Holiday dinner planning can be a struggle. Between trying to accommodate different diets and avoiding a crazy-high grocery bill, it can be hard to appreciate all the amazing things about the holiday season when stress levels are skyrocketing. Yet, that's where Trader Joe's comes in.
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The beloved grocer stocks plenty of festive products to choose from — and at a great price point — so you can get all the essentials you need to set up a beautiful, delicious, easy-breezy holiday dinner while saving some cash. Here are eight Trader Joe's holiday items all under $7 that'll make your supper both easy-to-prep and impressive.
Want to learn how to fill your plate with healthy, nutrient-dense foods?
1. Brussels Sprouts Sauté Kit
"This Brussels sprouts kit makes the perfect holiday side dish: It comes with shaved Brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, parmesan cheese and a lemon vinaigrette that is super easy to whip up in five minutes flat," says Maggie Michalczyk, RD.
It's great for meal prep because it's basically already assembled with the essential ingredients, so you don't need to put in much effort. "I'm so impressed by it and your guests will love it too," she says. It's a perfect side for a holiday dinner.
- Nutrition facts per serving (1 cup): 140 calories, 10 grams of fat (1.5 gram of saturated fat), 105 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar), 5 grams of protein
Buy it: Trader Joe's stores; Price: $4.49
2. Pastrami-Style Smoked Atlantic Salmon
Lox is a great appetizer for holidays, and you can pair with crackers, bread and veggies (wrap it around!), so it's perfect for meal prep and zero cook time. "TJ's has a great variety of smoked salmon, which makes for the perfect appetizer for holiday entertaining when paired with any one of their crackers," Michalczyk explains. Plus, "smoked salmon is a great source of protein to have out as an appetizer at your holiday get-togethers," she adds.
- Nutrition facts per serving (3 slices): 120 calories, 8 grams of fat (2 grams of saturated fat), 600 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar), 12 grams of protein
Buy it: Trader Joe's stores; Price: $5.49
Read more: 10 Trader Joe's Items Nutritionists Swear By
3. Fig & Olive Crisps
"These crackers are perfect for that cheese board you're planning to serve at your holiday party and easy to bring to any get-togethers you're attending this season," Michalczyk says.
They're a bit salty and a little sweet, making it the perfect flavor combination to serve with a variety of cheeses, like gouda, cheddar, brie and burrata. You can also pair with dips, like hummus, for people who don't eat cheese, making them versatile.
- Nutrition facts per serving (11 crackers): 90 calories, 2 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 170 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber, 5 grams of sugar), 2 grams of protein
4. Everything But the Bagel Greek Yogurt Dip
This Greek yogurt dip has all the everything bagel flavors you look for in that delicious bite, plus it's great for meal planning and meal prep as you can pair it with bread and veggies for appetizers without having to turn on the oven. You can even use it as a sauce for protein, like chicken.
"Bringing everyone's favorite seasoning-turned-dip will make you the star of the holiday party," Michalczyk says. "I like that this dip is made with real yogurt and you can use it as a vehicle to get more nutrition by dipping carrot sticks, celery or pepper slices into it."
- Nutrition facts per serving (2 tablespoons): 60 calories, 5 grams of fat (3 grams of saturated fat), 95 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar), 1 gram of protein
Buy it: Trader Joe's stores; Price: $3.49
5. Nuts About Rosemary Mix
"Great to bring to a party or have out at your own, this rosemary nut mix is a great snack because nuts contain protein and fiber plus healthy fat that will help to fill you up in a healthy way," Michalczyk says. It's perfect on your charcuterie board, or you can use it for crunch in your salad recipe for dinner or as a topping on dessert (think pie or ice cream). "It's a festive, healthy and fun snack to have on hand in general during the holidays."
- Nutrition facts per serving (1/4 cup): 180 calories, 16 grams of fat (1.5 grams of saturated fat), 140 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar), 5 grams of protein
Buy it: Trader Joe's stores; Price: $6.99
6. Cauliflower Pancakes
"Chances are some of your guests this holiday season want a more veggie-forward option," Michalczyk notes. "That's where these cauliflower pancakes are great for," she says. They are low-carb, packed with fiber and easy to whip up fast for a great holiday side that's indulgent but healthy.
"Top them with smoked salmon [like the one on this list] or applesauce." These cauliflower pancakes are a great gluten-free option with more fiber, plus Michalczyk loves that cauliflower is the first ingredient. If you're into potato more than cauli, TJ's also carries potato pancakes, which are their version of homemade latkes!
- Nutrition facts per serving (2 pieces): 170 calories, 7 grams of fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat), 340 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbs (2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar), 7 grams of protein
7. Mini Cheesecake Cones
Sometimes you don't want to bake a whole pumpkin pie or a fresh batch of holiday cookies. That's where these mini cheesecake cones from TJ's come in handy. "If you're not into baking a holiday dessert, grab these from the frozen section at TJ's. I love that they are mini-sized in a sensible portion," Michalczyk says.
- Nutrition facts per serving (1 cone): 210 calories, 13 grams of fat (5 grams of saturated fat), 30 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbs (1 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar), 3 grams of protein
8. Scallops Wrapped in Uncured Bacon
"A fun appetizer for any holiday get-together, these scallops are super easy to reheat," Michalczyk says. Plus, they look fancy as if you made them from scratch — isn't that what holiday entertaining is all about?!"
You can pair them with a green salad as a main course, and use those rosemary nuts in your salad. "Yes, these are wrapped in bacon, however, I think the portion size is reasonable and you're also getting a decent amount of protein," she says. And it's the holidays, so it's totally OK to indulge.
- Nutrition facts per serving (3 pieces): 180 calories, 14 grams of fat (4.5 grams of saturated fat), 300 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbs (1 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar), 5 grams of protein
Buy it: Trader Joe's stores; Price: $6.99