CookingLight diet CookingLight diet
Photo: Brian Woodcock

Trust us, you’re going to want these in your weekly rotation.

Zee Krstic
January 09, 2018

If you’re a Trader Joe’s fan, you’re probably familiar with the retailer’s “fearless flyer,” a weekly newsletter featuring hot deals and new products. In the first edition of the new year, Trader Joe’s decided to print 15 of their favorite recipes to inspire shoppers.

The TJ’s mini “cookbook” is great because it shows you just how simple it is to put a fresh meal on the table, so you won’t be tempted to raid their impressive frozen section. The downside? The recipes from Trader Joe’s latest newsletter only call for their branded products, such as their $4.99 sunflower seed spread.

From savory butternut squash soup to baked oatmeal, we’re bringing you inspiration for healthier versions of Trader Joe’s recipes you can make at home.

New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here with the Cooking Light Diet.

1) Cornbread with Jalapeño and Bacon

We love cornbread just as much as the next person, but it’s easy to eat the entire pan in one sitting if you’re not careful. Cornbread “cupcakes” are adorable, portable, and make for easy portion control.

Photo: Brian Woodcock

Our version: Cheesy Jalapeño-Sour Cream Corn Muffins

2) Sweet “Balls” of Fire

We swapped out sodium-heavy prepared ingredients, such as Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce, for tomato paste, and used whole-grain bulgur instead of breadcrumbs for a healthier twist.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Our version: Glazed Cocktail Meatballs

3) Açaí Smoothie Bowl

We packed our smoothie bowl with reduced-fat Greek Yogurt, tart cherry juice, spinach, avocado, and chia seeds for a creamy and delicious spin that will give you all-day energy.

Greg DuPree

Our version: Avo-Berry Smoothie Bowl

4) Hot Link Beef Sausage Hash

Swapping sweet potatoes for classic spuds can cut calories and add in an extra boost of beta-carotene. The best part? You can eat this dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Our version: Ham and Sweet Potato Hash

5) Citrusy Baked Oatmeal

Start your morning with our baked oatmeal, which you can prepare the night before and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to bake. Talk about a great way to wake up!

Cooking Light

Our version: Make-Ahead Baked Oatmeal

6) Overnight Yogurt Oats

Four ingredients in a jar, and it’s like magic for your morning routine—breakfast is ready to go whenever you are. Ta da!

Photo: Rebecca Longshore

Our version: Overnight Oats

7) Chana Masala Pasties

For a classic pie dish that’s light enough for weekly rotation, try our 20-minute adaptation. We promise, it’s just as comforting and delicious.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Our version: Chicken Potpie Tartines

8) Cowboy Quinoa Bake

We have to admit, Trader Joe’s quinoa bake sounds delicious. If you’re a fan of comforting casseroles that still pack a healthy punch, you’ll love this make-ahead, whole-grain casserole that’s perfect for weeknights.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Our version: Cheesy Sausage, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole

9) Warm Cruciferous Cranberry Slaw

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Cranberries pack a tart kick, almonds add crunch, and broccoli is a hearty choice that can help turn this side into a main dish.

Our version: Cranberry-Almond Broccoli Salad

10) Savory Butternut Squash Soup

One of our all-time most popular recipes is ready in a flash when you use the power of the Instant Pot.

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Claire Spollen

Our version: Creamy, Dreamy Butternut Squash Soup

RELATED: 6 Stellar Toppers For Butternut Squash Soup

11) Fancy Figgy Glazed Chicken

A whole roast chicken seems like too much to tackle on a busy weeknight—our 19-minute chicken breast is much more manageable and still capitalizes on the delicious flavor profile of the fig.

Photo: Oxmoor House

Our version: Rosemary-Fig Chicken

12) Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Ah, the undeniable pull of the slow cooker. Where do we even begin? Regardless of which protein you use to bring this delicious stew to life, you’ll come out on top.

Photo: Victor Protasio

Our version: Slow Cooker Pork Chile Verde

13) Frank’s Blueberry Muffins

The only thing better than tearing into a fresh warm muffin for breakfast is eating one of these treats and knowing they’re just 250 calories each.

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Our version: Blueberry-Sour Cream Muffins

14) Sunflower Seed Spread Cookies

The best kind of cookies are one that you don’t have to bake—this treat made of chia seeds, flax seeds, rolled oats, and creamy nut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fat. You can use sunflower seed butter to the same effect as Trader Joe’s recipe here.

Photo: Teresa Sabga

Our version: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Energy Balls

15) Banana Bread with Roasted Cocoa Nibs

Trader Joe’s version of this delectable dessert is a little labor intensive at 40 minutes of cooking time. Our banana bread cookies take just a third of that time, while still cashing in on chocolatey flavor. Did we mention they’re just 40 calories and you only need two ingredients to make them?

Our version: 2-Ingredient Banana Bread Cookies