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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Trader Joe's Cajun Style Alfredo Sauce


Ah, the old familiar refrain, sung daily from the shorter, stinkier faction of my evergrowing family. 

To which I always respond: Hamsters.

Heck, I'd go all Bubba Blue on them, too.  Hamsters are like fruit of the earth. Barbecue, boil, broil, bake, saute. hamster kebobs, creole and gumbo...I could go on and on. Usually it quiets them down. 

Please note: We don't actually eat hamsters here. It's all lighthearted diversion, as well as a subtle shoutout to one of the finest cartoons series to ever grace this earth

All that being said, if not some hamster, man, something else is really needed to make Trader Joe's Cajun Style Alfredo Sauce work.

As perhaps the fatal flaw for our dinner and this pertinent review, my lovely bride and I splashed a ladelfull over this new Cajun-inspired pasta sauce on just some plain rigatoni the other night. Kids had marinara so we didn't have to hear complaints of "too spicy." The result was pretty meh. 

With giving the chance to shine all by itself atop just some plain noodles, the sauce doesn't hold up well. There's a bit of cool creaminess, a bit of bite from the cheese...and paprika. Lots and lots of paprika. Paprika is all there is for spice. Paprika is good and all, but the whole spicy sensation defaults to solely that so it all feels a little one note. Sure, the grana padano slips in there too, with its parmesanesque twinge, but in the end, it's not unpleasant but seems a bit incomplete. 

Atop some roasted veggies, though? It's a better experience. Perhaps some of the taste and texture of our broccoli and Brussel sprouts took away just enough of the creaminess so other aspects of the sauce began to emerge, like pepper and  garlic and chili and fennel. Granted, paprika was still the dominant spice force, but at least it wasn't by itself. 

I'd give this another try, but would be sure to grab some chicken or sausage or hamster-stuffed alligator (for the true Cajun experience) or something to mix in with some hearty pasta and veggies. That'd seem more like it. Some sauces are meant to shine, and others meant to throw assists to the meal components, and the TJ's Cajun alfredo seems to be the latter. By its lonesome, though? Pretty meh. We'll both toss it a 3. 

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Cajun Style Alfredo Sauce: 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons. 



  1. I wasn't crazy about it either. I served it on pasta with some plant-based chicken and it was really meh. Will probably toss the portion we didn't eat u less I can figure out a way to improve it.

  2. Sautéed some scallops and shrimp. Added sauce and served over penne with a green salad and it was good! Quick and easy!

  3. I would say all jarred pasta sauce needs to be bumped up with something... garlic, onion, basil some dry spices etc... I can totally see this being meh on its own... I would totally open it up with fresh garlic and onion bell pepper sauteed for a short min. Pour in sauce add andouille sausage or protein of choice. Let simmer. Add fav pasta, top with some fresh green onion, italian parsley, fresh grated parm and serve


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