The $1.99 Trader Joe’s Find So Good You’ll Want to Stock Up

The $1.99 Trader Joe's Find So Good You'll Want to Stock Up

You've heard the rhyme: Beans, beans, the magic fruit, the more you eat, the more you… OK, you see where this is going. I love beans as much as I love flatulent humor, but there's so much more to them than that silly childhood nursery rhyme describes them. Beans are magical because they are a key part of any healthy diet as well as a staple ingredient for those on a budget.

As a young aspiring transplant navigating New York, I spent much of my twenties living on canned beans and bags of rice. Although I enjoy everything from black beans and kidney beans to pinto beans, chickpeas and lentils, I love baked beans the most.

While browsing my local Trader Joe's recently looking for ingredients for a new recipe, I came across an exciting deal that immediately caught my eye. A bright red can sat on the shelf labeled Giant Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce, and I couldn't help but be drawn to the description of Mediterranean herbs and spices, strips of chopped onion, parsley and dill. This is a version of a classic Greek dish called gigandes plaki.

The baked bean connoisseur in me was already reaching for two cans at once due to the $1.99 price tag while my mind raced to think of ways to cook with them.

Why I love Trader Joe's Jumbo Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce

Trader Joe's Jumbo Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce uses a white bean like any other traditional baked bean recipe; however, the bean of choice is a much larger version called gigante bean. The beans are soaked and boiled until plump, soft and “giant” before being combined with a tomato sauce incorporating onion strips and finely chopped parsley and dill. The mixture is then seasoned with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to round out a beautifully rich consistency that seriously left me wanting more.

Buying two cans at a time was a great idea because I found myself devouring an entire can at room temperature in one sitting before even heating the beans. The label recommends eating them straight from the can, and from the first bite I discovered a tender, savory flavor with a smooth aromatic sauce that pairs perfectly with the plump beans.

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Retailer Below

How to enjoy these giant baked beans

In the future, I see myself serving these beans reheated on toast and topped with spinach and crumbled feta. They can also be made into an easy vegetarian lunch by baking them further in the oven with fresh garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes and rosemary.

Trader Joe's also advertises a delicious penne recipe on its site that incorporates pasta with jumbo baked beans, kale and cherry tomatoes.

If all else fails, a simple can be opened at room temperature will still suffice and won't be disappointing at all. Dig in and enjoy!


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