A Trader Joe's Breakfast Hack From Cup of Jo's Joanna Goddard

Thanks for the tip, friend.

August 11, 2019
Photo by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo

According to the dictionary, a hack is "a clever tip or technique for doing or improving something."

I'm a huge fan of Cup of Jo's Trader Joe's meal hacks not just because they're useful breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that improve my day-to-day, but also because they represent the very real way in which many of us (especially us TJ's fans) navigate meal prep. Not everything we eat has to be from scratch; sometimes, we get a little help along the way...

Breakfast of champions. Photo by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo

A bag of frozen shredded hash browns, for instance, jumpstarts an incredible breakfast bowl, topped with cheesy eggs, pancetta, pico de gallo, and sliced avocado.

"I went upstate with a group of friends," Joanna Goddard says. "For breakfast, our pal Erin Jang busted out the most delicious egg scramble with only a handful of Trader Joe’s ingredients."

The cheesy breakfast egg hash of my dreams. Photo by Yossy Arefi for Cup of Jo

Get the full recipe here.

"We do a version of this for camping wrapped in the TJ’s ‘Tortillas del Comal’ and tinfoil," one reviewer writes. "We grill them on the camp stove or over the fire in the morning. Instead of pancetta, I use ground turkey sausage with Italian seasoning, caramelized onions instead of scallions, and habanero hot sauce instead of salsa, no avocado. I defrost the hash browns but otherwise don’t cook them and I spray the tinfoil with a little canola oil spray."

Do you have any Trader Joe's hacks? Share them in the comments below!

Photos and quotes used by kind permission of Cup of Jo, where this recipe originally appeared. For more unsponsored grocery-store love letters like this one, click here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.


StudioBenvenue April 29, 2023
Omg why are people so grumpy?? I love Eric Kim AND Cup of Jo, and it was nice for him to surface this easy hack which came across my radar again due to Insta. Thanks Eric for generously posting this.
Dr. Y. April 26, 2023
My favorite hack is making Tejal Rao's Cheesy Pan Pizza (NY Times recipe) with TJ's pizza dough (preferably the herbed one), pizza sauce, and four cheese blend. It's a great recipe but very labor intensive, since you make the pizza dough from scratch. Without all the yeast/dough business the recipe comes together in no time, and it's fantastic. Highly recommend.
aunty P. March 11, 2020
Try the soy chorizo instead of pancetta. I bought some on a whim and am in love. It's guilt-free and vegetarian-friendly.
marilu October 9, 2019
Mm, can’t wait to try this! Almost like chilaquiles and a breakfast diner high-fived together. What’s not to love?
Danielle August 15, 2019
Using the term “hack” loosely, eh? We used to just call these: recipes
ezachos October 9, 2019
Right there with you, Danielle. I would call the TJ's items "ingredients" and why was done with them "cooking," as in "following a recipe." In what present-day universe is buying shredded cheese or chopped pancetta a hack?
FrugalCat August 14, 2019
I refer to Joanna as my "internet friend" and adore the recipes on her blog. I often make something like this with sausage crumbles instead of the pancetta.
Eric K. August 15, 2019
That sounds yummy.
epicharis August 11, 2019
The only "hack" here I see is the blatant SEO thirst (linking the recipe in question three separate times, plus two additional links to the original site). In this 224-word post, exactly half is quotations from the original page, and all three of the pictures provided are taken from the blog.

I don't understand. What made F52 so compelling in the first place was the excellent recipes and beautiful photography in a simple, easy-to-read format. Now all the recipes are buried under sponcon and sales and pseudo-content like this, which does a disservice both to devoted readers and smart writers.
Girlfromipanema August 11, 2019's changed. Which is fine. But what is disconcerting is the founders just hiding behind this saying "sometimes people get restless...". I don't know why this makes me angrier than other sites commercializing (see: Serious Eats), maybe it is the lack of transparency.
Eric K. August 11, 2019
Hi Epicharis, I appreciate your feedback and will keep it in mind for future posts. For me, it was a quick, fun link share on a Sunday morning.

For what it's worth, a post like this is the opposite of SEO, as search engines hate duplicative content. But I found a delicious Trader Joe's thing that I thought F52 readers would enjoy, and it happens to live on another likeminded blog that I personally love and read every day. Though this is NOT sponsored, I did get permission from Joanna Goddard to link to it and use her photos as well, and I've updated the post's language to reflect that.

Thanks for being a devoted reader!
Eric K. August 15, 2019
Danielle, you and me both.
NancyFromKona October 9, 2019
Thank you for passing this along. What might have helped your dedicated readers would be a little more leg work. Believe it or not, many of us have no access to TJs: all those who live in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. That is quite a few people. Fortunately Cup of Jo’s piece has pictures of the products some of which we can see the amount they contain. My habit of printing something interesting from Food52 to cook later is frustrated here. LOL you have spoiled me...I apparently like to be spoon fed! But seriously, some of us spend a considerable amount of time chasing down ingredients (believe it or not I am just back from hitting the farmers market and 3 grocery stores before finding OMG RADISHES and do not ask me about Delicata squash, broccolini, radicchio, Taleggio, rye flour...) and we need the specific amounts. I do really appreciate a printable version and something to add to my ever growing Food52 cookbook.
Eric K. October 9, 2019
Thank you so much for the feedback, Nancy. I totally hear you and will keep that in mind for next time. :) It's helpful to know that printing recipes is important to you!

And nothing wrong with spoons. They're the best utensil, if you ask me.