Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trader Joe's Frozen Falafel

I'm an absolute falafel connoisseur. I eat it a lot. I was introduced to falafel later in life, so I guess I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do. The best part about falafel love, is that any falafel worth its chickpea will already be Vegan. My first falafel sandwich was from Sultan's Market in Chicago and I have to admit, it's still my favorite. So the bar is set pretty high.

I've never been gaga over pre-packaged falafel. It's ok, but it's usually dry or just not tasty. However, on my last trip to Trader Joe's, I noticed they had some frozen falafel. It's Trader Joe's, it's falafel and it's Vegan, what the hell, I guess I'll try it. You only live once!  

So right off the bat I notice the direction stating that the preferred method of cooking is the microwave. What? You almost never see that. The preference is usually the stove or toaster oven, but never the microwave. Well, I was smart about it. I put half of the falafels in the microwave and the other half in the toaster oven. That way I could determine MY preferred cooking method.

Well, I hate to say it, but the falafels were pretty uninspired. The texture reminded me of a reheated tater tot. Absolutely no moisture, no crisp, no crunch. I think the only thing that might have saved them is deep fat frying. Neither cooking method yielded great results. Yes, the microwave was quicker, but that's about it. And I thought the toaster over would make the falafels crispier but that wasn't the case. I'm so bummed!

The taste left much to be desired. Not very flavorful, you would definitely need hummus or something to spice it up. The only saving grace is that maybe I've had so much good falafel that the Trader Joe's Frozen Falafel never stood a chance. Whatever the case, buy at your own risk. I hope you have better luck than me!


  1. I wasn't hugely impressed with it either.

  2. i wasn't impressed either, but, they work if you're hankering for falafel and have limited options. holl'a!

    1. True, but I think it would only depress me :(

  3. damn! I was so excited when I saw what you were reviewing... thinking maybe there would be a good quick & easy falafel in my future. LE SIGH. We don't really have any exciting falafel opportunities in Santa Cruz, and I am a little sad about it.

  4. This is totally missing the point of good falafel, but I've discovered that TJ's falafel plus hot wing sauce cures my newbie-vegan hankering for wings. (Yep, I can make better pretend wings with tempeh or cauliflower and an actual recipe, but microwaving frozen falafel and wing sauce totally meets my criteria for lazy veganism.)

  5. I am totally disappointed but thanks for saving me money.

  6. Maybe it should say fully cooked microwaveable dust :( You win some you lose some with TJ's. Thank you for posting the results.

  7. Augh, i too tried these and thought maybe since there is some really awesome falafel in nyc i was just a spoiled brat but seriously so so horrible- i nibbled on one, not good, not even managable with a gob of hummus, and ended up throwing out the rest! Shame on you trader joes!
    The trader joes "meatless balls" are crazy good so i eventually forgave them.

  8. i like these a lot! did you cook them in the microwave with a wet paper towel on top? they taste totally different when you do that.

  9. I'm from Chicago and Sultan's Market really does have the best falafel in the world. Nothing else can compete.

  10. Thanks for the review. You saved me some$ because I was tempted to buy but had the feeling they wouldn't be good. Also I've had really good falafel so I'm sure I won't be impressed either. Not terribly hard to make your own and freeze.

  11. I agree for the most part -- They ARE dry. I make falafel salads with them. The trick is to microwave them wrapped in a soaked paper towel or in a very shallow pool in a bowl and flipping them. Then, mash them up in Tahini sauce and add tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber. I wouldn't eat them otherwise, but this I found out how to make these things actually taste good. :)

  12. These were so dry I thought I was eating sawdust.



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