Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice Review


Trader Joe's Butter Chicken
Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken

Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken is one of those products that has been chugging along for many, many years. It is a perennial favorite among loyal Trader Joe’s fans. I originally reviewed this product all the way back in 2012 and thought it was time to revisit it since it’s still hanging around and Trader Joe’s doesn’t seem inclined to kill it off any time soon. Trader Joe’s has been on a serious Indian food kick for some time as witnessed by the huge amount of Indian food items. I applaud that because I like food from all over the world. Indian food seems to do especially well at Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken looks like the perfect, take it to work, and stick it in the microwave type of lunch. Not sure it would fill me up for lunch, maybe I’ll bring some Naan bread to soak up the sauce and fill me up! I’ve had an Indian food craving for quite some time and I applaud that! I am a huge fan of authentic Indian food and eat it whenever I can…

Trader Joe's Butter Chicken Back
Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken Back
You can clearly see this is a Product of Canada by the logo at the bottom right hand corner of the front of the box. I’m not sure why they would make it in Canada, except that it’s frozen and shipping frozen food halfway around the world from India would probably be cost-prohibitive. Most of the food they get from India is either canned or put in a jar or comes in those pouches that you boil in water which is essentially the same as sticking it in a can or jar. I love the curry sauces that Trader Joe’s sells too.
I reviewed another Butter Chicken product a while back (and was discontinued many years ago) and that one comes from the fridge section and is probably made somewhere in California. I liked it well enough and gave it 8 bells. This is quite a bit different from that one without. This one doesn’t have any squash or spinach, which I found to be quite nice. This one is just sauce, chicken, and rice. 
Trader Joe's Butter Chicken Frozen
Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken Frozen`
It’s frozen so you have to take it out of the box and ever so delicately, cut a hole in the plastic cover to vent the steam. First, you defrost for a few minutes, then you cook on high power for a few minutes. The kitchen instantly started to smell like an Indian restaurant and it smelled goooood!
I pulled it out of the microwave and let it rest for the prescribed minute or two then pulled the plastic back. I had two choices, either I ate it separately, or I scoop all the chicken and sauce onto the rice, which is what I did eagerly! There is a bit of a dance you need to do with piping hot rice and butter chicken to either get it into a bowl or flip the butter chicken side up onto the rice side. You can wait it out until it cools, but my preferred method is to take the rice out and then the butter chicken and stick them in a microwave safe container together and then microwave them.
I quite enjoyed the flavors! They were deep and satisfying without too much heat. I know some of you are heat addicts and can’t get enough, and I like my fair share but not too hot is fine with me. 
As I said, it wasn’t quite enough to fill me up but the price is right. The only issue I had with the dish was that when I got down to the bottom of the rice, it was quite runny. I don’t know if the sauce had separated or there was leftover water from the rice but it was a little bit of a turn off so I am marking it down a point for that. I might even heat it up with the plastic off so it evaporates some of the water.
All in all quite enjoyable! Not quite as good as the other Butter Chicken from the fridge section but if you want something quick and Indian to eat for lunch or dinner, this is something you might want to check out.
I’m going to rate this Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice 7 Bells!

Heating Instructions

MICROWAVE (1000 Watts):

  1. Puncture film with a fork to allow steam to escape.
  2. Cook on high for 7 minutes or until heated thoroughly.*
  3. Carefully remove hot tray.
  4. Let product stand 1 – 2 minutes. Remove film, stir gently and serve.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F for 10 minutes.
  2. Puncture film with a fork to allow steam to escape.
  3. Place tray on baking sheet in center of oven.
  4. Cook for 25 minutes until heated thoroughly.*
  5. Carefully remove hot tray from the oven.
  6. Let product stand 1 – 2 minutes. Remove film, stir gently and serve.

* An internal temperature of 165°F should be reached.



chicken and sauce: chicken, water, crushed tomato, cream (milk, cellulose gel, carrageenan, cellulose gum), canola oil, onion, spices, salt, modified corn starch, garlic, ginger, butter (cream, salt, may contain annatto for color), sugar, fenugreek leaves, citric acid. cooked basmati rice: rice and water.

trader joes butter chicken nutrition


  1. Good value, I find it better tasting, and a heartier meal then the Tikki Masala at Whole Foods for $5.99. Now if Trader Joes only had Microwaves for customers like Whole Foods does so I can eat my meal at an outside table.

  2. Butter chicken is NOT supposed to be spicy at all! I’ve eaten it many times at many different places, and it’s never been spicy. I tried 2 bites 30 minutes & 8 oz of water ago, and my mouth is still burning!

    • I don’t know why Trader Joe’s does this sometimes… Some of their Indian and Asian food is so spicy I think they are trying to compensate for something and this is from a guy who spent 2 years living in Thailand!

  3. I bought this item per a recommendation from an employee, that he liked it more than their orange chicken. It was absolutely disgusting. The chicken was dry, the rice was gross. Never again.

  4. Why did the calories per serving suddenly change? They used to be 270 per serving now they jumped to 400 per serving. The size of the box didn’t change .

  5. It’s changed over the years. It’s watery. Bland. It’s like a soup. No flavor. I just bought five and it’s not edible. I enjoy the lamb vindaloo way better.

  6. Just tried this. Cooked exactly as prescribed, seven minutes with a few holes poked in the plastic film. Film came off easily. The rice was dry, in a cake. I folded the chicken part over and dumped it on the rice and stirred it thoroughly, Rice soaked up the sauce and became edible. Flavor was a surprise because I did not expect it to be curry. No curry mentioned on the package. Butter Chicken does not sound like it should be a curry. I consider this misleading. It was edible, flavor too spicy. Not really much chicken but it was reasonably good. This is a low cost product so I didn’t expect much. Got a decent mean out of it but the curry was much too strong and doesn’t belong there.
    I buy a fair amount of stuff at Trader Joe’s, they have some quite good products and some awful ones. I will not buy this again.

  7. Not bad for a quick meal, though it was fairly light on the chicken. Had a bit of a bite, spice wise, just about right. No cilantro was a big us for me!

  8. I was disappointed that it was two thirds rice, and one third chicken and sauce. While the flavor was acceptable, I’ve made better myself.

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