Many, many years ago, Trader Joe’s released a Meatless Breakfast Sausage Patties product. Who knows how long ago… Being the intrepid food taster and knowing how Trader’s caters to the vegetarian and vegan crowds, I took it upon myself to review the original Meatless Breakfast Sausage Patties product. Looking at the time stamp on my blog post shows that I reviewed them all the way back in 2014. Way back when my kids were toddlers… my how time flies!
Looking back at my original review, I thought they were OK but not really my thing so I only gave them 6 Bells out of 10. Honestly, I can’t remember what they taste like except that real pork sausage patties blow these vegetable based ones away. Why even bother making a fake meat product like this, just eat something with vegetable protein like beans? But I guess if you have a hankering for breakfast sausage patties, go for it!
Somewhere around the beginning of Covid, the original Meatless Breakfast Sausage Patties disappeared. As usual, there were devoted fans and they got on Reddit to complain. I didn’t even see the discussions until I saw a new bag of these in the freezer the other day did a little research for this blog post and realized they’d been missing from the store for a number of years.
I went back to the old review and compared ingredients and it is a total reformulation of the product, so I said it’s time to do a new review!
New Meatless Patties
When I picked up this package, I couldn’t tell if it was new packaging or a new recipe so I bought one and brought it home so I could look at the ingredients.
If you do a side-by-side comparison of the ingredients, you’ll see there is a fairly big difference in ingredients:
So, I looked at the new product to see what was different and you’ll see the difference right away
The biggest change is swapping the soy protein as the dominant protein with wheat gluten in the old formulation. Then after that things really change. Soy Sauce Powder, oat fiber, fruit juice, sage, fennel, black pepper, sea salt, garlic, and onion powder for the new patties. Both said “Natural Flavors” but the new ones call out the individual spices which didn’t seem to be in the old recipe.
I don’t have an image of the nutritional information from the old recipe but each patty was 80 calories but weighed slightly less. The new ones are 70 calories per patty and have only 3 grams of fat versus 4.5 grams for the old ones. Also, there is a warning on the old package that they possibly Contained Eggs! No wonder it wasn’t labeled Vegan!
Preparing the New Meatless Breakfast Patties
I decided to go old-fashioned and just heated them up in a small pan with some canola oil. You don’t need much because there is quite a bit in patties already. It took a few minutes, flipping them occasionally until they were cooked in the middle and browned up nicely. I could really smell the breakfast sausage spices, especially the sage, and fennel while they cooked.
Trader Joe’s lists four methods to prepare these patties. I took the 2nd easiest. I don’t think I would ever do the microwave. If I needed to make a bunch of them, I would do the oven method. The air fryer is probably the best, but I didn’t want to drag it out for this.
I’ve mentioned this several times on this blog that I am not a vegetarian or even vegan for that matter. I try to eat vegetarian as much as I can and I know how much Trader Joe’s customers appreciate what they do for the Vegan community. Some of these fake meat products I don’t see the point. If you are going completely vegan, there are plenty of choices that don’t involve trying to recreate meat like this. But whatever, it’s a popular product and honestly it tastes pretty good.
If I were to rate these meatless patties on taste alone, I would say they are 90% of the way there to what the pork ones taste like. This new version of the patties tastes much better than version 1. The flavors pop more and seem more integrated and are more authentic than the first version. I don’t think the texture has changed much from version to version and that is where these aren’t quite as good as real meat. I have to give it to the food chemists though, the texture is close enough to real meat that I don’t really care too much.
So, at the end of the day. This is not something I could close my eyes and say I can’t tell the difference between this and real meat, but I think in their own right they taste good! They are filling and obviously better for you than real pork sausage. Also, compared to version 1, these seem better. More complete like they are closer to real meat than the first ones.
I am going to bestow 8 out of 10 Bells on these Trader Joe’s Meatless Breakfast Sausage Patties Version 2!
WATER, TEXTURED SOY PROTEIN (SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE), WHEAT GLUTEN, CANOLA OIL, NATURAL FLAVORS, POTATO STARCH, METHYL CELLULOSE, TAMARI SOY SAUCE POWDER (SOY SAUCE [SOYBEANS, SALT, SUGAR], MALTODEXTRIN), OAT FIBER, FRUIT JUICE (COLOR), GROUND SAGE, GROUND FENNEL SEED, BLACK PEPPER, SEA SALT, GARLIC POWDER, ONION POWDER.
- CONTAINS SOY, WHEAT.