Food

This Is the Only Canned Soup I Buy from Trader Joe’s

Although Trader Joe’s has shelves full of flavorful premade soup and stew options, whenever I stock up on groceries at my TJ’s, there is just one canned soup I buy. I never leave Trader Joe’s without at least a few cans of Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili ($2.49 per can!). Is it any better than all the other soups or stews out there? Honestly, probably not. But there is a very strategic reason for my purchase.



Why I Never Leave Trader Joe’s Without the Organic Vegetarian Chili

Whether you prefer Texas-style chili, Cincinnati chili, vegetarian chili, or some other version, there is one common rule: This is a dish that tastes best when cooked low and slow. Because most chili is made with plenty of spices and seasonings, the flavors take a long time to intermingle. Chili is definitely a “leftovers are even better the next day” type of dish.


I can appreciate a stellar homemade chili, but I’ll be honest: I don’t usually make one. I’m happy to whip together quick and easy soups like creamy carrot and ginger, or a chicken noodle soup that makes use of last night’s leftover chicken breast. In my opinion, chili is a great weekend project. Unfortunately, it is also something I regularly want in the middle of the week — especially in the winter.


I’ve tried a lot of canned vegetarian chilis from different brands, and I think Trader Joe’s is the best. The ingredient list is full of veggies, which is exactly what I’m looking for. There’s also an impressive 15 grams of protein in each one-cup serving, thanks to a combination of red beans and pea protein. That means I won’t get hungry an hour later (although if I do, I suppose that’s what my Trader Joe’s snack drawer is for). It’s also pleasantly thick and creamy, thanks to a little cornstarch.


Rochelle Bilow


Taking My Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Chili to New Heights

While I’ve often eaten my TJ favorite as is, I do like to doctor it up a bit. Fresh cilantro, a spoonful of sour cream, or a sprinkle of grated Cheddar cheese are the perfect accompaniments to this mildly spiced chili. I’m not a vegetarian — I just really love veggies — so I’ve even topped my bowl of TJ’s chili with crumbled bacon.


Is this canned chili better than homemade? Probably not. But it is way faster, and in the middle of a busy week, that is good enough for me!


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