Trader Joe’s Chicken and Roasted Beet Salad

Trader Joe's Roated Beet and Chicken Salad

I should replace this crappy picture with a better picture, but why bother? It’s just beets.

Sure, I tried beet salad once. Once. At the time I compared it to gelatin made from dirt, and nothing in the intervene months and years has done anything to convince me otherwise. So it was in a perplexed, slightly surreal haze that I found myself buying Trader Joe’s Chicken and Roasted Beet Salad.

Why am I buying this?, I thought, bemused, as if watching myself in a dream. Why am I paying this quirky sales clerk good money, money which could literally buy me anything, on beets? Have I truly gone mad at last? Sitting at my kitchen table, staring into the unsealed maw of this uncouth salad, it seemed the only likely answer.

I’m willing to admit that I have never eaten any beet and liked it. Certainly not in their rawest, beetiest form. I can boast that I managed to get down about a pint of Trader Joe’s Beet and Purple Carrot Juice a while back, before realizing that, no, this is terrible. Beets really have no place in my life, and I no place in a the life of beets. It’s an arrangement I think we’re both happy with.*

If you, gentle reader, have managed to make space in your heart for this ignoble root vegetable, than you are a better fellow than I, and I would ask you to keep in mind that I’m prejudiced against these things from the start.

This is a terrible salad. I’ve never really had a bad salad from Trader Joe’s, other than, you know, the ones with all the salmonella in them, but their Chicken and Roasted Beet salad blazes new downward territory. It’s not just the beets which are the bad part of this salad, that much was to be expected. The rest of the salad mix contribute as much to this stinker as the beets. It’s as if the salad engineers at TJ’s just gave up while putting it together.

“It’s got beets in it,” they probably said to themselves, pausing to let out a long, defeated sigh, “It’s not like anyone’s ever going to eat it.”

The salad mix here involves a very nice, snappy mixture of greens, but that one high point is defrayed by a couple factors. One, despite being a big 10 oz. salad, there’s not much in the way of greens or chicken in it. Two, it’s packed with a pungent, yet bland fetid cheese. There’s almost as much feta in here as there is chicken. I’ve got nothing against feta, per se, I think it’s a fine cheese, but this particular feta is on the mild and squeaky side. Cheese in a salad should be the highlight, not the grist you have to chew through.

That leads us to the beets themselves. Though unheralded on the packaging, this salad actually comes with two, count ’em two, kinds of beets – red beets and white beets. Isn’t that a pleasant surprise! All too aware that leaving beets in prolonged contact with wholesome food will ruin it, both kinds of beets come packaged in their own individual tubs. It’s these tubs, plus the considerable water weight of the beets, that accounts for the bulk of this salad. Such a sad waste of space.

The beets themselves are typical beets, which is to say: wet, cold, lumpy, drab, unpleasantly musky, and repulsive to the taste. It’s amazing to me how something can be so bland, yet so disgusting at the same time. Mother Nature must have been in a particularly creative and dark place when she came up with beets. It was probably the same day she figured out slugs.

All that said, Trader Joe’s did choose a good dressing to pair the salad with. The balsamic vinaigrette is well formulated, hitting all the rights notes of viscosity, acidity and sweetness. It does a good job highlighting the flavorful notes of the salad while masking the weaker ones. Good, but not good enough to rescue the salad from the beets.

In the end, if you, like all right minded people, dislike beets, then avoid this salad. For good measure, maybe consider avoiding any salads it happens to be touching as well. If, on the other hand, you don’t mind beets then why not eat this, as it appears you’re willing to eat anything.

*I take all this back in the face of borscht, which is one of the most delicious soups in existence. How such a charming son came from such a damned sire, I can’t imagine.


The Breakdown

Would I Recommend This: Ha ha ha.

Would I Buy It Again: Ha ha ha ha ha, no.

Final Synopsis: A subpar salad with some beets thrown on. It’s like someone was trying to get fired.

Trader Joe's Roated Beet and Chicken Salad - Nuitrition Facts

Trader Joe’s Roated Beet and Chicken Salad – Nuitrition Facts

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6 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Chicken and Roasted Beet Salad”

  1. This made me giggle like a schoolgirl. Passed by a similar salad with beets in it at Trader Joe’s and did a quick review search only to be directed to your site. Love your reviews and love your blog—thank you for a good laugh in front of TJ’s salad aisle!

  2. playindfiddle says:

    I just came across your article when looking for a picture to post to facebook of this very salad in order to, ironically after reading your post, say that it is probably my favorite Trader Joe’s salad so far, lol. Hilarious that how much you hate this salad is how much I love it (even the feta!)! Haha 🙂 Cheers!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I loved this salad and was just looking up reviews for it. I think it a damn good salad.

  4. Randy says:

    I just finished this salad. I like beets but as you aptly stated, there is too much bland feta cheese in it (love good feta but not this cheese) and my greens were limp, unappealing and some pieces had to be thrown out because they were too brown (yes, the date allowed me two additional days but it would not have lasted the two additional days!). The dressing saved it but there is too much dressing (never thought I’d say that about any dressing) – I used only 1/2 and I love dressing on salads. There was enough chicken but not enough greens and the greens were just shy of needing to be thrown out. I will never, ever buy this salad again.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I’m lmao at your reviews! Great guide to shopping at TJ. Very honest and well organized site. Love it! I am one of the oddballs and I love beets. I just bought this salad and it is my lunch for tomorrow. I’m curious! Thank you for the awesome site.


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