The Trader Joe's Rice Hack For A Hearty, No-Frills Soup Dinner

Trader Joe's is undoubtedly the go-to spot for quick, easy dinners. From their wide assortment of canned foods to their tasty frozen pastas, you don't need to be a seasoned chef to whip up a delicious dinner here — but there's one easy hack using the chain's products that hardly requires any cooking at all. If you've got a carton of Trader Joe's Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup and a bag of its frozen Peruvian Style Chimichurri Rice with Vegetables, you have all you need for a quick, yummy meal.

Besides basmati rice, the latter contains diced tomatoes, peas, and shallots, along with cilantro, creme fraiche, garlic, ginger, and Peruvian panca peppers to make up the chimichurri sauce. It's slightly creamy and acidic with just a bit of spice from the Peruvian panca peppers. To make your quick meal, all you have to do is dump the heated rice into a bowl of the hot tomato and roasted pepper soup. It will add texture and heartiness, turning these two (arguably) side dishes into a full dinner, and the combo makes the perfect comfort food that's still bursting with flavor. Plus, between the 10 or so minutes it can take to heat up the soup on the stove (or even less time in the microwave), and the four minutes it takes to warm the rice in the microwave, you don't have to be a chef to get this dinner on the table.

Other options for soup and rice combos

While the tomato flavors in the aforementioned soup and rice make for an ideal pairing, it's not the only Trader Joe's soup and rice combo that can lead to an easy, tasty dinner. The frozen Peruvian side would also be delicious mixed into the chain's White Bean Chicken Chili Soup, Latin Style Black Bean Soup, Kettle Cooked Chicken Soup, Organic Split Pea Soup, and Corn Chowder. And you don't have to limit your choice of frozen rice to the Peruvian bag. Trader Joe's Spanish Style Rice, which includes garlic and tomato seasonings, would also pair beautifully with these soups, along with the Mexican-Style Riced Cauliflower or Riced Hearts of Palm. Or, if you'd like the flavor of your soup to stand out and want the grains purely for the texture, use a bag of the frozen Organic Brown Rice or Rice Medley.

While these two ingredients alone are enough to make a tasty dinner, you can also incorporate a few quick add-ins for an even heartier dish. A can of corn or black beans, shallots or garlic, sliced sausage or soy chorizo, or ground chicken or meat all make this rice and soup mixture a crave-worthy entree.