Trader Joe's Turkey-Less Roast is "New and Improved" for Your Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

trader_joes_turkeyless_roast.jpeg
Trader Joe's
There's no gobbler slaughter required for this holiday roast.

A family-centric holiday like Thanksgiving requires copious amounts of wine. As such, perhaps you've been planning a little road trip in the next few weeks to visit the Trader Joe's store in Naples. After all, TJ's is home to one of the country's most celebrated bottles of $3 red wine (that would be Charles Shaw, aka. Two-buck Chuck, for the uninitiated).

In addition to loading up on cheap booze, vegetarians and vegans may want to cruise by the frozen foods aisle refrigerated section in Trader Joe's to pick up the store's revamped turkey-less stuffed roast.

See Also:
- Trader Joe's Replies to Palm Beach Gardens Rumors
- Trader Joe's Fan Starts Online Petition: Come to Broward

The Trader Joe's roast has been around for years and as the store says, it carries a bit of a "cult following." But the newest version -- made with soy, peas, wheat, and ancient grains -- has been reformulated in the hopes of not turning "the uninitiated" off from the product. Translation: They made it less scary for people who don't trust the looks of most meatless products.

As fans on VegNews' Facebook page noted, the TJ product bears a striking resemblance to the Gardein holiday roast, which comes stuffed with wild rice stuffing and homestyle gravy. Either is an aesthetically-pleasing alternative to the "classic" Tofurkey roast which, frankly, looks a bit like a human head.

Have you tried any of these Thanksgiving turkey-free roasts? What's your verdict? Better to just stick to the sides?

Trader Joe's is located at 10600 Tamiami Trail N in Naples. Call 239-596-5631.




Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
stevefoerster
stevefoerster

I could tell this was a repackaged Gardein product from the first bite, but that doesn't bother me.  My kids were less enthralled, though, and for that reason we'll stick to Tofurky for holidays, which they prefer.

clubtraderjoes
clubtraderjoes

I just made this roast also and being a non-vegan I found it quite enjoyable. The "meat" was was pretty darn tasty. I roasted in a roasting dish with foil on top with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I heated up the gravy on the stovetop and when it was done, I pulled everything out and sliced some of it up and put hot gravy on top. I liked the flavors, but I think with more seasoning it would be even better. The stuffing wasn't all that great. A bit over seasoned for me and the vegetables need to cook more. The gravy I thought was decent but not great gravy. All in all from a non-vegan I didn't think it was half bad!

Erin
Erin

I just made the Trader Joe's roast yesterday, and I have to say, I overall enjoyed it. I prepared it mostly as suggested on the side of the box, with the roast resting on top of a mixture of carrots, radishes (bumper CSA crop; have to use them up somehow) and quartered onion tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. After an hour in the oven, I basted the roast with a mixture of olive oil and smoked paprika, and put it back in the oven for about 15 min.

 

The results were fairly good. The roast itself was moist and flavorful, and quite tasty - I found the stuffing over-herbed, but again, the roast itself was quite balanced. I was most disappointed that 1) the roast didn't really brown (I probably could have used more oil on top of the roast and a longer roasting time uncovered); and 2) the stuffing was not good (but then again, almost all vegetarian holiday roasts lack in this department - the one exception is the Field Roast sausage ginger cranberry apple stuffing, which is actually pretty good.) I also really like Gardein chicken scallopini - it seems like this is basically the same thing. 

 

The stuffing in the TJ's roast was a fail - overwhelming, almost medicinal-tasting amounts of sage. I can't speak to the gravy because I don't generally bother with prepackaged storebought gravy, for the same reason I don't generally like frozen stuffing. They are so easy to make at home and taste so much better fresh!

 

Another commenter said that this is not Tofurky, and they're right. I'm glad that Tofurky is an option on the market because people have a broad array of tastes and it's good to have choices, but the Tofurky roast (not their other products though) personally gives me a stomach ache (that's just me), so it's nice to have some variety. Also, Tofurky has some great recipes on its website for glazes and marinades that I bet would work well on this roast too. You could do a pretty minimal-work "en croute" version of this roast using phyllo dough (TJ's brand, I believe, is vegan too.) All in all, for about $10, this is a very economical, tasty option and very suitable for a vegan or vegetarian facing skeptical omnivores. Just make your own stuffing/gravy and you'll be golden.

mindy
mindy

The new meatless roast is from Gardein, not from Tofurky. It is mushy and  over-herbed. Tofurky, when cooked properly, has the right texture and flavor. TJ's probably got a better "deal" so they went with Gardein. You can still buy Tofurky at Whole Foods, Wegmans, and most natural food stores.

FormerFan
FormerFan

Just tried the new Trader Joe's one and I was hugely disappointed.  The meat part has a weird texture, the stuffing part is really mushy except that some of the rice is hard and uncooked, and everything has a ton of rosemary in it so that's all you can taste.  Bring back the old roast, TJ's, PLEASE!

sadie814
sadie814

just a heads up its not frozen but refrigerated.   and  GREAT!!!!

AndyTehNerd
AndyTehNerd

 @Erin One good way to "brown" a meatless roast is to rub it with soy sauce (or liquid smoke). This creates a palatable brown color and adds a bit of extra flavor to the exterior.

triciawoolfenden
triciawoolfenden

 @Erin Wow -- thank you for this detailed review and run-down of how readers can improve upon what they buy. Great of you to share!

triciawoolfenden
triciawoolfenden

 @mindy and FormerFan -- Thanks for the reviews. On the fence about trying one of the roasts, but will likely make my own lentil loaf. Or just a bunch of amazing sides and a stuffed squash or the like. 

triciawoolfenden
triciawoolfenden

 @sadie814 Thanks! Updated the story to reflect this. How would you compare this to other similar products? 

molinus1
molinus1

 @jc00  Looking forward to trying it and prefer "Forks Over Knives" 's version of the holiday meal no matter what the stuffing. Thanks for the suggestions above, will love it almost as much as the turkey whose life will be spared as I give thanks on Thursday. Enough MD's have promoted the health benefits of a plant based diet. You can make this loaf from scratch if you wish but for $9.99 you can try handy one and spare lives. Besides, doesn't remember the smell of a turkey farm? P U !!! No risk of bird flu, arsenic, antibiotics or herbicides and pesticides! The box lists four ways to prepare and a tasty recipe suggestion. Bet you could mix the inside stuffing with homemade bread crumbs and a few choice ingredients to make your own signature roast. BTW, had to ask for it as the sad dead carcasses were getting more attention. It was located in the Produce Section Cooler next to the humus. Happy Thanksgiving! Oh, Google, "Two Buck Chuck" if you don't know about it! 

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...