Product Review: Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tacos

Trader Joe's No Gluten Ingredients Used LabelI love these Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tacos. One thing I don’t exactly like is their way of designating them “No Gluten Ingredients Used.” To the paranoid side of me, this means that they don’t think there’s any gluten in there, but they aren’t testing and maybe don’t really know. Is that paranoid? I should call them and find out what they really mean.

OK so let’s talk about the tacos. One thing that becomes very obvious the minute you open the package is that these babies don’t really look much like what’s on the box. The box makes it look like there’s cheese and chunks of chicken, and that the tacos were stuffed and then maybe baked by the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free elves. So here’s what the box looks like. See those hearty chunks of chicken and identifiable pieces of grated cheese?

Trader Joe's Mini Chicken Tacos

Here’s the real thing, waiting to go into the toaster oven.

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Mini Tacos

You can pull these babies open and what it really looks like is chicken and cheese stuff in there with some tomatillo salsa. Here are the ingredients:

Filling: chicken leg and breast meat, green chilies, crushed tomatillos (tomatillo, citric acid), contains 2% or less of: gelatin, modified corn starch, onions, green chili puree (green chili and citric acid), jalapenos (jalapeno peppers, salt, acetic acid, calcium chloride), chicken base (salt, maltodextrin, detrose, modified corn starch, sugar, yeast extract, dehydrated onion, corn oil, spice extractives including turmeric, natural smoke flavoring, citric acid), vinegar, salt, flavoring, water, cilantro flavor (dextrose, modified corn starch, extractives of cilantro), dehydrated bell pepper & cilantro flakes, guar gum.
Tortilla: corn flour (corn masa flour, trace of lime), water, modified potato starch.
Fried in vegetable oil (canola and/or soybean)

The ingredients confirm what my eyes see. It’s basically chicken with tomatillo salsa. Each serving contains 250 mg of sodium, which is pretty good for Trader Joe’s. Once again this is a product where we can’t really fool ourselves: It’s processed. On the plus side, they’re really fast and they’re delicious! You have to dress them up, though. We eat them with plenty of salsa and either sour cream or yogurt.

Trader Joe's Mini Tacos

As I said at the beginning, I love these tacos. Sienna really likes them too. They are something like having awesome nachos and are fun to eat. For me, I can overlook the maltodextrin, modified corn starch, processed foodie kind of thing going on for flavor like this.

This review was done to be part of What’s for Dinner? Wednesday, hosted by Linda at Gluten-free Homemaker.

We want to know: Seems like this isn’t a great item for people who are eating gluten-free to be healthy. For someone who is gluten-free and wants to eat something delicious that’s easy to make, these Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tacos hit the spot. How do you feel about processed foods? How about that curious “No Gluten Ingredients Used” label? Let us know in the comments.

Times we have visited: 4 (we feel confident about our score.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same

Comments

  1. Great review. Isn’t it interesting how processed food never quite look like the picture? Overall, they look like a pretty good product though.

  2. I’m all for eating processed food occasionally. When you need something quick, it’s probably healthier and cheaper than fast food. Thanks for the review. I don’t get to TJ’s often,but I’ll look for them next time.

  3. It is so helpful to have quick meal ideas. Thanks for the review. Did you notice I tagged you a while back? I didn’t get around to letting everyone know, things have been crazy!
    Jessie at Blog Schmog

  4. Okay, that was dumb! I did not in fact tag you, but I will if you want! Ha ha! Lol, I had a brain lapse! Sorry eek must be mom brain and a lack of coffee.

  5. Processed food…I don’t eat anything that comes prepared in a box. This is not because I am a militant food nazi; it’s because when I first went gf and sugar-free 6 years ago there wasn’t much out there. And most boxed foods have some form of sugar. Over the years I got used to eating how I eat today. I don’t miss any of the boxed foods anymore. I am all for quick and easy, though. Great review!!

  6. Jessie – We like being tagged for things. Go ahead and tag us.

    Amy – We’re kind of low-key about our food enforcement mostly, but yeah, we try not to buy things with ingredient lists longer than our arms.

  7. I’ll have to look for these, they look tasty. I think these would make a good appetizer for a party. Thanks for the review.

  8. As much as I love prepackaged foods, I think I will have to pass on these.
    As a Celiac who is very sensitive to gluten contamination, “no gluten ingredients” tells me that they could very well be processed in a facility that handles gluten and does not have good separation practices. I’ve been bit too many times to try that without learning more about how they are made.
    -Otmar

  9. I tried these a few weeks ago, with the hope that I could trust the “no gluten ingredients used” tag but, alas, it was not to be. They’re convenient and tasty, but I had a very bad reaction to them and my boyfriend inherited the rest of the box. So, consume with caution!

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