The infamous Trader Joe’s Ranchero Egg White Salad gets a makeover to give it even more flavour and a dairy free and sugar free option! Naturally gluten free, it is also packed full of protein, it’s the perfect low carb snack, salad or addition to a main meal- Bonus- There is a whole30 and paleo option too!
‘So Arman comes to America and the first few recipes he creates copycat recipes for are all based around egg whites. He must be stuck in the fat free phase.’
Oh go eat an egg yolk.
Sorry, that was rude. Please forgive me.
When I posted the copycat Starbucks Spinach and Feta wrap, it was based off hearing massive hype about it in the blog world and people literally dancing around it. After trying it myself and being utterly disappointed, I had to recreate and put my own twists on it (aka quadruple the feta and ‘accidentally’ add the egg yolks in it). Another recipe which many raved about incessantly? One particular salad from golden halo’d grocery store, Trader Joe’s. The Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad.
There isn’t a Trader Joe’s near me. In fact, the closest Trader Joe’s is in Manhattan. The second week I was here, I went there with intentions to stock up on some basics I remember from my last trip there and to pick up this elusive salad.
You guys, the lines were ridiculous. I said some choice words, bought a pack of gum from CVS and then hit the Whole Foods hot bar to drown my silence. I blame my timing being around the time people leave work. (Note- The mac and cheese they serve is made of unicorn flour and fairy dust. It was beyond amazing)
A few days later, I was working from a coffee shop close to Union Square and after the mad lunch time rush, I made my way back there with the hopes of picking up groceries, this salad and cookie butter.
….The line was just as bad, if not worse. I asked the cashier if this was normal and you know what he said? He said this was typical every day, every hour. I guess that’s what we should expect for quality and decent prices. Anyway, I suffered the lines and left with cookie butter, trail mix (which half melted) and the elusive egg white salad. I got two types- One with chives and the ranchero one. I had no idea what ranchero was but it had bits of red in it and besides, ranchero sounded cool.
After my Starbucks let down, I didn’t have high hopes for this salad and in full disclosure, I had the same feelings as the sandwich- It was bland, tasteless and left me hungry after 5 minutes. In fact, I laughed when I read that one container was designed to provide two servings. I’d eaten both in one go.
Moral of the story? 2 things.
1. Don’t have high expectations when it comes to foods which centralise around egg whites
2. While the blog world can provide you with some hidden gems, when it comes to the ‘healthier choices’, they have let me down.
What to do? Recreate! When the team at Mezzetta told me to create a recipe using one these ingredients perfect for Summer, I immediately thought ice cream. I then thought ice cream using one of those ingredients would be ridiculous to most people. My second choice was a salad so I set forth to recreate the infamous Trader Joe’s Spicy Ranchero Egg White salad but with some twists- Way more flavour, allergy friendly and a dairy free option.
This copycat Trader Joe’s Spicy Ranchero Egg White salad is so easy to recreate and is a much more cost effective. It’s perfect to prep a huge batch for easy weekday lunches or even a high protein snack. It’s got a tonne more flavour thanks to an easy spice blend which you can adjust to your spice tolerance (for me, it’s insane!). I opted to use a dairy free yogurt instead of packaged mayonnaise which gave an amazing creaminess and catered for our dairy free friends. I also added chopped cucumber, chopped hamburger pickles and of course, the roasted red peppers. Bonus- For those following a whole30 or Paleo diet, I tried it out with coconut cream and it worked great- Simply add a teeeeny bit of extra salt!
Make this Copycat Trader Joe’s Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad and save yourself those lines, some flavour and of course, some twenty dollar bills (yo).
Copycat Trader Joe's Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad
- 6 boiled eggs yolks removed and chopped finely (feel free to keep in)
- 2-3 hamburger pickles chopped finely
- 1/4 cucumber chopped finely
- 2 tablespoon chopped roasted red peppers
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt I used so delicious cultured Greek yogurt*
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice brine the pickles are in
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon + red pepper flakes adjust to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt adjust to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, cucumbers, pickles and roasted red peppers and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, pickle juice with all the spices and mix well. Taste to make sure it's salty enough and spiced according to your spice level.
- Pour the 'sauce' over the egg mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Allow to sit for 30 minutes in the fridge to 'marinate' and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
If using strictly egg whites, salad can be kept for 2-3 days for optimum freshness.
If using all eggs, I would recommend eating it within 24 hours.
If you use a dairy Greek yogurt, I would also recommend eating within 24 hours.
If you love this, you’ll love these!
