This 5-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Winning Recipe Was Worth The Hype

This 5-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Winning Recipe Was Worth The Hype

And it might even be landing on your Thanksgiving table…

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Trader Joe’s.. The beloved grocery store helped me through college finals when I desperately needed chili lime takis to get me through the night; they have my back at the movies when the traditional concession snacks just won’t cut it (I’m looking at you, sour Scandinavian swimmers);and they’re with me now as I’m learning how to keep a fully stocked fridge for easy weeknight dinners. 

But one of the main reasons I love them is because they always have an ever-changing selection of fun new products to try out. And who better to know the best of TJ's products than their employees? That’s why, when I found out that Trader Joe’s recently ran a recipe contest with their crew members, I had to get my hands on the winning recipes and try one out. 

The TJ’s Crew Recipe Contest

In June, Trader Joe’s challenged crew members across the United States to create easy, show-stopping recipes using no more than five TJ products. And just last week, the three winners were announced, plus one honorable mention. 

The Winners Circle

  • 3rd Place: Maple & Harissa Glazed Sweet Potatoes, made with TJ’s infamous sweet and spicy pecans and Tunisian harissa, from Ry Keener of the Federal Way, WA store. 
  • 2nd Place: Strawberry Matcha Tiramisu (um, yum!), made with freeze-dried strawberries, chocolate chip pain au lait, and matcha powder, from Makenzie Mendelson of the Newport News, VA location.
  • Grand Prize: The title of first place went to a recipe for Korean-inspired Cold Noodles, featuring their capellini pasta, Korean gochujang sauce, and furikake from Miami employee Jessi YouJeong Jo. 

I obviously had to try one of the dishes immediately, and opted for the glazed sweet potatoes. Was it partially because I already had some of the ingredients at home? Maybe. 

Seeing as though the sweet potatoes only required five ingredients, I had already mentally approved this recipe long before I even began cooking. But when I realized how simple the steps were, I liked it even more. 

This 5-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Winning Recipe Was Worth The Hype

The result was a dish that reminded me a lot of a classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole but with a Tunisian twist. It had the crunch of the pecans and the sweetness of the maple syrup—all it was missing was some type of marshmallow, but that I could live without. The sweet potatoes had a not-so-subtle kick from the harissa, just a PSA to anyone with a spice aversion or young kids but the overall flavor was delicious and nicely balanced.

They did not disappoint and I will be making them again—along with the rest of the TJ crew recipes.


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