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Looking to stock the freezer with frozen Trader Joe's items.

With the holiday rush upon us, I am looking to get some frozen items from Trader Joe's to make life easy on us over the next two weeks. I am looking for three frozen dinner options and three frozen desert items. In your opinion, what is the best of the best for the six choices. We are looking for pop in the oven and enjoy items. Any ideas?

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  1. I have to admit that I really enjoyed their Chicken Tikka Masala meal. And if you like spicy, the Lamb Vindaloo was surprisingly so.

    1. My wife loves the Lamb Vindaloo. She also gets the tamales.

      1. I love the molten lava cakes, they come two to a box, and take all of 45 seconds in the microwave. Sooo good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HeyImBack

          Yeah, and another 45 seconds to eat them. They are SO tasty.

        2. Tarte d'Alsace.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            +1!

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              moi aussi

          2. Their Mac and Cheese is really good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile

              +1 on the Mac and Cheese–without a doubt the best frozen version I've had.

              And I'm always surprised that the Butter Chicken doesn't get much love...the Tikka Masala's good, but the Butter Chicken's just that little bit better, IMHO.

              1. re: annagranfors

                The Butter Chicken gets love at our house. I have often said that I think the Indian items are the best frozen meals at TJs.

            2. Make sure you have a few boxes of their prep to oven croissants on your list! Plain, chocolate, mini and if they still have a few pumpkin cream filled ones too, nab those.

              My youngest son enjoys their Opera cake, lava cakes and the chocolate ganache cake. Only the lava cake needs a quick heat. The others defrost.

              Hubby likes the small pear torte. Quick heat thru and serve room temp.

              1. My fav Indian frozen meal is hands down the paneer masala with the yummy spiced spinach-y rice. I always stir in extra cream or Greek yogurt to stretch the delicious sauce!

                The gnocchi in Gorgonzola cream sauce is fantastic (and I don't even like blue cheese)

                I love the quinoa pilaf with roasted butternut squash. It heats up in a just a few minutes in the microwave.

                Another huge fav is the "just sauce" turkey bolognaise... Spoon over pasta (or zucchini like me) and top with parmesan cheese.

                I live a distance from TJ's, so I buy the refrigerated entrees and freeze them. Eg, BBQ chicken, chicken in coconut red curry sauce (Thai style) cook up great from frozen in the microwave. The refrigerated soups I also freeze and then microwave when ready to use.

                1. Eggplant parm
                  Sweet potato gnocci
                  Mushroom flatbread
                  Vegetable gyoza potstickers- i like them with a side of the "soycuttash" edamame veggie mix

                  Choco lava cakes
                  Ny style cheesecake
                  Macarons

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    We like the eggplant parm from the refrigerated case very much. It keeps for several days, but am sure it can be frozen to extend the shelf life.

                    The frozen lemon bars are great. Not a meal or dessert, but the frozen croissants (all) are wonderful. We bought some Kougin Amans (?spelling) which look great, but which we have not yet tried,

                    1. re: josephnl

                      The Kouign Amann's are really good and have become a favorite of mine at TJ's...have you had a chance to try them yet?

                      1. re: littleflower

                        Yes we have and enjoyed them very much...but I think we prefer the croissants (plain or chocolate). The KA's do not rise all that much (certainly much less than the croissants), and although delicious, are a bit too dense for me. The picture on the box shows them rising more than they do!

                        1. re: josephnl

                          In France, Kouign Amann are baked (and rise) in circular metal molds- the paper baking cup included from TJ does not stay in form so that's why the 'rising' ends up flatter. The TJ version certainly has the buttery sugar/caramel flavor and crispiness that is integral to the Kouign Amann.

                  2. Thank you all, that is a good start. Will be heading out tomorrow in a blizzard.

                    1. I'm a big fan of the lemon bars and the tart d'Alsace.

                      I haven't tried any of their frozen dinners, as I generally only get some of their frozen apps, but last night made a nice late night snacky dinner with spanakopita, spinach/kale bites, and stuffed mushrooms. The mushroom turnovers are also very good, likely my favorite of all the frozen treats I mentioned. Though the spinach/kale bites are awesome, too.

                      1. Not a meal per se, but I love the Kimchee fried rice (frozen), which becomes a meal for me when I fry and egg and place it on top of the cooked rice. The rice cooks in the microwave in about 4 minutes and has a nice kick to it.

                        I second the Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala and Lamb Vindaloo.

                        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                        1. I can definitely recommend one of their newest items, the Kouign Amann's. They are a sugared, buttery carmelized french pastry similar to a croissant but more of a dessert version of them, and costing just 3.99 and come four in a pack. A bit of prep is needed ahead of time (needs to be taken out of freezer 6-7 hours before eating them to allow them to proof), but they are well worth the additional prep.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: littleflower

                            Just had those the other night littleflower. Very much worth the wait. I was going to have some coffee after but the lingering pleasant aftertaste made me skip the beverage for fear of erasing it before it faded naturally.

                          2. If its not too late, the frozen mac and cheese is quite good.

                            1. All of the ice cream is good. Try the seasonal Egg Nog or the coffee or chocolate. Or the mango or pomegranate/blueberry sorbet. Or the chocolate cherry soy frozen dessert! Also the berry cherry frozen fruit mix. . .

                              If you have never had the frozen orange or kung pao chicken, those are good.

                              The frozen burritos and tamales are good, too.

                              1. Lemon squares
                                Chicken Tikka Masala
                                Lamb Vindaloo
                                Butter Chicken
                                Garlic Naan
                                Organic Brown Rice (cooks in 3 min.!)
                                Wild Salmon
                                Coconut Water Fruit Floes
                                Steel-Cut Oatmeal w/Quinoa
                                Karat Cake
                                Wild Boreal Blueberries
                                Tom Yam Soup

                                I also have the following in my freezer, but haven't tried (would love feedback):
                                Kimchi fried rice (Heard good things)
                                Veggie Biryani
                                Beef Pho
                                Paneer Tikka Masala

                                1. The Kung Pao chicken is best made in a saute pan (rather than a microwave) but it is quite delicious; however I use only one of the two sauce packets supplied. The chicken mole is also very delicious and authentic (and heats perfectly in a microwave).

                                  I have to admit, I find Trader Joe's frozen foods somewhat hit or miss; the hits are great. The misses can be scary (e.g. the beef with broccoli; and personally I find the orange chicken a doughy, fatty mess, even though I read it's the most popular frozen item they have.)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Dylan

                                    I agree on the frozen orange chicken...it may have been TJ's most popular product, but I wonder if it will still remain in the top spot this coming year. I don't know if they changed up the way they produce it or what, but we have had similar experiences with it twice and won't be purchasing it a third time. Half of the pieces barely contained any chicken inside them and some of the chicken was kind of gristlely.

                                  2. Eggplant Slices
                                    Frozen Fish
                                    Shrimp Stir-fry

                                    Frozen fruit
                                    French macarons
                                    Chocolate Ganache cake (for a party, though)