Whatever Happened To Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burgers?

It can feel devastating when some Trader Joe's items disappear out of the blue, from its arrabiata sauce to the iconic Minty Mallows. The chain's Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are also in this club. A summer barbecue favorite (and potentially one of its best chicken products), these burgers remained a TJ's staple until 2022. The frozen patties, which would set you back around $3.49 for four, featured a subtly spicy, tangy lime flavor. Customers could broil, barbecue, or cook them in a skillet for a summer-ready sandwich in a flash.

If you've visited a Trader Joe's freezer section in the past year or two, you may have noticed an absence of these beloved chicken burgers. Unfortunately, the chain has discontinued the patties, much to the disappointment of customers. The reason might have to do with a USDA recall of 147,153 pounds of these specific burgers in late 2021. Reports indicated that pieces of bone were found in some of the patties, with several customers sending in complaints. 

The boxes of burgers that might contain bone fragments were only produced from August to September 2021, but it's understandable that consumers might have hesitated to come back for more. Trader Joe's doesn't often explain why its house-brand products get discontinued, but the main reason the chain gets rid of items is to make way for newer, more exciting ones that will sell more. A decrease in sales following the recall couldn't have helped.

Don't hate, just recreate

While some customers might have shied away from the Chili Lime Chicken Burgers, other fans were not happy with the discontinuation, recall or not. Reactions on Reddit ranged from "I've been patiently checking the freezer every visit since the recall. Tried making them at home and it's just not the same" to "RIP, these were my favorite [...] Trader Joe's crushing my soul again." But if you were attached to these patties, don't despair. You can create a substitute at home that's just as delicious (even though that particular Reddit user might have failed).

Using Trader Joe's Chile Lime Seasoning Blend is a good start. According to the ingredients list on the departed product, you'll also need ground chicken, minced onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, salt, and chopped cilantro. Then, use the seasoning blend to add that signature spicy and tangy flavor, or keep following the ingredients on the package and use lime juice and red pepper flakes instead. 

While it might be a deviation from the Trader Joe's version, feel free to also throw some cumin, parsley, black pepper, or green onions into the mix. Making the burgers to your liking is one big advantage over a pre-prepared product. Cook your patties and put them in a bun with some guacamole, lettuce, and pickles, and you might not miss the frozen version anymore.