We Tried Trader Joe’s New Cauliflower Latkes — Here’s What We Thought

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

After running out to purchase these cauliflower pancakes (aka latkes), heating them up in our kitchen convection oven, and wafting the scent of crispy Parmesan throughout the office, my coworkers were dying to know: Where did I get these?

“Cauliflower Joe’s,” I told them. “I mean Trader Joe’s!” My bad … but honestly, the more that I think about it, maybe Trader Joe’s should consider rebranding to Cauliflower Joe’s, as they’re swapping the crucifer in for just about everything these days. We’ve seen it all — pizza crust, gnocchi, rice, mashed potatoes, the works — so I guess it makes perfect sense that the latke would be next?

While I’m not exactly sure why TJ’s had to kick potatoes out of the latke this year, to my surprise, I did not completely abhor this newfangled version. I baked these frozen patties, which come in a box of six, for less than 15 minutes at 400°F, and the end result was crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Emma Glubiak, Kitchn’s Audience Development Associate, agreed with me: “I went into my first bite with very low expectations because replacing potato with cauliflower seemed like an insult to my potato-loving sensibilities. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. However, as good as these were for a quick frozen side dish, they are not the best replacement for traditional latkes, because, well, cauliflower doesn’t taste like potatoes.”

I would be remiss not to mention that the ingredient list (which includes cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, brown rice flour, leeks, and sunflower oil) also features potato starch, so they didn’t leave out all the potato.

(Image credit: Lauren Masur)

I know we’re already coming up on the fourth night of Hanukkah, but if your interest has been piqued, I urge you to make your way to the nearest TJ’s to add these fried beauties to your spread tonight. Consider also picking up some sour cream, apple sauce, and chives while you’re at it — that’s what ours were missing.

Have you tried these? Would you try these? Discuss in the comments below.