Trader Joe’s Cookbooks: Trader Joe’s Recipes Anyone Can Make

I’m a huge cookbook collector, but I’m really picky in what I put on my shelves. There’s only so much space, but these two Trader Joe’s cookbooks are so full of Trader Joe’s recipes that anyone can make, they have earned their rightful spot amongst my collection.

Non-fancy, easy to open paperbacks, both of those cookbooks are affordable, available on, and they help you find new ways to utilize all of your favorite Trader Joe’s products!

Trader Joe's cookbooks and Trader Joe's recipes

I’m a big Trader Joe’s shopper. Luckily, they are right across the street from my nail salon so I don’t have to go out of my way to visit every couple of weeks. I keep an ongoing shopping list, mostly filled with my favorites, but each time I shop there, that list of favorite items grows. From convenient bags of pre-chopped vegetables to high-quality frozen pot stickers and gnocchi, I can stock my pantry and my refrigerator and come out with several meal ideas that take just minutes to prep.

If you haven’t gone to Trader Joe’s yet, as I know they’re not local to everyone, they’re smaller than a typical grocery store but jam packed with unique spices, chemical-free, healthier cleaning and hygiene products, a wine and liquor selection to rival any regular grocery store, and a freezer aisle that will call to you. Unique teas, holiday and seasonal items that sell out fast, organic (and non-) produce, non-GMO meats and a snack aisle that will have you forgetting those Girl Scout cookies hidden in your desk drawer, Trader Joe’s has it ALL. Bonus: prices are fantastic, though I will say that meat can be pretty expensive if you’re buying for more than just a few people.

I used to cook for 6-8 people every meal, but now we’re down to just the two of us many nights, three if our young adult son is home. Trader Joe’s offers us a lot of convenience items that we can add together for a perfect meal. With their huge selection of special flavor combos of sauces and condiments, you can turn even a bland, boring chicken breast and rice into a dish your family will love.

These two Trader Joe’s cookbooks are written by separate authors, so I’ll give you a brief review on each one separately, but they are a great duo that covers a lot of bases.

The I Love Trader Joe’s Plant-Based Cookbook is written by Kris Cramer, containing 150 vegetarian and vegan recipes using foods you can find at any Trader Joe’s. I am not a vegan, but we do try to eat vegetarian meals when feasible. (Don’t tell my gym rat son this, as he’s all about meat proteins….but he does know how to cook and hit up a grocery store like the big boy that he is.)

Plant-based recipes can be offputting to people who want to go that route because they often don’t know where to start. If you could make vegan or plant-based food without long shopping lists or much time in the kitchen, this cookbook will be a great starting point. It’s a mix between convenience and trying new things with quality items you’re probably already buying.

Trader Joe's cookbooks and Trader Joe's recipes

For example, Herbed Garlic Polenta Fries — an appetizer or side, or if you’re a writer like me who sometimes eats through lunch and prefers finger foods, the actual meal. Trader Joe’s Organic Polenta and a few spices, boom, fries without the preservatives or additives you’d get in a fast food restaurant. Add in the Lemon Aioli Recipe, winning! (Speaking of winning, the Tasty Tofu Scramble makes it easy to use tofu in one additional way; tofu’s that product we want to like, but don’t know how to make it tasty, right?)

Do you like pulled pork but prefer vegetarian food? Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches are a great substitute and they’re healthier while adding a new ingredient into your diet. Jackfruit are fun to trim and prep on your own, but the smell…the smell is next-level bad if you’re sensitive, or if you have a nose at all. Buy it pre-packaged like this, with all the work taken out of it, and create a new meal your family will love and probably won’t even know they’re not eating pork.

I’m a big Table of Contents user. I review that section before I even look at any pictures, to determine if I want to buy it. This first of the Trader Joe’s cookbooks in this post has an excellent ToCs, broken down into categories like salads, sandwiches, sides, breakfasts, main dishes, casseroles, beverages and more. Not sure what you want but you know the general profile? The Recipe Index is expansive. The only downfall of this book is that I would love a searchable index by Trader Joe’s product. I’d love to be able to look at what I’ve purchased or is in my pantry and then pull up recipes that use it.

There aren’t a ton of photos in the book, but with 150 recipes that are fairly simple to visualize, you don’t need them; the few that are in there are colorful and appealing.

trader joe's cookbooks and trader joe's recipes

Next up, the I Love Trader Joe’s Snack Boards Cookbook. This Trader Joe’s cookbook is comprised of 50 delicious recipes for charcuterie, spreads, platters and more, using items you can purchase at Trader Joe’s.

The ToC of this book is pretty simple, but my favorite part, aside from the recipes, is the portion on taking great photos. With charcuteries and boards becoming so trendy on social media, it’s no wonder people want to continue building them. We take them to parties, happy hour gatherings, pot lucks, holiday events, basically anywhere we used to carry our slow cooker in an insulated carrier. Boards are topping sales at home stores and online and the recipes in this book will give you more charcuterie board ideas.

Not solely board recipes, the book is inspiration for things to impress your friends and family with. The Roasted Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Honey is a dish my family loved, reminiscent of a tapa. I’m planning on taking this to my next pot luck. It’s one of those dishes you would never have thought of but suddenly love! And of course, it, like all the recipes in the book, is made from Trader Joe’s products.

One place this book goes the extra mile for food: recipes for individual items, not just how to use them all to make the pretty boards. Pickled vegetables, butters, spiced nuts — basic additives that you’d have to buy anyway but are a lot better if you make them yourself. You’ll be surprised how easy they are, and how versatile the recipes are if you want to make a few tweaks.

Order them on Amazon or find them in specialty book stores today and then head to Trader Joe’s to try the new recipes today!

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