Trader Joe’s Middle Eastern Style Kebabs (Koobideh) Review

Are you a fan of meat? Well if so, you should totally be perusing the freezers at Trader Joe’s, because they have some pretty tasty meat-based products. We’re big fans of their Turkey Burgers, for example, and their Grilled Jerk Chicken Thigh Skewers are to die for.

So when we spotted the Trader Joe’s Middle Eastern Style Kebabs during our most recent TJ’s adventure, we knew we had to try them right away. If these are even halfway as craveable as the Jerk Chicken Skewers, then we know we’re in for quite a feast. There does seem to be quite a bit of buzz about these on reddit, so we’re excited to put them in our mouth.

The package gives you a variety of ways to heat these up, from a conventional oven to a grill to an air fryer or microwave. Pick your poison, as they say. For us, we went with the conventional oven, which isn’t quite as quick as the microwave, and probably isn’t as tasty as using an actual grill. This is the middle-of-the-road option, but that’s what we went with today. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions for any of these methods, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Style Kebabs

Now, we’re honestly not super familiar with Iranian cuisine, so we can’t really talk about how authentic-tasting these are or aren’t. It’s our understanding that these would traditionally be served over a dish of white rice and topped with tomatoes and onions. We just ate them plain, though we did experiment a little bit with our final kebab. What we’re about to say is probably heresy, but we actually tried one kebab with a smokey BBQ sauce and found the flavor to be delightful.

On first bite, these kebabs don’t taste much different than meatloaf. They are largely made of beef and onion, after all. However, after the initial flavor settles in, you’ll start to taste the undertones, which will transport you off to the Middle East. It’s in these undertones that these kebabs really shine, bringing up hints of paprika, garlic, and black pepper.

The package recommends two pieces as a serving, and there should be about six kebabs in a package. If you stick with this amount, you’re looking at digesting 220 calories and 570 g of sodium. That doesn’t seem too bad, but keep in mind that this is a pretty small portion size. We think you could easily eat double that amount. And if you put some dipping sauce on these, you’ll really be pushing those numbers.

The Trader Joe’s Middle Eastern Style Kebabs are absolutely delicious, but the true bounty of their flavor is in their subtleties. It’s those spices that don’t hit your mouth right away that really drive these to the next level. We really enjoy these, and we look forward to picking up some more of these, though we’re told they might already be out of season, unfortunately. We were able to get these as late as the first half of October, so maybe we will find another package or two the next time we visit a TJ’s store.

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

Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Style Kebabs
Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Style Kebabs
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