Arielle Weg

Get ready to up your desk salad game.

Arielle Weg
August 15, 2018

The refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s is a healthy shopper’s paradise with its bright produce, fresh cheese, and of course, the assortment of ready-to-go lunches. But when you’re looking for a premade salad, it can be a little overwhelming to choose the healthiest and tastiest one when there are so many options to pick from.

We stopped by our local Trader Joe’s to test out nine of their premade salad kits, so you can make smart decisions and still get a killer meal. Of the nine salads we tried, here are three we’d totally eat again—plus one that really struck a home run with our editors.

The Runners-Up

Veggies and Green Salad Kit. $3.99

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The blend of cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radicchio, and kale might seem like a perfect omelette mix (as one editor noted), but top it with dried pears, pistachios, and a honey-ginger dressing and you’ll get a really flavorful salad. We found the dressing to be a little too sweet, but otherwise super satisfying. Half the bag is only 240 calories, 12g fat, 2g saturated fat—plus it packs 6g of protein.

Super Spinach Salad, $3.99

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Mix together quinoa, carrots, cranberries, chickpeas, edamame, pumpkin seeds, and a carrot-ginger miso dressing for a salad that has every fixin’ you could ever want. Editors loved the dressing and add-ins, but the quinoa seemed to be a little undercooked. One container of this salad has 430 calories, 22g fat, 3g saturated fat, and 10g protein.

Thai Style Citrus Chicken Salad, $4.49

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If you’re looking for a salad with no sad, soggy lettuce in sight, this is the best option for you. A bright blend of napa cabbage, white meat chicken, daikon radish, green papaya, and a tangy citrus dressing complete each bite. Editors found the salad was super crunchy and fresh, with flavorful bites of chicken. The entire salad has just 240 calories, 12g fat, 1g saturated fat—plus a whopping 14g of protein.

The Winner

Southwestern Chopped Salad, $3.29

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The bag comes full with chopped green cabbage and romaine, plus additions of cotija cheese, roasted pepitas, tortilla strips, green onion, cilantro, and a spicy Southwest avocado dressing.

We couldn’t get enough of this salad. Editors noted the blend has a touch of heat, a lot of crunch, and a really flavorful dressing. It’s reminiscent of a fresh taco, and a few editors mentioned they would definitely eat it again.

Though the nutrition label suggests four servings, we’d probably double that for lunch (about two cups of salad). Half of the bag has just 320 calories, 24g fat, 6g saturated fat, and 10g of protein, making this lunch a filling and healthy choice.