Bagels are a New York icon. And everything bagels are even more so. Why choose between sesame seed, poppyseed, garlic, salt or onion bagels when you can get them all on one? When Trader Joe’s launched its Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend in 2017, suddenly, the flavor was no longer relegated to bagels — it was everywhere.
But what is everything bagel seasoning, anyway? Who invented it? And what are you supposed to do with a jar of it once you’ve brought it home? We’ve got the answers to, well, everything.
Think of the most common traditional bagel toppings, combine them and you’ve got everything bagel seasoning. The combo can vary slightly, but classically, this spice mix consists of sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, minced dried garlic, minced dried onion, poppy seeds and flaky sea salt. Sesame seeds make up the bulk of the mix but the flavors and textures are perfectly balanced.
Like so many great innovations of our time, the exact origins of everything bagels are murky. A few people, including celebrity restaurateur Joe Bastianach, claim they came up with the idea to mix together the various toppings that had fallen off the bagels while they baked. Whatever the case, they began to appear on the scene in the New York area in the late 1970s or early ’80s. As for selling the seasoning separately, Trader Joe’s gets credit for popularizing the product, if not inventing it.
If you’re interested in how to make everything bagel seasoning, here’s the scoop. Combine 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon minced dried garlic, 1 tablespoon minced dried onion, 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, and 2 teaspoons poppy seeds. That’s it! You can store it in a sealed jar in a cool, dark place for a very, very long time. Not that it will last that long.
Now that you’ve made or bought everything bagel seasoning, you may be wondering what to do with it. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. Of course, you can make your own three-ingredient bagels and generously coat them with the mix. If you want to bring the flavors of a bagel shop to a party, you could take it a step further and mix everything bagel seasoning into some seven-layer bagel and lox dip. For another good party dish, everything bagel pigs in a blanket can’t be beat.
Looking to upgrade your avocado toast? A simple sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning will breathe new life into this staple dish. This spice blend also is delicious sprinkled on popcorn, roasted veggies, mac and cheese, potatoes and eggs any way you cook them and on top of homemade breads.
If you want the seasoning to be the star of the show, try everything roasted cauliflower or everything roast chicken with new potatoes, which prove that you can construct an entire everything-flavored meal. So be sure to have everything bagel seasoning on hand if you want to stock your pantry and take it to the next level.