As promised, I'll alternate the sweet and the "actual food" reviews here. Yes, there is some real food that is hitting shelves. But don't get too attached this item as it is seasonal. Or if you are into it, then this is your cue to stock up.
This is one of three actual food items that Trader Joe's has added only temporarily to the frozen aisle: Harvest Spaghetti Spirals, Organic Delicata Squash, and this casserole.
Now, that raised a question in my mind while eating this. What exactly is a casserole? I came up with a vague definition in my research of a dish that is cooked in an oven over a long period of time.
And when I tried this it reminded me of Mac and Cheese as that is technically a casserole as well. And I'm not talking about the boxed kind. The real homemade with love kind. This is basically Mac & Cheese without the Mac. So the calorie bomb that is Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese can be made healthier by the substitution of Spaghetti Squash. Yes, eating each of those trays will set you back approximately the same number of calories, but this is way more filling.
This item is better in the oven than the microwave, but it depends on how much time you are willing to put into things. The oven way will set you back nearly and hour, while the microwave will take about 10 minutes. Yes, this I've had four times now, so I've tested things both ways.
If you are willing to wait you will be rewarded with a deliciously crisp crust on top that adds a layer of texture to this. The breadcrumbs were still reasonably crisp out of the microwave all things considered. It does a better job of the sauce combining with the squash out of the oven too.
There are fewer cheeses in this than a typical Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese. This is parmesan and cheddar. But you get the same comforting vibe.
No matter, if you enjoy the hearty goodness of a mac and cheese but don't want the added calories of the pasta, then this is a good find.
For $4.99 this serves two people in the real world. It's no low calorie side, but it is a tasty one.
Would I buy this again? Yes, I've bought a few more. Just in case. Because you never know.
On a fun side note, today is International Podcast Day. If you don't know what a Podcast is, then it's basically a self hosted radio show put out into the internet. I was interviewed over the Summer on a Podcast called BFF with the Chef. So if you've ever wondered why Trader Joe's isn't in my website name, I answer that question in the Podcast too.
The box of Trader Joe's Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole:
Out of the package you get:
After being cooked you get:
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!
Trader Joe's Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Product Name: Trader Joe's Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Product Description: Spaghetti Squash in bechamel sauce with a cheesy crust.
An easy side dish of main course that has a mac and cheese goodness to it.
- I've purchased this three times
- Easy way to consume veggies
- Has a mac and cheese like creamy goodness to it (minus the mac)
- Based on the directions, mine didn't quite get as golden brown on the picture. Some broiling might be required.
- Seasonal item