Keeping Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage Freshest: Storage Times and Safety Tips

Trader Joe’s vast array of unique and affordable foods draws in legions of loyal fans Their huge selection of fully cooked chicken sausages covers an array of flavors from sweet apple to spicy jalapeño. But how long do these convenient links stay fresh once you get them home?

Knowing the fridge life and freezer storage times for Trader Joe’s pre-cooked chicken sausages ensures you safely enjoy every last bite. In this article, I’ll cover:

  • Shelf life for refrigerated and frozen TJ’s chicken sausage
  • How to maximize freshness with proper storage
  • Signs of spoiled sausage to watch for
  • Reheating guidelines to preserve quality
  • Creative ways to use up sausage before it expires

Plus plenty of tips for safely savoring these tasty sausages before their flavor expires!

How Long Does Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage Last?

The shelf life of TJ’s pre-cooked chicken sausage depends on whether it’s refrigerated or frozen:

  • Refrigerated: 7-10 days after purchase if continuously refrigerated.

  • Frozen: 2-3 months in freezer when stored properly at 0°F or below.

The “sell by” or “use by” date on the package indicates the last day it’s recommended to eat the chicken sausage for peak flavor and texture, But you typically get a 7-10 day grace period beyond that if it’s been refrigerated properly

Optimal Storage Conditions

To get the longest safe shelf life from your Trader Joe’s chicken sausage

  • Refrigerate promptly after purchase. Don’t leave sausage at room temperature over 2 hours.

  • Ensure your fridge temperature is set to 40°F or below.

  • Keep sausage in original airtight packaging until ready to use.

  • Place sausage on a fridge shelf rather than the door to avoid temperature fluctuations.

  • Freeze sausage in original packaging up to 2-3 months for best quality.

Following the handling instructions on the label and minimizing temperature changes extends both refrigerator and freezer life.

How To Tell If Trader Joe’s Sausage Is Bad

Watch for these signs that pre-cooked chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s has gone bad:

  • Slimy or sticky texture

  • Grayish color or dark spots

  • Off smell – rancid, sour or ammonia-like

  • Mold growth – fuzzy greenish-white spots

  • Expired sell by or use by date

  • More than 7-10 days refrigerated or 2-3 months frozen

When in doubt, remember the old adage – “When in doubt, throw it out!” Don’t risk getting sick from spoiled sausage.

Safe Defrosting and Reheating

To safely thaw frozen Trader Joe’s chicken sausage:

  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator – never at room temp.

  • Microwave on 50% power if in a rush, flipping frequently.

  • Cook from frozen in recipes if sausage will be fully cooked.

To reheat refrigerated or thawed sausage:

  • Cook to an internal temperature of 165°F.

  • Use stove, oven or microwave until steaming hot.

  • Bring sauce to a boil if reheating in a sauce or soup.

Proper reheating kills any bacteria that may have developed and prevents foodborne illness.

Creative Ways To Use Up Leftover Sausage

Don’t toss old sausage! Use these tips to freshen up leftover links or open packages before they spoil:

  • Chop and add to scrambled eggs, omelets or breakfast tacos.

  • Slice and stir into pasta dishes, risottos or grain bowls.

  • Dice and mix into pizza, flatbreads or savory hand pies.

  • Cook crumbled sausage into red beans and rice or jambalaya.

  • Bake into hearty casseroles or egg bakes.

  • Fry up with peppers and onions for quick sausage subs.

With a little creativity, you can transform leftover chicken sausage into all sorts of easy, delicious meals before it goes bad!

Storing Sausage Safely Is Simple

While Trader Joe’s ready-to-eat chicken sausages provide convenient protein, proper storage is key once you get them home. Follow the guidelines here to keep sausage freshest up to 7-10 days refrigerated or 2-3 months frozen.

And don’t forget to promptly freeze any packages you won’t use within a week of purchasing. This prevents wasting food and money!

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How long can Trader Joe’s sausage stay in the fridge?

Refrigerator (40 F)
Freezer (0 F)
Sausage, raw – from pork, beef, turkey
1-2 days
1-2 months
Smoked breakfast links, patties
7 days
1-2 months
Hard sausage
Opened: 3 weeks. Unopened: indefinitely
1-2 months
Summer sausage labeled “keep refrigerated”
Opened: 3 weeks. Unopened: 3 months
1-2 months

How long will chicken sausage last in the fridge?

Refrigerator [40°F (4°C) or below]
Bacon and sausage
1 week
Sausage, raw, from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef
1 to 2 days
Sausage, fully cooked, from chicken, turkey, pork, or beef
1 week
Sausage, purchased frozen
After cooking, 3-4 days

Can you eat chicken sausage past the expiration date?

The product can be used after the date, provided it was stored safely. “Sell By” date — tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.

How to know if chicken sausage has gone bad?

Strong or unpleasant odor: A strong or unsavory smell is the first sign your sausage has gone bad. If your sausage has a fish-like, acidic or sour smell, you’ll likely want to throw it away. Cooked sausage often has a rotten smell when it’s gone bad, so even if you bought it precooked, toss it if you notice that smell.

Are Trader Joe’s chicken sausages easy to cook?

Trader Joe’s chicken sausages are one of my staple TJ’s products. They’re a great addition to easy meals. I don’t always love dealing with raw chicken, but love having these chicken sausages to add to any meal for some added protein and flavor. They’re so easy to cook. You simply fry it up in a pan, air fry it or microwave it!

Is Trader Joe’s chicken sausage healthy?

The Bottom Line: Aside from being a little high on the sodium and cholesterol, these are actually one of the healthiest chicken sausage options available at Trader Joe’s. With zero sugar, zero carbs, and a noteworthy amount of protein, these are a great addition to a healthy meal. The Bottom Line: Sugar free, gluten free, and organic? Say no more!

Does Trader Joe’s sell raw chicken sausage?

However, TJ’s does carry a couple of raw chicken sausage varieties, such as their Jalapeño Mango Chicken Sausages and their Chicken Breakfast Sausages. Regardless of which sausage variety you buy, any Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausages can be frozen and will last indefinitely if frozen properly until thawed.

Are Trader Joe’s Chicken Apple sausages cooked?

These fully cooked Trader Joe’s Chicken Apple Sausages are delicious. They are sweet with tiny pieces of apple in them, and can either be microwaved, grilled or made in a skillet. Because they are already cooked, it’s hard to mess up these super flavorful links.

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