a 15-minute skillet dinner with quinoa, kale, trader joe’s chicken sausage, & trader joe’s arrabiata sauce. weeknight cooking could not be easier (or more delicious!) than this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet!
a few weeks back, as i was finalizing plays well with butter’s fall recipes, i threw up a story on the @playswellwithbutter instagram account to see if there was anything in particular that you guys wanted this fall.
& uh…holy. freakin. cow.
you guys spoke up!!!
i love it!!!
the over-arching theme was easy & healthy fall recipes. preferably with butternut squash, & crockpots, & sweet potatoes (…stay tuned, all of those things are coming very, very soon, promise! 😎).
oh, & a major emphasis on easy.
& to be honest with you, the emphasis on easy made me panic a little bit. i’m kind of a dork when it comes to food & i never really know how easy is tooooo easy or how simple is tooooo simple to share with you guys. i get trapped in my own head worrying about crossing the line between so easy & so obviously “duh.”
but the more i thought about it, the more i thought, “…screw it.” after all, who really cares how easy something is if it’s really freakin’ delicious.
so that’s what we’re doin’ today. really freakin’ easy & really freakin’ delicious food.
also known as my 15-minute trader joe’s skillet.
this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet is truly, honestly a dinner that’s in our weekly rotation very regularly. it usually makes an appearance on nights when i really don’t want to cook & it’s too late to run out to get anything (or we’re just feeling too lazy to go anywhere).
we come back to our 15-minute trader joe’s skillet time & time again because a) it’s so dang fast, & b) it’s made entirely with things we keep stocked in our fridge:
- shredded kale
- cooked quinoa
- trader joe’s arrabbiata sauce
- trader joe’s chicken sausage (the italian & the feta & spinach are both my fave!)
the beauty if this dinner is it’s totally versatile.
don’t have a trader joe’s nearby? that’s totally fine – use your favorite jarred tomato sauce & your favorite fully-cooked sausage.
don’t love kale? that’s totally fine – use spinach, or whatever green you have in your crisper instead.
have a rotisserie chicken on hand instead of sausage? you guessed it…that’s totally fine. shred it up & throw it in.
the other beautiful part of this dinner?
15 minutes is all it takes, thanks to a little bit of meal prep.
how to meal prep this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet:
so, i’ll be the first to go out & say it: meal prepping is kiiiiinda the worst. aren’t there about a zillion things you’d rather do on a sunday afternoon than spend the last hours of your beloved weekend slaving away in the kitchen?
yes. more like a zillion + 1. i’m totally right there with you.
unfortunately the fact of the matter is a little bit of meal prep goes a loooooong way when it comes to getting easy & healthy meals on the table throughout the week. & this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet is no exception. 15 minutes of meal prepping cuts the time it takes to get this dinner ready in half. & truly, that’s all it takes! 15 minutes.
here’s what you do:
- cook the quinoa. get 1 cup of quinoa cooking on the stove. make the quinoa according to package directions (which usually involves bringing it to a boil & then simmering over low heat with a lid on until the liquid is absorbed). once it’s cooked, fluff it with a fork quickly & transfer it into an airtight container & pop it into the fridge. boom. quinoa: ✔️
- chop the veggies. meanwhile, as the quinoa cooks, get chopping:
- dice 1 yellow onion. simple as that. pop it into an airtight container & into the fridge it goes. boom. onion: ✔️
- dice 2 bell peppers. i like to use red & orange. they taste a little sweeter & the color is so pretty. but if you like green bell peppers, have at it. use whatever you like. pop it into an airtight container & into the fridge the peppers go. boom. peppers: ✔️
- shred some kale. remove the ribs from a handful of lacianto kale leaves & finely, finely shred them. you can of course buy a bag of pre-chopped kale, but the only bagged chopped kale i can ever find has the huge woody stems still in them, which honestly is the worst. if you don’t mind this, or you can find great shredded kale at your store, by all means use it. pop the kale into a Ziplock bag with a paper toil & put it in the crisper of your fridge. boom. kale: ✔️
that’s it! 15 minutes on sunday & you’ll be ready to whip together a 15-minute trader joe’s skillet dinner any night of the week. it doesn’t get easier than that!
with all your meal prep out of the way, all you have to do is throw it all together to serve this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet for dinner:
- sauté the onions & peppers in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes, until softened & translucent.
- add sliced chicken sausage & sliced baby portobello mushrooms to the skillet to brown for another 5 minutes. stir occasionally, to avoid burning, but you want the sausage & mushrooms to get good & brown. this is where the flavor happens! (if you have any other veggies hanging out in the fridge, feel free to toss them in to clean out your fridge – no harm in that!)
- once the sausage & mushrooms are good & browned, add in the shredded kale, quinoa, & arrabbiata sauce. cook until the kale begins to wilt & the sauce begins to bubble, about 3 minutes.
- pop some cheese on top & wait for it to melt, about 2 minutes.
wham, bam, thank you ma’am, 15 minutes & you’ve got a healthy dinner is on the table. healthy weeknight eats do not get easier!
if you love this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet, here are some other easy recipes you’ll love:
- skillet chicken parmesan meatballs
- glow bowls with curry vinaigrette
- trader joe’s two buck chuck sangria
- all healthy pwwb recipes
so…tell me! what are your easy, go-to weeknight dinners? are you obsessed with trader joe’s – if so, what are your tj’s faves?? will you be adding this 15-minute trader joe’s skillet to your menu this week? let me know in the comments below…i’d LOVE to chat! xo
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 1 pound chicken sausage links, thinly sliced (the spinach & feta & the spicy italian from Trader Joe’s are both great!)
- 12 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 5 leaves lacianto kale, ribs removed & shredded (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups tomato sauce (I love Trader Joe's Arrabiata!)
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- salt and ground pepper, to season
- for serving: extra crushed red chili flakes, thinly sliced basil, parmesan cheese
- Cook the aromatics. Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add in the peppers, onion, chili flakes, & a pinch or two of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until softened & translucent.
- Brown the sausage and mushrooms. Add sliced chicken sausage & sliced baby portobello mushrooms to the skillet to brown for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, to avoid burning, but you want the sausage & mushrooms to get good & brown. this is where the flavor happens!
- Once the sausage & mushrooms are good & browned, add in the shredded kale, quinoa, & tomato sauce. Cook until the kale begins to wilt & the sauce begins to bubble, about 3 minutes.
- Arrange the cheese over the top of the skillet allow it to melt, about 2 minutes longer.
- Finish with freshly chopped basil, additional chili flake, & a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, as desired. Enjoy!
- Check out the meal prep notes included in the body of this post to see how you can do a little of the work in advance in order to get this skillet on the table in 15 minutes!