Officially Addicted

October 23rd, 2013 · 41 Comments · Vegetarian

Quick post today to let you in on some breaking news: I am officially addicted to Trader Joe’s frozen Vegetable Masala burger. How do I know it’s official? I bought a 4-pack on Saturday and they were all gone by Monday. The count: One for Andy in between soccer games on Sunday; one for me for a quick work-from-home vegetarian lunch on Monday; one for Phoebe’s afterschool snack a few hours later; and one last night, for a standing-at-the-counter dinner after coming home late from Luisa’s panel with Deb and Amanda. (Can you say Dream Team?) I bought a pack on a whim a few weeks ago after tasting a sample — I’m such a sucker for those samples — expecting the usual over-spiced, mysteriously textured veggie burger. Instead, I couldn’t believe how subtle and natural the flavor was — and how small (and recognizable) the ingredient list was. Did you guys know about these? And if so, pray tell, WHY didn’t you enlighten?

I like to eat my Masala burger in a pita topped with a mixture of plain yogurt and coriander chutney (Swad brand, found at any Indian grocer).

Related: Mastering the Weekly Shop; My Trader Joe’s Hit List; Packaged Dinners You Can Feel Good About

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41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 molly yeh // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

    those are SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD. i used to go to trader joe’s every week, and now i live like a thousand miles from the closest one. i’ve recently found sunshine burgers at the local market and those are a close second to these!

  • 2 Molly // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Ooh, I forgot about those! Yes, so good! I could never quite figure out the best way to serve them though (ketchup and a hamburger bun didn’t quite cut it), but I love your idea.

  • 3 Jenny // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Yes, and if you can’t find the coriander chutney, you can just use fresh cilantro and maybe mix a little cumin, salt, and pepper into the yogurt. So good.

  • 4 Christiane ~ Taking On Magazines // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Every time I see a vegetable burger, I think of the football commercial that’s out right now; ‘Is that a loofah?’ But, to find one that is tender, tasty and healthy? Now that’s too cool. I need to check these out.

  • 5 Alisa // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:35 am

    So funny…I just bought these yesterday on a whim. Can’t wait for lunch now!

  • 6 A Life From Scratch // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Woohoo! I’m always looking for new Trader Joes ‘must haves.’ Thanks for the tip!

  • 7 Dani Crichton // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I eat mine on toasted nan with mango chutney–YUM!
    An aside: I was already so disappointed to miss the panel at NYU last night, now to learn that you were there as well. :( Boo hoo.

  • 8 Kelsey // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

    We’re addicted to their regular veggie burgers, haven’t tried these yet but I’ll throw them in the cart next time I’m at the market!

  • 9 Mary // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

    What is on the ingredients list? I’m curious to see if they could be recreated at home…

  • 10 Reynaul // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Oh man! I cant’ believe I hadn’t tried these! I must have missed that sample day @ TJ’s. I am a sucker for those samples too, I always end up buying the item that they sample! :-) Going to pick these up tonight! Thanks for a great find!

  • 11 Kim // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Those are a staple in our house as well. Even the toddler loved them from a young age. I will have to try them your way, thanks for the idea.

  • 12 Eloise // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

    The veggie breakfast sausages are always on my shopping list — these look pretty great, too.

  • 13 Regina // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Agree! Great quick meal! I haven’t bought these in a while so thanks for the reminder! You might enjoy this post; it’s a review with lots of suggestions in the comments with different ways to prepare them: http://www.whatsgoodattraderjoes.com/2012/05/trader-joes-vegetable-masala-burgers.html

  • 14 Amy in VA // Oct 23, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Will have to add these!
    The shumai are a guaranteed dinner for both of our small humans. Amazing.
    TRY the chocolate croissants, the frozen ones you leave on the counter overnight. Bake in the morning and it’s not Paris but it will do.

  • 15 Abbe // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

    It was so nice to meet you last night at the panel. Thank you, again, for posting about it – I would never have known to go!

  • 16 Jesse // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

    i’m obsessed with those! i always top each bits with a good forkful of greek yogurt.

    oh and: http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2013/10/nutella-stuffed-pumpkin-french-toast.html

  • 17 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    WHAT???????? How did I NOT KNOW about these??? Going asap, going today!

    In other TJ news, have you tried the Blondie mix? I resisted for a long time, thought it was would be dry and blah. they are AMAZING, you must must try.

    TJ’s 4-EVER!

  • 18 Michele // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Have you tried the Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger? TJ’s sells them also. They don’t taste/feel like a veggie burger…but like real food. I like them on a roll or english muffin with hummus and red onion.

  • 19 Lisa Clarke // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I am right there with you on those burgers! I sometimes will have them on a potato roll, but as good as that is, it feels kind of wrong. I’ve actually taken to eating them with no bread or accompaniment at all. Finger-food style. I am so glad to have your serving suggestion – I never thought of pitas. Now I can’t wait for my next trip to TJs!

