The pros: Trader Joe's Wine Country Chicken Salad has large chunks of chicken, cranberry, celery and walnuts with some poppy seeds sprinkled in for some subtle texture.
The cons: The balance in this product seems wrong. There was too much mayo and the chunks of cranberries were left in huge chunks.
The verdict: For $3.99 you are getting over 11 ounces of chicken salad. The chicken salad itself contains large chunks of moist chicken. So while I approve of the chicken, there are some other issues with this salad.
You'll also get large chunks of celery and a healthy sprinkling of poppy seeds. The poppy seeds are there for some subtle flavor and not so much texture. There was not much in the way of pecans. It was a struggle to find many in here.
And this product was probably about a quarter cranberry. While some cranberry was appreciated to add some acidity to this product, there was way too much of it. There was a lot of mayo, but the mayo also seemed sweet. The pecans were very small and hardly noticeable.
All in all, it had some good potential, but the execution just wasn't there. It needed more chicken, and pecans. It also needed less mayo and small pieces of cranberry. There is just a serious balance issue here. While I think the flavors work, the balance does therefore, I won't repurchase Trader Joe's Wine Country Chicken Salad.
The container with the nutritional information, the ingredients and allergy information:
When you open the container you get:
Would I buy this again? No. The balance here isn't what I like.
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!
That's pretty much how I make chicken salad for picnics, but with the proportions that you state. The photo doesn't make it look at all appetizing. Cranberries and pecans is a great combination, though. I use it frequently.
Thanks Judilyn! I couldn't agree more
I'm really enjoying your reviews!
Enjoy your reviews as ever, not surprised that it's sweet with cane sugar listed twice in the ingredients and honey. I'd give it a wide berth as it would give most people a wide girth!
Amy B says
Before they reformulated this, it was much better. It wasn't as saucy and the nutritional information was much healthier.
That's good to know. Thanks for sharing this information Amy.
Pete V says
I'm trying to pick my way through one right now and It's disgustingly sweet - hard to imagine anyone enjoying this.
The math is a little funny on the label pictured in this post - I think it's been updated since. Total weight 326 grams (11.5 oz), suggested serving size 113 grams (1/2 cup). 350 calories per serving. If one were to eat the entire container - and it's not a large container - that would be like drinking more than seven 12-ounce Coca-Colas.
Hey Pete! It's possible they might have changed the recipe on this since the last time I posted the review. Unfortunately, I disliked this item so much I'm a bit reluctant to go back and retry it. Thanks for the update!
I'm super late to the party, but I just tasted this chicken salad for the very first time today! I'm bummed because it was way too sweet and saucy for me, and I detected a strange aftertaste reminiscent of caraway seed (even though it's not in the ingredient list). Don't get me wrong, I like caraway, but it threw me off as I wasn't expecting it here.
This item wasn't my favorite either. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to stop by and share your thoughts on this!