Trader Joe’s Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels Review

Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels

Orange chicken isn’t a dish you’ll find on many menus in China. That said, it’s a staple of Chinese restaurants in North America. Now, thanks to Trader Joe’s, vegetarians can enjoy this sweet and savory dish. Their Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels taste almost exactly like Chinese takeout.

When you open up your bag of food, you won’t just find faux chicken. The orange sauce is sealed in its own separate packet. Trader Joe’s recommends placing the sauce in warm water to defrost it. It really works; our sauce defrosted almost instantly.

Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels

This meal can be prepared in two ways: in the oven or on a stovetop. Since orange chicken is usually fried, we opted to cook the dish in a skillet. We used vegetable oil to fry up these morsels, but any cooking oil should suffice.

The morsels have to be heated for about eight minutes before they’re ready to eat. Because the morsels have to be turned over as they cook, you can’t just throw them in the pan and walk away. This meal requires a little more effort than the frozen dishes we usually review.

Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels

Once the morsels are heated up, simply dump the sauce into the pan, stir it all together, then scrape your meal from the pan onto a plate. We found the sauce to be a little thin, and Trader Joe’s provided more sauce than we needed. Thankfully, we were able to fix this problem by combining the morsels with InnovAsian Cuisine Vegetable Fried Rice. The rice we added soaked the sauce right up and gave it a terrific, tangy flavor.

If you don’t have this particular InnovAsian fried rice on hand, don’t fret — we recommend adding another type of rice or some soba noodles. These morsels are tasty, but they’re not designed to be eaten alone. You’ll have to add something else if you want a complete meal.

The texture of the morsels is very similar to the texture of the battered boneless chicken that’s served in western Chinese restaurants. They don’t mimic real chicken perfectly, but they don’t have to. The flavorful orange sauce covers up any imperfections the faux chicken may have. The sauce starts off sweet, but finishes with a tart, citrus-like flavor. A sprinkling of ginger gives the sauce the barest hint of spice. While the morsels are fairly bland when eaten plain, the sauce-soaked morsels are bursting with flavor.

Trader Joe’s states says that the bag contains about two servings. We find that to be fairly accurate, especially if the morsels are being combined with rice, noodles, or some other ingredient. There were quite a few morsels in our bag, and we found the morsels to be extremely filling. To make things easier, Trader Joe’s provides the nutritional content for both a single serving and an entire container’s worth of morsels. If you’re curious, you can check out our package scan at the bottom of this page.

If you’re looking for a quick meal that you can cook in the microwave, Trader Joe’s Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels aren’t what you’re looking for. However, if you don’t mind doing a little bit of prep work, this is the start of a delicious meal for two. Whether you add in some leftover rice or combine this with another frozen dish, this is a healthy and meat-free alternative to Chinese takeout.

To learn more about the nutrition facts or ingredients in this meatless Trader Joe’s dish, check out our package scan below.

Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Mandarin Orange Morsels