Weeknight meals tend to be a struggle for me. Yes, it’s become a real challenge between trying to keep things interesting and juggling my family’s busy schedule. The result of too many after school activities that stretch into the evenings combined with long work days.
Sunday mornings as I’m writing our grocery list for the week I try and balance healthy with convenience since I know I’ve got about a 30-minute window to get dinner served.
If I’m really organized and have a minute to breathe on Sunday, I’ll plan out a week of meals and sides by prepping each into easy to find containers so I can just grab them without having to think and cook. If it’s a more hectic Sunday where I know I won’t have the time to prep, I have a few go-to veggie sides that have become part of the regular rotation.
Trader Joe’s Brussels Sprouts Saute Kit has quickly become one of our favorite veggie sides. In proper Trader Joe’s fashion, they’ve coined this side dish as “Ready to Heat”. TJ’s has literally done all the prep-work with this super easy to prepare kit. Each ingredient is pre-packaged and in the form it’s meant to be cooked (I mean, heated). The nuts have been chopped, the brussels sprouts are sliced in 3’s and the parmesan is fancifully shaved to be used as an elegant topping.
What’s In the Bag
Trader Joe’s Brussels Sprouts Sauté Kit contains brussels sprouts (as you may have guessed), chopped hazelnuts, shaved parmesan and a tasty lemon garlic vinaigrette.
The Brussel sprouts are the star of the show here and you need not cut a single one.
I love that the hazelnuts, parmesan and vinaigrette are all separately packaged and sealed in their own pouches. Then those three are bagged together to keep them separate from the sprouts. This helps keeps the ingredients fresh and the flavors from mixing before you’re ready to prepare.
It also gives those with dietary restrictions the option to make it as recommended or leave out an ingredient or two.
The medley of ingredients was thoughtfully put together.
To start, you have the chopped hazelnuts which you pan roast yourself. The hazelnuts add a warm toasted nutty flavor to the dish and a crunch that compliments the texture of the brussels sprouts that will ultimately absorb the lemon garlic vinaigrette.
The brussels sprouts go through a tenderization process after adding the dressing that makes them easy to chew yet not soggy. Since they’re only sautéed for a few minutes you’ll find that the larger pieces are a bit firmer while the pieces that look shaved are softer.
To fix this just sauté the sprouts for a few extra minutes until they reach the desired firmness.
To top it all off you have the shaved parmesan that adds a whole other dimension (salty sweet essence) of flavor.
What’s great about the dish is the flexibility you have with the kit since everything is packaged separately. 95% of the time we make it with all the ingredients according to the instructions. But sometimes we’re just not feelin’ the parmesan, or the hazelnuts don’t go with the main so we change it up.
It requires one pan so that means less mess and cleanup. AND… It’s nutritionally high in fiber! One serving delivers a respectable 3g of dietary fiber.
For only $4.69 for a 13oz bag this ready to heat veggie scored very high marks in our home for both taste and convenience.
To start, let’s be honest, there is NOTHING BAD about the Brussels Sprouts Saute Kit.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie side dish this just may not be for you.
This biggest downside to this kit is that it’s a bit high in the calorie department due to all the add-ins.
Again, if the nutrition facts scare you away try mixing and matching the add-ins depending on your intake that day.
One way we’ve found that we can cut down the calorie count is by reducing the amount of the lemon garlic vinaigrette. While this is where the sprouts get their flavor, we’ve often found that one half to three quarters of the packet is enough. Start with half of the packet and add more as needed if you feel that the sprouts aren’t tender or flavorful enough.
Brussel Sprouts Saute Kit Serving Suggestions
One of the things I like most about brussels sprouts is their versatility when it comes to pairings. While pork (think bacon, pancetta, prosciutto and sausage) is probably the most common when it comes to adding to brussels sprouts for flavor, here is a full list of proteins that make an excellent pairing for these tasty little buds.
Pork – Bacon, Pancetta, Prosciutto, Sausage, Cooked Ham, Pork Chops, Pork Belly
Poultry– Grilled, Blackened or Rotisserie Chicken, Chicken Sausage, Ground Turkey
Seafood – Grilled, Blackened or Baked Salmon, Grilled Shrimp, Baked Cod
Trader Joe’s Brussel Sprouts Saute Kit Nutrition Facts
Where To Find At Trader Joe’s
The Brussels Sprouts Saute Kit can be found in the refrigerated produce section to the left of the bagged salads. You’ll find it amongst the brussels sprouts and other bagged saute kits. That is IF you can find it in stock. The brussels kit is a popular item at Trader Joe’s and is seasonal for winter so enjoy it while you can.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Large Saute Pan
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Small Dish or Bowl (for the toasted hazelnuts)
- Medium Sized Serving Bowl
Trader Joe’s Brussel Sprouts Ingredients [December 2022]
SAUTE BLEND: BRUSSELS SPROUTS, HAZELNUTS, SHAVED PARMESAN CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, SALT, CHEESE CULTURE, MICROBIAL ENZYMES]
LEMON GARLIC VINEGARETTE: WATER, CANOLA OIL, GOLDEN BALSAMIC VINEGAR [WHITE WINE VINEGAR, WHITE GRAPE JUICE CONCENTRATE], CHOPPED GARLIC [WATER, GARLIC], HONEY, OLIVE OIL, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SHALLOT, SUGAR, DIJON MUSTARD [DISTILLED VINEGAR, WATER, MUSTARD SEED, SALT, WHITE WINE, CITRIC ACID, TURMERIC, SPICES], SWEETENED LEMON PEEL ZEST [LEMON PEEL ZEST, CANE SUGAR, LEMON OIL], ORANGE PUREE CONCENTRATE, SALT, XANTHAM GUM, WHITE PEPPER, DRIED RED CHILI PEPPER, DRIED CORRIANDER, RED CHILI PEPPER.
CONTAINS MIK, HAZELNUT.
Step-by-Step Preparation Instructions
- Heat large saute pan over medium heat.
- Add chopped hazelnuts and toast on medium heat for 1-2 minutes stirring often. (IMPORTANT: Make sure to stir or the hazelnuts will burn quickly)
- Set hazelnuts aside in small dish or bowl.
- Add 1 TBSP. of cooking oil to warm pan.
- Add brussels sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add lemon garlic vinaigrette to pan coating brussels sprouts.
- Heat brussels sprouts for an additional 1-2 minutes or until they are tender enough. (Tip: Cook the brussels sprouts for an additional 5-7 minutes to get them nice and tender)
- Remove from heat.
- Transfer brussels sprouts to medium size bowl or serving dish, add hazelnuts and shaved parmesan.
- Serve Hot.
Winner-winner Trader Joe’s brussels sprouts saute kit dinner side. This ready to heat kit is seasonal but it’s you can enjoy it all winter long.
It pairs great with proteins such as bacon, meatballs or sausage which can be added directly to the brussels sprouts once cooked. Another perfect pairing is the brussels sprouts and uncured bacon ravioli. At $3.99 for the package, this seasonal (fall and winter) flavor packed ravioli cooks up in the same amount of time as the saute kit making it easy to prepare alongside.
So if you’re a lover of brussels sprouts and just want the night off from prep work give these a try, I don’t think you’ll regret it. I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as we did.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve enjoyed these or felt differently about this product. Please also share if you have any serving recommendations or improvements as well!