Trader Joe's New Spanish Style Rice Is Dividing Fans

Tacos, tapas, paella, oh my! If Spanish food is on the menu, there's no shortage of flavorful dishes to choose from, each bursting with meats, cheeses, and colorful Latin-American spices galore. One of the most popular side dishes in that cuisine is Spanish rice. Notably, it is quite similar to Mexican rice — it features a chicken stock or bouillon base and plenty of chopped veggies. However, there is a subtle difference between Spanish rice and Mexican rice. Unlike Mexican rice, Spanish rice is traditionally made with saffron, giving it that bright yellow hue it's so famous for.

While you can find a ton of recipes for homemade Spanish rice, you can also buy it pre-made at select grocery stores. Trader Joe's, for instance, recently came out with its own frozen version. Instagram fan account @traderjoeslist shared a photo of the new release, which is found in the frozen food section and contains two microwaveable pouches. While the original poster gave it decently high marks, some shoppers are skeptical of Trader Joe's Spanish rice — here's why.

It has a long list of ingredients

Instagrammer @traderjoeslist was pleasantly surprised when they tried out the new frozen Trader Joe's Spanish style rice. "Trader Joe's nailed this rice as it's perfectly seasoned, not spicy at all, and savory!" they wrote in the caption. However, while they gave the rice a 9 out of 10 for flavor, they only gave it a 6 out of 10 for ingredients, due to the "low quality, inflammatory oils, and natural flavors." The entire ingredients list, according to the Trader Joe's website, is as follows: water, white rice, sunflower and/or soybean oil, seasoning salt, dehydrated onion, spices, dehydrated garlic, paprika, tomato powder, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavor, citric acid, and paprika oleoresin. 

Notably, the original poster isn't the only one who voiced a sizeable amount of concern over the contents of the Spanish rice. Other shoppers chimed in with their questions about the ingredients in the comments. "750 mg of sodium for 1/2 pouch? That is waaaay too high," one person wrote, while another said, "Thank you for raising awareness of all the crap oils Trader Joe's puts in everyyyyyything!" Some users also added that they'd rather see olive or avocado oil in the rice than soybean oil.