Last Updated on August 15, 2019
We eat a lot of Indian food in our house, and we are big fans of several of Aldi’s Regular Buy and Special Buy Indian offerings. We especially like to eat samosas, which are only available occasionally from Aldi. However, Aldi’s cousin store, Trader Joe’s, sells samosas all year, so I picked up a box of each variety.
Many people are convinced that Aldi and Trader Joe’s sell the exact same products but just under different brand names and in different packaging. We have not seen that play out in our own experiences. In this instance, Trader Joe’s samosas are uniquely different from Aldi’s samosas, both in taste and in terms of calories and other nutrition factors. Let’s take a look:
Trader Joe’s mini samosas come in two flavors: vegetable and chicken. Both are a product of Canada.
To prepare the Trader Joe’s samosas, heat a conventional oven to 400 degrees. Place samosas on a lined or non stick baking sheet and bake on middle rack for 14-16 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.
The veggie samosas also include instructions for heating in the microwave: place 4 samosas on a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a damp paper towel and heat on high for 1 minute or until heated through. Let stand 1 minute before serving. I don’t see why you could not also heat the chicken samosas this way.
Trader Joe’s Mini Vegetable Samosas
The veggie samosas are described on the package as “vegetable filling and Indian spices wrapped in a crisp, flaky pastry.” They come in an 8.5-oz. box, with three servings per container.
One serving of veggie samosas is 4 pieces, which nets you 160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, and 20 grams of carbohydrates. One serving contains 20% of your daily value of iron.
(In comparison, Aldi’s mini veggie samosas are slighter higher-calorie at 180 calories for a 4-piece serving, and they have more sodium at 375 mg per serving, along with more carbs at 25 grams per serving.)
Ingredients for the filling are: potatoes, carrots, peas, lentils, onion, expeller pressed canola oil, cilantro, salt, spices, garlic, citric acid, and turmeric [flavor]. The pastry ingredients are: water, unbleached enriched flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, ascorbic acid, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, amylase, folic acid], expeller pressed canola oil, salt, and distilled vinegar.
My family liked the Trader Joe’s veggie samosas. They are mild, and we thought they were slightly less spicy than Aldi’s Special Buy (ALDI Find) vegetable samosas. We also thought they were slightly less flavorful overall compared to Aldi’s veggie samosas. The Trader Joe’s option was not bad, though, and we are not opposed to buying them again, especially because they appear to be available at Trader Joe’s year-round, whereas the Aldi samosas only show up in stores a few times a year.
Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Samosas
The chicken samosas are described on the package as “chicken, vegetables and Indian spices wrapped in a crisp, flaky pastry.” They come in an 8.5-oz. box, with about 6 servings per container.
One serving of chicken samosas is 2 pieces, which nets you 80 calories, 3 grams of fat, 15 mg of cholesterol, 100 mg of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of protein.
(In comparison, Aldi’s mini chicken samosas are 100 calories for two pieces, with 5 grams of fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, about 227 mg of sodium, and less than 10 grams of total carbohydrates. That makes Aldi’s mini chicken samosas slightly higher in calories, cholesterol, and carbs, and quite a bit higher in sodium.)
Ingredients for the Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Samosas filling are chicken, onions, potatoes [contains sodium phosphate], crushed tomatoes, yogurt [milk, modified corn starch, carrageenan, pectin, bacterial culture], spices, cilantro, salt, garlic, ginger, fried onion [onion, canola oil], citric acid, and sugar. The pastry is made of water, wheat flour, salt, and vinegar.
My family enjoyed the Trader Joe’s chicken samosas. Our thoughts about these were similar to our thoughts about the Trader Joe’s vegetable samosas: they were less spicy than Aldi’s Special Buy (ALDI Find) vegetable samosas and also slightly less flavorful. However, they were not bad. Again, the advantage with the Trader Joe’s samosas is that they can be purchased any time of the year.
Trader Joe’s Mini Vegetable Samosas and Mini Chicken Samosas are decent if you’re looking for easy, convenient Indian food you can prepare at home. They are good, but they are not as spicy or as flavorful as Aldi’s Journey to India samosas, yet on the other hand the Trader Joe’s mini samosas a bit healthier when you compare nutrition information.
Many people believe Aldi and Trader Joe’s sell the exact same things but just under different packaging and brand names. In our experience, that is not the case. Products at the two stores can be very different from each other, and these samosas are one example of that. By the way, Aldi’s samosas are Special Buys (ALDI Finds) that are only available a few times a year, while the Trader Joe’s samosas are in stores all year.
You’re lucky to have a Trader Joe’s closeby. The closest one to us is about 18 miles in downtown Chicago, with added costs of parking and taxes. Or, there’s one about 32 miles away with free parking.