My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Knock-Off Recipe Test: Trader Joe’s Ranchero Egg White Salad

24 Comments

A little over a year ago, I was working with a nutritionist who recommended Trader Joe’s Egg White Salads as a good way to add some protein to my diet without adding too many calories.  I was a bit hesitant, but I stopped by my local Trader Joe’s and bought some.  Both varieties were DELICIOUS!  Only two problems… it was $2.99 for 2 little servings, and Trader Joe’s is a little out of my way.  So, while I would like to eat this just about every day, it’s not going to happen.

 

Then it came to me!  I could find a “copy cat” recipe and make my own.  Only problem?  I only found ONE recipe online for my favorite Spicy Ranchero version.  ONE!  Usually when I want to make something, I can find at least a dozen recipes online.  Then I can pick and choose at my leisure which recipe I want to try.  Plus, if I don’t like the one I tried, I have a plethora of others to choose from.  Not the case with this one.   I decided to dive right in anyway and make it.  I found the original recipe here, but I tweaked it just a bit, to tailor it to my personal preferences.  Here’s my version.

 

 

Trader Joe’s Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad Knock-off Recipe

 

9 extra large hard boiled eggs

cilantro, to taste (I used about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro)

jalapeno pepper, to taste (I used 1/4 pepper)

red bell pepper, to taste (I used almost one whole pepper)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper (still a bit spicy for me.  I will cut back to 1/8 t next time.)

3/4 teaspoon salt (you might want to back off just a tad)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder (I made my own from dried onion)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used canola mayo, but you can use any kind you’d like)

lemon juice, to taste (I used just over 2 tablespoons)

 

Boil the eggs, then peel.  Cut eggs in half, remove yolks, then chop whites.  Add to a small mixing bowl.  Chop jalapeno, red bell pepper, and cilantro and add to egg whites.  Stir gently to combine.   In a separate bowl, mix together lemon juice, mayonnaise, and spices.  Gently fold into the egg white mixture.   For best results, chill for at least 2 hours, then serve, however, you may serve this immediately if you so desire.

 

Here is my step-by-step with pictures.

 

Start by boiling the eggs. I start mine on the stove in cold water. I bring it to a boil, then let it boil for 4-5 minutes. Then I turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan (for about 10 minutes). They turn out perfectly every time!  See?  Aren't they beautiful?

Start by boiling the eggs. I start mine on the stove in cold water. I bring it to a boil, then let it boil for 4-5 minutes. Then I turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan (for about 10 minutes). They turn out perfectly every time! See? Aren’t they beautiful?

 

Next, I assembled my ingredients.

Next, I assembled my ingredients.

 

I didn't have any granulated onion, so I made my own.  I put some dried onion in a coffee grinder (which I use for spices).

I didn’t have any granulated onion, so I made my own. I put some dried onion in a coffee grinder (which I use for spices).

 

Like this.  I put the lid on and ran it for less than a minute.

Like this. I put the lid on and ran it for less than a minute.

 

And it came out like this!

And it came out like this!

 

Then I prepped the veggies.  First the jalapeno.  I used about 1/4 of a pepper, because I don't like "hot" spicy foods.  You can add as much or as little as you'd like.

Then I prepped the veggies. First the jalapeno. I used about 1/4 of a pepper, because I don’t like “hot” spicy foods. You can add as much or as little as you’d like.

 

Then I prepped the red bell pepper.

Then I prepped the red bell pepper.

 

And the cilantro.

And the cilantro.

 

Oh!  And I removed the yolks from the eggs and chopped the egg whites.

Oh! And I removed the yolks from the eggs and chopped the egg whites.

 

I folded the egg whites, peppers, and cilantro together.  Pretty, huh?

I folded the egg whites, peppers, and cilantro together. Pretty, huh?

 

I combined the mayonnaise, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion powder, and salt.

I combined the mayonnaise, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion powder, and salt.

 

Gave it a good stir, then poured it over top of the egg mixture.

Gave it a good stir, then poured it over top of the egg mixture.

 

I folded the mayo/lemon juice mixture into the egg mixture and got this beautiful concoction.

I folded the mayo/lemon juice mixture into the egg mixture and got this beautiful concoction.

 

So, how did it compare to the original?

