The Trader Joe's Salad Mix That Should Stay Out Of Your Shopping Cart

Pre-packaged salad kits are a godsend for those who have a full plate. For example, these nine Trader Joe's salads that we ranked can be a lifesaver — although they're not all created equal. They come packed in neat little bags and all you have to do is pour on the salad dressing. It's a lovely idea — until you encounter a kit that delivers less than it promises. Then you're stuck with a bag that wasn't worth the purchase, as was the case with Trader Joe's Caesar Style salad kit. Consequently, and for several other reasons, we ranked it at the bottom.

From the word go, the fact that it's a "style" makes you reconsider even giving it a shot. It hints at a non-committal approach that suggests you'll glimpse some Caesar salad but not get the full experience. So, naturally, our reviewer Judy Moreno didn't expect much from this kit. But Trader Joe's outdid her low expectations with the even lower effort they put in. The lettuce was sad and limp and looked like it required our water storage trick for reviving wilted greens just to make it edible. But even if this trick works, the entire kit lacks innovation. Instead of Trader Joe's styling this into something exciting but minimalistic, the kit came across as a cop-out. It's almost as if the "style" was an afterthought or an attempt to make the most of Caesar salad remains. In our opinion, Trader Joe's had no business calling this a Caesar-related salad, but we do commend their honesty in sticking to a mundane description for the croutons and dressing.

Trader Joe's Caesar Style salad kit is lackluster

This brings us to the flavor of Trader Joe's Caesar Style salad kit. A true Caesar salad relies on Parmesan and anchovies for potent flavors, so at least Trader Joe's considered this aspect and included Parmesan cheese. However, the lack of savory support from other elements like the croutons and dressing will draw your senses to the missing anchovies, or an equally dynamic element. No amount of Parm can rescue this tired salad, and it's far from the "complete salad kit" that Trader Joe's touts it to be. If anything, this kit can add volume to a complete salad that, when tossed together, hides the atrocity (which is that this kit ever attempted to stand alone).

If you want a Caesar-style salad that doesn't taste second-rate, go for this new classic Caesar salad. Although the anchovies are optional, the salad has lots more to offer even apart from the dressing. Otherwise, you can opt for Trader Joe's BBQ & Black Pepper Toscano Chopped Salad Kit, which we ranked number one for its crunchy cabbage base and pleasantly gritty-tasting corn. That said, Trader Joe's Caesar Style salad kit has a plus point. It offers liberal servings of croutons so you can get a good fill. If this is a winning point for you, it may help to add in some shredded carrots and tomatoes if you're grabbing this salad — maybe even some anchovies for a much-needed punch.