Trader Joe’s Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl Review

Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl

Frozen orange chicken bowls must be difficult to do well, because we’ve reviewed more bad takes on the dish than we can count on one hand. However, if anyone can do this meal justice, it’s Trader Joe’s (check out their Mandarin Orange Chicken for evidence of this). So when we spotted the Trader Joe’s Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl, we though we might have finally discovered a truly delicious orange chicken meal.

When we got this home, we were thrilled to learn we could easily heat it in the microwave. Simply pop it in for four or five minutes, thaw out the sauce packet, then mix it all together and you’re good to go. (If you want to read more detailed cooking instructions, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

We have to say we’re impressed with the size of the chicken portion. Too many frozen meals skimp on the chicken; this one gives you a satisfying amount. In fact, we’d say almost half the bowl is chicken. It tastes great too, though we did find it to be just a bit soggy. This wasn’t a problem with the other Mandarin Orange Chicken we’ve had from Trader Joe’s, as that version was cooked on a stovetop and ended up with a nice crisp to the outer layer. This microwavable version is definitely not crispy. Still, it’s hard to complain when the chicken tastes so good.

Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl

Part of the flavor profile is the sauce, of course, and that’s great as well. The orange flavor is subtle instead of overpowering, and it has a lovely sweetness to it. We do wish there were more sauce, though, as the sauce packet here seems a little scant, especially since so much of it ends up getting filtered down to the bottom of the dish.

The chicken is served atop a bed of fried rice, which is pretty decent on its own, but even better after it soaks up that lovely orange sauce. The rice portion ends up tasting pretty darn good, even after you’ve eaten all the chicken out of the dish.

This orange chicken bowl is no lightweight meal when it comes to calories. With 540 calories, you’ll probably want to skip this if you’re on a strict diet. The sodium is surprisingly low for an Asian-inspired frozen meal, though, at 680 mg. We should point out that this is still a lot of sodium, but it’s lower than you’d expect from this sort of meal. This is also a pretty substantial serving size — we suspect that most of the similar meals we’ve tried are about 2/3 this size.

The Trader Joe’s Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl might be the best frozen orange chicken full meal we’ve tasted thus far. Trader Joe’s really knocked this one out of the park. It’s not perfect, as we would have loved a crispier chicken and just a tad bit more sauce, but don’t let that discourage you from trying this out. It’s still an incredible, great-tasting meal that’s filling and easy to cook.

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

Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl
Trader Joe's Mandarin Style Orange Chicken Bowl