The Best Trader Joe’s Seasonings (and What to do With Them)
How much time do you spend in the Trader Joe’s seasoning and spice aisle? If you’re not devoting at least a minute or two checking out their fun, interesting and flavorful options, you’re missing out!
We bought and tried a whole bunch and chose our favorites to experiment with. The results were amazing! The elevation of flavor and myriad of uses makes mealtime much simpler, because with just a few shakes, your food will scream with robust flavors.
Hopefully each spice saves you time and money when creating your recipes. Read to the end to hear about all of the creative ways we’re using them.
Multipurpose Umami Seasoning
First up is my absolute favorite: Trader Joe’s Mushroom Umami Seasoning. If you’ve passed this one by because you don’t know what umami is, it’s often referred to as “the fifth taste.” What are the four other tastes? Sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is kind of a “universal” flavor.
The flavor has notes of salt, slight spice and an overall savory essence. Don’t let the word “mushroom” scare you. It doesn’t taste like mushrooms.
I personally use it on everything, from egg whites and avocado to fish, chicken, turkey and beef. I add it to homemade salad dressings, sprinkle it on cucumbers and tomatoes, and shake it on top of pizza.
It simply elevates everything you use it on. I love sautéing mushrooms in a little olive oil with garlic and a splash of vinegar and then dousing it all with a hefty shake of the umami seasoning.
Chili Lime Seasoning
Next is the Chili Lime Seasoning. It tastes just like the seasoning name. The notes of citrus give you a tiny hit of acid, which marries nicely with the mild to medium spice.
This isn’t overly hot. On the spice-o-meter, I’d give it a 5. My kids, who don’t like things too spicy, happily use a shake or two on our homemade “burrito bowls,” and they’ll gladly eat any Instant Pot shredded chicken or ground turkey I make with it.
This Trader Joe’s seasoning definitely lends itself to Mexican dishes, like taco salad, guacamole, tacos and quesadillas. One of our favorite uses is on corn on the cob rubbed with fresh lime.
Ranch Seasoning Blend
From fiesta to basic American, Trader Joe’s Ranch Seasoning Blend comes in to delight everyone for whom the classic dressing is a favorite. I find this one a little less versatile, in that I use it less frequently than some of the others in my pantry. However, that’s not to detract from its delicious flavor. This blend is the perfect mixture of dill, salt, pepper and the buttermilk essence that makes a great ranch dressing.
Shake it on popcorn for a savory treat, or coat chicken breast strips in it with a little panko and air fry for some flavorful chicken tenders the kids will love. It’s also delicious on sliced turkey with thinly sliced cucumbers inside of a tortilla or egg wrap (also a delicious find at TJs).
On the back of the jar there’s a recipe for ranch dressing, or, you can try our DIY Ranch Dressing recipe below. It only takes a few ingredients and a blender to make this *almost* vegan version (the Ranch Seasoning does contain milk!) that’s delicious on any salad (or, if you’re one of those pizza dipped in ranch people- this recipe will satisfy you to no end!).
*Almost* Vegan Ranch Dressing
– 1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts– 1/2 cup water– 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar– Heaping tablespoon Ranch Seasoning– 1 teaspoon powdered monk fruit sweetener– Salt & pepper, to taste
Blend everything together in a small high-powered blender until smooth. Use as a dip or dressing.
Cheesy Seasoning Blend
For all you cheese lovers out there, TJ’s Cheesy Seasoning Blend gives you a parmesan-type punch with just a few shakes. I don’t eat much dairy, yet I love the flavor of just about every cheese out there (minus blue cheese- because, well, yuck). But if you like the salty, savory flavors in a good, hard cheese, you’ll probably enjoy this blend.
Now, it contains rosemary powder as one of the ingredients, which I do find quite prevalent in the flavor profile. So if you hate rosemary, know you’ll detect a hint of it.
I’ve bought other “cheese” powders off Amazon that are definitely “cheesier” than TJ’s version. But this one tastes fantastic on eggs, popcorn, on top of pizza, or on any Italian dish.
Everything But The Elote Seasoning Blend
Onto Cassey’s personal favorite: Trader Joe’s Everything But The Elote Seasoning Blend. Once again, this little gem lends itself to Mexican fare thanks to the cumin, chili pepper, cheese and chipotle. It kicks up the spice and simply adds that traditional smoky-savory punch you expect from Mexican food. Try several shakes on rice cakes with guacamole and shredded chicken like Cassey did during her 90-Day Journey.
It’s great to flavor up TJ’s plain cauliflower rice if you plan to top it with some shredded or ground chicken. It’s also delicious in an omelet made with onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and cheese. Or, try is on this yummy cauliflower pancake!
Last but not least is the tiny jar of Black Garlic! Comment below if you’ve ever come across this seasoning, or anything like it, because before I discovered it at TJ’s, I hadn’t (and boy, was I missing out).
I add a few shakes of this to elevate an Asian dishes I make, like cauli-fried rice, stir fry or coated over chicken that I sauté in coconut aminos. It adds a little crunch and a slightly sweet-savory-garlicky essence without being overwhelming. Oh- and there’s a zero garlic breath-effect here, so it’s date-night-friendly.
Perhaps my favorite way to use it is on my sautéed broccolini, which I’m #obsessed over.
Here’s the recipe I make at least twice a week:
– Olive oil cooking spray– 1 bunch broccolini, ling stems trimmed– 1 clove garlic, minced– Juice of 1/2 a lemon– 1/2 teaspoon Black Garlic– Salt & pepper, to taste– Shake of Umami Seasoning (optional)
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add the broccolini and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue sautéing for 1 minute, or until the garlic starts to brown a touch.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the broccolini and cook for 1 more minute, or until the broccolini edges start to crisp up and brown. Season with the Black Garlic, salt, pepper and Umami, if using. Remove from the pan, and serve.
Oh, and did you notice the prices on these Trader Joe’s Seasonings?
There’s nowhere on the planet that sells high-quality seasoning for for $1.99-$2.99. So load up and shake em’ until your heart’s content, because Trader Joe’s has the best flavors at the lowest cost!
Comment below which ones you love the most!