We Tried the New Trader Joe’s Vegan Pepperoni  

Like good little food journalists, we dutifully reported on five new products we spotted Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago. But another one has already hit the shelves: Trader Joe’s Vegan Pepperoni. It’s vying to be your go-to plant based pepperoni, and we’re vying to be your go-to BS meter for new food products, so let’s see how it measures up, shall we? 

First, a little about me: I’ve been known to enjoy all types of cured, processed meat…a little too much. Any pack of pepperoni in my fridge will be consumed in under two business days. When my friends host a wine and cheese night, they buy extra salami just for me. (I’m serious. Last Galentine’s Day, my bestie made gift bags for all of us, and instead of cookies, mine included a little meat-and-cheese tray.) Naturally, I couldn’t wait to review the new Trader Joe’s Vegan Pepperoni—because, look, the correlation between cured meats and incurable health problems? Too strong to ignore. If I could keep some delicious and snackable vegan pepperoni in the fridge going forward, I’d be doing future Ariana a real solid. And with future Ariana’s health and happiness on the line, needless to say we had high hopes. 

New Product!

Trader Joe’s Vegan Pepperoni

Unfortunately, future Ariana will have to search for another vegan pepperoni brand to stock, because this isn’t the one for her, folks. That said, I won’t speak for the masses (or in third person any longer, because it’s getting creepy). Allow me to present the facts, and you can form your own opinion about this plant based pepperoni. 

Pros: At first glance, the burnt-orange color might throw you, but at least it clues you in to exactly what it is you’re eating: soybean oil and paprika. As you chew on a slice of Trader Joe’s vegan pepperoni, a spicy, salty pepperoni flavor definitely comes through. The texture is smooth and delicate, and I find it’s the perfect thickness for a vegan pepperoni. (Personally, I prefer thin and flimsy over thick, since it reduces the amount of fake meat I have to bite into.) Baked onto a frozen cheese pizza, this vegan pepperoni would do just fine! And hey, if you’re already used to the highs and lows of plant-based meat, you might enjoy eating them at room temp, too. 

Cons: Now, if you don’t eat fake meat on a regular basis, you can skip this. Yep, I’m cutting to the chase here. The soybean and wheat taste is too strong to snack on, especially if you aren’t familiar with or used to that prominent flavor combo. And while I do think the slices are the right thickness, they are also just weirdly floppy, rubbery, and limp. It’s unpleasant, frankly. Edible, but unpleasant.

Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s




About the Author

Ariana Losch

Ariana Losch is a Sporked contributor, webcomic writer, java junkie, and bad TV enthusiast. She only ever feels at peace laying out on a beach like a kebab, roasting in the sun; sadly, she can never move back to Florida, her home state, because there simply isn’t enough good Mediterranean food. You can find her overstaying her welcome at just about every LA coffee shop, working on a screenplay and avoiding all eye contact. (She is embarrassed to be there, please leave her alone.)

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