Trader Joe’s Fried Rice Review (and how to make it better!)

Here is my Trader Joe’s Fried Rice review….I’ll give you the good, the bad, and how you can elevate this frozen fried rice into an amazing meal!!

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A bowl of Trader Joe's Vegetable fried rice in a bowl with the package.

For this post, I reviewed Trader Joe’s Vegetable Fried Rice but I’ll point out that their chicken fried rice is almost identical in terms of taste–it has nice chunks of chicken throughout and less veggies!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The fried rice is found in the freezer section and Trader Joe’s and comes fully cooked. All you have to do is heat and eat!

The veggie fried rice is packed with a good amount of veggies including carrots, edamame, corn, green peas, leeks, and red bell pepper.

You can read all of the nitty-gritty details, along with the nutrition information on the Trader Joe’s product detail page here.

TRADER JOE’S FRIED RICE: PROS

  1. Easy heat and eat side dish that can be microwaved for a quick dinner or side dish.
  2. Lots of veggies in the vegetable fried rice. The chicken in the chicken fried rice is nice and tender.
  3. A great “base” to use for lots of yummy dishes and rice bowls.
  4. Affordable: The bag will feed about 2 people as a side dish (Trader Joe’s says the serving size is 3 per package–whatever! LOL!) and is about $3.99.

TRADER JOE’S FRIED RICE: CONS

  1. Not much flavor: This rice definitely needs to be jazzed up (see my ideas below).
  2. The veggie combination is a little off. Not that it’s terrible but I didn’t love the edamame in my fried rice.
  3. Not takeout worthy: You probably shouldn’t expect takeout-quality fried rice from the freezer section but this one definitely doesn’t even come close!
Vegetable Fried Rice from Trader Joe's on a small white plate.

HOW TO ELEVATE THIS FRIED RICE (make it better!)

  1. Add egg! Egg is a staple in fried rice–either scrambled egg or a nice fried egg with a runny yolk to mix into the rice…yummmmm!!!
  2. Add sauces: This rice is on the dry side, so it needs some sauces galore to jazz it up. Soy sauce or Maggi, siracha, teriyaki sauce, even a drizzle of sesame oil…anything to add a little more flavor.
  3. Add crunchy chili onion: This is one of my FAVORITE THINGS at Trader Joe’s! You could literally put it on a piece of wood and it would make it taste good! It’s PERFECT for stirring into this rice and gives it a ton of flavor and a bit of heat.
  4. Add some freshness: Chopped green onions and/or cilantro give the rice a nice freshness that the frozen veggies just don’t have.
  5. Use it as a base – Make this rice part of a main dish by using it as a base for this salmon rice bowl (more rice bowl ideas here) or to serve with Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken (family fave!). We also love serving it with egg rolls or the Chicken Gyoza Potstickers.
Trader Joe's fried rice in a bowl with crunchy chili onion mixed in.
Trader Joe’s Fried Rice with Crunchy Chili Onion

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Is Trader Joe’s fried rice fully cooked?

Yes! The rice comes frozen, but fully cooked, so all it needs is a few minutes in a hot pan or in the microwave.

Can you air fry Trader Joe’s fried rice?

Yes, you can, but it can be a bit messy! If you are dead-set on air frying your rice, start at 375°F and air fry for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. I personally wouldn’t use this method as the rice can fly around in the air fryer and be a bit messy.

What’s the best way to cook this Trader Joe’s Fried Rice?

While the microwave is by far the quickest and easiest, I like cooking it in a skillet with a little vegetable oil (a few teaspoons) and a teaspoon or two of sesame oil. Heat the rice over high heat, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes until warmed through.

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I hope you enjoyed this Trader Joe’s Fried Rice Review and hope it gives you some good ideas of how to jazz up this rice and make it less bland. If you make this rice, be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you liked it! Enjoy, xo!

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