If you’ve ever perused Trader Joe’s frozen foods aisle, then you know how wide of a selection they have. From Indian cuisine to classic American foods to French breakfast pastries, Trader Joe’s has it all. And their fried rice selection is no exception.
Trader Joe’s currently carries five different varieties of fried rice, representing a range of culinary styles.
Types of Fried Rice At Trader Joe’s
The fried rice varieties currently sold by Trader Joe’s as of 2022 include:
- Vegetable Fried Rice
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Japanese Style Fried Rice
- Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice
- Korean Inspired Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi
How Much Is Trader Joe’s Fried Rice?
|Vegetable Fried Rice
|$2.99 / 16 oz.
|Chicken Fried Rice
|$2.99 / 20 oz.
|Japanese Style Fried Rice
|$3.99 / 16 oz.
|Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice
|$5.99 / 16 oz.
|Korean Inspired Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi
|$5.49 / 16 oz.
What Is In Trader Joe’s Fried Rice?
Japanese Style Fried Rice
As you can see, this fried rice variety contains wheat and is therefore not gluten free. It also contains sugar and soy, which might be deal breakers for some shoppers.
Its high sodium content should also be noted, at a whopping 680 mg per serving. Especially at just 340 calories per serving, this is pretty rich for something that calorically amounts to a snack.
Good news for the vegans out there: this fried rice does not contain any animal products.
Korean Inspired Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi
The first thing that stands out to me about this product is how long the ingredients list is. Of course, fried rice is made up of lots of different components, so the sheer number of ingredients might not be a bad thing in the end.
But upon closer examination, we can see that this fried rice also contains both sugar and wheat, as well as soy and sesame, which might be concerns for some shoppers.
The sodium content is also extremely high, at 720 mg per serving (while each serving is only 250 calories, meaning that you’d have to add to this to make it a meal or eat two servings to feel full).
This fried rice does offer 7 grams of protein per serving, as well as a couple grams of fiber, while having fairly low cholesterol. But the nutrient content is pretty low for something that’s otherwise on the rich side.
Trader Joe’s Korean Inspired Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi does not contain egg or dairy.
Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice
Like the other fried rice varieties we’ve looked at, this one also contains wheat and soy.
Some other ingredients that stand out to me as potential problems are palm oil, sugar, and corn syrup. The nutrition label claims that this rice has 0 grams of added sugar per serving, despite listing sugar and sugar-equivalents (like corn syrup) three times on the ingredients list. Chances are, if you were to eat more than one serving of this rice, the sugar content would add up.
It’s notable that this rice is lower in sodium than the other two varieties we’ve looked at so far, while offering less fat, fewer carbs, and the same amount of protein. So far, this rice is looking like the most reasonable of the bunch.
And as with the other fried rices we’ve looked at so far, this one does not contain any egg or dairy.
Vegetable Fried Rice
Unfortunately, my local Trader Joe’s is currently out of both Vegetable Fried Rice and Chicken Fried Rice, so we’ll be relying on the TJ’s website for our info on this one.
TJ’s Vegetable Fried Rice contains cooked rice, carrots, soybeans, corn, green peas, leeks, red bell peppers, soy sauce (contains wheat), sweet cooking rice wine, sugar, lactic acid, canola oil, onions, seaweed extract, xanthan gum, salt, and sesame oil.
As you can see, this fried rice is completely vegan. Unfortunately, it is not gluten free as soy sauce contains wheat.
Per serving, TJ’s Vegetable Fried Rice contains 230 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 510 mg of sodium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.
Chicken Fried Rice
Last on the list, we have Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice. Similar to the vegetable variety, this fried rice also contains 230 calories per serving, plus 3 grams of fat, 20 mg of cholesterol, 710 mg of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.
For chicken fried rice, it’s surprising that this one doesn’t contain any more protein than the vegetable variety. It also contains 200 extra mg of sodium and slightly higher sugar per serving.
