Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Review – Next to Kale and Cookie Butter, cauliflower is Trader Joe’s new superfood that they have been pushing on us all lately. I love roasted cauliflower or even grilled cauliflower steaks. It’s a very versatile vegetable that can be reimagined in a variety of ways.
It seems like a few years ago, it became the new kale and it all of a sudden is in everything and Trader Joe’s not wanting to miss the bus decided to put it in just about everything they make. I can’t even name the amount of cauliflower products I have reviewed over the past couple of years but it’s got to be in the dozens by now. If you didn’t know by now, the reason is the low-carb, gluten free, and vegan trends that seem to be everywhere now.
The one thing that sets some Trader Joe’s food items apart from others is that they are made in Italy, France, or Spain. For whatever reason these products tend to be a bit higher quality than counterparts manufactured in the USA. Not sure why, but I’ve seen it countless times. I’m not saying this is always the case, but when I see Made in France or Italy on the package, I know it will be above average. This is no exception. This dish has a Made in Italy printed on it. It also seems to be gluten-free, which is a big plus in a lot of people’s books.
Let’s talk about what this is. It is superficially like risotto in the fact that finely diced cauliflower is replacing rice. Unfortunately, rice plays an important part in the flavor and texture of risotto and it’s hard to replicate with cauliflower and some sauce. If you suspend your idea about real risotto and think of this as a cauliflower and squash dish, it might make more sense. It just happens that the squash sauce makes a thick sauce and kind of binds the whole thing together, but is it “risotto”, not really.
There are two ways to make this and I highly recommend using the stovetop method and not the microwave method. The microwave method makes a soupy mess, the stovetop method allows you to cook down the sauce to the desired consistency. This is important because the cauliflower and sauce are pretty soupy to begin with and as you cook it more it thickens up and gets creamy.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish this time before I ate it all. The dish when you make it at home, doesn’t look much different than the dish on the packaging, which doesn’t always happen. I actually quite enjoyed it.
It was a little weird but if you suspend your belief that this is actually risotto, you’ll probably enjoy this dish too. The cauliflower had a bit of a bite to it that made it slightly chewy, but the sauce and the squash were much better. To make this just a touch better, I suggest you sprinkle some salt and fresh pepper on it. It was not salted properly. Also, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and some grated parmesan cheese brought it home.
Unfortunately, the whole bag is only about 420 calories, not quite a whole meal for me. I’ve seen people add some meat. I think shrimp would probably be the best addition to make it a whole meal.
Was this really risotto? I don’t think so, but was it good? Yes! I’ll give it 8 Bells!
Riced cauliflower (cauliflower, water, salt), butternut squash sauce (butternut squash, water, carrots, pasteurized cream, pasteurized milk, butter, extra virgin olive oil, onion, salt, grana Padano cheese [pasteurized milk, salt, animal rennet, egg lysozyme], grated hard cheese [pasteurized milk, salt, microbial enzyme], spices, garlic, yeast extract, rosemary), butternut squash, parsley.
Serving Size: 1
cup 1 cup = 140g
Amount Per Serving 70 Calories
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 7g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Total Sugars 3g
Includes 0g Added Sugars
Vitamin D 0mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
5 Net Carbs Per Serving