Trader Joe’s Vegetable Bird’s Nests

Trader Joe’s, which is a cousin to Aldi, has some fascinating, sometimes strange, and often delicious products in its freezer aisle. If you’re looking for creative ways to eat your veggies, TJ’s also offers some good options in the frozen section. I’ve found rainbow cauliflower, mushroom medleys, and Mexican style corn at Trader Joe’s. They’re all good for stashing in my deep freezer to save for evenings when I need quick and easy veggie side dishes.

One of the frozen veggie selections I purchased during a recent Trader Joe’s shopping trip were some tempura vegetable bird’s nests. These feature sliced onions, carrots, and kale formed into small tangled “nests” that are then coated in crispy tempura batter. They come with a soy dipping sauce to make things even more interesting.

My family loves tempura shrimp, and I’m fond of the tempura seaweed snacks Trader Joe’s sells, so I thought these would be good to try as a side dish one night. We also like vegetable pakora at a local Indian buffet, and while that’s different from tempura vegetables, I thought the concept of crisp, batter-covered vegetables would be similar enough that even some of the picky eaters among our taste testers would like the bird’s nests.

Trader Joe's Vegetable Bird's Nests

Trader Joe’s Vegetable Bird’s Nests cost $3.99 for a 10.5-ounce package at the time of publication. Each box contains eight pieces, with three pieces constituting one serving. That comes out to about 39 cents per ounce or about $1.60 per serving.

The package describes these as “tempura vegetables with soy dipping sauce.” They are vegan and are a product of Thailand.

Trader Joe's Vegetable Bird's Nests

Nutrition information, ingredients, and cooking directions. (Click to enlarge.)

If you’re looking out for allergens, these contain soy and wheat.

Ingredients for the bird’s nest include onion, tempura mix (wheat flour, cornstarch, baking powder), salt, glucose, beta carotene (color), riboflavin (color), soybean oil, water, carrot, and kale.

Ingredients for the soy dipping sauce include soy sauce (soybeans, wheat, salt), sugar, glucose, modified tapioca starch, and yeast extract.

One box contains about 2.5 three-piece servings. One serving with sauce has 230 calories, 12 grams of total fat (15% DV), 1.5 grams of saturated fat (8% DV), no cholesterol, 570 mg of sodium (25% DV), 27 grams of total carbohydrates (10% DV), 2 grams of dietary fiber (7% DV), 8 grams of total sugars, 6 grams of added sugars (12% DV), and 3 grams of protein.

The back of the box has directions for baking, frying, or air frying these.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place bird’s nests on a baking sheet on the center rack in the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes on each side or until golden and crisp.

To fry, preheat cooking oil to 350 degrees. Submerge bird’s nests in the oil and fry for 3 minutes or until golden and crisp.

To air fry, preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees. Place bird’s nests in a single layer in the air fryer and heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

To serve the included dipping sauce, defrost the sauce packet in warm water and pour the sauce into a small bowl.

Trader Joe's Vegetable Bird's Nests

Ready to serve after air frying.

I air fried these in my 6-quart Aldi air fryer, and they all just fit in the fryer tray in a single layer. They were done after about 8-9 minutes.

These came out nice and crisp on the outside edges with soft, tender veggies inside. They contain a lot more onion than any other vegetable, which gives them a vibe that is somewhat similar to onion rings but not quite the same. If you don’t like onions, you’ll want to skip these. The carrot and kale are there, but they’re in much smaller quantities. I love onion rings, so this wasn’t a problem for me.

My husband and I both liked these, especially with the included soy sauce for dipping, which helps to juice up the flavors. Our kids didn’t care for these, which meant more for the grownups. I would definitely buy these again.

The Verdict:

Trader Joe’s Vegetable Bird’s Nests feature onions, with a few carrots and some kale, coated in a crispy tempura batter with a packet of soy sauce for dipping. These are great in an air fryer (although you can also bake them) and they come out crunchy on the outside with tender veggies on the inside. The adults in our household liked these very much, and these will probably land in our shopping cart again during a future Trader Joe’s shopping trip.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at

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