Trader Joe’s Turkey Bolognese: Frozen vs. Homemade – Which Reigns Supreme?

Yo, fellow food lovers!

Ever craved a hearty, flavorful Bolognese but lacked the time or energy to whip up a homemade version? Well, Trader Joe’s has your back with their “Just Sauce” Turkey Bolognese. But how does this frozen convenience stack up against a good old-fashioned, homemade recipe? Let’s dive in and see which reigns supreme!

Frozen Bolognese: Convenience at a Cost

The frozen version boasts undeniable convenience. Simply pop it in a pan heat it up and voila, instant Bolognese! However, convenience often comes at a cost. This pre-made sauce clocks in at a whopping 78% of your daily sodium intake per serving. Yikes! Plus, the portion size is rather meager, leaving you yearning for more.

Homemade Bolognese: Hearty, Flavorful, and Customizable

On the other hand, the homemade version offers a symphony of flavors and a satisfyingly hearty texture. The fresh ingredients, including juicy tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and lean ground turkey, create a depth of flavor that the frozen version simply can’t match. Plus, you have complete control over the sodium content, allowing you to tailor it to your preferences.

The Verdict: Homemade Wins, Hands Down

While the frozen option might be a quick fix, the homemade version emerges as the clear winner. It’s packed with flavor, customizable, and surprisingly easy to make. Plus, you get way more bang for your buck, with enough leftovers to enjoy for days.

Ready to give homemade a try? Check out the recipe below:

Homemade Turkey Bolognese Recipe


  • 1 package Empire kosher organic white ground turkey meat
  • 1 container Trader Joe’s fresh packaged mirepoix
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 4 medium tomatoes on the vine, chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Dried basil, oregano, and thyme (a few pinches each)
  • Fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
  • Black pepper and salt (a few pinches each)


  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add the mirepoix. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the spices, garlic, and optional parsley. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and ground turkey. Cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, white wine, and remaining olive oil.
  5. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve hot over your favorite pasta.

Pro Tip: Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for easy, future meals.

So, ditch the frozen aisle and embrace the homemade goodness! Your taste buds (and your health) will thank you.

P.S. Don’t forget to garnish your Bolognese with fresh parsley for an extra pop of flavor and a touch of elegance.

P.P.S. Feeling adventurous? Try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

Happy cooking!

Goodbye (for now, at least) to pickle-flavored popcorn and turkey bolognese

trader joes turkey bolognese

Every season, Trader Joes adds new food items to its inventory, ranging from baked goods and frozen treats to snackable foods and prepared meals. There are also occasionally seasonal treats that are popular despite being available for a short period of time.

Unfortunately, constant variety also means frequent product discontinuations. Certain products are taken off the shelves because they don’t sell well, while other products are taken off because of issues with the product. According to posts from loyal customers on social media, Salon Food has compiled a list of 6 products that have been discontinued this summer to spare you from heartache during your next trip to TJs.

This list adds to Salon Foods growing library of supermarket guides. If you’re eager for the school year to start, here are the top 6 simple school lunch ideas.

1. Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

Despite being a fan-favorite in this years TJs Customer Choice Awards, the retailers rendition of Takis is being discontinued. The news first made rounds on Reddit, much to the disappointment of countless fans.

“Nooooooooooo I will cry,” wrote user u/kelseyxcx. “I asked a store associate and they said no and that they had them earlier that day but every store I go to its not there I even checked today.” Another user simply commented, “This is the worst news ever,” while a separate customer praised the tasted of these rolled snacks, saying, they are “better than Takis!”

A few employees of Trader Joes have stated that the chips might be offered at specific stores because product discontinuation often varies by area.

“As a TJs crew member, I can tell you discontinued doesnt necessarily mean what it used to mean,” user u/radarluv explained. “Nowadays we find that a supplier that cant fulfill TJs order needs causes a product to go [discontinued] until a new provider can be found. Finding a new supplier, writing up new contracts, sourcing the materials and getting them to market can take a long long time. Sucks for all of us.”

2. Dark Russet Potato Chips

These crunchy, kettle-cooked chips are another fan-favorite item that has been removed from store shelves. The announcement was made by Trader Joes to be discontinued, an Instagram blogger who routinely highlights discontinued TJs items.

“Why?! I am crushed that @traderjoes would discontinue something that was so right!” wrote one user in the comments section. In the same vein, another user complained about the news, saying, “Im frustrated these have become a staple for me.”

3. Vegan Beet Hummus Rainbow Wrap

After almost four years in the market, TJs vegan wrap has left store shelves. Although the retailer hasnt confirmed the discontinuation, user u/babyyodaonline on Reddit shared the news this week.

“One of my favorite TJs product got discontinued!!! The vegan beet hummus rainbow wrap!” they wrote. “Im DEVASTATED. I went in today to grab one for my work lunch later this week and they were gone! I asked and apparently its discontinued.”

Another disappointed user, u/meowsqueak_, wrote, “Seriously! Its my primary source for buying healthyish prepared lunch options for my partner, and the past few times Ive been shopping Ive came back with almost nothing in the easy workday lunch dept. Where are the wraps, salad kits, anything?”

4. Organic Chia Bar

Loaded with almonds, cranberries and pumpkin seeds, these tasty energy bars are another product that has been discontinued. These bars are hailed as a life-saver and breakfast staple amongst many of the grocerys consumers.

“These and the berry granola balls were my favourite,” commented one mourning user on Instagram. Another user wrote a dramatic “Noooooooooo!” before stating that the bars “saved” them so many times.

5. Popcorn in a Pickle

This snack with a flavor similar to dill pickles was only available for a short time, but in early June it was taken off the shelves permanently and won’t be coming back.

Fans of TJs popcorn in a pickle can try recreating them at home by sprinkling TJs new pickle seasoning on fresh popcorn. Or, per the Instagram page Trader Joes to be Discontinued, a similar tasting product can be picked up right now from Aldi.

6. “Just Sauce” Turkey Bolognese

This ground turkey and tomato ragù sauce is delicious over pasta or bread (as in a Sloppy Joe). But sadly, it has also been discontinued and will no longer be available for purchase.

“My store in Reno, NV hasnt had it in a very long time,” wrote one user on Instagram. “They looked in the computer and told me about a month ago that it was discontinued.” Another user bashed the news as false, alleging that the sauce was still on the shelves of their local TJs. The majority of commenters, however, confirmed with their local crew members that the product is no longer available.

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Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Trader Joe’s “Just Sauce” Turkey Bolognese Review


Does Trader Joe’s still have turkey Bolognese?

The item was discontinued in 2021, and many fans of the frozen meal were disappointed, with one simply exclaiming on Instagram, “What!?!

What makes Bolognese taste like Bolognese?

As far as its taste, it will have a meaty heartiness from the browned meats, a sweet tang from the rich tomatoes, as well as an herbal kick from the various Italian spices used. If you’ve ever enjoyed a pasta dish with meat and tomato-based sauce, it was likely a variation of a bolognese recipe.

Is bolognese sauce the same as spaghetti sauce?

You’ll find bolognese much more complex in flavor than spaghetti sauce because it contains several ingredients that have been simmered together long enough to meld their flavors.

What is bolognese sauce in Italy?

Bolognese sauce is a classic Italian sauce for pasta made with ground meat such as beef or pork. It’s slow cooked with a soffritto of onions, carrots, and celery, tomatoes, and milk to give it a creamy texture. Pronounced “bow-luh-nez,” the sauce comes from the Bologna region of Italy, hence the name.

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