I Tried Trader Joe’s Beef Sirloin Taco Kit and It Made Dinner So Much Easier

updated Jun 23, 2020
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(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

Lately I’ve noticed Trader Joe’s beef sirloin taco kit popping up all over Instagram, and I have to admit I was skeptical of it at first. Tacos are usually best with handmade ingredients, from the salsa and guacamole, down to the marinade for the steak. Of course, dicing tomatoes, mashing up avocados, and marinating meat takes a lot of prep work, and you might not always have the time. The Trader Joe’s taco kit purports to take the work out of a special weeknight dinner; I decided to try it out for myself to find out if it’s worth the hype.

For $9.99, you get six tortillas, a pack of premade salsa and a pack of premade guacamole, a jalapeño pepper, a package of shredded cheese, and a pack of marinated beef. (That’s a pretty good deal!) I don’t cook much red meat at home, so I was at first a little intimidated by the beef sirloin, but I had nothing to worry about. Because the meat is already marinated, all you have to do is open the plastic package and empty the meat onto a skillet with a splash of olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook the beef for about six minutes, then do a taste test. I found the beef slightly bland, so I tossed it with a little extra salt from my pantry. It’s surprisingly, and blessedly, easy to cook.

Next you’ll want to heat up your tortillas in a smaller skillet — I like mine a little crispy, so I left them in the pan for about three minutes on each side. For my first taco, I squeezed a generous helping of the guacamole and salsa on the meat, as well as some shredded cheese and a diced jalapeño.

The verdict? The meat is satisfying and flavorful, and the crunchy jalapeño adds a necessary extra dimension of texture. I also appreciated the tortilla, too, which is just thick enough to maintain the perfect ratio between it and the filling. For a taco made from a pre-packaged kit, it’s an overall success.

Here are my words of caution, though: The salsa has a smoky flavor that personally isn’t my favorite, so for my second taco I only squeezed a little on the meat to add just a touch of extra seasoning. And the guacamole isn’t exactly guacamole — it’s more like a thin, avocado-based sauce that might be the weakest part of the kit. If you have the time and energy, you might want to consider making the one homemade element of this meal the guacamole, and skip the packaged stuff. But if you don’t, no worries — a dollop of the Trader Joe’s premade sauce won’t ruin your taco.

Have fun with this kit, and don’t be afraid to customize it by adding your own seasonings, your preferred salsa, or more adventurous toppings like mango, pineapple, or cilantro.