Marinated Sweet Potato and Pesto Orzo Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Copycat Starbucks Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap (Gluten Free)
Healthy Pho Noodle Salad (Gluten Free)
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I remeber this particular Trader Joe’s very well. It was my first experience with Trader Joe’s and I was so excited. A bit embarassing when I think about it 😉 We enterd rather late – 9.30 pm-ish – and the queue was maddening! Comparable to Primark Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon! I got lost – sort of – and after taking in the range of articles, we left. In California – even in busy San Francisco – it was way more resonable. I am still dreaming of the trail mix and can’t wait to get my hands on in in summer 🙂
The salads sounds really fresh and yummy. Perfect to bring for a BBQ! Though I guess I’d chop in the yolks as well 🙂
WHAT! juli….Your next experience will involve much more deliciousness!
Trader Joe’s lines are always out of control. You have to go before 10 am or after 7 pm I’m pretty sure or else you can expect to not be able to walk down the aisles comfortably and have to wait in the checkout lines for 20 minutes. Regardless, I still love TJ’s–I just always get there before 10 😀
Urgh. Really? Even it Pittsburgh? WHYYYYY.
I was just at the Joe’s yesterday! Honestly the locations in Austin aren’t that well known and are huge so the lines aren’t that bad. I didn’t buy egg salad yesterday so I willl have to create it on my own now. 🙂
YESSS. and use whole eggs in this 😉
Our Trader Joe’s can definitely get crazy, too. I remember when it first opened (last year I think?), it was right around the holidays. They also selected probably the worst location ever. It’s right near a big mall on a road where the traffic has always been stupid bad. Maybe that’s good for them…but it sure keeps me from wanting to ever go down there as I kinda like having my car in one piece after I go grocery shopping. Call me selfish. Haha. You can also call me selfish when I eat this entire salad in one sitting…two servings yeah right! Well done, mate, well done!
LOL oh Dave. I want to see your definition of traffic lol! You can be selfish and you better eat this whole salad in one serving- Extra chilli.
Oh my goodness! I am so sorry for your terrible Trader Joe’s experience! The one by me is usually busy during the weekends but not usually during week days. Did you like the cookie butter? If you ever go to TJs again, I highly recommend their chicken chili lime burgers and kettle corn.
And ranchero does sound very cool 😉
I loved the cookie butter but the cookie butter cookies even more! 😀
I am keeping the yolks in and will sub my mayo for the yogurt and I know I will love this! Thanks for another awesome recipe. We need to make plans to actually eat together soon!
YESSSS. Do it. And YES! when your back from Seattle, it’s ON!
This looks amazing! I like whole eggs more than egg whites though 🙂
So do I- But this was a copycat recipe so I kept it to the original! 🙂
Still laughing at TJ’s signs for “checkout this way.” Thankful to be living in the suburbs (come come come). I can tolerate a little bit of spice. A drizzle of sriracha is ideal, because anything more than that makes me cranky since it prevents my taste buds from tasting the actual food. My mom on the other hand can eat Thai chili peppers raw. Okay.
OMG. Seriously, we could barely get in! I WANT TOOOOOOOO.
Reason #111104930 your mum is more awesome than you 😉
As is my usual response whenever anyone in the world mentions Trader Joe’s: WHY IS IT NOT IN CANADA.
LOL. At least you guys have other products!
I live in between 4 Trader Joe’s but no matter which I go to, at whatever time, is usually crowded! I try to avoid Saturday afternoons in the winter though – the worst.
Okay, I need to move to your suburb.. 4 TJ’s!!!!! PS- promise email tomorrow- These two days have been killer.
i never make egg salad because i never make hard boiled eggs. however… i do like both, so i should change that!
Do it…this is delicious!
There is a Trader Joes about an hour away from me and it has been steady whenever I have gone. Honestly, I have only bought cookie butter there because I love my home grocery store of Wegmans. The cookie butter did not disappoint and they had SAMPLES everywhere. That is a win-win for me at any store 🙂
I wish we had a Wegmans here. I hope you did enjoy the samples!
The ranchero egg whites look really good. I’m hoping there will be a chive egg white copycat recipe as well! I have no idea where the Trader Joe’s are located around my area except for my beloved childhood store. I wouldn’t say they’re packed, but those that shop there ONLY shop there. It’s pretty funny to see some of the regulars.
Haha the chive one, simply swap out the chilli and add chives and extra sea salt 🙂
What chili? There aren’t any in the recipe… do you mean the cumin or the red peppers or am I missing something? I just found your site, thank you for the great recipes!
Eeee it must have edited out- Add a dash of cayenne pepper/red pepper flakes 🙂
Ugh you are not making me excited about visiting TJ’s when I get to the US. I have spent more than enough time in London queuing for things!
If it wasn’t for work, I would have bypassed it lol!
This is why I don’t go to Trader’s Joe. Actually it’s not close and Nature’s Bin is and they rock all on their own. This salad sounds delicious with the yolks of course. 🙂 The addition of pickle brine is genius. Give it up (yo!).
I would go to Nature’s Bin purely for the name.
Pickle brine = deliciious.