The pros: Trader Joe's Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken is a filling and good salad option where the calorie count isn't too terrible.
The cons: You'll need a spare plate to dig out the dressing or at least to mix the dressing in.
The verdict: It seems like the refrigerated section is finally getting the makeover it so badly needs at Trader Joe's. That's a good thing for people like me and use the grab and go options to save time. Finally, there seem to be an increasing number decent options available. Best of all, most of them seem to be 500 calories and under. I can't say the same for the grab and go wrap options.
Here you have a large 11 ounce salad. It has the added bonus of protein through chicken, hard boiled egg, and cheese. All things I would reach for at a salad bar if given an option. You have a wide variety of tastes and textures as well. This did not feel like eating what my father would call, "rabbit food." You have lettuce, corn, tomatoes, but also some green beans. Each bite felt different from the previous. I did not feel like I was eating the same monotonous bite of dressed lettuce
However, unlike the Banh Mi Bowl, this salad is packed tightly into its container. When I photographed this, I wondered to myself, "where is the dressing?" It was firmly tucked into the side of the salad. It was tucked to the point where I pulled it out and emptied a decent amount of lettuce on the counter. Not an terrible thing to have happen at home. At work, this would be a messy proposition. Even when I got the dressing out, I had no way to making sure it was evenly spread throughout the salad.
The dressing says it is a dijon dressing, but for me it tasted far more like a creamy peppercorn dressing. The mayo base and vinegar came through the most along with the strong taste of peppercorns. Fortunately, the container had enough dressing to lightly cover this container. The packet does add another 200 calories, so some health conscious people may opt to cut back on the amount of dressing. The dressing isn't overly thick and is more on the thin and runny side.
For $4.49, you could easily make this at home with a few simple ingredients. But that isn't why you would reach for this. Odds are, you are stretched for time and want something sensible. Eating a salad out can sometimes be the most calorie laden item on a menu without even realizing it.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe's Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
Out of the package you get:
Would I buy this again? Trader Joe's Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken can easily be made at home with a bit of meal prepping, but as a grab and go option it wasn't bad either. I'd consider buying it again.
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!