8 Trader Joe's Frozen Seafood Entrees, Ranked Worst To Best

There are two main reasons to go to Trader Joe's: The first reason is for the Trader Joe's snacks, on which the budget-friendly grocery store has made a reputation for itself. After all, where else can you get caramel ginger popcorn? But, an even better reason for going to Trader Joe's is for the frozen foods. Some nights, you just don't feel like cooking something from scratch and that's when TJ's comes in handy. The store's entrees are easy to cook or heat up even when you've had a busy day and just can't be bothered to chop an onion.

Perhaps you've tried some of the store's frozen vegetarian options, or maybe you've dipped your toe into Trader Joe's frozen dessert offerings. Now may just be time for you to try some of Trader Joe's frozen seafood packaged dinners. We've taste-tested a variety of these entrees to determine which are our all-time favorites — and which we probably won't buy again. From succulent shrimp that Trader Joe's fans can't get enough of, to the less-than-delicious ready-made frozen meals in the TJ's freezer section, we ranked Trader Joe's frozen seafood entrees from worst to best.

8. Sriracha Shrimp Bowl

We're starting out with our absolute least favorite frozen seafood entree from Trader Joe's that we tried: the Sriracha Shrimp Bowl. We wanted to love this ready-made meal so much because it's incredibly easy to heat up, which makes it the ideal lunch on days when you just don't have time to cook something more elaborate. Unfortunately, we just weren't impressed when it came to the flavor. Despite the addition of sriracha to this meal, it just doesn't have the spiciness we want from an ostensibly spicy dish. That may not be a problem if you're not a huge spice fan, but most people who pick up a sriracha-heavy dish are going to want at least a bit of spice.

The brown and red rice is over-seasoned and not in a good way — we find it a bit too salty. We're glad the recipe developers included plenty of veggies in the dish, but they certainly could've been more generous with the shrimp. Ultimately, it's easy to choke down when you're having a busy day at work, but it's not something we'd ever really crave.

7. Seafood Paella

If you've ever had real paella in your life, there's a good chance that you're going to dislike Trader Joe's Seafood Paella just as much as we do. A classic seafood paella recipe is made with yellow rice, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and bell peppers. To be honest, Trader Joe's version is pretty light on the seafood. The shrimp you get in this meal are exceptionally small, and there were few mussels to be found. The ones that we did find were exceptionally chewy — not exactly what you'd expect from a quality paella. Otherwise, the dish was just bland with nothing to keep our attention. After a few bites, we wanted to wrap up the meal entirely.

For those who do decide to try this frozen entree, having your favorite hot sauce on hand is highly recommended. We added a ton of Tabasco to the dish, and it helped it slightly, but it was still nothing to get excited about. You may also want to add a dash of salt, especially if you generally like your food pretty salty. For a seafood dish, we were surprised at how little there seemed to be in the recipe.

Paella can be difficult to make at home, so if you're craving some of those same flavors and want to take your chances, you can always try the seafood paella at Trader Joe's. However, there are definitely better frozen entrees to pick from the store.

6. Premium Salmon Burgers

Burger night is one of our favorite nights of the month, but that doesn't mean we always want a huge, beefy burger that leaves us feeling heavy. That's why we like the idea of grabbing the Trader Joe's Premium Salmon Burgers. First of all, they're already made for you, so you don't have to deal with preparing your salmon from scratch. Secondly, they're incredibly easy to make. If you have access to a grill, you can throw them over the flames for a slightly charred taste (which we totally recommend!). Even if you don't have access to a grill, you can easily cook them on the stovetop, in the oven, or even in the microwave.

The flavor of these salmon burgers is pretty solid. They're not overly complicated and taste like standard salmon. These burgers aren't fishy, however; though they certainly have that salty seafood taste we love. On the texture front, they're okay. We noticed a lovely flakiness that makes them feel fresh, but we found that the patties were quite dry, even after pan-frying in a decent amount of oil. Dryness isn't totally unexpected from a frozen entree, but these salmon burgers could definitely be better.

5. Thai Shrimp Gyoza

If you're looking for the ultimate easy meal, look no further than Trader Joe's Thai Shrimp Gyoza. These dumplings are packed with everything you need for an (at least somewhat) balanced meal. You get protein from the shrimp, plenty of nutrients from veggies like white cabbage and green onion, and carbs from the dumplings wrappings. All of those ingredients will make you feel full and satisfied without requiring you to put in basically any effort at all. While you can pan-fry these dumplings for a crispy crunch or steam them for more of a chewier texture, you can also just throw them in the microwave if you can't be bothered to watch a pan.

