Recipe Review

I Tried the 5-Ingredient Viral Trader Joe’s Pasta and the Hype Is Real

published Mar 3, 2024
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Lobster bisque pasta
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

The internet and Trader Joe’s are similar in terms of meal hacks and viral recipes. Between the recent arrival of the fan-favorite Rosatella Pasta Sauce and last year’s viral frozen dumpling hack that everyone could not stop talking about, there’s always something new to try at Trader Joe’s. But it’s not just what is new that catches everybody’s attention, it’s the way the grocer’s dedicated fan base are able to concoct restaurant worthy recipes out of Trader Joe’s staples like it’s their job to do it. 

Most recently, a so-called “Lobster Pasta” recipe has been making its way around the web using exclusively Trader Joe’s products. The recipe has earned itself plenty of different iterations by fans online due to its genius: substituting a jar of pasta sauce for Trader Joe’s Lobster Bisque and actual lobster for a bag of frozen Langostino Tails. Like everybody else online, I was immediately intrigued by the recipe, especially seeing as it is supposed to come together in just 20 minutes. My arm needed no more twisting, I was off to Trader Joe’s so I could see for myself what all this hype is about.  

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

How to Make Trader Joe’s Viral Lobster Bisque Pasta

Starting with the pasta, for this example I used farfalle, you’ll want to go ahead and get it prepared by boiling until a couple of minutes prior to al dente. Keep in mind that later in the recipe the pasta will continue to cook further once coated in the lobster bisque, so this will help prevent unappetizing and mushy results. 

When the pasta is ready, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat it with olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add crushed garlic and a handful of cherry tomatoes to the skillet, sauteing until the tomatoes are soft and juicy. Add the defrosted langostino tails, season with salt and pepper and continue to saute for a few more minutes.

Add the slightly undercooked pasta to the tomato and langostino mix and then pour in the lobster bisque, stirring until everything is evenly coated. Let the skillet simmer for another minute or two before transferring the pasta to a bowl and garnishing with basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Season to taste with more salt and pepper and serve immediately if you’re in search of glowing reviews. 

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Opinion of Trader Joe’s Viral Lobster Bisque Pasta

I think I can speak for everybody when I say that some of the best recipes are the ones that can be easily whipped together in 20 minutes or less, prep and cleanup included. After a long day of work, nothing hits the spot more than a delicious home cooked meal. This recipe ups the ante on exactly what is possible within the parameters of a budget and time constraints without sacrificing flavor and overall appeal. 

What I enjoyed most is the way that Trader Joe’s makes it possible to have a semi-lobster meal at home without having to fork out upwards of $80 a pound for fresh lobster meat. The grocer’s frozen bags of Langostino Tails, which are also known as “squat lobsters” and more closely related to crab, taste very similar to lobster despite not truly being lobster. Ultimately, the bite-sized langostino tails only cost $15 at and did not disappoint in the flavor department one bit. 

As for the lobster bisque soup being used as a pasta sauce, I’d say this idea rivals your favorite pasta sauces any day. In terms of making a lobster-based dish, it’s a no-brainer to use Trader Joe’s lobster bisque due to the soup’s ability to be far more fresh than your average jar of pasta sauce. Lobster bisque only cost $4.99, and on that note, it is still cheaper than plenty of the other name-brand jars of sauce out there. This whole meal came out to be roughly $30 and it created two days worth of food for two people.

Tips for Making Trader Joe’s Viral Lobster Bisque Pasta

Undercook the pasta Make sure to cook the pasta right up until about 2 minutes prior to al dente. The pasta will continue to cook further while simmering in the lobster bisque and reach the point of being fully cooked. 

Don’t overcook the langostino Once the langostino has been added to the pan, try to only saute until the pieces begin to curl. Quickly add in the pasta and lobster bisque in order to slow down the langostino’s cooking process. This way you won’t overcook the meat and end up with tough, chewy bites. 

Oregano and basil are your friends Don’t be afraid to add some fresh herbs to the mix, both oregano and basil are simple ways to enhance the flavor profile and really bring this dish home