Friday, February 19, 2016

Trader Joe's Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger

This is a new item at Trader Joe's; see the company's description of it here.

If veggie patties are divided into two groups--those that try to be a convincing meat substitute and those that do not--the nature of these puts them in the latter category, despite TJ's use of the word "burger" and depiction atop a hamburger bun. Nothing about the taste and texture suggests any attempt to fool the consumer into thinking this is ground beef, or even an imitation thereof. You will be left with no doubt that this is, basically, chunks of vegetables glommed together.

Whether that strikes you as a good thing or a bad thing will, of course, depend on your preferences and expectations. I didn't care much for them, even accepting them on their own terms instead of as a meat substitute. They reminded me of the Vegetable Masala Burgers, to which my reaction was similarly unenthusiastic.

I've had two so far. The first was plain, on a bun, which I tried both with and without pickle slices. It was better with. The next day, I went full-burger on it, and added pickles, cheese, and ketchup. I liked that better. But it seemed quite clear to me that the reason I liked it better was that I like pickles, cheese, and ketchup, rather than because those extra elements somehow enhanced the inherent flavors of the patty.

Will I buy it again? 

No. For a faux hamburger, I'll stick with MorningStar and Boca. For a patty that is proud to be its own thing rather than fake ground beef, I'll stick with TJ's Pizza Veggie Burgers.

Nina's View

I've now eaten a whole package's-worth of these on my own. They should never be put on a bun, as they are quite starchy on their own. Ideal prep involves a quick low-power heating in the microwave, followed by browning in the pan.

I find they make a nice contribution to an unconventional breakfast (instead of hashbrowns). I serve them with an egg over easy on top and a couple of strips of vegan bacon. YUM!

I wish TJ's would stop marketing these things as "burgers" (same with the Indian-style ones) and just call them patties.

PS: Do not follow Bob's example and get the "pizza-flavored" veggie burgers. They are vomitous.


  1. The thing is with veggie burgers -that aren't the faux meat kind- they're usually better for non burger meals, ontop of a salad, or in a taco.
    I liked these well enough but i like a more firm texture- strangely very little heat to them

  2. I had this in a wrap with spinach and apples. Delicious. I'll have a hard time topping it with the next one I heat up...

  3. I made lettuce wraps with the veggie burger, added some brown rice and cauliflower rice with cabbage slaw and some TJ peanut dressing.