Every now and again, I have to clarify that I've bought some products more than once for the sake of testing them. If you buy Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo, please read through my review, because I have to be honest, I wasn't loving this product the first time around. Odds are you might think badly of this product too.
Making this correctly
Because I followed the directions on the package.
Plus, I trusted that the end product would actually look like the bag.
So let's hit on a couple key points. First, chilaquiles as a food isn't the easiest dish to take a good picture of. It just isn't a beauty contest contestant. But nonetheless, the picture on the bag looks pretty darn impressive.
But there is quite a bit of food styling that has taken place. And they certainly didn't follow the directions on the bag.
Clearly they strained any excess liquid and styled the picture on the bag to look more like some delicious nachos. And nachos are not chilaquiles.
Now, the first time I made this, it looked like tortilla soup. The directions have you adding 4 ounces of water to the sauce while only cooking it down for 2 minutes. And 2 minutes just isn't enough time to cook down much of anything.
If you add water it will come out looking like tortilla soup. Plus, the addition of water just doesn't add any flavor.
So, completely unimpressed with it, I nibbled on it and let the rest go. Fortunately, I had purchased a second bag. If I hadn't, it would have shifted this review totally.
As a home cook, I knew something looked way off when I was stirring in the chips.
The second time around I omitted the water. It became a totally different look and taste. It just doesn't need the added water.
By omitting the water, you end up with a thick sauce that allows the chips to maintain their texture longer. Now, as the bag hints to, you'll probably want to add certain things to this dish. You might want some hot sauce because this is a mild to non-existent heat.
You might also want some added grilled chicken because the emphasis here is on tortilla chips.
If you are wondering if these tortilla chips are soggy, they're only as soggy as you let them get. If you want them crisper, then dump them in, coat quickly, and serve immediately. If you like them softer, then let them soak up the sauce a bit more.
And if you follow the directions on the bag, they'll be soggy by the time you are ready to sit down with them.
So while I was wishing for a bit more chicken, and yes a bit more cheese, all of those things are easily fixed at home.
If you are thinking about taking this for lunch, then just heat the sauce and the chicken and veggies together. Place that in a microwave-safe container and leave the chips and cheese until the last minute when you have heated up the sauce mixture.
For $4.99, your feelings on this might vary depending on how you make it. If you follow the directions on the package, you might find yourself disappointed. However, by omitting the water, you'll get something much closer to a real chilaquiles. But realistically you could get 2 lunches out of this bag.
Would I buy this again? If I had only followed the directions on the package, then I would not have bought Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo a second time. Because I tinkered with the directions, this is worthy of a repurchase.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The bag of Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo:
Out of the package you get:
After being cooked you get:
By omitting the water you get a much more appetizing dish that looks like this:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
Don't forget to share your thoughts by going to the "user review" at the bottom of the box (click on the number of stars you believe this product deserves) and leave a comment below.
Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo
Product Name: Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo
Product Description: Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo is a new frozen entree.
Trader Joe's Chicken Chilaquiles Rojo is a new frozen entree but may require some tweaking.
- By omitting water, it was flavorful and looked more like what was on the bag.
- Dish was filling and serving size was reasonable.
- Directions seem off with the addition of water
- Would like more chicken and cheese
- Quite a few plastic bags used here