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Trader Joe’s Meatless Breakfast Patties

Trader Joe’s Meatless Breakfast Patties are not sausages, but they’re not bad. I’ve reviewed Trader Joe’s vegetarian cuisine before, but I find it always puts me in a tricky position seeing as how I’m an unapologetic meat eater. Not only am I content to sit by while the lambs are, literally, led to the slaughter, but I’ll grill their corpses and eat them afterwards. This means that I’m not the target audience for things with names like “meatless breakfast patties”. Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s vegetarian output intrigues me – on both intellectual and gustatorial levels. Intellectually, I’m intrigued by the idea of vegetarians who want their food to look like meat, smell like meat and taste like meat, but find eating actual meat repugnant. Such internal conflict! Gustatorially, I’m curious about how close they can actually get these plant-based simulacra to the real deal.

The taste is close enough to real sausage that you might be fooled if you had to get up early enough. The smokiness and savoriness of roasted pig is somehow magicked into the wheat/soy patty via a variety of artificial flavorings. It’s not an exact match, but it’s close enough that even an inveterate meat eater like myself found it a reasonably pleasant breakfast substitute – closer to enjoyable than to tolerable. The flavor is helped in a big way by the very meaty smell, which is probably the closest match to an actual sausage product. Close your eyes as you cook these up on the skillet and you can loose yourself in the illusion of real pork.

The texture is where things break down, literally. While the taste is admirably close, nothing of the chewiness of real meat is present in the patties. The patties are surprisingly fragile, with a tendency to break in two or crumble while cooking. The skillet approach is particularly prone to disaster. As soon as the patties thaw they need to be flipped with great delicacy – too much handling and they’ll bust up into crumbs.

The microwave proved to be better for the integrity of the patties, but even then – once the cooked patties are removed you’ll notice that they have a tendency to break up under the fork. It’s this fragility that really breaks up the illusion that you’re eating meat. Under the pressure of tooth and tongue the meatless patty gives way immediately without any of the chewiness or resistance of actual meat.

This simply means that, as a meat eater, I have no reason to buy this product. As a hypothetical vegetarian, on the other hand, this is a surprisingly good bit of simulacra. While a more robust texture would be nice, I’m happy to trade chewiness for some pretty realistic flavor. Not unlike using turkey bacon in place of regular bacon, it isn’t exactly the real thing, but it’s close enough to get the job done.

The nutritional profile warrants a quick look as well. While not health food by any means, the meatless breakfast patties have it over on their meaty kin in a big way. 56% of the patties calories come from fat, which sounds like a lot, but is a world of difference from the ~90% fat you’d expect from a good ol’ Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage. Consider as well that each meatless patty only offers a meager 80 calories per patty and 56% fat isn’t all that terrifying. The bigger problem is eating enough of these to make it to lunch.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend These: Yes to vegetarians, no to meat eaters.

Would I Buy Them Again: Not unless my girlfriend joins PETA.

Final Synopsis: Good, for fake sausage.

Trader Joe's Meatless Breakfast Patties - Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Meatless Breakfast Patties – Nutrition Facts

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5 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Meatless Breakfast Patties”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure why you think they don’t hold up to handling, they do! What are you doing with them, throwing them around and playing catch? 🙂 I know many vegetarians who actually do NOT want the fake meat products to taste and smell TOO much like actual meat. It’s one of those gray areas. Sure meat can smell good, but not everything about the meat is appealing either. There’s a strong and spicy smell to meat that vegetarians may like and wonder about, but then there’s also this sort of sweaty, greasy, overly heavy “body” kind of aftertaste of meat that seems to stick around (a lot) that most vegetarians hate, and some meat eaters may not like so much and could do without, either. So I myself am a fan of Trader Joe’s breakfast sausage,big time! 🙂 It is an incredible product – It has what vegetarians want without having what they don’t want. I recommend all vegetarians to try them, and to all meat eaters who are thinking of cutting back, to do the same!

  2. grezse is bad ;( 😦 😦 😦 i do not liek it 😦 😦 😦 do you 😦 😦 :???i mself do not like grezse 😦 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!! but i cannot speak for the other humans on this plant 🙂 🙂 🙂 so sorry my friend i am simply expressing my own opinonion thati h ave a right too !@”! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Monica says:

    I’m one of those (almost) vegetarians that want the taste of meat without actually eating it lol it is kinda weird when you think about it. I eat fish though but the idea of eating other animals is not as appealing for me. But I have no problem cooking meat for my husband lol I’m just a walking contradiction I guess. Anyway thanks for the review, I’m going to try them.

  4. Aaron says:

    I’m not a vegetarian but I know it’s healthier to have more veggies than meat in my diet and know that a greasy piece of pork sausage is probably up there on “unhealthy things you can consume”. I will eat turkey bacon in place of real bacon and I eat these meatless patties in place of pork sausage along with my organic egg, peppers, tomatoes and scallion omelet. These do the trick for me but then I’m not too picky on texture like others seem to be in general. While you have trouble with these breaking up on you, I actually cut them up like hash browns when I’m done microwaving them. I don’t stick a fork in them until they are ready to enter my mouth, manually flipping them at the halfway mark and flopping them onto the cutting board I cut my veggies on already for the omelet. I’ve been having this two times a week for about a year or two now with some hot sauce on the omelet to liven it up.


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