An Affordable, 30 Minute Trader Joe’s Dinner Hack

March 11, 2019

Zack and I always talk about the fact that I’m the weekday, healthy cook and that he’s the weekend, glutenous cook. Essentially, I’m good at whipping something up with what we have, keeping it easy and quick and usually fairly healthy. Zack will spend hours in our kitchen over the weekend perfecting a single recipe that’s usually buttery, delicious and a little on the heavier side. We both appreciate each other and have found that it’s the perfect balance in our household.

This affordable, 30 minute Trader Joe’s dinner hack is one of my go to meals. All of the ingredients (with the exception of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper) we’re around $15 and purchased from our local Trader Joe’s.

30 minutes is essentially my max preparation / cook time I allow for weekday dinners since I’m usually cooking before Zack gets home which means I’m juggling caring for Owen as well. 30 minutes works because if Owen isn’t cooperating I can rely on one quick, 30-ish minute show for him and I’m able to knock it out. It’s not perfect, but we make it work!

Owen is picky, but we definitely try to put a little bit of everything we’re eating on his plate too so keep that in mind with the “serves two” note here.

An Affordable, 30 Minute Trader Joe’s Dinner Hack

Serves Two

Preparation / Cook Time: 30 Minutes


  • .5 lbs. red potatoes, diced (half this bag) 
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 Medium sized salmon filet (enough for two servings)
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Trader Joe’s Broccoli & Kale Slaw Salad Mix



  • Wash, slice and dice your potatoes.
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Press your garlic into the oil.
  • Add potatoes and cook until soft in the middle and golden brown – I let mine cook until everything else was ready, about 20 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Plate potatoes between your two plates.


  • Cut filet in half to make two servings.
  • Rub filets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a medium to large skillet, over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add filets, skin side down. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, covered.
  • Flip filets and cook for another 4 minutes, covered.
  • Plate Filets.
  • Halve your lemon and squeeze a touch of lemon juice on each filet.
  • Slice your other lemon half and garnish your salmon with a lemon slice.


  • While your potatoes and salmon are cooking, mix ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Split between two plates (I didn’t end up using all of the salad and saved some leftovers.)

Photography by Amy Frances.

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