Note: None of Trader Joe’s Fried Rice varieties contain egg or dairy products.
Which Trader Joe’s Fried Rice Is The Best?
From what we’ve gathered from the nutritional information as well as from customer reviews, the best fried rice variety at Trader Joe’s is their Japanese Style Fried Rice.
With the highest overall customer reviews, Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Fried Rice is:
- High in protein
- Higher in vitamin and mineral content than the other options
- Known for being extremely tasty
A close runner-up is the Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice, although it hasn’t gotten quite as favorable reviews from customers.
Trader Joe’s Fried Rice Cooking Instructions
All of Trader Joe’s Fried Rice varieties are pre cooked and only need to be heated to serve. They can be heated in a variety of ways, including in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop.
To heat your TJ’s Fried Rice in the microwave, simply follow these steps:
- Empty contents of bag into a microwave safe bowl and cover.
- Place bowl into the microwave and heat on high for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove and stir contents of bowl.
- Replace in the microwave and heat for an additional two minutes or until heated through.
Note: For the Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice, the shrimp and the rice should be heated separately.
To heat your TJ’s Fried Rice on the stovetop:
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Carefully empty contents of bag into the pan.
- Stir fry for 4-5 minutes or until rice and other components are cooked through.
Trader Joe’s Recipes
The great thing about most of the foods sold at Trader Joe’s is that they can be enjoyed on their own without any extra prep.
But sometimes it’s nice to add an extra kick to your meal by turning a basic TJ’s dinner into something totally gourmet.
Looking to spice up your Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice? Try this adventurous Brunch Fried Rice recipe from Trader Joe’s, which adds eggs, avocado, spinach, and sriracha to an otherwise simple dish.
Love air frying everything? Here’s a simple how-to guide for air frying TJ’s Vegetable Fried Rice.
Here’s another hack for TJ’s Vegetable Fried Rice, using an easy homemade Asian ginger sauce to spice things up.
Is Trader Joe’s Fried Rice Good?
With so many different varieties of fried rice available at TJ’s, it’s probably no surprise that the reviews vary quite a bit. Here, we’ll show you the best and the worst.
Here are some great reviews for Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Fried Rice found on traderjoesreviews.com:
And here’s a not-so-pleased review from Become Betty about Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice:
Overall, we’ve gathered that Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice is their least loved fried rice variety.
Is Trader Joe’s Vegetable Fried Rice healthy?
Not particularly. While it’s fairly low on calories, this fried rice is also pretty low on nutrition. If you’ve ever heard the term “empty calories,” that’s a pretty good way of describing Trader Joe’s Vegetable Fried Rice.
Is Trader Joe’s Japanese Fried Rice vegan?
Yes! Trader Joe’s Japanese Fried Rice does not contain any animal products.
Is Trader Joe’s Japanese Fried Rice gluten-free?
No. None of the fried rice varieties available at Trader Joe’s are gluten free, as they all contain soy sauce which is made with wheat.
Is the chicken cooked in Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice?
Yes. Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice is fully cooked and only needs to be heated to serve.
Is Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Fried Rice good?
Trader Joe’s does not sell cauliflower fried rice. They sell a similar product, called Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry, which has great reviews from customers and is a gluten-free alternative to TJ’s Fried Rice.
How many calories in Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Fried Rice?
Trader Joe’s Rice Cauliflower Stir Fry contains 50 calories per serving and 225 calories per bag.
Does Trader Joe’s frozen fried rice expire?
Yes. Trader Joe’s Fried Rice can be expected to remain good in the freezer for up to 1 year if kept consistently frozen. If your fried rice is thawed at any point, it should be consumed within 3-5 days if it contains meat, and 5-7 days if it’s vegan.
Whether you’re looking for a simple vegan fried rice option or something more decadent like shrimp fried rice, you’ll likely be able to find an option that fits your tastes at Trader Joe’s. If you’re sensitive or intolerant to gluten, try Trader Joe’s Rice Cauliflower stir fry instead.