Trader Joe’s is known for its unique snacks, tasty seasonal treats, and sometimes quirky flavors. This grocery store also offers a wide variety of frozen foods that make for easier meal time. While frozen foods can be convenient and require less preparation than a freshly cooked meal, not all are created equally when it comes to nutrient balance and ingredients. While some are loaded with sugar and saturated fat, others are much more friendly on your waistline. Today, we’re serving up the scoop on the 10 best Trader Joe’s frozen foods for weight loss.
If you are trying to lose weight, keep these tips in mind for how to healthfully incorporate frozen foods into your meal plan:
- Check for added sugar. This isn’t true for just desserts, and you may be surprised to find high amounts of added sugar in savory items—especially those with sauces.
- Avoid fried items. Generally, a fried item is going to be higher in fat, saturated fat, and calories. Even if you bake or air fry it at home, the oil used during manufacturing could make this food less ideal for your weight loss goals.
- Look for fiber. Whether you are shopping for meals or snacks, foods that contain fiber are more likely to be filling. This can allow you to feel more satisfied after eating, aiding in weight loss.
If you’re curious to learn about the best Trader Joe’s frozen foods for weight loss, keep reading to learn more. And when you’re done, don’t miss out on these 15 Low-Calorie Frozen Desserts for Weight Loss.
When it comes to weight loss, protein is your best friend. Protein is considered to be the most satiating macronutrient and is relatively low in calories—especially compared to fat. For 100 calories, the Premium Salmon Burgers provide 15 grams of protein and only 1 gram of added sugar. This allows plenty of calories to turn this burger into a full meal. For example, you could serve it over a bed of lettuce topped with avocado, black beans, and salsa. If you want to go a more traditional route, serve it open-faced on a whole wheat bun with a smear of avocado, and load up the rest of your plate with veggies.
Desserts can add a lot of calories and grams of sugar and fat to your day. While this is okay occasionally, it’s time to look for healthier options if you like to enjoy a daily sweet treat.
Trader Joe’s Gone Berry Crazy! Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Pieces are a great option. They only contain 5 grams of added sugar per serving and offer 2 grams of satiating fiber. A serving gets you six pieces, which is enough for several bites to satisfy your sweet tooth. And, if you want some variety, TJ’s also offers Dark Chocolate-Covered Banana Slices.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and fat, along with other important nutrients such as choline. This Egg Frittata includes Swiss cheese for a flavor punch and cauliflower to increase nutrient density. For a quick snack, heat your frittatas, and enjoy with a serving of fruit. If you want to incorporate these convenient protein-packed bites into your breakfast, serve on a whole-grain English muffin with avocado, tomato, and arugula for a well-balanced meal.
You may not think of fries as being the healthiest side dish, but these Root Vegetable Fries pack 3 grams of fiber per serving. Made using sweet potato, beets, parsnip, and carrots, you’ll also get a dose of several vitamins and minerals with your fries. To keep this a healthier option, prepare your root veggie fries by baking them in the oven or using an air fry to limit additional oil. Serve with a lean protein and low-sugar dip for a tasty, well-rounded meal.
Bread can certainly be part of a healthy diet, but for those who are looking to keep their carb intake low, the Eggwich Breadless Breakfast Sandwich is a smart option. Each sandwich is only 190 calories and provides 16 grams of satiating protein. Two egg patties sandwich a piece of turkey sausage and a slice of American cheese to make this tasty meal. You won’t find any fiber in this option, so make sure to pair it with a serving of fruit, or add spinach leaves to your sandwiches for a well-balanced meal.
Cauliflower has become a popular substitute for starches like potato and rice in recent years, and this Mashed Cauliflower makes it easy to pack produce into your low-carb meal. Each cup provides 50 calories and 2 grams of fiber, making this a filling side dish. Even better, the frozen bag already comes prepared with skim milk, half & half, butter, and seasoning for a creamy and flavorful dish.
If you are tired of your go-to sandwich for lunch, this Chicken Burrito Bowl makes a great option you just have to heat and eat. Each bowl comes with a whopping 22 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber, making for a filling meal. And, at 370 calories per serving, this dish should fit into a wide range of calorie needs. Compared to other frozen meals, this option is lower in sodium at just over 600mg per serving. Top your bowl off with avocado, and toss in some frozen veggies to create an even more satisfying meal.
Another option where cauliflower is the star, this Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry brings together several veggies to make a flavor-packed dish. This option is low in fat and protein, so you’ll need to incorporate some other ingredients to create a truly balanced meal. For a vegan option, add edamame for protein and slivered almonds to boost fat. If you plan to use this as a side dish, pair it with your favorite protein, and add sliced avocado to create a full meal.
Protein is a must at every meal, but it can be time-consuming to prep and cook. These Grilled Chicken Strips make protein-packed meals a sinch. They come seasoned and fully cooked, so all you have to do is defrost and enjoy. Add to a salad or wrap, incorporate into a side dish on this list, or enjoy in a bento box-style lunch with cheese, crackers, and fruit for a minimal prep meal. With 20 grams of protein and only 230mg of sodium per serving, this makes for a healthy protein source at any meal.
Last but not least on this list of the best Trader Joe’s frozen foods for weight loss, we have the Beer Birria. Per serving, this option comes in as the highest protein option on this list: 32 grams! With a simple ingredient list, this dish combines the familiar flavors of tomato, onion, and garlic with seasonings to make a flavorful bite. To turn this into a full meal, serve it on corn tortillas to incorporate some carbs and fiber, or enjoy your beef over a baked sweet potato. Add a vegetable on the side to bring produce into the meal, and you’ve got yourself a full meal ready in minutes.
Melissa Rifkin, MS, RDN, CDN