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