Whenever Trader Joe’s launches a new spice, it’s the culinary equivalent of a Supreme drop. Suddenly, jar after jar is flying off the shelf faster than you can say “everything but the bagel,” homemade dishes become just a touch more flavorful. While some spices definitely receives heaps of hype on Instagram, Reddit, and beyond, the country’s favorite frugal food destination is also home to a few underrated gems. Namely, the 21 Seasoning Salute, Umami, and Chili Lime.
In case you’ve overlooked these three zesty blends on your trips to TJ’s, let me assure you: each will propel your home cooking to Michelin-level heights (without any extra legwork). The unique flavor profiles, as the gastronomic experts might say, adds a je ne sais quoi that propels a “meh” dinner into one that you’ll want to eat on the regular.
If you’re trying to cut down on your salt intake, then Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute will be your new favorite. Concerning the multi-hyphenate spice blend, Trader Joe’s says: “Count ’em: onion, black pepper, celery seed, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, marjoram, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, cumin, mustard, coriander, garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice & lemon oil—phew!”
Skip the pre-made salad dressing and go (semi-)gourmet with the help of your 21 seasoning salute.
According to food blog Strength and Sunshine, the 20+ spice mixture yields the most flavorful grilled chicken she’s ever tasted. If yours usually comes out bland and blah, you can steal her tricks right now. Other bloggers also note that burger meat and turkey also turn from silver to gold with a sprinkle of 21 seasoning salute.
3. Stir-fried greens
As good as greens are for your bod, let’s be honest, they’ can be kind of a snooze fest for your tastebuds. A generous shake of 21 seasoning salute will make you say “kale, yeah!” to seconds.
With the right seasonings, guac (somehow?!) gets better.
While you have the spice blend out on the counter to pepper over your guacamole, you might as well add it to your tacos. Right?
“To create this Umami Seasoning Blend, we began with kosher salt, and used a flavor base of porcini and white button mushrooms – earthy mushroom flavor really is the cornerstone of umami (the Japanese for ‘pleasant savory taste’), which is why we named it Mushroom & Company,” says Trader Joe’s. The mix also stars onion, mustard seed, red & black pepper, and thyme.
Turkey burgers get an upgrade with a simple sprinkle of umami.
2. Truly delicious roasted veggies
As Well+Good writer Tehrene Firman discovered, the spice blend is fire on Brussels sprouts, green beans, and any other vegetables lurking in your crisper. So sprinkle a generous amount and watch the magic happen.
3. Casseroles and mac ‘n’ Cheese
Because of the mushroom-y flavor of this particular blend, it goes spectacularly with pasta and casseroles. So if you’re old salt, pepper, and garlic combo isn’t speaking to you anymore, consider adding a shake to elevate your next Italian evening.
4. Eggs of all forms
To completely transform a protein-rich breakfast, just add a splash of umami. Even your meal-prepped hard boiled eggs will suddenly go from bland to bursting with deliciousness.
In Mexico, something similar to the chili lime seasoning is served atop fresh cut fruit. Trader Joe’s own spicy riff on the blend is oh-so-versatile, but will probably taste just as good sprinkled on your produce. “Chile Lime Seasoning Blend is a pretty simple mix of California sea salt, chile pepper, red bell pepper, and lime juice. It’s spicy but not too hot, and tangy but not too puckery,” says the grocery store.
A steaming hot plate of fajitas just got way easier to season thanks to the TJ’s blend.
Even though summer’s now drawing to a close, you can keep it alive with the warm weather flavors of shrimp and lime.
Corn on the cob tastes delicious slathered in butter, sure. If you’re looking for a simpler (and healthier) way to get that finger-licking feeling, look no further.
4. Sweet and spicy fruit
“Shake some Chile Lime Seasoning Blend over cut watermelon, mango, Papaya, coconut, or Organic English Cucumbers,” advises Trader Joe’s. (Hey, this intel is coming straight from the source—so get snacking.)
Wondering what a dietitian buys at good old Trader Joe’s? Here’s your answer:
Now that your spice cabinet is fully stocked, here’s how to shop Trader Joe’s alt-pastas like a total pro and the mistake you’re making when you cook cauliflower gnocchi.