Vegan at Trader Joe’s

Vegan at Trader Joe's
So the other day I stopped by the new Trader Joe’s here in town – just for one item, as you can clearly see. I was actually in need of cream cheese & sour cream, but all I found was vegan cream cheese. And then I found…
-Mozzarella-style Shreds
-Chickenless Crispy Tenders
-Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
-Meatless Meatballs
-Soy Chorizo
-Tikka Masala
-Strawberry Frozen Dessert

Trader Joe's Vegan Chickenless Tenders
First I went for the chickenless tenders. I was in a hurry to get ready for a night out, so I simply put them in a pita pocket with sauteed veggies and covered them with mustard. I love mustard. I’m pretty sure these are a store brand version of Gardein. They have the same texture and taste, but for a $1 or so less 🙂 They get nice and crispy on the outside, but stayed tender and juicy on the inside. In sandwiches, there’s enough here to feed two.

Trader Joe's Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
Later I cooked up the mandarin orange morsels with nothing but sauteed onions & garlic. This is a pretty big portion for one, but if you added rice and more veggies you could easily feed four. The sauce is good, not too sweet. Definitely something I’d have again.

Trader Joe's Vegan Soy Chorizo
I sauteed the soy chorizo with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, then added my Pasta Zero and let the flavors cook in. Towards the end I added a handful of the mozzarella-style shreds. The chorizo is pretty spicy, but has a good flavor. I’m not a huge fan of the shreds – they’re just like (and maybe are) Go Veggie shreds in that they melt down into a sticky puddle that kind of sticks to your teeth. This is not good on pizza or nachos unless you make sure to completely cover the cheesy puddle with toppings. It does work well for things like bean dip, though.

Trader Joe's Vegan Meatless Meatballs
We had a bottle of Hawaiian BBQ sauce in the fridge that no one liked. I spiced it up and added minced onion & garlic, then simmered the meatballs for about 10-15 minutes. They were perfect. I could’ve eaten them just like that, but I made a little sandwich since I’m so fond of carbs. You could also do a traditional meatball sub with marinara sauce, and even use those shreds if you melt them down in the sauce.

Trader Joe's Vegan Cream Cheese
Lastly, I made these little pickle appetizers as a midnight snack one night when there was nothing else in the house. The cream cheese is definitely not my favorite. It has a weird taste, I’m not sure if it’s soy or coconut coming through, but it’s unpleasant. Luckily I had these dill pickles with a strong garlic taste, and they helped cover the strange aftertaste of the cream cheese. With the saltiness of the crackers, it was good enough. I would not like it plain on a bagel. I added salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and dried dill to it and although it was better, it still had an aftertaste. I don’t think I’ll buy it again.

The tikka masala frozen dinner was very good, but I didn’t get a good picture of it. I also didn’t take a picture of myself eating the strawberry ice cream straight out of the carton 🙂

I know I still have a lot stuff to try. What are your favorite vegan items from Trader Joe’s?

16 thoughts on “Vegan at Trader Joe’s

  1. No way! I was going to do a vegan at Trader Joe’s post sometime soon! Great minds think alike. 🙂
    Their vegan cheese is my favorite, and I ADORE their vegan vanilla ice cream. I’ll have to try their strawberry since their vanilla is so good, creamy, and vanilla-y!
    Thanks for the warning about the vegan cream cheese- thanks to this review I know to skip it! I wonder… would it still be okay in baked goods? Did you try it in baked goods? Or as a frosting?
    I really liked the tikka masala too. It was a quick and easy dinner. Their fried rice with edamame (in a plastic package) is good. I also LOVE their whole wheat edamame dumplings. SO GOOD. All of your Trader Joe’s meals look delicious!
    And someone at TJ’s gave my mom a list of vegan products one of the first times she went shopping there. Here’s the online version of the list! http://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan
    Thanks for a great review! I can completely relate with going to the store to get one thing and coming out of the store with an armful of things. Yay food!

    • I haven’t tried the cream cheese in baked goods, that’s a great idea – almost anything tastes good once you load it with sugar!! Haha. And thank you so much for the link to the list. Since I ate nearly everything in only a few days, I’m due back for another shopping trip! I can’t wait to see your review and see what awesome stuff you find. It’s always SO busy in there, it’s hard to get a look at everything!!!!

      • Let me know if you try it in baked goods! Great points- sugar DOES make everything better, and it is hard to get a good look at everything at TJ’s because the store is always super crowded! I guess it’s good it’s crowded since it means that it will never go out of business?? 🙂

  2. No way! I was going to do a vegan at Trader Joe’s post sometime soon! Great minds think alike. 🙂
    Their vegan cheese is my favorite, and I ADORE their vegan vanilla ice cream. I’ll have to try their strawberry since their vanilla is so good, creamy, and vanilla-y!
    Thanks for the warning about the vegan cream cheese- thanks to this review I know to skip it! I wonder… would it still be okay in baked goods? Did you try it in baked goods? Or as a frosting?
    I really liked the tikka masala too. It was a quick and easy dinner. Their fried rice with edamame (in a plastic package) is good. I also LOVE their whole wheat edamame dumplings. SO GOOD. All of your Trader Joe’s meals look delicious!
    And someone at TJ’s gave my mom a list of vegan products one of the first times she went shopping there. Here’s the online version of the list! http://www.traderjoes.com/dietary-lists/vegan
    Thanks for a great review! I can completely relate with going to the store to get one thing and coming out of the store with an armful of things. Yay food!

    • I haven’t tried the cream cheese in baked goods, that’s a great idea – almost anything tastes good once you load it with sugar!! Haha. And thank you so much for the link to the list. Since I ate nearly everything in only a few days, I’m due back for another shopping trip! I can’t wait to see your review and see what awesome stuff you find. It’s always SO busy in there, it’s hard to get a look at everything!!!!

  3. Love Trader Joes! So thrilled our new house is just about 10 mins away (good distance considering it’s CA, USA). I felt the same way about the shreds, we skip them each time even though I would love to have a more cost effective option besides Daiya. Ah well… We love, love, love the peanut butter pretzels from TJ’s – they are vegan. Other than that I would highly suggest the sprouted whole wheat breads.

  4. Love Trader Joes! So thrilled our new house is just about 10 mins away (good distance considering it’s CA, USA). I felt the same way about the shreds, we skip them each time even though I would love to have a more cost effective option besides Daiya. Ah well… We love, love, love the peanut butter pretzels from TJ’s – they are vegan. Other than that I would highly suggest the sprouted whole wheat breads.

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