  • 20 Emily S // Oct 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    You were at the Luisa/Deb/Amanda event, too? Man, that’s like four of my favorite food bloggers in a room together. How lovely.

  • 21 Libbstriss // Oct 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    These are also killer with a fried egg on top–one of my favorite lunches!

  • 22 Chris B. // Oct 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Oh yea, these are the best. We enjoy them on a multi grain bun with raw red onion, tomato, cilantro sprigs and mayo. Heaven on a bun!

  • 23 Daisy // Oct 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Try them with a fried egg on top! Delicious :)

  • 24 Randi // Oct 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    The vegetable masala burgers are my absolute favorite! Add a little avocado, lettuce and tomato and I’m a very happy camper.

  • 25 Elaine // Oct 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This looks very yummy. We JUST got a Trader Joe’s here in Austin too….I hope they have it! I would really like a Pekora burger, but the prep time for that is re-DONKulous! Hopefully I can snag these when the Trader Joe’s opens up!

  • 26 Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living // Oct 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I love Trader Joes, and I’m addicted to their frozen food isle. Veggie burgers usually send me running in the other direction, but these look delicious! What would you substitute for the coriander chutney?

  • 27 Kelsi // Oct 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I used to work at TJ’s, and these would often star in my early AM breakfast/post shift lunch….I think they have a pretty heavy hash-brown texture (there’s lots o’ potatoes in these) and less veggie burger, and they are pretty delicious with a poached/fried/soft boiled egg and top and a little squirt of Sriracha.
    Also on top of a kale salad is good too.

  • 28 Rita // Oct 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    So, I wonder if it would work for a lunch at work? I need the expanded DAL, which encompasses dinner, sometimes with a toddler, and includes making leftovers in lunch the next day, that feels better than a leftover. And maybe how to make trader joes lunches that don’t lead to weight gain? Or do I give up and eat out? Ugh, I’m overwhelmed.

  • 29 mary // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I think I had the same tasting and bought a pack but haven’t tried them yet. Now you’ve inspired me to open the box’

  • 30 Allison // Oct 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Love these! They have been my go-to veggie burger ever since I first discovered them. I love them with mashed avocado on top.

  • 31 alpa // Oct 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I love these too! For some reason the last two times I went to my TJ’s in Chapel Hill, they didn’t have them. That’s the one thing about TJ’s- they get you hooked on an item and then they will stop carrying it. Ughhhh! However, I have two new loves there- the soy chorizo and their habanero tortillas. OMG!! So good! I saute the soy chorizo and make a wrap with the habanero tortillas.

  • 32 Ada-Marie // Oct 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for the review – can’t wait to try these!!

  • 33 Elizabeth Grant Thomas // Oct 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I have been eating these for years, and proselytizing about them for just as long. I eat them a couple of times a week, and they are super versatile — just this week I made a wrap with the cut-up patties, slathered with your leftover peanut sauce from the Peanut Noodles recipe, shredded carrots and cabbage, and pickled onions. Delish!

  • 34 Sam @ The Second Lunch // Oct 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Ditto with the fried egg – I also will often crumble these and add to salad, or crumble and use as a base to a hearty egg scramble.

    Now, if only they still had the Trader Joe’s tomato chutney that they cruelly discontinued. Grumble.

  • 35 Alana // Oct 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’m always looking for blogs that will give me plenty of ideas. My friend just told me about “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook (also a blog). I just “Liked” his page. He dedicates November for all Thanksgiving ideas. I was hoping I may find some things on your blog this season too. Alana

  • 36 Meghan // Oct 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Oh yeah, good stuff. Next time you’re at TJ’s, grab a jar of the mango chutney and throw a spoonful of that on top! I’ve also cooked it in the AM and tossed it in my bento box for lunch at work. Even delicious cold.

  • 37 Kathryn // Oct 25, 2013 at 11:38 am

    We make a totally non-Indian Indian dinner using these and the vegetable biryani mix from TJs. Cook rice mixture and whatever other veggies we want to add for a few minutes in a big frying pan. Move it to the side of the pan and cook one of these patties, eventually breaking it up with the spatula and mix in together. Move it to bowls, fry an egg in the same pan to slide on top. Serve with plain yogurt and/or hot sauce. Maybe takes 10 min.

  • 38 Kristin // Oct 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    How have I missed these?

  • 39 lena // Oct 29, 2013 at 1:31 am

    so excited to try w. tj’s naan bread. thanks

  • 40 Mommy Lisa // Nov 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

    First my daughter tells me about Cilantro Vodka – now I find out there is coriander chutney? I am always behind.

  • 41 Grace // Nov 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    They look like a, well, pre-prepared version of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pav_Bhaji which aren’t very hard to make from scratch! Mmm.

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