Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl Review

Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl

The Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl is something we’ve been meaning to try for a little while now. We spotted it on the Trader Joe’s website, and we’ve been curious about how it tastes ever since. Unfortunately, we can only eat so much food, so we’ve been letting this one sit in the back of our freezer for a couple weeks now.

Well, today is the day of reckoning, folks! Today we’re going to try the Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl in all its garlic and glory.

First off, this is pretty easy to cook no matter how you go about it. The package includes instructions for both microwave and oven heating, and we went with the microwave to save ourselves some time. We did have some trouble removing the plastic from the top of the bowl, as the glue Trader Joe’s used here is relentless. Aside from that, though, we thought this was a cinch to make. (If you want to see the full cooking instructions for this frozen food, check out our package scans at the bottom of this article.)

Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl

Holy mackerel, Trader Joe’s wasn’t kidding when they added the word Citrus to the title of this dish! This thing is loaded up with orange juice concentrate and lime juice, giving every single bite a tart yet sweet flavor. It’s surprisingly overwhelming when you take your first bite, but it’s not a bad flavor at all. In fact, once you’ve gotten past the initial citrus shock, it’s actually quite lovely.

The chicken here is specifically thigh meat, which means it’s darker and a bit denser than your standard chicken breast meat would have been. This is actually a great choice, as white meat would have gotten lost in the citrus flavor, while the darker meat tends to underscore it instead. The meat portion is surprisingly generous as well.

We didn’t notice any big chunks of plantain, but we could definitely taste them — we assume they’re sort of mashed into the rice. We do love plantains so this is quite a treat. And then there are some black beans, which tend to be a really good complement to plantains.

This is not a spicy meal by any means. There are hints of garlic and ginger, but there’s nothing here that would scare away spice-ophobes.

One bowl of this stuff contains 400 calories, which is a bit higher than what we’d typically call a diet food. However, the sodium is actually a bit lower than average for a frozen food, at 540 mg. It’s still not a small amount of sodium, but it’s less than you’d normally expect to find in a frozen meal.

The Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl is a Caribbean-style treat that’s loaded up with citrus flavor. The ingredients here are high-quality, and the flavor profile is really great. While we don’t eat a lot of Cuban food, we do have a fondness for Jamaican food (there’s a Jamaican restaurant just a few blocks from the Freezer Meal Frenzy office), and this is definitely in the same ballpark.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this Trader Joe’s frozen food, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl
Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl