We’ve written before about some of the takeout-style food from Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s cousin. We looked at Trader Joe’s fried rice, orange chicken, and spring rolls, and we compared them to similar products from Aldi. Because we can’t resist good American-inspired Chinese food, we decided to venture back to Trader Joe’s takeout section to try some more.
Most recently, my family tried Trader Joe’s Beef & Broccoli.
Trader Joe’s Beef & Broccoli sold for $6.99 at the time of publication for a 24-oz. bag. It’s sold frozen and described as mildly sweet and spicy.
One package has about six servings. One serving has 230 calories, 8 grams of total fat (10% of your daily value), 2 grams of saturated fat (10% DV), 15 mg of cholesterol (5% DV), 410 mg of sodium (18% DV), 31 grams of total carbohydrates (11% DV), 2 grams of dietary fiber (7% DV), 18 grams of total sugars and 13 grams of added sugars (26% DV), and 8 grams of protein.
As one might expect with a frozen dinner, the ingredients are a bit of a laundry list, including items such as carageenan and “binder product.”
For a protein- and vegetable-based dinner, it also has more carbohydrates than I expected, but upon opening the package, I discovered the beef pieces are coated in a bread crumb mixture, which explains it.
The sauce packet has small print stating it’s “spicy BBQ,” but it wasn’t that spicy. The broccoli, by the way, is a product of Mexico.
The dinner contains soy and wheat.
To prepare the Beef & Broccoli, place the beef packet and sauce packet on the counter until called for. You will need 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.
Warm a skillet over medium/low heat. Add the broccoli and stir until warmed through and any excess water has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Increase heat to medium/high. Add cooking oil and heat until sizzling. Add beef and stir until hot and crispy, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the broccoli back to the pan with the beef and rewarm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sauce. Continue to stir until broccoli and beef are well coated and sauce starts to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Serve right away, alone or over rice.
The meal came together easily and my family mostly enjoyed it. One child thought the beef was too tough, but the rest of us thought it was all right. The ratio of broccoli to beef was good, with plenty of meat compared to the amount of vegetables. The sauce was flavorful without really being spicy.
My family thought this dish was better than some of Trader Joe’s other Chinese takeout choices like their orange chicken.
When asked, though, most family members said they still prefer Aldi’s orange chicken or Aldi’s General Tso’s chicken over this Broccoli & Beef. It was a nice change up from the usual, though, and I wouldn’t be opposed to buying it again sometime.
Trader Joe’s Beef & Broccoli is a solid option among the store’s Chinese takeout food choices. It’s flavorful with a nice ratio of broccoli to beef. The beef is coated in a bread crumb mixture, which adds to the carb count in this meal and may appeal less to those on low-carb diets. Otherwise this is a good dinner.