Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales Review

Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales

The last time we were at Trader Joe’s we noticed something curious: The Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales had gotten a swanky new package design. On top of that, the word “Handcrafted” was removed from the title. Does this suggest TJ’s made some adjustments to the recipe?

Well, if you’ve been reading Freezer Meal Frenzy for quite some time, then you probably already know how we handled this situation. That’s right, we picked up a fresh batch to see how they compare with the ones we reviewed back in 2019. We did enjoy those back then, though a commenter compared the flavor to “glue from horse hooves.” We’re sorry, commenter, but we disagree. Then again, we’ve never actually eaten glue made from horse hooves, so we could be wrong here…

Anyway, these are simple enough to cook. Wrap each tamale with a wet paper towel, put them both on a plate, and microwave them for three to four minutes. You can also steam them on a stovetop if you’d like, but we just went with the recommended microwave method. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the package, scroll down to the bottom of this review and have yourself a looksie.)

Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales

These do come wrapped in corn husks, but you’ll want to throw that part away and just eat the tamales that are wrapped up inside. And we probably don’t need to say this, but you also don’t want to eat the paper towels…

Anyway, once you’ve got the paper towels and corn husks removed, then you’ve got yourself a double-tamale meal in front of you.

Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales

The bulk of each tamale is the corn masa shell. It’s super thick and a little bit powdery feeling, and a little bit dry, even after being surrounded by a wet paper towel for the duration of its cook time. Still, it has a lovely corn flavor to it, which we quite enjoy.

Inside the shell, you’ve pretty much just got a blend of green chiles and Monterey Jack cheese. It’s a super simple combo, but one that tastes pretty good — and not at all how we imagine glue made from horse hooves would taste.

If you’re looking for a spicy treat, this ain’t it, sweetheart. You might detect the slightest of spicy kicks after you’ve eaten a tamale, but we didn’t really notice any spice level at all.

Now, if you eat just a single tamale, you’re looking at 290 calories and 610 mg of sodium. That doesn’t seem bad until you consider the fact that you’ll probably be eating two of these hogs in a sitting. That puts you up to 590 calories and 1,220 mg of sodium. Those aren’t exactly diet-friendly numbers.

The Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales are as good as they’ve ever been. We’re not sure how much TJ’s changed aside from the name and the packaging, but we liked these back in 2019 and we still like them now.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for these frozen tamales, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe’s Cheese & Green Chile Tamales
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