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What is Trader Joe’s shrimp burger made of?

Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers are a popular frozen food item sold exclusively at Trader Joe’s grocery stores. They consist of a patty made primarily of shrimp, along with various binders and flavorings. Many customers are curious about the specific ingredients that go into making these shrimp burgers. In this article, we’ll take a close look at the complete ingredient list and nutrition facts for Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers to get a better understanding of what they are made of.


The primary ingredient in Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers is shrimp. According to the product packaging, each shrimp patty contains roughly 5-6 small shrimp. The shrimp provide the burgers with their signature seafood flavor and texture. They also contribute a significant amount of protein to each burger.

Shrimp are a low-fat, low-calorie protein source that are rich in certain nutrients like selenium, vitamin B12 and astaxanthin. They contain a moderate amount of cholesterol, however, at roughly 140mg per 100g serving. The shrimp used in Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers are wild-caught rather than farmed.

Binders and Thickeners

In order for the shrimp to hold together in patty form, Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers contain several binders and thickeners:

  • Potato starch – Adds structure and moisture retention
  • Cornstarch – Provides binding and thickening
  • Modified food starch – Helps bind ingredients together
  • Guar gum – Plant-based thickener and stabilizer

These ingredients are all commonly used as binders, thickeners and emulsifiers in processed seafood products. They help to add structure and keep the shrimp burgers from falling apart during cooking. Most are relatively neutral in taste. Potato and corn starches also contribute some carbohydrates.

Seasonings and Flavors

To add flavor to the burgers, Trader Joe’s includes the following seasonings and flavorings:

  • Lemon juice concentrate – Provides tangy, citrusy flavor
  • Spices – Likely include black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.
  • Salt
  • Cilantro
  • Chili pepper – Adds mild heat

The combination of lemon juice, spices, herbs and chili pepper gives the shrimp patties a punch of flavor. These ingredients help jazz up the mild taste of the shrimp itself. They likely account for most of the distinct flavor profile of Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers.

Additional Ingredients

Some other minor ingredients found in Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers include:

  • Sugar – Small amount likely added to balance flavors
  • Disodium inosinate – Flavor enhancer
  • Disodium guanylate – Flavor enhancer
  • Natural flavors – Likely add to overall taste profile

These supplementary ingredients help enhance the flavor and palatability of the shrimp patties. However, they are present in very small amounts compared to the main ingredients.


Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers have a light breading on the outside that provides a crispy texture when cooked. The breading contains:

  • Whole wheat flour – Provides whole grain nutrition
  • Yellow corn flour – Adds color and crisping
  • Spices – Further boost flavor
  • Salt
  • Leavening (baking powder) – Helps breading rise and crisp

The breading gives the shrimp patties an extra crunch and allows them to develop an appealing fried texture when cooked properly. It also further enhances the flavor profile.

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition information for Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers according to the package labeling:

Nutrient Per Patty
Calories 160
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 140mg
Sodium 320mg
Total Carbohydrates 12g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 13g

As you can see, Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers are relatively low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. They provide a good amount of protein. The cholesterol content ismoderate, which is to be expected given the high shrimp content. Overall, the nutrition facts are decent for a frozen prepared seafood product.

Ingredients to Avoid

For the most part, the ingredients in Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers appear pretty standard and harmless. However, there are a couple components that certain people may want to avoid:

  • Guar gum – Can cause digestive issues for some
  • Disodium inosinate – Flavor enhancer that may exacerbate health issues for a minority of people
  • Cholesterol – An issue for those restricting dietary cholesterol intake

If you have sensitivities to any of these ingredients or need to limit your cholesterol, you may want to avoid Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers or consume them only in moderation.

Ingredients Summary

In summary, the primary components of Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers include:

  • Shrimp – Provides protein, nutrients and seafood flavor
  • Starch-based binders – Hold patties together
  • Lemon juice, spices and herbs – Add most of flavor profile
  • Breading – Gives burgers a crispy, fried texture

The other ingredients such as thickeners, flavor enhancers and preservatives are present in small amounts. While not completely pure and made from scratch, Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers contain mostly natural, recognizable ingredients. They offer a relatively nutritious option for a quick frozen seafood meal or appetizer.


Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers are made primarily of wild-caught shrimp bound together with potato and corn starches. Lemon juice concentrate, spices, cilantro and chili pepper provide most of the flavor. The burgers are coated in a crispy whole wheat and yellow corn flour breading. Other minor ingredients include flavor enhancers, thickeners and preservatives. While not the most natural or wholesome product, Trader Joe’s shrimp burgers contain mostly recognizable ingredients and offer a convenient source of lean protein and seafood flavor. Those with certain food sensitivities may want to moderate their intake or avoid these burgers. Overall, they represent a decent frozen seafood option for a quick and easy meal.