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Healthy Trader Joe’s Fall Dinners – Quick and Easy!

It’s that time of year! The leaves are changing color, the weather is getting colder, and the nights are getting longer. You know what that means – fall foods are back! From autumnal soups to harvest pastas to squash tacos, here’s some quick and easy meal ideas, all available with ingredients found at Trader Joe’s (or your local grocery store!) Check out the recipes below for our favorite healthy Trader Joe’s Fall dinners.

Each recipe contains ingredients that are in season during the autumn months. Specific nutritional benefits for these ingredients and how they can benefit your body – especially during the fall –  are highlighted below!

Fall Turkey Chili with Pumpkin (GF)

Serves 6, about 40 minutes prep and cook time

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp TJ’s Pure Imported Olive Oil
  • 1/2 TJ’s White Onion, diced
  • 1 TJ’s Bell Pepper (Orange or Yellow)
  • 2 cloves TJ’s Garlic, diced
  • 1 pkg (1.5 lbs) TJ’s All-Natural Ground Turkey
  • 1 can TJ’s Organic Diced & No Salt Added Tomatoes
  • 2 cans TJ’s Organic Pumpkin (seasonal)
  • 1 can TJ’s Organic Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1/2 can TJ’s Whole Kernel Corn, drained
  • 2 tsp TJ’s Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp TJ’s Cumin
  • 1 tsp TJ’s Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers and sauté until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. 
  2. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. 
  3. Add turkey and break up in pan with spoon, sautéing until turkey is browned and cooked through. 
  4. Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, corn and spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Garnish with sour cream, cheese, avocado and cilantro, and serve. 

Turkey Chili with Pumpkin Nutrition Info:

The pumpkin in this recipe contains vitamins E and C, which are beneficial in the colder months for strengthening the immune system and supporting the skin’s structural integrity. Cumin – in addition to providing a warm, earthy flavor that’s perfect for fall – contains flavonoids, a substance that functions as an antioxidant. The turkey and kidney beans provide protein to keep you feeling satiated. The kidney beans are also packed full of fiber! 

*Approximate Cost: $19.15 ($3.20 per serving!)

Squash Tacos (GF, V)

Serves 4-6, about 30 minutes of prep and cook time 

Ingredients

  • 1 package TJ’s Cut Butternut Squash or 1 ¼ pounds of your favorite TJ’s squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite TJ’s olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons TJ’s Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 10-12 of your favorite small TJ’s tortillas, warmed
  • 1 bag TJ’s Organic Shredded Green and Red Cabbage with Orange Carrots
  • 1 can TJ’s Traditional Style Fat Free Refried Beans, warmed according to package instructions
  • 1 jar TJ’s Pineapple Salsa
  • 2 TJ’s Limes, sliced into wedges for serving
  • TJ’s Cilantro, chopped for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Place squash in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and taco seasoning and toss to coat. 
  2. Spread seasoned squash on a large baking sheet and roast for 20-25 min until fork-tender, tossing squash halfway through cooking.
  3. To assemble tacos: spread warmed refried beans on tortillas and layer with squash, cabbage, and salsa. Garnish with cilantro and limes wedges. Serve immediately.

Squash Tacos Nutrition Info

In addition to being tasty, butternut squash is a nutritional superhero! It contains vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which are integral in immune system function, healthy skin, and eye health! The pineapple in the salsa adds a subtle sweetness, and also manganese, an essential mineral that is important for brain health, carbohydrate metabolism, and wound healing. The beans and cabbage – and the aforementioned ingredients – make this meal fiber packed and filling! Lastly, out of these Trader Joe’s Fall dinners, this meal is plant based and gluten free!

Approximate Cost 

About $14.52 ($2.42-$3.63 per serving!)

Chicken Sausage and Lentil Soup (GF)

Serves 6, about 45 minutes of prep and cook time 

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons TJ’s Olive Oil
  • 1 TJ’s Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 TJ’s Zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) TJ’s Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 package TJ’s Fully Cooked Sausage (many flavors available, Garlic Herb, Spicy Jalapeno, and Smoked Apple Chardonnay are all great choices for this recipe), sliced into coins
  • 1 cup TJ’s Small Whole Green Lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package TJ’s Organic Free Range Chicken Stock
  • TJ’s Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • TJ’s Grated Parmesan, lemon & chopped fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

Directions 

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, zucchini and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onion is translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, chicken sausage, lentils, chicken stock, and 1 cup water to pot and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until lentils are cooked through.
  3. Season soup to taste with salt & pepper. Ladle into bowls, garnish with grated Parmesan, fresh herbs, or a squeeze of lemon (or all three!) and dig in.

Chicken Sausage and Lentil Nutrition Info:

Lentils are the nutritional powerhouse of this recipe. They contain protein, iron, fiber, and just one serving contains 90% of the daily value for Folate (Vitamin B-9). Folate is an essential vitamin for healthy cell formation; particularly for pregnant women to ensure normal development of the brain and spine. The zucchini and lemon in this dish provide a sense of freshness (and Vitamin C) that balances perfectly with the warm and savory flavors of the chicken sausage and broth. 

Approximate Cost 

$14.04 (about $2.34 a serving!) 

Harvest Pasta 

Serves 8-10, About 1 hour of cook and prep time 

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 TJ’s Organic Yellow Onion, diced
  • 3 TJ’s Organic Carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves TJ’s Organic Garlic, diced
  • 2 cans TJ’s Organic Diced No Salt Added Tomatoes
  • 2 cans TJ’s Organic Pumpkin (seasonal)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon TJ’s Sea Salt
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 2-3 Sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup TJ’s Heavy Cream
  • 3 teaspoons TJ’s Maple Syrup
  • 1 pound of your favorite TJ’s Pasta, cooked

Directions 

  1. Heat oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic, and saute until the onions are translucent. 
  2. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, herbs and salt to the sauce pot. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to ensure sauce doesn’t stick to the pot. 
  3. Turn off heat. Use an immersion blender or blend sauce mixture in batches until smooth. Stir in half & half and maple syrup, and season to taste. Serve over hot pasta and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired. Enjoy! 

Harvest Pasta Nutrition Info

Many people are unaware of the nutritional benefits of maple syrup, but it contains many essential vitamins and minerals – while adding sweetness to your dish! Each spoonful of maple syrup contains riboflavin, calcium, and zinc. Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, is essential for helping the body convert the carbohydrates we get from food into glucose for energy. Calcium is integral for supporting bone health, and zinc supports immune function – which is especially important in the colder months. If you are a pasta lover, try my chicken tomato feta pasta bake!

Approximate Cost 

Varies depending on pasta type and maple syrup used but about $12.93 ($1.62 a serving!) This is the most affordable option of our favorite trader joe’s fall dinners.

Trader Joe’s Fall Dinners Price Disclaimer

*Approximate costs calculated based on prices of Trader Joe’s ingredients, prices may vary if purchased from an alternate location. If you live in an area without Trader Joe’s, most grocery stores will have similar ingredients.

Blog written by Sophie Callahan, Senior Dietetics Student at University of Vermont

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