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The One Thing to Buy at Trader Joe's for a Near-Instant Dinner

The best part? It's not in the frozen aisle.

When you spend at least eight hours at work every day, another hour commuting, and have to pick up and drop off your kids on top of it all, coming up with something fresh, filling, and delicious for dinner is a struggle. You don't want to default to frozen foods or ordering in pizza every night, but making something from scratch can seem impossible.

If you're on the hunt for a hearty meal that requires little time, look no further than the meat section at Trader Joe's. See, a friend recently tipped me off to using Trader Joe's shaved beef steak to make Philly cheesesteaks, and it has been a dinnertime game changer.

Truthfully, I never knew what that package of shaved meat was for; but now it's a must-grab on my weekly grocery shopping trips. Philly cheesesteaks are fast, high in protein, and a total crowd-pleaser among kids and parents alike. Here's all the information you need to make Philly cheesesteaks using Trader Joe's shaved beef steak.

four philly cheesesteaks with cheese and peppers

How much shaved beef should I buy at Trader Joe's?

One package of Trader Joe's shaved beef steak is typically a pound, which is enough for four Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

So if you have big eaters at home—or more than two kids—you'll definitely need a second package.

What else do I need?

Besides the beef, all you need is a yellow onion, salt, pepper, olive oil, provolone cheese, and sandwich rolls.

Great, now how do I make the cheesesteak?

  1. Drizzle olive oil into a frying pan and turn the stove up to medium-high heat.
  2. Slice up the onion.
  3. Place the onion slices in the pan and season with salt and pepper, sauteeing until they start to become translucent and brown.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove the onions and set them aside.
  6. Add the package of shaved beef into the same frying pan. Using a spatula, separate the slices and toss them around so that the meat cooks evenly.
  7. As the beef cooks, split your rolls in half and place a slice of provolone cheese on the top half of each roll.
  8. Put the rolls in the oven for five to seven minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  9. When the bread is done, pile the meat on, top with sautéed onions, and enjoy!

How can I change up my cheesesteak?

When it comes to your cheesesteak bread and toppings, don't worry too much about being traditional. Just feel free to cater the sandwich to your family's tastes. Our go-to is sliced provolone on Trader Joe's Classic Hamburger Buns, but this sandwich also works with other cheeses, like cheddar or shredded mozzarella, and any kind of roll or baguette.

If you want to get some more veggies into your meal, top your cheesesteak with greens like arugula or spinach. And for a low-carb take on the cheesesteak, just skip the bread entirely and pile the beef on top of a salad. The added protein will melt in your mouth.

Finally, if you like your food spicy, try adding some Mexican flair to your cheesesteak! Instead of a roll, use a tortilla. Then add melted Monterey jack cheese, black beans, sliced avocado, and chopped-up red onion and cilantro.

No matter which way you slice it or top it, your Trader Joe's cheesesteak will be an instant dinner hit!

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.