10 Things to Know Before Buying Trader Joe’s Chicken

Trader Joe’s is well-known for some of the items it has in its freezer and refrigerated section, including things such as mandarin orange chicken, and even raw marinated chicken.

If you have never had Trader Joe’s chicken and you are a little bit unsure about whether or not to pick some up on your next grocery run, here are 10 things you will want to know before buying Trader Joe’s chicken!

10 Things to Know Before Buying Trader Joe’s Chicken In 2024

1. Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken Is Popular

Trader Joe’s famous mandarin orange chicken is popular in homes all across the United States, and it certainly makes for an easy dinner on a busy weeknight that the whole family will enjoy.

In fact, customers say it tastes the same as something you would order at a Chinese restaurant.

The orange chicken is fully cooked and then frozen for your convenience, and the heating instructions are very quick and easy.

The oven instructions for the chicken are as follows:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  2. Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 18- 20 minutes until crispy and golden.

If you would prefer to cook your chicken in a skillet, these are the instructions:

  1. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add chicken pieces.
  3. Cook 8-10 minutes, turning regularly until pieces are crisp and golden.

The sauce for the chicken can be made in the microwave or in a saucepan. The instructions for both options are as follows, starting with the microwave instructions:

  1. Pour sauce into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until sauce becomes hot.

For the saucepan:

  1. Open packet and pour sauce into a small saucepan.
  2. Heat on low until warm.
  3. To finish, toss well with heated chicken pieces and serve.

While the package directions suggest that you bake or saute the chicken, regular consumers of the product suggest that you try cooking it in the air fryer as this tends to garner the best results.

2. Trader Joe’s Has Raw Chicken

It may come as a surprise to you that, not only does Trader Joe’s have things such as bread, dips, and chocolate, but also has a decent selection of fresh meat.

This includes beef, pork, and also chicken. Whether you would prefer to buy a whole chicken, or you would like to buy ground chicken, Trader Joe’s has it all.

The chicken that Trader Joe’s sells in its stores is raised with absolutely no antibiotics, or added hormones, and is fed a vegetarian diet.

Trader Joe’s has unseasoned meat ready for you to purchase.

However, if you are not feeling so creative about what you are cooking, Trader Joe’s also has marinated chicken available in its stores.

3. Trader Joe’s Has a Great Return Policy

Trader Joe’s has such a generous return policy, that you can bring back almost anything you want to the store for a full refund, whether you have a receipt or not.

According to employees, this even includes items that are open or even half-eaten, simply because you didn’t like whatever you had purchased.

So, there are no reasons to avoid trying Trader Joe’s chicken, because if you don’t like it, or it didn’t meet your expectations, just return it.

4. Fresh Chicken From Trader Joe’s Doesn’t Have a Long Shelf Life

Like chicken that you buy from any grocery store, it is not going to last forever. Trader Joe’s chicken is no different, and it definitely has an expiration date.

Of course, storing your fresh and frozen chicken products properly will help them to stay fresher for longer.

When purchasing pre-frozen chicken, you should always be sure to put it in the freezer as soon as you get home from shopping.

As a tip, you will want to be sure not to make any extra stops on the way home from the grocery store, as you risk your chicken spoiling. This goes for fresh chicken as well.

All chicken products need to be stored at their proper temperature for it to not go bad quicker than you were expecting.

5. Trader Joe’s Has Chicken in Its Salads

5. Trader Joe’s Has Chicken in Its Salads

Trader Joe’s has so many chicken options to choose from, such as frozen chicken dinners, chicken soup, and it even puts chicken in some of its ready-made salads.

The Lemon Chicken & Arugula Salad is very popular at Trader Joe’s and makes a great quick and tasty lunch.

6. Surprisingly, Trader Joe’s Has Vegan Chicken

If you live a vegan lifestyle or are trying to cut back your meat consumption, you may want to consider trying Trader Joe’s vegan chicken.

As mentioned previously, Trader Joe’s has mandarin orange chicken that is very popular among its shoppers.

You will be happy to hear that Trader Joe’s also offers a completely vegan version of this popular dish, called Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels, which also has great reviews.

If mandarin orange chicken is not quite your thing, Trader Joe’s has other vegan chicken options to choose from, such as Impossible Chicken Nuggets and Chickenless Crispy Tenders.

7. Trader Joe’s Has Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing is better than a nice bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup on a cold day, or when you are not feeling very well.

Unfortunately, there is not always enough time in the day to make it yourself and sometimes we must resort to buying it premade.

Luckily, Trader Joe’s has a great pre-made chicken noodle soup for you right when you need it most.

8. Trader Joe’s Has Chicken Sausage

Trader Joe’s has a variety of chicken sausages to choose from, whether you prefer pre-cooked sausage, or you would like to purchase it raw in order to cook it yourself.

Some options of chicken sausage that Trader Joe’s has to offer are as follows:

  • Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage
  • Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage
  • Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage

9. Trader Joe’s Has Marinated Chicken

As noted previously, Trader Joe’s has marinated chicken products and according to reviews, most of them are pretty good. 

One customer says that they particularly enjoy Trader Joe’s Shwarma Chicken Thighs, which they serve on pita bread with all sorts of different toppings.

10. Trader Joe’s Has Frozen Chicken Meals

As mentioned before, Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken is really popular, but also stocks other fast meal ideas with chicken from its freezer section.

Some of these meals include:

  • BBQ Teriyaki Chicken
  • BBQ Pulled Chicken
  • Chicken Burrito Bowl
  • Impossible Chicken Nuggets
  • Chickenless Crispy Tenders
  • Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels
  • Chicken Sausage Breakfast Burrito

To know more, you can also see our posts on who makes Trader Joe’s food, things to know before buying Trader Joe’s fried rice, and things to know before buying Trader Joe’s ice cream.


Trader Joe’s has so many options for you to choose from in regards to chicken and vegan chicken.

Whether it is a busy weeknight and you are looking for something quick and delicious for your family to eat, or you enjoy taking your weekend to cook something extravagant, you can be sure that you will find some chicken at Trader Joe’s that everyone will enjoy.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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