“I Tried Trader Joe’s New Vegan Buffalo Dip and Here’s What I Thought”
Trader Joe's is bulking up its dairy-free options just in time for the picnic weather. The new Vegan Buffalo-Style Dip trades the traditional chicken for cauliflower and pumpkin seeds, for a totally plant-based and allergen-friendly option that allows those with dietary restrictions to indulge in the classic dip, which is available nationwide at Trader Joe's locations for $3.99 per 9-ounce container. But how does it stack up to the real thing? After spotting the pre-packaged dip on the vegan watchdog account @BigBoxVegan, I set out to my local Trader Joe's to find out.
As someone who lived in the midwest for four years, I like to think I know a thing or two about comfort food, and Buffalo chicken dip, although invented in the New York city it's named for, was always a must-have on tailgates and Sundays in Ohio where I attended college. Suffice to say, I've had plenty of Buffalo Chicken Dip in my lifetime, and although I no longer eat meat, I could never forget the creamy, rich, spicy taste of it.
The taste is pretty spot-on, and I was surprised to turn over the container and read on the ingredient label that it was made with cauliflower and pepitas. Although it is missing any sort of meat alternative, the dip is packed with spices, and still gives a rich creaminess that you would expect from the real thing. Made with mostly whole foods including red peppers, carrots, red onions, lime, and cayenne pepper sauce, as well as sunflower oil and oat flour, this dip is far healthier than traditional Buffalo chicken.
Tangy yet smooth in taste, I would give this product a solid 8.5 out of 10 for taste. While I think it could benefit from some shredded jackfruit or another chicken-like meat alternative, I appreciate how amplified the spices were and I think it achieved the general flavor of the classic dip. Be warned though, if you're not a fan of spicy foods, you probably won't like this dip, which has a medium kick of heat that you would expect from Buffalo sauce.
The texture is super creamy for something that is made with cauliflower as its base and still features some rougher-chopped bits of veggies to add interest. Although not as rich as the traditional dish, I was surprised that such a veggie-filled recipe could achieve the general richness and texture of the real thing. Again, to step this up a level I definitely think that a shredded meat alternative would be a great addition, but that's something that you could always add yourself.
I would encourage everyone to give this Trader Joe's Vegan Buffalo-Style Dip a try. It's delicious to dunk chips and chopped veggies into, but I could also picture it being an amazing sandwich spread or a great mayonnaise replacer in recipes like chickpea "tuna" salad. Either way, as the warm weather finally arrives, you should definitely pick up a tub of this dip for your next picnic or outdoor dinner party, because it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
You can purchase this Vegan Buffalo-Style Dip at Trader Joe's nationwide. Find your closest location here.
For more great plant-based items rated for health and taste, visit The Beet's product review articles.