Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken Review

Trader Joe's Kung Pao Chicken

We’ve been making our way through Trader Joe’s stir-fried chicken offerings for a while now, and every time we think we’ve covered them all, another one pops up. It’s like stir-fry whack-a-mole. Today, we’re tasting the Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken.

A while back, some of our vegetarian staffers tried the Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower, and they loved it. So the carnivores on the Freezer Meal Frenzy staff were eager to dive into the feast that is the Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken.

As you can see from the picture below, some assembly is required.

Trader Joe's Kung Pao Chicken

The package contains a bunch of chicken, a packet of veggies, two sauce packets, and a packet of peanuts. We stir fried ours, but you can also use the microwave. (You can see the full cooking instructions in the package scans at the bottom of this article.)

The chicken is fantastic. It’s a savory dark-meat chicken that’s juicy and loaded with flavor. And Trader Joe’s was not stingy about this chicken portion — we’d estimate that chicken is about 75% of this meal.

Now, you could add this chicken to just about anything and it would be incredible, but the choice of sauce here is phenomenal. It’s a soy ginger sauce that sizzles in the pan and sings in your mouth. It also has some spice to it — we found our sinuses to be rapidly clearing once we started eating this.

Trader Joe's Kung Pao Chicken

Then there are some roasted veggies in the mix as well, including onions, green and red bell peppers, water chestnuts, and fried chilis. Those chilis, by the way, are full peppers — they aren’t diced at all.

To top it all off, there are peanuts in the mix. We’re not a huge fan of this portion of the meal — which is really just a personal preference — but we added them anyway because we wanted to try this exactly as Trader Joe’s intended. Keep in mind that since the peanuts come in a packet, you can simply choose to not add them. The next time we cook up some Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken, we’ll probably skip the peanuts.

The package claims there are four servings in this bag, and we disagree. If you eat this with a good helping of rice, we think you could feasibly split it in two. If you eat it on its own, it’s not unreasonable to think a person could finish off the whole bag in a sitting. (The image we posted earlier shows the full bag in a dish so you can see exactly how much it ends up being.)

One serving weighs in at 240 calories (90 from fat) and 690 mg of sodium. That means a half bag has 480 calories (180 from fat) and 1,380 mg of sodium. Even worse, the full bag has 960 calories (360 from fat) and 2,760 mg of sodium. Oooof!

The Trader Joe’s Kung Pao Chicken isn’t the leanest meal on the market, but it sure is tasty. Though it’s a bit more finicky to cook than your typical frozen meal, this one is definitely worth it.

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

Trader Joe's Kung Pao Chicken
Trader Joe's Kung Pao Chicken
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5 months ago

The flavor is great.. the chicken is leftover scraps at best. Just about every bite is nothing but disgusting gristle. This has been like this for a few years now. Every time we get another bag hoping we just got an off day one we are proven wrong. It’s gross

3 months ago

This is a staple in my house. 2x a week for sure. I call ahead and order by the case. I’ve been to China about 30+ times and can honestly say it’s is better than any Kung Pao I’ve had there or here in US. Great with a piece of steamed Naan bread.

2 months ago

I had this Kung Pao Chicken for the first time. It was by far the best packaged stir fry food I have eaten! I have purchased similar products many times. I was disappointed every time. Congrats to Trader Joe’s for a great product!

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