Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice Review

Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

Trader Joe’s doesn’t always knock it out of the park with their Indian meals, but they do have a few that are very, very good. Their Korma Fish Curry with Basmati Rice, for example, is a champion among frozen Indian food. So when we picked up the Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice, we were definitely hoping for a home run. The “Authentic Indian Recipe” stamp on the box really sent our expectations soaring.

The cook time on this meal is no slouch. If you opt for the microwave, you’ll want to stick this in and run the defrost cycle for five minutes, then cook it on regular for four minutes. That’s nine total minutes of cook time, which we find to be unusually high for a microwavable meal.

We also found the film on top of the tray to be difficult to remove. That’s one of our pet peeves when it comes to preparing frozen food. Why can’t all frozen food film be simple to peel off? it would save us a lot of steam-burned fingertips.

Once you get all that busywork taken care of, you’ll find a steamy hot Indian meal waiting for you. Here, the chicken and the rice are separated into two portions in the tray to keep the chicken from spilling into the rice until you’re ready to eat it. While these portions are definitely meant to be eaten together, we do appreciate being able to mix them on our own terms.

Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

The chicken is a white meat that’s a little dry on its own, but it has a decent flavor to it. Of course, neither the dryness nor the flavor matters all that much, because the chicken comes drenched in a spicy tomato cream sauce. The sauce is the real star of this show — it has a great flavor and just a bit of kick, though we didn’t find its taste to be quite as potent as the Korma Fish Curry.

The rice is exactly what the package states — it’s a simple basmati rice that’s not really there to add any flavor. It serves as a nice bottom layer for this meal. While we wouldn’t want to eat a whole serving of this on its own, we think it does its job in this particular meal. There’s not quite enough sauce to cover all the rice, and the barrier between the sauce and the rice is pretty high, so at some point, you’ll likely have to either eat the rice plain or toss it. We decided to eat it. It’s not bad; it’s just a little bland and weirdly watery.

This meal has far fewer calories than we were expecting, at just 270 (60 from fat). The Korma Fish Curry, for comparison, contains 380. The sodium here isn’t bad either — this has 450 mg of sodium, which is fairly low for a frozen meal.

Trader Joe’s Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice will kill a craving for Indian food without loading you up with calories. Of course, we do have to say that the Korma Fish Curry is the superior meal. The fish is more tender than the chicken, and the curry sauce is richer in flavor than this tomato cream sauce. So if you’re looking for flavor, go with the Korma Fish Curry; if you’re looking to cut some calories, try the Butter Chicken instead.

If you want to learn more about the nutrition info or ingredients in this Trader Joe’s frozen food, check out our package scan below.

Trader Joe's Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice