Jimmy Dean's First Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwiches Actually Taste Pretty Real

Step aside, sausage, there're two new sheriffs in town.

Jimmy Dean Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwiches
Photos courtesy of Jimmy Dean; Artwork by Maitane Romagosa/Thrillist

Breakfast sausage purveyor Jimmy Dean is one of the highest authorities in the land when it comes to packaged breakfast meals, which is why the company's latest announcement is huge for vegetarians looking for more ready-made morning options. Over the next few months, fans will see two new plant-based breakfast sandwiches start to surface on store shelves.

The first, called the Jimmy Dean Plant-Based Patty, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwich, come in 12-packs and are now available in Sam's Club stores nationwide. The second, called the Jimmy Dean Delights Plant-Based Patty & Frittata Sandwich, will make a nationwide debut later this spring in 4-count packs.

In the name of science, I tried both new products to determine how Jimmy Dean's plant-based patty formulas compare to other name brands. Here's what I found.

Plant-Based Patty, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwich

Jimmy Dean's first plant-based sandwich to reach the masses is the Patty, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwich. Its savory patty is made of soy protein and egg whites, and the faux sausage comes on a flaky croissant alongside American cheese and real egg. The plant-based croissant sandwich packs 13 grams of protein, the same amount as the real sausage version, and holds fewer calories and sodium than its predecessor.

Right off the bat, I was surprised by the flavor of the patty, which can't really be compared to Morningstar Farms, Impossible, Beyond, or any other plant-based breakfast sausage I've had. Jimmy Dean claims that the meatless sausages are seasoned the same as the real sausages, and it's that peppery flavor that came through stronger than anything else in the sandwich.

I know veggie meat better than I know real meat, but I'd say the patty tastes more like sausage than it does soy. If you didn't look at the packaging, there's a chance you'd scarf it down without realizing it's vegetarian.

If you've had the Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwich, you already know that Jimmy Dean's croissants are tasty, but for those who haven't tried Jimmy Dean sandwiches before, I'll just say this: I don't know how the egg, cheese, and croissant holds up so well after being stored in a freezer and heated in a microwave, but it does.

A 12-count box of these sandwiches has a suggested retail price of $11.65, which shakes out to about 97 cents per sandwich. At that price, I'd say it's definitely worth trying out.

Plant-Based Patty & Frittata Sandwich

By the time you've gotten hooked on the plant-based croissant sandwiches, you'll have a new option to explore. The Patty & Frittata Sandwich falls under the Jimmy Dean Delights umbrella, meaning it's a bit healthier. Its vegetable and grain patty is made of soy protein, black beans, brown rice, quinoa, and egg whites. It's paired with a spinach and egg white frittata, American cheese, and stuck in a whole-wheat English muffin. This one comes with more protein than the croissant sandwich—15 grams—and only 280 calories.

This one tasted a little spicier than the last, which might be a result of the seasoning or might be because there wasn't a buttery croissant to distract me from the flavor. Either way, it tasted spicier, but not in a bad way.

Because this one's healthier, it's also a bit pricier. They'll arrive at stores in 4-packs with a suggested retail price of $7.29. That's about $1.82 per sandwich. It's still cheaper than anything you'll find in a Starbucks, but if calories and sodium aren't your main concern, it's a bit higher priced than what you might hope.

Jimmy Dean plant-based breakfast sandwich
#NoFilter #NoMakeup #Natural | Kyler Alvord/Thrillist

The Verdict

I expected to like the healthier ingredients in the Patty & Frittata Sandwich, and I was right that all the ingredients tasted good on their own: The English muffin wasn't too dry, the frittata tasted fairly fresh, and American cheese will always be delicious no matter how much we wish it wasn't. For reasons I can't explain, though, they didn't come together as nicely as I'd hoped.

The Patty, Egg & Cheese Croissant Sandwich, on the other hand, is soft, gushy, chewy, gooey, and maybe a tad indulgent, but it's good enough (and cheap enough) to earn a restock in my freezer when I run out.

Both plant-based breakfast sandwiches are edible, both are impressive, and both are exciting additions to the vegetarian breakfast scene, but if I had to pick a winner, I'd go with the croissant sandwich all the way.

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Kyler Alvord is a news writer at Thrillist. Find him on Twitter and Instagram. Or don't. It's really up to you.