I’ve eaten my way through most of the Indian, Korean, and now the Chinese selections at Trader Joes. Just about all of them were excellent. If you enjoy Chinese food and don’t mind messing a sheet of parchment and a mixing bowl Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken might be for you. For the price difference I would be hard to justify not to. Where else can you get a serving of Chinese food for about $1.25? You’ll still have to add something to this dish to make it a meal. It needs either rice or some stir fried veggies to complete it….
Trader Joe's Product Reviews
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The Pros: Trader Joe’s Beef an Broccoli is a tasty and cost effective as compared to going out. Be ready for a bit more spice than traditional beef and broccoli.
The Cons: Can’t be done in the microwave. You will need to do some “cooking” on this. Calorie count is reasonable, but it’s also easy to eat the whole bag too.
The Verdict: …
Bacon has evolved since I was a kid. I remember looking forward to Saturday morning cartoons and not having to rush through breakfast. And oh yes the bacon. As an adult either my taste buds have changed drastically or bacon isn’t the same. I’m going to blame the bacon. When I had Trader Joe’s Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon, I was taken back to my childhood. For $4.49 it was a fair price for what you are getting.
The pros: The taste. Trader Joe’s Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon is the most bacon-y bacon I’ve had since I was a kid. I’ve been getting by on Costco bacon. This blows that out of the water. This is now the only bacon I’ll buy. Thick cut.
The cons: 12 ounce package. This is “snack” sized in my household. My household is 2 people so if you are cooking for more than that please keep this in mind.
The verdict: …
I absolutely adored Trader Joe’s Molten Chocolate Macarons. I dream about them. With vanilla ice cream to cut through the deep luscious chocolate. If I’m not buying a variety pack, the mango, or the pumpkin, I’m buying the big chocolate ones. Because at Trader Joe’s I can afford to be affluent like that. At $2.99 for 2 giant macarons Trader Joe’s Salted Butterscotch Macarons are a pretty good deal.
The good: Two large macarons that act like a lava cake but….
The bad: Salted butterscotch filling that reminded me of burnt caramel. Not what I hoped it would be. In fact I ended up scraping it out and just eating the cookie to not waste the cookie.
The verdict: …
Trader Joe’s has one of the largest selection of Indian cuisine I’ve seen in any mainstream supermarket. So it’s been fun to experiment before I step foot into an Indian restaurant to compare them to the more authentic experience. I just want to avoid sounding like an idiot walking into one. I’d also want an idea of what I’d like too. So it’s been a pretty good adventure so far. The Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala and Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala have been my favorite. So I figured I’d expand my horizons and give Trader Joe’s Vegetable Biryani a whirl.
The good: Three or so minutes in your microwave and an Indian lunch/dinner is ready for you to enjoy. Veggie dumplings were quite tasty. Decent calorie count if you are watching those types of things.
The bad: rice had a strong curry flavor to it, but I felt like it needed just one more element to complete the dish like a sauce.
The Verdict: …
Pizza used to be a cheap thing from the local pizzeria. Now, pizza in the surrounding area can now set you back close to $20 a pie. On the other end of the spectrum, if you catch a good sale at the supermarket you can get a personal sized pie for $1. Trader Joe’s Pizza Greco Roman is $3.99 and for that you get 2 pies. So we are looking at about $2 per pizza here. So here is the breakdown of what you get:
The Good: A solid choice in the freezer section of Trader Joes, thin crust, good amount of toppings. Personal pie size.
The Bad: No microwave on this one, but maybe thats a good thing. Sitting down and eating 1 pizza is 3 servings so keep that in mind.
The Verdict: …
I love coffee. I’m the only coffee drinker in my household so my Keurig is a treasured item. The Trader Joe’s Coffee box makes it clear that it is compatible with K-cup machines so I decided to try it. One of the main complaints about the original k-cup design was the fact that it was very wasteful and not recyclable. Trader Joe’s Coffee.
Cups Medium Roast is more of an improvement on that element. However, if you keep countertop storage of your k-cups, you really can’t utilize it here. The K-cups are kept in a plastic zip top bag as Trader Joe’s eliminated much of the plastic involved. For $4.99 for 12 cups it’s an ok value. Anyone who uses K-cups knows you are paying extra for coffee, you are paying for the convenience….
