The 10 Healthiest Trader Joe's Salads, According to a Dietitian
If you're sick of throwing away another container of spinach at the end of the week because you didn't know what to do with it, you're not alone! We can have every intention to load up on more veggies on our weekly grocery run, only to toss out limp greens, peppers, and cucumbers before the next trip rolls around. That's why we love prepackaged salad kits!
"Salad kits and mixes can be a really tasty and convenient way to eat more vegetables," says Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., Nutrition Editor at EatingWell and CookingLight.com. "Serve them as part of a meal or enjoy them on their own, depending on how many substantial components are included. But, some dressings and toppings in these kits can have a fair amount of sugar and sodium. A quick flip of the bag to look at the nutrition facts panel will let you know what you're getting."
We raided the Trader Joe's produce section to find the healthiest salad kits and help you and your family get in your daily dose of greens. These salads were deemed "healthy" based on sodium, sugar, and saturated fat content, plus their ratios of indulgent-to-healthy toppings.
Here are the 10 best salads that need to make it on your next Trader Joe's shopping list:
Organic Mediterranean Style Salad Kit
Packed with enough romaine, cruciferous veggies, feta, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, and tasty seasoned flatbread strips to feed about four people, this bag is perfect to have on hand for easy summer entertaining. You can even ditch the flatbread strips if you're following a low-carb diet or are watching your sodium intake. Plus, it comes with a delicious and healthy red wine vinaigrette!
You could easily turn this into a meal for two by adding some grilled chicken or shrimp. Otherwise, it would taste delicious as a side served with our Greek Chicken with Roasted Spring Vegetables.
Lemon Chicken and Arugula Salad
This salad is featured in the brand-new June Fearless Flyer, and we just had to get our hands on it. This salad is full of protein, thanks to chicken and quinoa, and is packed with all kinds of veggies, like carrots, red bell pepper, and onions.
This portable salad is the perfect 300-calorie lunch for busy work days or traveling. It's a great source of potassium, fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C and iron for a truly nourishing meal.
Classic Greek Salad
Who doesn't love a fresh Greek salad? Packed with kalamata olives, fresh veggies, feta cheese, and red wine vinaigrette, even salad haters will love the delicious, rich flavors of this TJ's salad pack!
This salad is a well-rounded 350-calorie meal that is perfect for low-carb eaters or those who want a salad that will *actually* fill them up for once. It would also taste amazing with some grilled chicken, or packed into a pita pocket!
Gochujang Chop Salad Kit
This Korean-style salad is full of amazing flavors, but the gochujang vinaigrette holds a special place in our hearts. This salad would pair perfectly with our Korean Turkey Burgers with Kimchi.
If you'd like to beef up this salad to make it meal-worthy, it would be really tasty topped with some edamame, tofu, or salmon. It would even make the perfect base for a summer roll dipped in that tasty dressing!
Related: Healthy Lunch Salad Ideas for Work
Legume & Spinach Salad Palette
Vegans and omnivores alike will go crazy for this spinach salad packed with plant protein. Lentils, pecans and chickpeas add a nice protein and fiber boost, while cauliflower, apples, and red pepper offer a dose of vitamin C and antioxidants.
This salad is portioned in one-cup servings, but based on the nutrition facts, you could feel good about eating the whole container for a meal! A one-cup serving as a side salad has 150 calories, while the entire pack is 530 calories.
Field Fresh Chopped Salad With Grilled White Chicken
This salad is by far the highest in protein out of all the options we saw at our local Trader Joe's-22 grams-and it's healthy, too! Loaded with grilled chicken, Israeli couscous, currants, Parmesan, pecans and a sweet basil dressing, this salad is full of great texture and flavor for a satisfying meal.
The Field Fresh salad has 510 calories per container and packs 20 percent of your daily fiber needs. It's an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium as well, but it is the highest in sugar. If you are watching your sugar intake, you can ditch the dressing and try our trusty All-Purpose Vinaigrette instead.
Southwestern Chopped Salad Kit
We can just envision this salad being the easiest way to dress up fish tacos or act as a base for a glorious taco salad. This kit is made to serve about four people, packing 160 calories per serving. It's packed with lettuces, veggies, cotija cheese, dry roasted pepitas, tortilla strips and herbs for lots of texture and flavor.
You could easily turn this salad into a meal for two by adding grilled steak or black beans, or even adding some corn, pico, and fajita veggies for a delicious summer lunch or dinner. One of the staffers said this one is her very favorite salad option and you'll probably love it, too-especially after tasting that Southwest avocado dressing!
Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Few things say summer like a fresh caprese salad with the season's best tomatoes and creamy mozzarella. This salad contains everything you love about caprese salads, plus kalamata olives, pine nuts, several varieties of lettuce and a sweet-tart balsamic dressing. We'll take all of these salad packs, please!
This salad has 440 calories per container, 11 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. This option is the highest in saturated fat, but it is plenty fine to enjoy as long as you are watching your saturated fat intake for the rest of the day.
Related: 6 Ways to Pack a Clean-Eating Lunch
Super Green Salad Palette
Similar to the Legume & Spinach Salad, this one is also packed with protein and works great as a meal or a side to share. Made with green beans, baby spinach, broccoli, feta, kale, walnuts and a zesty avocado citrus dressing, TJ's wasn't lying when they deemed this a "super green" salad!
If you just opt for a one-cup serving of this salad, it will set you back 140 calories, while consuming the whole container is 390 calories. This salad is packed with protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium for a truly nutritious lunch in a hurry.
This salad is pretty different from the kit mentioned above for more than just being meant to serve one. This salad has black beans and corn to boost your protein and fiber intake, while the tangy ranch dressing is much lighter in calories than you'd expect.
One of these single-serve Southwest Salads is only 200 calories, has 5g fiber, and is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium. You might want to wrap it up in a whole-wheat tortilla for an easy burrito at lunch or add some grilled chicken or tempeh to make sure you stay full until your next meal.