The pros: Trader Joe’s Beef Cabbage Rolls are going to be the least pretty thing I’ve photographed in a while. In fact, they reminded me of a certain overused brown emoji. If you don’t like red sauce, then Trader Joe’s skipped that here.
The cons: Directions are microwave only and I do wonder if this would have held up better using a different method. This might not be a good idea to bring to work (more on that in a moment).
I was really excited to see Trader Joe’s Beef Cabbage Rolls hit store shelves. I love stuffed items. Maybe one day we will see some stuffed peppers. For right now, we will have to settle for these.
So let’s go through the negatives here first. Usually, I save these for the end. But this is the order to which I experienced things.
There are only microwave directions. Normally, I like microwavable items, but I’m really really hoping someone out there will be able to come up with some alternate directions.
Now, cabbage is an interesting item. When done right it is delicious. When done wrong, hydrogen sulfide is released into the air alerting all those within smelling distance that something has gone terribly wrong.
Chemical warfare was unleashed after 3 minutes in the microwave.
If you were sharing this with a first date, you can be certain it might be a last date too. If you are married, it might unleash the “Did you just…” “No! It was the cabbage this time” discussion.
If you were making this at work, you will earn the ire of your colleagues. It may even inspire Febreze to create a new fragrance line called burning sage to put the devil in check. Or make you want to get an EMF reader to make sure the microwave is no longer possessed.
In short, that not so pleasant smell of overcooked cabbage came right through in all of its glory. And it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. You have a product that has been cooked, frozen, and then microwaved.
Despite the noxious odor, the texture of the cabbage leaves was a bit lacking. They ran in both directions of mushy and ones that still had some texture to them.
Without the use of red sauce, the aesthetics of this product are lacking. In other words, this product will not win a beauty pageant since they look like brown logs.
So now that I’ve given you the smell and the visual, I’m sure you are dying to know how they taste.
And yes, I ate all of these. There was one thing that was odd about the ground beef. It wasn’t taste; it was texture. The ground beef is ground to the consistency of Taco Bell’s taco meat.
The filling wasn’t bad actually. It was plentiful. The beef was mixed with carrots and onions. The flavor of tomato was there too, but there was also a mild heat as well.
I ended up pairing mine with some of Trader Joe’s Marinara with Barolo wine which seemed to bring it back to the type of cabbage rolls that I’ve had in the past.
For $4.99 these aren’t cheap either. Like a stinky cheese, the bark is far worse than the bite itself. I did eat all of them. But if you can figure out a way to cook these safely, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe’s Beef Cabbage Rolls:
The nutritional information:
The ingredients and how to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
Would I buy this again? I’d be willing to try these again if someone can come up with a way to cook these so that I don’t need to reach for a gas mask. Until then, Trader Joe’s Beef Cabbage Rolls probably won’t end up in my cart again. The bark was worse than the bite.
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!70