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Can you eat Trader Joes chicken sausage without cooking?

Quick Answer

It is not recommended to eat Trader Joe’s fully cooked chicken sausage without heating it first. While the sausages are fully cooked and safe to eat right out of the package, heating them will improve texture and taste. Proper heating will also reduce the risk of any bacteria growth during storage. For food safety, it’s advisable to follow cooking instructions on the package.

About Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage

Trader Joe’s offers a variety of fully cooked chicken sausage products that are ready to eat without additional cooking. Some popular options include:

  • Fully Cooked Chicken Apple Sausage
  • Fully Cooked Spicy Chicken Sausage
  • Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage with Basil and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage with Kale and Butternut Squash

These sausages are pre-cooked so they can be enjoyed straight from the package if desired. However, Trader Joe’s recommends heating them before serving.

Here are some key facts about Trader Joe’s fully cooked chicken sausages:

  • Made from chicken thigh meat and skin
  • Seasoned with spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits
  • Fully cooked until the internal temperature reaches 165°F
  • Vacuum-sealed for freshness
  • Refrigerate at 40°F or below and use within 7-10 days

The cooking instructions on the package state to heat the sausages in a skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until warmed through. They can also be microwaved.

Is it Safe to Eat Uncooked?

While the sausages are fully cooked during manufacturing, the USDA recommends reheating them to 165°F for food safety.

Eating the sausages directly from the package without reheating carries some risk of food poisoning. Bacteria like Listeria or Salmonella could grow during storage and handling if the cold chain is broken. Proper cooking will kill any harmful germs.

According to FSIS guidelines, ready-to-eat products like cooked sausages should be reheated to 165°F:

  • Within 2 hours if held between 40-140°F
  • Within 1 hour if held above 140°F

So for maximum safety, it’s advisable to follow the reheating instructions on the package rather than eating the sausages cold.

How to Reheat Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage

Heating the sausages before eating improves texture and taste while reducing safety risks. Here are some good reheating methods:


The easiest way to reheat the sausages is in a skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of oil or butter to prevent sticking. Cook for 5-7 minutes, turning frequently, until heated through to 165°F internally. They will release juices and brown slightly when fully heated.


You can also bake the sausages in a 375°F oven for about 15 minutes until piping hot. Place them on a baking sheet or oven-safe pan.


Microwaving is a quick reheating method. Heat the sausages for 60-90 seconds on high power until warmed through. Microwave ovens can create cold spots so check temperature with a food thermometer.

Grill or Broiler

For added flavor, grill or broil the sausages for 4-5 minutes per side. Preheat grill to medium heat or broiler on high. Cook until browned and cooked through.

Serving Suggestions

Trader Joe’s fully cooked chicken sausages make a quick and easy meal or snack. Here are some serving ideas:


– Fry up the sausages and serve with eggs, toast, and fruit

– Wrap in a breakfast taco or burrito with eggs, cheese, and salsa


– Serve sausages on a bun with desired toppings for a sausage sandwich

– Chop up sausages and add to pasta, pizza, salads, or rice dishes

– Wrap in a tortilla with veggies and cheese for a sausage wrap

– Serve with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes for a delicious dinner


– Slice diagonally and serve with toothpicks for an easy appetizer

– Dice and add to skewers with peppers, pineapple, onion, etc

– Top with desired sauces like honey mustard, BBQ, chimichurri, etc

Storage Guidelines

To maximize the shelf life of cooked chicken sausages after opening, follow these storage guidelines:


– Refrigerate sausages at 40°F or below
– Use within 7 days for best quality
– Discard if they develop an off smell, flavor, or appearance


– Can freeze for up to 2-3 months for best quality
– Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place in air-tight container
– Thaw in refrigerator before reheating


– Reheat thawed sausages to an internal temperature of 165°F
– Bring sausages to room temperature before reheating for even heating
– Do not microwave frozen sausages

Food Safety

– Do not leave sausages out at room temperature for more than 2 hours
– Divide into smaller portions for quick heating and cooling
– Avoid repeated freeze-thaw cycles

Nutrition Facts

Trader Joe’s fully cooked chicken sausages are a good source of protein. A typical 3 oz serving provides:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 140
Fat 8 g
Carbs 2 g
Protein 13 g
Sodium 280 mg

The sausages contain no artificial preservatives or nitrites. They are gluten-free and keto-friendly.

Exact nutrition facts vary between the different sausage flavors. Check the product label for details.


Trader Joe’s chicken sausages typically cost between $3.49 – $4.49 for a 12 oz package. The per-unit price is reasonable compared to other brands of pre-cooked chicken sausage.

Buying in bulk allows you to stock up on this kitchen staple:

Package Size Price
12 oz $3.49 – $4.49
24 oz (2 packs) $6.99 – $8.99

The sausages can be frozen to extend shelf life, so buying multiple packages when on sale is a good idea.

Where to Buy

Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Chicken Sausages are sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s grocery store locations. They are typically stocked in the fresh packaged meat section, often near other chicken products.

You can find your nearest Trader Joe’s store and availability by checking their website store locator. The chicken sausages are produced regularly as a standard product line.

Some stores may limit inventory during times of high demand. Call your local store to check availability if needed.


Trader Joe’s ready-to-eat chicken sausages provide a quick and convenient protein option. While they can technically be eaten straight from the package, it is best to heat them fully to 165°F first. Proper reheating improves flavor and texture while also reducing the risk of foodborne illness. These fully cooked sausages can be prepared in the skillet, oven, microwave, or grill. They make an easy addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Follow safe storage and handling guidelines after opening for optimum freshness and food safety. Trader Joe’s chicken sausages deliver quick protein at a reasonable price point.