I’m not vegan nor am I vegetarian. I’m skeptical at best when it comes to those items as far as taste goes. So I picked up Trader Joe’s Vegan Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels. I’ve had Morningstar Farm’s “chicken” burgers and they weren’t bad. So I gave this a shot. What it is “chicken” thats been battered and fried the way you would get in a Chinese restaurant. It was completely surprising to me that it was very good. You might even be able to sneak it past a regular carnivore without them knowing. It wasn’t as thick as a regular nugget, nor was it as moist, but when you cut it open it does look like chicken. So here is what you get for $2.99…
Trader Joe’s Baconesque Popcorn is like a mullet. Business in the front and party in the back and makes no sense whatsoever. This is popcorn that looks like regular popcorn, but just when you think there is no bacon flavor, it hits you. For a bacon flavor I was astounded to see an “OU” on the bottom front. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this label, it means that it is Kosher. For those of you who require further explanation, Kosher and Bacon don’t mix. But some how a strong bacon flavor comes through. It also mentions the OU-D which means there is no meat in this product which on the surface means that this is a crazy oxymoron. But it’s tasty. So here is what you get:…
Carbs for some people no good. For some of us we can polish off a whole plate of rice when it is presented to us. So an an effort to cut calories, I picked up this bag to see if it was any good and if it can replace rice in a dish. I know Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower can be used for a number of other things, but I’ll let the readers comment on their best uses of this product. For only 25 calories per serving and $2.49, it was worth a try….
Summer doesn’t last forever. But the flavors of summer should. Fresh fruit is one of those classic summer flavors. The mango flavor in Trader Joe’s Mango Macarons were bright and refreshing. This flavor has been in Trader Joe’s for a while, so hopefully it will stick around. Here is what you get for $4.99 per box.
The pros: These are a solid choice in the freezer section. They are seasonal. The entire package is the same flavor
The cons: If you do not enjoy the flavor of mango, then reach for the Macaron Variety Pack or the Chocolate and Vanilla package.
Now that the calendar officially says Fall, you perhaps are craving some of the more comforting items that are so familiar. Trader Joe’s Chicken Pot Pie Ravioli takes ravioli and brings a comforting seasonal filling to the mix. It reminded me of Chicken a la King rather than chicken pot pie. The main difference being the crispy pie crust was not there. It was definitely worth a look in the refrigerated section. So here is the breakdown of what you get:…
Craving chocolate and crunch at the same time? Love chocolate lava cake and pillowy soft macarons? Look no further than Trader Joe’s Molten Chocolate Macarons. You get two large macarons that go into your microwave. It’s the taste of a large macaron and a center that will remind you of a chocolate lava cake….
Trader Joe’s is so good about expanding the culinary horizon beyond what you find in the traditional supermarket. If you’ve ever been in a Trader Joe’s, keeping most items stocked is a challenge even for the best run store. Some days you can find an item, some days you can’t. In the freezer section, next to the Indian entrees was something I hadn’t seen before: Bibimbap. If you have no idea what this is, it’s a Korean dish with beef, rice, and veggies. I’ve never had it elsewhere so I have nothing to compare it to. So here is what I had while enjoying Trader Joe’s Bibimbap Bowl…
Too lazy to go out for Mexican food? Just want snack food but want to actually feel full? Trader Joe’s Black Bean and Cheese Taquitos has got a winner in the freezer aisle.
Just promise you won’t make this one in the microwave. Taquitos should be served crispy. Make sure you have some awesome sides for this. Salsa, guacamole, or sour cream would all compliment this. But you’ll have to provide that. The box just has taquitos in it. So here is the run down of what you get for $3.69….
I’ve reviewed a number of things at Trader Joes. If there is a testimony to how much you like something, it’s how often you repurchase something. Trader Joe’s Sriracha Potato Chips are something I keep buying every time I see it.
The chip aisle is one of the busier aisle in the store. Only the freezer aisle is harder to navigate. Within the chips are odd ball flavors with some more familiar offerings mixed in. Now, I know Sriracha is one of the “hottest” flavors (popularity of it being thrown in everything, not actual heat). This one achieves a unique balance….
