13 Trader Joe's Seasonings, Ranked

Trader Joe's sells many grocery products that have an almost cult-like following. That is due in large part to the fact that the supermarket chain focuses almost exclusively on selling Trader Joe's brand items, from beverages to frozen meals to condiments. Many of these foods have a fiercely loyal following among regular customers, who make sure to restock each and every time they go on a grocery run. Another product that Trader Joe's is known for is its seasonings. In addition to the usual suspects like onion salt and smoked paprika, it also sells a variety of unique and affordable seasoning blends that combine different flavors and ingredients together to make one-of-a-kind spices to add to your pantry.

If you have ever wondered how Trader Joe's seasonings stack up against one another, you're in for a treat. When determining how the spices rank, it is important to keep in mind a few criteria: flavor, versatility, and uniqueness of ingredients. After all, a seasoning blend can be tasty, but you may be just as capable of recreating it with the spices you already have at home. To help you choose the best seasoning for your needs, we've ranked more than a dozen different seasoning blends available now at Trader Joe's.

13. Ketchup Flavored Sprinkle Seasoning Blend

Just because the capability exists to do something unique does not necessarily mean one should venture out and actually do it. As it just so happens, ketchup is a perfectly fine condiment in sauce form, and there is really no use in converting it into a powdered seasoning blend. That is the main takeaway with the Ketchup Flavored Sprinkle Seasoning Blend from Trader Joe's. Does it taste like ketchup? Sure, the idea of ketchup is certainly there. The main ingredients are powdered tomato, salt, sugar, and vinegar powder, which is the same as regular ketchup, just in a dry form.

All this seasoning does is beg the question: Why does it exist? Practically every kitchen in America has a bottle of ketchup, so it eliminates the need for this seasoning. If you wanted to infuse the flavor of ketchup into a different sauce, then this seasoning blend might have a purpose. But ultimately it tastes odd at best, and even if you are a big fan of ketchup, you are much better off sticking to the OG version of the condiment.

12. Salmon Rub Seasoning Blend

Trader Joe's customers might have high hopes for the Salmon Rub Seasoning Blend. After all, while salmon is tasty on its own, the right combination of flavors can make it a standout protein that you will want to eat every day. Unfortunately, the Salmon Rub Seasoning Blend falls pretty flat. It is not a bad seasoning blend by any stretch of the imagination, but its small list of ingredients leaves much to be desired. It contains brown sugar, smoked paprika, kosher salt, black pepper, rice concentrate, and dried thyme. These seasonings are likely stocked in your pantry already, eliminating the necessity to go out and buy this blend, unless you want to save a few seconds while prepping your meal.

You need to add quite a bit of this seasoning blend to pick up a strong flavor. The name is also a bit of a misnomer in that this seasoning would work with any number of meats and not just seafood. Ultimately, it will work in a pinch and can remove one step in preparing a meal, but it will need an extra boost in flavor in order to compete with other Trader Joe's seasonings.

11. Pizza Sprinkle Seasoning Blend

Did Trader Joe's do the impossible? Did they put the flavor of an entire pizza into a bottle? Well, sort of, but not exactly. The Pizza Sprinkle Seasoning Blend sounds too good to be true. It's made with tomato powder, granulated garlic, paprika, sea salt, rice concentrate, coriander, black pepper, dried parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano. That sure sounds like the makings of a pizza, but when tasting it, that unmistakable pizza flavor does come through in a meaningful way.

The other challenge with the Pizza Sprinkle Seasoning Blend is finding a good use for it. The argument one could make here is that the flavor of pizza should go with everything, but with such a mild flavor, it is hard to determine what the best use is. Straight out of the bottle and on top of whatever you are eating does not suffice. Instead, you are better off mixing the seasoning into a sauce or dip of some kind. However, keep in mind that you will need to add a considerable amount of seasoning in order to really taste it. The pizza blend is a novel idea, but it winds up being exactly that: a novelty. It does not move the needle in any meaningful way in the world of cooking. Try it for a good laugh; it is only $2.99 so it will not break your grocery budget. But do not expect this to suddenly find its way into your weekly meal rotation.

