Behold, another healthy-veggie-carb replacement has appeared in the hallowed halls of Trader Joe’s! Chris spotted this on our latest TJ’s run over the weekend, so of course we had to pick up a bag and review it. Let’s get into it!
Review at a Glance:
- Neutral flavor should pair with most sauces, although crunchy texture remains when cooked up. Doesn’t become mushy in the sauce which is nice, and we got used to the crunch as we ate!
- Easy to prepare – cooked up in the sauce in about 10 minutes. Steam in bag option available as well (did not test).
- Enough in one bag for 2 big servings as a lunch, could be enough for 4 smaller servings as a side.
- At 25 calories and 3g fiber per serving, this is definitely a healthy alternative for pasta.
- Worth a try!
- Read on for the full review!
The Trader Joe’s Kohlrabi Vegetable Pasta is literally just cleaned and spiralized kohlrabi, hence the health. For the unfamiliar, kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family, making it cousins to broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. They grow cute little bulbous stems which have the flavor of a broccoli stem (in a pleasant way). They have a fairly neutral flavor and crunchy texture when raw that softens when cooked, so why not use them as a noodle replacement? It’s a fun idea, and I think TJ’s actually executed this product pretty well.
To test these out, I made a quick homemade vodka sauce because I was in a creamy sauce mood, and literally anything tastes good smothered in homemade vodka sauce, am I right? I immediately failed in my testing and did not steam in the bag as per the package instructions (sorry!), so I opted for the secondary instruction of cooking directly in the sauce. Once my sauce was ready, it was truly as easy as popping open the bag, dumping the contents into my sauce, and stirring to combine. I allowed everything to steam in the sauce in a covered pot over medium for about 8 minutes, then finished with a couple more minutes of uncovered cooking to reduce my sauce. I didn’t feel like the kohlrabi made anything watery while cooking and I was pleased to see that it softened into the sauce without breaking up or becoming mushy. The kohlrabi held its shape really nicely and stood up to my occasional stirs, so I could basically cook as I normally would and didn’t have to stress about creating potentially mashed veggies.
In terms of flavor, we were actually quite impressed! The kohlrabi was pretty neutral in flavor, and I can see it working really well with a variety of different sauce options. The texture remained pretty crunchy, so it was kind of like eating a hot salad, but maybe that was user error on my part and I didn’t cook it enough. Either way, we actually got used to the texture as we ate, even if it didn’t exactly nail the texture of a pasta, per se. I want to try this again paired with a Thai-style peanut sauce (or like, healthy Pad Thai vibes?). I could see this working nicely with a quick pesto or marinara sauce as well.
At about 25 calories per serving (or about 90 calories for the whole bag) with 3g of fiber per serving (or about 11g per bag), this pasta alternative is certainly a lower calorie and lower carb alternative to pasta, and I felt good about eating it. Chris and I split the whole bag for lunch, and I would consider buying this again for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner option. They cooked up quickly in the sauce and I didn’t feel weighed down after I ate them, so overall, I think this is a win!
Next time you see this Kohlrabi Vegetable Pasta at your local Trader Joe’s, pick it up and give it a go!
Want the Vodka Sauce recipe that I used? Click here to access it!
Photos from my tasting session are below!
I love to eat Kohlrabi raw like an apple. The texture is like the crunch of an apple and tastes like a Potatoe. I will give this a try. Thanks 🙂
I love it in slaws, I’ve also always eaten it raw but it was pretty good in this cooked application! Give it a try if you see it, and let me know what you think!
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Cool. I always wondered what dishes it goes in. I usually just eat it like an apple haha. Will let you know.