Trader Joe’s Penne Arrabbiata Review

Trader Joe's Penne Arrabbiata

We love penne arrabbiata here at Freezer Meal Frenzy. In fact, Lean Cuisine has a fantastic version of it that we’d call one of the best meals in the Lean Cuisine frozen food lineup.

But today we’re trying out another brand’s take on this Italian dish, the Trader Joe’s Penne Arrabbiata. This is actually labelled under the Trader Giotto’s sub-brand, which is really just the Trader Joe’s way of saying this is an Italian dish.

There are two ways you can cook this: in the microwave or on a stovetop. We opted for the stovetop version, because it’s actually pretty quick and easy. Simply preheat a pan with some olive oil in it, then dump the package into the pan and stir it for about six or seven minutes. Then it’s ready to serve!

Trader Joe's Penne Arrabbiata

We really like the frozen chunks of sauce in the package. They simply melt into the meal while you’re heating it, and they don’t make a mess. This is a really brilliant way to make a frozen pasta dish work, and we tip our hats to the ingenuity of Trader Joe’s for this.

The sauce has a very tomatoey flavor, as opposed to your traditional marinara sauce, which usually has a sweeter taste to it. That’s because this is a very simple sauce, mostly made up of tomato juice, water, and tomatoes. The simplicity actually works in the sauce’s favor here, because it’s not bland at all. Plus, there’s a little bit of spice to it, which comes courtesy of a small dose of chili pepper.

Trader Joe's Penne Arrabbiata

According to the package, one bag contains three servings, though we’d argue that it seems more like two. The picture above shows our serving size, which was about half the contents of the package.

So one serving has about 180 calories, meaning our serving contained about 270. Even a full bag only comes out to 540, which isn’t a lot considering you probably won’t be able to eat that much. That’s a pretty hefty amount of food.

People have recommended adding some leafy greens to this, such as spinach or kale. While that sounds pretty good, we think you might be better adding a protein. As is, a serving of this only has 5g of protein, so a whole bag only has 15g. You could really up the protein level — while upping the flavor level — with a good Italian sausage, some edamame, or even some nuts.

The Trader Joe’s Penne Arrabbiata is a simple dish but a good one. While you can always add some extras to pep it up a bit, we think it tastes great just as is.

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

Trader Joe's Penne Arrabbiata

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Jacque Pizzo
Jacque Pizzo
4 months ago

Trader Giotto’s Arrabbiata Penne is the best pasta sauce I’ve ever eaten in or out of a restaurant or a home; and I’m 100 per cent Italian!

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