So, how did it compare to the original?

 

In a side-by-side comparison, there are obvious differences.  I think the homemade version is prettier.

In a side-by-side comparison, there are obvious differences. I think the homemade version is prettier.

 

In a head-to-head taste test, I like the Trader Joe’s version better.  For similarity in taste, this recipe gets a D.  BUT, for overall flavor, I give this recipe an A-.  It was very good on it’s own, and it does remind me of the Trader Joe’s version, as long as I’m not eating them at the same time.  🙂

 

When I compare calories, my homemade version comes out about the same.  The Trader Joe’s version has 60 calories for 1/2 of the container (3 ounces), and my version has 67 calories for 1/2 cup (4 ounces).  But my version has 9.2 grams of protein versus Trader Joe’s 7 grams.

 

When I compare price, I come out much better with my homemade version.  The Trader Joe’s version costs about $1.50/serving.  Mine comes out to a little over 50 cents a serving and the serving size for mine is just a bit bigger.  If I compare the same serving size, it’s just over 40 cents a serving.  Not bad, huh?

 

Will I still buy the Trader Joe’s Egg White Salad?  Yes.  But if I ever have a craving for it and don’t feel like going out of my way, I know I can make a good egg white salad at home for less money.

 

Do you have a store bought favorite you’d like to duplicate at home?

Advertisements

Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

24 thoughts on “Knock-Off Recipe Test: Trader Joe’s Ranchero Egg White Salad

  1. I agree that visually, yours looks nicer. I can’t comment further than that due to not being able to get my hands on anything like that here. Both look yummy though. Just a question, what did you do with Tue egg yolks?

    Like

    • I ate some, but I can only eat so many, so I regretfully disposed of them. I was thinking about poaching the egg whites (after separating the yolks) so I wouldn’t waste them, but I didn’t want to stray too much from the original techniques the first time trying this recipe. I think I will do that next time, though.

      Like

  2. Nice! I try to recreate Chipotle guacamole. There are recipes online for that though

    Like

  3. I really wish trader Joe would expand their business up here, I always have to take a road trip down to Seattle for it 😦

    Like

  4. The nearest Trader Joe’s for me is 4 hours away, so that’s not an option. Your version looks better though, so I think I’ll try your recipe. Maybe cut in half though, since I live alone and wouldn’t want leftovers that might get forgotten in the leftover jungle of my fridge. And I would take the yolks and prepare them like deviled eggs and eat them that way. For me, the whites in deviled eggs are just in the way, because it’s the yolks I love.

    Like

  5. Looks very colourful! Would be quite good to add to a lunch box so will have to try this recipe some time.

    Like

  6. Reblogged this on swim not sink and commented:
    reblogging this so I can try it sometime – looks yummy!

    Like

  7. Your version d.o.e.s. look nicer. My question was also what to do with the yokes. I sure would hate to chuck them and that’s a lot of yokes to eat by myself. Hmm. Guess can use in a macaroni or potato salad or throw into a romaine salad, say if having a BBQ?

    Like

  8. I think yours is prettier, Laurie!

    Like

  9. AHHH! I can’t believe this!! I LOVE their egg salads! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

  10. Reblogged this on My Foray Into Food Storage and commented:

    One of my most popular posts…

    Like

  11. What ingredients were listed on Trader Joe’s? Did you follow the list completely? Why does TJ’s look reddish? The peppers are chopped up more maybe.. Also what if you let the flavors “marry” overnight, it might taste better.

    Like

    • Thanks so much for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment. I followed a knock-off recipe I found online. It seemed close to the Trader Joe’s list of ingredients, but I agree that letting the flavors marry over night would improve the taste. I’m planning to make this again and with some adjustments to the recipe. If it’s an improvement, I’ll be sure to post it on the blog. Thanks again!

      Like

  12. I haven’t had this before but sounds like a lovely summer salad. Thanks.

    Like

  13. I absolutely love this idea. I’ve never been to Trader Joes, but your recipe sounds fantastic!

    Like

  14. Yes, I had try to replicate the Quinoa salad from Traders Joe, and I think it came out great both time. Today I taste the same salad from Whole Foods, and the Traders Joe version is better, and mine too, of course. Lol

    Like

Question? Comment? Please share with me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s