Trader Joe’s Beef Tamales Review

Trader Joe's Beef Tamales

We’ve been revisiting some of Trader Joe’s frozen foods lately, because there seem to be some changes to classic dishes. The tamales, for example, no longer have the word “Handcrafted” in the title, which suggests to us that something changed that doesn’t allow them to use that word anymore.

We tried the new version of the Cheese & Green Chile Tamales a few months back, and now we’re looking at something a little beefier. That’s right, today we’re digging into the not-handcrafted Trader Joe’s Beef Tamales to see if they’re still worth spending your hard-earned bucks on.

Now, before we give these another tastey taste, we’re going to have to heat them up. That’s pretty easy, and you can use the microwave, though TJ’s did add stovetop directions to the package since the last time we tried these. Just make sure you leave the husks on the tamales while they cook — that’s part of the process. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions, check out the package scan at the bottom of this review.)

Trader Joe's Beef Tamales

As we mentioned in our previous review, these are pretty simple, with no sauce or cheese or anything. This is just seasoned shredded beef in a corn masa shell. But simplicity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and these tamales are loaded up with flavor.

Even in the microwave, the shell ends up moist and soft without getting soggy. There’s a lovely corn flavor to these shells, and that contrasts nicely with the beef, which has a stringy consistency and a hearty flavor.

Now, we do think that either a green chili sauce or a melty cheddar cheese would take these tamales to the next level. But even as barebones as they are, there’s a lot to enjoy here.

Trader Joe's Beef Tamales

One tamale contains 290 calories and 690 mg of sodium. Both of those numbers are slightly up from the previous version of these tamales. We’re not really sure why that is, but it’s just something to keep in mind if you plan on making meal of these. And yeah, it’s not difficult to eat both in a single sitting, which makes those numbers jump up to 570 calories and 1,380 mg of sodium.

The Trader Joe’s Beef Tamales are simple but delicious. We’re actually not sure what exactly changed since the last time we tried these, but we can say with certainty that these are still a tasty little treat for fans of tamales.

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

Trader Joe's Beef Tamales
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