Don’t be surprised if you haven’t seen this dish at Trader Joe’s. I’m sure I walked past it dozens of times before landing my eyes on it last week. I was over in the salad and prepared fresh foods area looking for a salad for lunch and looked down and there it was nestled in between fresh burritos and the turkey meatloaf. Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Rice and Veggies meal! Sounded perfect for lunch.
Ah, but the devil is in the details. On its face, this looks like something I would eat every day. I am a sucker for anything that has chicken and rice and some vegetables from fried rice to butter chicken. If it’s got chicken, rice, and vegetables in it, I’ll probably eat it. I don’t know why I crave it but I do and I am a sucker for these dishes when I see them.
What’s in the Box?
This is a pretty straightforward meal. You’ll find the Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Rice and Veggies meal in the fridge section next to the salads and other foods that only need to be refrigerated. It comes in a convenient plastic clamshell container that is easy to stick in the microwave and heat up. There are two sides the the container. The bigger side has the rice and chicken mixture and the other side has the veggies.
This is super simple to make, you pop it in the microwave for about two and a half minutes and then eat it! But that’s where the fun ends
Tasting Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken and Rice with Veggies
There is a lot to be desired here and maybe I didn’t get the memo on this but this was one of the most bland dishes I’ve had from Trader Joe’s in a long time. While there was nothing wrong with it, there was nothing to write home about either. The chicken and rice medley seem like a good combination but there really isn’t much here. There is a good ratio of chicken to rice. (Most of the chicken is hidden under the rice in mine) But the veggies in the side compartment are just raw.
It says there is kale in the chicken and rice, but as you can see from the image above, there is very little kale. I thought it was parsley at first but went back and re-read the cover and sure enough it’s kale. I really like kale and wanted more.
But the big disappointment in this whole thing is the “veggies”. They are veggies, that’s for sure, but it’s like half a zucchini, a big ring of red onion, and a whole little yellow pepper. Sure there are grill marks on the vegetables but in 2.5 minutes these veggies were not cooked. I had to take the chicken and rice out and nuke the vegetables again for a couple more minutes until they were cooked a bit. BTW, I know there are some people out there who like big chunks of red onion but not many.
My Final Thoughts on Trader Joe’s Chicken and Rice and Veggies
Clocking in at a whopping 360 calories (I’m joking here) and it’s not enough for even the smallest people. I could literally eat two of these for dinner. The biggest disappointment was the vegetables and the lack of cooking and flavor. If there was a sauce or something. I might even grab some curry sauce from Trader Joe’s and douse this dish with it before I cook it just for some decent flavor.
All in all, I am only going to rate this 6 out of 10 Bells. It’s really a hard pass from me!
BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN BREAST WITH RIB MEAT, RICE MEDLEY (COOKED BROWN RICE [WATER, BROWN RICE], COOKED RED RICE [RED RICE, WATER], COOKED WILD RICE [WILD RICE, WATER]), WATER, ZUCCHINI, YELLOW SQUASH, BELL PEPPER, RED ONION, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, CHICKEN BASE (CHICKEN MEAT WITH NATURAL JUICES, SALT, CANE SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, YEAST EXTRACT, ONION POWDER, CORNSTARCH, GARLIC POWDER, TURMERIC, CELERY JUICE CONCENTRATE), GARLIC, EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL, LEMON ZEST (LEMON PEEL, WATER, CITRIC ACID [ACIDIFIER]), RED WINE VINEGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, SALT, KALE, CULTURED DEXTROSE (CULTURED DEXTROSE [TO PRESERVE], MALTODEXTRIN), BLACK PEPPER, DRIED OREGANO, GRANULATED GARLIC, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.