I’ve reviewed other Trader Joe’s Gnocchi such as Trader Joe’s Gnocchi alla Sorrentina and Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter and Sage (which for the record is my absolute favorite). So being unable to find my favorite flavor that I had purchased the week before, I picked up the Sorrentina and this one, Trader Joe’s Gnocchi alla Gorgonzola.
Gorgonzola is similar to blue cheese, just an Italian variation. So I was curious by this one. I found this to be completely confusing flavor, but my husband loved it. If you like a gnocchi alfredo with the subtle taste of bleu cheese this is likely for you. Blue cheese of any variety has the potential to overwhelm any dish, but that was not the case here. It was enough blue cheese to muddle the alfredo flavor.
So what do you get for $2.99?…
Odds are if you grew up in America with a time pressed parent or grandparent, you may have been served something very unique: Beef Ravioli from a can. While not terrible tasting as a kid, as an adult you may crave that beefy goodness but desire something more complex like a truly fresh pasta. If you are looking to elevate your Chef Boyardee cravings than look no further than Trader Joe’s Beef Bolognese Ravioli. For $3.49 you’ll get about a dozen ravioli so plan accordingly. You may find that you can easily polish off this box all by yourself and want leftovers for the next day.
Betty Twist: I can only imagine how amazing these would be fried. Just saying. And planning. And goal setting….
Even breakfasts can be a lazy event for me. I want something filling and not something that will cost me an hour workout later in the day. If you enjoy oatmeal in the morning and enjoy the texture of a risotto you’ll probably like Trader Joe’s Frozen Steel Cut Oatmeal. For $1.69 you are paying for comfort of knowing oatmeal with texture (unlike instant oatmeal) is ready in under 4 minutes or less. There is no way to get steelcut oatmeal ready in that amount of time. It’s still less than what you might pay at your local McDonalds and for far less in the calorie count. Don’t let the picture on the package fool you either, you’ll have to add your own brown sugar and fruit if you so choose to….
Sometimes I actually buy items from Trader Joes that aren’t in the freezer section. Fresh pasta is absolutely awesome, but is messy and sometimes can be time consuming at home if it is stuffed with anything (think ravioli). Well, Trader Joe’s Perline Pasta and Prosciutto has had some staying power and food good reason, for $2.99 it is much cheaper than what you will find in the same section of a mass market grocery store….
Once again, it was Sunday night and I did not pack lunch. A quick run to Trader Joe’s (and about $100 later) meant that most of the freezer aisle had long since been cleared out. So I sought out the refrigerated section for something responsible for lunch. Trader Joe’s Southwest Salad is what I stumbled upon:…
This is one frozen entree that is frequently unavailable is Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer. I wasn’t sure what to think of it just looking at the package. I’ve enjoyed their other Indian dishes such as the Trader Joe’s Vegan Tikka Masala, Trader Joe’s Lamb Vindaloo, Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken, Trader Joe’s Chicken Tikka Masala and my personal favorite the Trader Joe’s Paneer Tikka Masala Review. What I enjoyed most about the Paneer Masala was the Spinach flavored rice and the Paneer itself. This one is called Palak Paneer because Palak means Spinach. Can this dish be supplemented, yes, the back of the box give you recommendations to serve this with rice. Being that this is my lunch I’m having it without, but I’d highly recommend this with rice….
It’s the season where everything is coming up pumpkin. If you go to Trader Joe’s they sneak pumpkin into just about everything so you end up trying just about everything. So in looking for ravioli the other day I came across this in the refrigerated aisle and figured I’d try it. Trader Joe’s Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli is definitely something worth looking at if you enjoy a good butternut squash ravioli….
The pros: Trader Joe’s Alfredo Sauce is one of the better alfredo sauces on the market. For $3.29 it is a bit higher priced than other brands like Prego when on sale at the supermarket, but the premium is worth it.
The cons: Is it as good as homemade alfredo? Heck no. There is no comparison. It seems to always be on the bottom shelf out of sight. It deserves to be more visible.
The verdict: …