When it comes to grocery shopping convenience, both for its location and family-friendly food selection, it’s hard to beat Trader Joe’s on the Post Road. I’m there so often, in fact, that the super friendly staff knows my kids, and some (ok, a lot) of my food preferences by heart. And while I enjoy trying some of their unique and ever-changing offerings when we want something new, it’s definitely my go-to store for weekly meal staples that please our whole family.
One of our favorites is this weeknight lasagna. The hands-on time is no more than 15 minutes, and in a little over an hour you’ll have a satisfying, healthy, delicious meal that will taste like you cooked much longer. All the ingredients are readily available at TJ’s and wont break the bank (good news when your kids proclaim they don’t like lasagna THIS WEEK…). If you keep reading, see our favorite breakfast- also a TJ’s exclusive- whole grain pancakes!
Weeknight Turkey Lasagna
Ingredients:
1 T Olive oil or canola oil
1 lb ground turkey (93%)
1 jar Organic Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 or 9 Trader Joes Italian Lasagna Noodles (half a 1lb box)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
One package (6) Trader Joe’s par-baked dinner rolls (available in the bakery area, right in front of the sample stand).
Directions:
Brown ground turkey in olive oil over medium heat, crumbling with a spatula as it cooks. When turkey is no longer pink, add marinara sauce. Fill empty sauce jar halfway with water and add the water to the pan. Bring to a simmer and adjust heat to low. While sauce cooks, combine ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and parmesan in separate bowl. Set aside. To assemble lasagna, cover the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish with approximately ¾ cup of turkey meat sauce. Depending on the size of your dish, place 2-3 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles in a single layer on top of sauce. Then add another ¾ cup of meat sauce, followed by ¾ cup of ricotta mixture, followed by a handful of shredded mozzarella sprinkled on top. Repeat with noodles, meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella for 2 layers*. When your last layer of noodles tops the lasagna, pour all remaining meat sauce and liquid on top. (Discard any left over ricotta mixture**). The lasagna should be quite saucy at this point. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.***
Uncover and sprinkle desired amount of shredded mozzarella on top. Set oven to broil and cook uncovered until cheese is melted and just starting to brown. Watch it carefully! Let finished lasagna sit uncovered about 10 minutes. In the meantime, set oven to 375 (no need to even wait for it to reach exact temp if your oven is already hot) and put rolls directly on oven rack. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Notes:
*It’s really easy to customize this to your tastes! Add a layer of cooked veggies (sliced mushrooms and zucchini are delicious!) between the layers of meat sauce and ricotta.
**My family prefers thinner layers of ricotta mixture, so I always have a little left over after I assemble the finished dish. If you like more, make ricotta layers a little thicker and you’ll use it all.
***Place lasagna on top of a foil-lined baking sheet to cook. Any spills that bubble over during cooking are easy to clean up.
Whole Grain Pancakes

While you’re at Trader Joe’s grab a few ripe bananas, more eggs (if you need them) and a box of their individually packaged unsweetened instant oatmeal. With no measuring and one bowl, you’ll have incredibly fast, whole grain pancakes for breakfast or a snack! These pancakes are refined sugar free, gluten free, nut free and dairy free (don’t let any of that scare you—they are delicious!) and are loaded with flavor, fiber and protein. You can add berries or chocolate chips to make them just right for you.
Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. salt
2 packets unsweetened instant oatmeal (with oats, flax, chia, quinoa and amaranth)
Butter or nonstick spray for cooking
Trader Joes Organic pure Maple Syrup for topping
Directions: (Makes approximately 6 pancakes.)
Mash bananas with a fork. Mix in eggs, cinnamon and salt. Add instant oatmeal packets and stir to combine. Heat griddle or nonstick pan to medium. Melt butter or coat with nonstick spray . Spoon approximately ¼ cup of pancake mixture and cook 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip and cook additional 2-3 minutes until second side is golden and pancakes feel firm to touch.
For more on Rebecca, check our her kitchen sink frittata or chocolate lava cake; they shouldn’t be missed!

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