This $3.99 Trader Joe’s Find Is My Secret to Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

It also happens to be vegan.

Trader Joe's storefront

Simply Recipes

As a full-time recipe developer and professional cook, you might be surprised at how many shortcuts I take in my kitchen. From tomato sauce to peeled garlic, some grocery store shortcuts are worth taking. One item I always have in my fridge is store-bought pesto. Making my own (though delicious!) often feels like a chore—from the hassle of finding fresh basil that doesn’t wilt right away to sourcing pricey pine nuts and dirtying my food processor. That’s why I pick up a tub of my favorite herbaceous green sauce from Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto is the stuff of dreams. It's a simple blend of—surprise!—kale, cashews, and basil, and it happens to be vegan. Nearly all grocery stores carry jars of pesto that are dull green and even duller in flavor. Even without Parmesan this pesto doesn’t lack flavor—you won’t miss the cheese. It's bright, garlicky and perfectly seasoned with a touch of lemon juice, and the cashew butter makes it irresistibly creamy. Plus, the kale helps keep it less oily than traditional pesto, so it’s the perfect base for dips and dressings.

I’m not alone in my love for this pesto. It was voted as a runner-up favorite vegan product by customers. For just $3.99, you get eight ounces of green goodness, a small price for quick, easy, and delicious meals—it’ll elevate your dinner routine.

Trader Joe's Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto

Simply Recipes

When it first came out, I was skeptical. Did I really need more kale in my diet on top of the kale gnocchi, kale chips, kale salads, and kale smoothies? Well, of course! I can’t do without this stuff. It’s fresh, flavorful, and my secret ingredient to quick and easy weeknight dinners. 

When using pesto, think beyond pasta. Pesto is the ultimate kitchen workhorse. This vibrant green goodness is perfect:

  • Swirled into hummus—it’ll make you feel fancy, I promise
  • Dolloped in a bowl of steaming vegetable soup
  • Shaken with olive oil and lemon juice into a salad dressing in a pinch
  • Spread onto a sandwich or wrap
  • Mixed into your chicken salad 
  • Fried with eggs
  • Added to full fat plain Greek yogurt for a veggie dip that takes five seconds to make