Product Review: Whole Foods 365 Breaded Chickenless Patties (soy free!)

While strolling through Whole Foods one day, I passed an employee passing out vegan meatball and chicken nugget samples.  I tried one of the “chicken” nugget samples, dipped in honey mustard and it was really good.  I went over to the freezer section to read over the ingredients list, thinking for certain they were soy-based, but to my surprise, they are actually made from wheat protein. 

365_Chickenless_Patties_Breaded_10ozF

They were out of the nuggets, so I bought the patties. They come 4 to a pack and were around $4, I think.  I thought they’d make a good, quick lunch for work days.  Unfortunately, you can’t microwave them, which was a huge con for me.  The only way they recommend cooking them is in the oven and it takes nearly 20 minutes.  That won’t do for work, and at home, I must admit that it feels like a waste of energy to warm up the oven for one little patty.  I tried cooking 2 and then refrigerating one for the next day.  When I go to work, I placed the already cooked one in the toaster oven for a few minutes to re-heat it and that worked out fine, but it was slightly tougher than the one I ate straight from the conventional oven.   It is for these reasons that I probably won’t buy them that often, but here is what I thought of the actual product:

If you like the MorningStar “chicken” nuggets, you’ll like these.  They taste almost identical to me.  The breading crisps up nicely, especially when I cook them in my iron skillet, sprayed with a little oil.  The texture is also very close to the MorningStar brand soy-based nuggets, so if the texture of most frozen faux meats weirds you out, don’t even bother trying these. 

They work well for dinner recipes other than just chicken sandwiches.  I made chicken parmesan out of them one night, placing the patty on top of cooked pasta with marinara and a little vegan parmesan melted over the top.  You could also use them for chicken alfredo or cut them into pieces for a child’s snack.

I wouldn’t recommend putting them in a dish while it bakes or cooks because the breading will become soggy.  I think the best way to incorporate them into a dish with any kind of sauce would be to cook them separately and add them in at the end.

Overall, I would buy these again based on taste and texture, but if you’re looking for ease and convenience, you may want to try another product.

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