and everyone in the family is a fan of how they taste.

When looking for a quick hot lunch, I will often pop these in the microwave, and they’re ready in a snap.

Gnocchi is an out-of-the-box pasta substitute.

Trader Joe's gnocchi in clear and red packaging in red cart

This gnocchi takes less time to cook than regular pasta. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

Pasta is a go-to when I need a meal that is quick, low-prep, and satisfying, but it can get boring. So sometimes I change it up by making gnocchi instead.

Like pasta, it’s a shelf-stable and only requires boiling water to prep. Plus it cooks in less time.

I often top it with jarred sauce or pesto for a winning weeknight meal.

The base of many soups and stews, this mirepoix saves time and waste.

Trader Joe's mirepoix mixed veggies in clear container in red cart

This Trader Joe’s mix contains a blend of carrots, onions, and celery. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

I love making big batches of soup when the weather is cold, then freezing the leftovers for days that I don’t feel up to cooking.

Chopping all of the ingredients is often too much for me, and that’s where this mirepoix — a tasty base of chopped vegetables — comes in.

Not only is it ready to dump in as the base for a number of recipes, but it also prevents buying a whole bunch of celery when you only need one stalk — a win-win.

I often buy this boneless, skinless chicken breast that’s sliced thin.

Trader Joe's thin sliced chicken in clear packaging in red cart

I love how quickly this chicken cooks. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a staple in my kitchen, but some recipes require standing over a pan for a while for them to cook through, so I like buying this thin-cut version.

They are the same ingredient that I regularly use, but they cook in a fraction of the time, allowing me to focus my energy on other parts of the meal.

This pesto is so good that you won’t miss the cheese.

Trader Joe's vegan pesto in red cart

This Trader Joe’s pesto is vegan. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

Fresh pesto is wonderful but takes a fair amount of prep, so this product is a great alternative.

A versatile staple that I always keep in the refrigerator, it’s ready to use and tastes fabulous on pasta or gnocchi, though I’ve also used it as a topping for chicken.

Trader Joe’s Vegan Ranch Crunch salad kit is not your ordinary mix.

TraderJoe's vegan ranch crunch salad kit in blue package in red cart

I love Trader Joe’s fresh take on salad. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

I use salad kits pretty often since they save on both prep time and waste.

Instead of a bag of lettuce that goes bad before I use up the tomatoes and cucumbers, these kits have the perfect ratio of each ingredient so that nothing goes in the trash.

This kit is especially good, with crispy fried onions and sunflower seeds for crunch.

With this asparagus, microwaved veggies never tasted so good.

Trader Joe's asparagus in red cart

This asparagus cooks in two to three minutes in the microwave. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

Microwaving vegetables often results in a mushy mess, but the packaging on this product prevents that from happening.

Not only are the pieces pretrimmed — a low-prep win — but they cook perfectly in two to three minutes.

There is even a bit of seasoning included that makes this pack an absolutely delicious addition to any meal.

A fresher alternative to french fries, this squash is the perfect preprepared side.

Trader Joe's butternut squash zigzags in clear packaging in red cart

I love cooking these butternut-squash zigzags in the air fryer. Ruth Kogen Goodwin

I love these squash zigzags for another easy and unique side.

You can roast them in the oven to create a caramelized delight or toss them in the air fryer for a crunchy side reminiscent of french fries.

And since there is no way I can break down a butternut squash on my own, I will buy this preprepared version any day.

Read the original article on Insider