What to do if you are hosting Thanksgiving or your holiday festivities and have not done a thing? Go to one store and get everything. Trader Joe’s is your simple, one stop shopping for all your holiday and grocery needs in a flash, from flowers to hors d’oeuvres, mains, sides and desserts. Some TJ’s even sell booze.
While Trader Joe’s do not carry all the varieties you may be accustomed to, it will have what you need and are looking for.
Here is the best, most complete, quintessential and simplified Trader Joe’s grocery list to have on hand when shopping for your holiday meals. Everything you see on this list can be purchased at Trader Joe’s.
Did you know? Trader Joe’s sells dirt-cheap flowers and potted plants, perfect for your decor. Pick some up.
- Cheeses– For the perfect assortment choose a blue, any kind of goat, a sharp cheddar, a creamy Brie, a hard variety such as Manchego or Parmesan and a spreadable variety (Cheese tip: You should have a total cheese amount of 1/4 lb. per person for a holiday meal)
- Crackers– choose a couple varieties that suit you
- Grapes– If you see TJ’s Thomcord variety, grab it. They taste like Welch’s Grape Juice without the pits
- Shrimp: Large size. Frozen, peeled and cooked for shrimp cocktail; Trader Joe’s cocktail sauce; fresh lemons
Appetizer / 1st Course
- Soup– Puree of butternut squash (whole or already peeled and cut in chunks); butter or olive oil; stock (chicken or vegetable); onion; celery; lemon juice; dried bay leaf; fresh sage; 1 small potato (used as your thickener)
1) Turkey- Find your perfect turkey at Trader Joe’s (Kosher is available as well) plus everything you need to prepare your bird with:
- carrots, parsnips, onion and celery for aromatics
- Spices and herbs- Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme; dried bay leaves
- Olive oil and/or butter for crisp skin
- Stock- chicken, turkey, or vegetable
Turkey Tips: All your turkey questions can be answered here.
Need to defrost? Thawing a turkey in a sink full of cold water is a good way to thaw your turkey, but it’s not safe to leave it in the sink to thaw overnight. It is recommended to thaw a 4 to 12 pound turkey in cold water for 2 to 6 hours, a 12 to 16 pound turkey for 6 to 8 hours, or a 20 to 24 pound turkey for 10 to 12 hours. Change water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled. Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.
2) Gravy– Stocks (chicken, turkey or vegetable); dried bay leaf; flour; butter or oil
- Add some extra flavorings- (cream and/or sausage gravy) heavy cream or ½ and ½; fresh sausage
3) Chestnut dressing or stuffing– celery, onion, stock (chicken, turkey or vegetable), bread, pre-cooked italian chestnuts; rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, marjoram; eggs; pecans or walnuts
1) Cranberry sauce– Fresh cranberries (see back of package for recipe) or pre-made
2) Roasted potatoes– Fresh bliss potatoes; olive oil; fresh rosemary
3) Sweet potato puree– Frozen mashed sweet potatoes; maple syrup; ground cinnamon
4) Peas and onions– Frozen petite peas; frozen pearl onions; butter; grated Parmesan; nutmeg
5) Brussels sprouts– Fresh Brussels sprouts; olive oil and/or butter; shallots; white balsamic vinegar
6) Acorn squash/Sugar pumpkin– Fresh; butter and/or olive oil; maple syrup; lemon juice
7) Warm Biscuits– Frozen sweet potato biscuits; butter
- Petite pecan tartlets- frozen
- Raspberry Tart- frozen
- Cheesecake- frozen
- Salted Caramel or chocolates
- Berries– Fresh strawberries, raspberries, melons