I regularly find myself in need of a quick appetizer whether I’m hosting or heading to a friend’s place on a Friday night, so I was stoked when I found these in Trader Joe’s freezer section. Warm, crispy, and savory, I love a good samosa, so I knew I had to try these.
Samosas have been around since the 11th century. They were created somewhere around the Middle East and eventually got traded into India via Central Asian vendors at common trade points throughout Europe and Asia. From there, it grew in popularity in India, where it is now considered one of the most popular Indian street foods. Cool, right?
New and Improved – The Best Yet?
Trader Joe’s has had vegetable samosas for quite a while now (not quite since the 11th century, though). They’ve tried a few different recipes over the years, but their most recent recipe is considered the best yet. It’s so good, in fact, that they call it the “golden samosa.” Trader Joe’s prides itself on making its mini vegetable samosas delicious and decently nutritious. At only 160 calories for 4 mini samosas, I’m certainly not complaining.
These mini vegetable samosas were just the thing I needed flying to my friend’s house for an impromptu ladies’ night. If you’ve ever been on your way to a social gathering to realize in horror that you forgot your appetizer, Trader Joe’s has you covered with these bad boys.
The first thing I noticed about the vegetable samosas was the savory aroma coming from the oven. Even before biting into one, I had a feeling it was filled with the bold flavors of several Indian spices. If you’re already salivating before the food is out of the oven, that’s normally a pretty good sign.
After they had cooked and cooled long enough to not scald my mouth, I dove right in. I first encountered the crispy texture of the samosa’s phyllo-like dough. Warm and baked to a perfect golden brown, the flaky dough melted into my mouth. I was honestly impressed given that these were pre-frozen, as sometimes frozen dough can get a little weird when it’s reheated.
Before I even got over the dough, I could already taste the filling. The filling has several vegetables including carrots, peas, onions, potatoes, and lentils. It’s got a nice variety of veggies in it to really pack it full of different flavors. As I expected from the smell, it also had a good combination of Indian spices mixed in with the veggies to really make the flavor pop. It was mildly spicy, but definitely not anything you couldn’t handle.
You can see the thin flakey pastry dough and the flavorful filling of Peas, Potatoes, Carrots and Onions.
How to Cook Your Mini Samosas?
With the mini samosas you have three choices when it comes to heating. The Microwave, Conventional Oven or Air Fryer. For best results I recommend heating in the Oven or Air Fryer to get a nice crisp evenly cooked samosa. Important: Make sure to cook from frozen and don’t let the samosas defrost before using.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and place the samosas in a single layer.
- Heat for 14 to 16 minutes until the outsides are crisp and make sure the insides are heated through.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes before serving.
Air Fryer (the method used):
- Preheat your air fryer to 400 degree F.
- Heat for 13-14 minutes (flipping halfway). (The samosas we made in the photo above were in the air fryer for 15 minutes so a minute or two less should leave you with nice golden samosas without the slightly burnt corners).
- Remove from the air fryer and let stand 2 minutes before serving.
Microwave (1200 watt):
- Place 4 mini samosas on a microwave safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel.
- Cook on high for 1 minute (and then 30 second increments if needed) until heated through.
- Remove from microwave and let stand 1 minute before serving.
What’s In the Box?
There were 12 mini vegetable samosas in the box, which I felt was a decent amount for a small appetizer. If I were going to a larger social gathering, I would definitely get two boxes to be on the safe side.
If you like to dip your samosas in chutney or sauce you’ll want to grab this separately as this box does not include one.
The Good and The Bad
The flavor profile of the vegetable samosas was honestly impressive. There was a ton of flavor for such a small item, and it seemed like there was more filling than in other samosa brands I’ve tried before. I was also impressed by the quality of the dough used to make them, as it honestly tasted like fresh dough coming straight out of the oven.
Though this isn’t necessarily a con, I will say that those looking for a true Indian-style samosa may want something spicier than these. I liked the small kick, but it may not be enough to please some.
Let’s be honest here, TJ’s mini samosas are way above average and give you the convenience to keep a box or two in your freezer to eat at a moments notice.
Where to Find in Trader Joes?
The mini vegetable samosas can be found in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s. In our location they’re in the vertical case on a shelf about mid-aisle right across the aisle from the frozen pizzas.
Would I Buy Again?
Overall, I’m extremely happy with this purchase. At $3.79, the price was extremely reasonable for a box of 12 mini samosas and they were so simple to make – just pop in the oven for around 15 minutes and boom! Vegetable samosas. To compare, most Indian restaurants charge between $6-12 for an appetizer order of two normal size samosas.
If you ever need a unique appetizer in a pinch, I totally recommend Trader Joe’s mini vegetable samosas. The next time you head to Trader Joe’s, try them out yourself!