10. Cheesy Seasoning Blend

What could be better than the ability to sprinkle a bit of cheese onto anything and everything your heart desires? That was likely the hope when Trader Joe's first launched its Cheesy Seasoning Blend — unfortunately, the blend falls a bit short of expectations. Trader Joe's claims the blend can be used in a wide variety of ways, such as on top of vegetables, pasta, and even popcorn. It is certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination, and it does work on an array of different food items. But powdered cheese pales in comparison to the real thing, and if you are a cheese connoisseur that loves to add it to practically everything, then you likely already have options in your kitchen that work better than the Cheesy Seasoning Blend.

It works in a pinch when you want a little burst of cheesy flavor on top of your food and you are out of regular cheese but do not be so fast as to replace all of your cheese with this seasoning blend. There are other flavors in this blend — salt, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and oregano to be precise — that help to give a little more dimension.

9. Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend

Want a little zest added to your meal? One of Trader Joe's newer seasonings is the Sriracha Sprinkle Seasoning Blend, containing all of the usual fixings to bring a manageable level of heat to your food. Those fixings can be found in the cayenne pepper that is included in this seasoning blend, but the rest of the ingredients are rather mild. So, this is a very approachable blend that should not be too hot to handle.

Taking a look at the ingredients, however, you are likely to fashion your own sriracha-inspired blend without too much trouble. Sure, buying them pre-mixed can save time, but ultimately this is not an entirely necessary blend to add to your pantry if you already have some of the more common seasonings. That said, it does provide a nice taste and is very noticeable, so if you do decide to purchase it, it will definitely add a pop of flavor to your meal.

8. Chile Lime Seasoning Blend

If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, then you may want to clear a spot in your spice cabinet for the Chile Lime Seasoning Blend from Trader Joe's. It is very reminiscent of tajin, which is ground-up and dried chile peppers and dehydrated lime. This seasoning blend is made with salt, chile pepper, red bell pepper, and lime juice powder, so the idea of that quintessential tajin flavor is definitely there. This Chile Lime blend makes a great seasoning for your meat and side dishes, but where it truly shines is on the rim of a glass for your favorite mixed drink.

Keep in mind, however, that this flavor may not be for everyone. The chile and lime combination is a very distinct and strong flavor, and if you are not a fan, you will know right away and the taste will be hard to dodge. Because this can be a very polarizing seasoning blend, it winds up being a middle-of-the-road choice when compared to other Trader Joe's spices. So, be sure to start in small amounts if you are serving anybody who may be on the fence about this blend.

7. Ranch Seasoning Blend

Fans of traditional ranch dressing will be quick to tell you how versatile the sauce is, good with not only salads but pizza, chicken wings, vegetables, or even as a dip for french fries. But why have the potential for so much mess with the dressing when you can have a much simpler ranch in powder form? Trader Joe's Ranch Seasoning Blend is made with a myriad of ingredients that really brings that signature ranch flavor-forward, including buttermilk flavor, granulated onion and garlic, and dried dill.

Before you even try this seasoning blend, you are hit with that whiff of buttermilk and dill that can only be ranch. Once you take a bite, whether it is on vegetables, popcorn, or baked potato, the Ranch Seasoning Blend has an unmistakable taste. Trader Joe's even includes a quick and easy recipe on the label to follow if you want to make a creamy ranch dressing with this spice, which amplifies this blend's usefulness. Sure, it might taste exactly like a Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning blend, but the unique flavor profile is hard to replicate with the other spices you likely have in your pantry right now.

6. Green Goddess Seasoning Blend

If there was one seasoning blend that could feel and taste lighter than the others, it has got to be the Green Goddess Seasoning Blend. Maybe it's the herbal aroma and flavor profile, but this is one spice that almost tastes healthier than the others if that is even possible. That is in part thanks to its trio of green ingredients: dried chives, dried green onion, and spinach powder. Combine that with lemon juice powder and lemon oil, and you got yourself a unique seasoning blend that will add a bit of extra greenery to your vegetables.

There is also a recipe on the side of the jar to make your very own Green Goddess dressing if you want to take this seasoning blend the extra mile. It can even be mixed with just olive oil as a marinade for your favorite meat. But even on its own, this seasoning blend provides a unique burst of flavor that is hard to replicate.

5. Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend

Citrus fans, this is the seasoning blend for you! The Cuban Style Citrusy Garlic Seasoning Blend delivers on its name and then some. With the first two ingredients being garlic and citrus acid, it takes no time for the flavor to make itself known. Right away as you take a bite, you are hit with a strong burst of citrus, making it a great summer option for your next cookout. But be warned: A little goes a long way. This spice clearly gets major points for its bold flavor, just be careful not to overdo it.

Because of the strong flavor, it might not be a runaway hit with everyone. But those who like it will end up loving it. Those who do not care for the strong citrus flavor, however, might be turned off quickly. It is not a seasoning blend for everyone, but what it is able to accomplish is rather special in the world of Trader Joe's seasonings.

4. Everything But the Elote Seasoning Blend

The popular Mexican street food snack known as Elote is a flavorful treat that makes corn on the cob taste more like a treat than your everyday vegetable. Trader Joe's took that signature Elote flavor and packaged it as a dry spice in the form of its Everything But the Elote Seasoning Blend. With a name that riffs off of its signature Everything But the Bagel blend, the Everything But the Elote spice is just that: It includes all of the hallmark flavors you will find in Elote except for the corn on the cob itself.

This seasoning blend can clearly go on top of corn, but there are so many other great uses for this spice. It brings the best of Elote to any meal or snack. Mixing the seasoning into your favorite condiment can also add a burst of flavor to your dipping sauce or sandwich. The possibilities are truly endless, and Elote is a great crowd-pleasing flavor that is both bold and approachable.

3. Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend

In order to understand what the Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend from Trader Joe's is trying to achieve, it is important to have a basic foundational knowledge of umami. It is considered one of five basic flavors in Japanese cuisine, in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The best and simplest way to describe umami is savory. Adding a dash of umami to any meal will enhance its savory qualities, bringing out a pleasant flavor. And that is exactly what the Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend achieves.

There is admittedly no standout utility for this seasoning, unlike some of the other spices on this list that have a very distinct flavor. But its versatility is what makes it so beloved and one of the best-tasting seasoning blends Trader Joe's sells. It works with just about anything you add it to: meats, soups, vegetables, and more. As the name implies, this seasoning is perhaps the closest to an all-purpose blend that you will find at Trader Joe's.

2. Nori Komi Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning

The Nori Komi Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning from Trader Joe's will sit in one of two places on your personal ranking: It will either be at the top or the bottom. The one major qualifier for enjoying this seasoning blend has to do with one of its main ingredients: nori. This black seaweed is found throughout Japanese cuisine, particularly in seafood dishes like sushi. It has a recognizable smell and taste that might quickly turn you off if you are not interested in nori, but when it works, it really, really works.

The Nori Komi Furikake Japanese Multi-Purpose Seasoning adds a great flavor as well as a nice crunch from the dried nori strips that pairs wonderfully with rice dishes. It's also excellent on top of salmon as well as your morning eggs. Simply put, this is one of the tastiest seasonings Trader Joe's sells — as long as you are open to adding a dash of the sea to your food!

1. Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

There had to be a top dog among Trader Joe's seasoning blends, and to some this top choice will come as no surprise. Of all of the Trader Joe's seasonings to have a bit of a cult following, the Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend takes the cake. It has permeated into other grocery items at Trader Joe's, including its own flavor of potato chips, nut mixes, and even smoked salmon. It is clearly a popular choice among regular Trader Joe's shoppers, but what is it about this seasoning that ranks it higher than the rest?

For starters, the Everything But the Bagel seasoning has multiple ingredients you might not have laying around your kitchen, which makes for a unique flavor that is hard to match. Sesame seeds and poppy seeds aside, the dried minced garlic and onion give it a flavor boost that pairs wonderfully with more dishes than you might think. It goes great on a bagel, as one would imagine, but it can also go well on salads, dips, or plated meals like your morning eggs, pasta, baked potatoes, or your favorite protein. It is no wonder that it is one of Trader Joe's most popular items, with its bold flavor and versatility giving it high marks.