When it comes to the flavor, these gyoza are good, but they're not our favorite frozen seafood entree at Trader Joe's. We found plenty of shrimp in the filling, which lends itself to a seafood-y flavor and a bouncy texture that's undeniably enjoyable. However, the spices don't seem to be that balanced. Basically, all we tasted in these dumplings was ginger. It wasn't a bad flavor — we love ginger — but it was just a bit overwhelming. We wish there were more flavors at play here to keep things interesting.

Ultimately, Trader Joe's Thai Shrimp Gyoza are great to keep on hand whenever you want an easy lunch, but this isn't what we'd eat when we feel like treating ourselves.

4. Panko-Breaded Tilapia Filets

If you've ever fried fresh fish before, you know what an absolute pain it can be to pan-fry. It's a long process that can be messy, especially if you have oil popping all over your previously clean stove. For that reason, many of us almost never fry fish at home — it's just not worth the hassle when you can throw your filet into the oven with some lemon slices instead. But, times have changed, and it's now easier than ever to enjoy actually tasty fried fish at home. That's exactly why we recommend Trader Joe's Panko-Breaded Tilapia Filets.

Tilapia is one of the best types of fish to eat, and these filets are super mild and not fishy at all, perfect for those who are iffy about seafood but who want to give more fish dishes a try. Trader Joe's version is soft and buttery on the inside, but it's the exterior of these fish filets that are really special. The panko breading makes the filets super-crunchy, especially if you prepare this fish in your air fryer. The result is a fried fish filet that tastes almost as if you bought it at a restaurant.

Could there be more flavor in the breading? Sure. But, as long as you make some sort of dipping sauce for the entree (or just put some hot sauce on top), you're not likely to be disappointed.

3. Cod Provençale with Ratatouille and Rice

When you think about freezer meals, you probably don't think of very sophisticated dishes. But at Trader Joe's, you might just find a frozen meal that makes you feel like you're eating at a nice restaurant. That's certainly the case when you get your hands on Trader Joe's Cod Provençale with Ratatouille and Rice. This meal is especially well-put-together, and it's exactly the kind of microwavable meal we'd want to take to work with us. It feels healthy, and it's easy to make on the go, as long as you have access to a microwave.

But, what about the flavor? Despite some of Trader Joe's other frozen offerings that lacked in taste, that's not what you're going to experience in this dish. The cod is buttery and baked in herbs, and we find it pairs perfectly with the seasoned rice and ratatouille. Every element of this dish comes together to create something surprising and special for a frozen entree from a grocery store.

The only problem that we have is with the serving size of the dish. At 400 calories, you're not getting much to work with here. If we were planning on making this a meal, we'd probably want to pair it with a salad or another frozen entree. It needs something more to ensure you're not going to get hungry an hour after you finish it.

2. Shrimp Seafood Burgers

If you're looking for a seafood alternative to a standard burger, you can forget about the salmon burger and instead try Trader Joe's Shrimp Seafood Burgers. These things are truly something special, and we'll be heartbroken if Trader Joe's ever decides to discontinue them. The patties come individually packaged, which makes it easy to grab one and heat it up in the microwave while leaving the rest for later. Once you dig in, you'll first notice the flavor. This burger is a mixture of shrimp and wild-caught pollock, which means that it's not too shrimpy. In fact, you're not dealing with much of a fishy flavor at all with this product.

Where these burgers stand out, though, is the texture. While the salmon burgers we sampled were on the dry side, that was definitely not the experience we had with Trader Joe's Shrimp Seafood Burgers. Instead, they have a bounciness that makes them utterly appetizing. If you love the texture of shrimp already, then these burgers are likely to be a hit with you.

Although it's certainly possible to cook these burgers indoors in your kitchen, we think they would be even better cooked over the grill. Add some lettuce, onion, and tomato to your burger, and you'll see what all the hype is about.

1. Argentinian Red Shrimp with Ginger Garlic Butter and Togarashi Style Seasoning

If there's one seafood dish from Trader Joe's that you absolutely have to try, it's the Argentinian Red Shrimp with Ginger Garlic Butter and Togarashi Style Seasoning. Not to be dramatic, but this shrimp is life-changing. The ginger garlic butter is out of this world, and it flavors the shrimp beautifully. It has just a bit of spice to it, which keeps things interesting. And there's plenty of this seasoned butter to go around. In fact, there's so much that you can easily make this dish into shrimp pasta without the need to add any additional sauce (just save some pasta water you have left over from boiling your noodles).

Not all of Trader Joe's seafood entrees have what we're looking for in a dish, but this well-seasoned shrimp checks all of our boxes. Whether you want to eat it as a main dish, or you want to pair it with rice or pasta, you can't go wrong with a package of this stuff.