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The Best Spice at Trader Joe’s Is Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Eater Young Gun Christina Nguyen (‘14) of Hai Hai in Minneapolis relies on this spice mix to up her snack game

A jar of Everything But the Bagel Seasoning Blend on a tan background with red stars. Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s; photo-illustration by Eater

Welcome to the Best Thing at Trader Joe’s, a series in which chefs and restaurant industry insiders share which TJ’s product is the GOAT (no #sponcon necessary). To kick things off, Eater Young Gun Christina Nguyen (‘14) of Hai Hai in Minneapolis on Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend.

I don’t know if this is everybody’s feeling, but it is my undisputed truth: Everything bagels are always the best bagels. And obviously, it’s because there are all of these different delicious flavors going on there: sesame seeds and poppy seeds and toasted garlic and onion. All that good stuff. So I think that any opportunity to make anything into an everything bagel is always good.

So when I don’t have an everything bagel on me, I like to use this mix. It’s so much easier than making the mix at home, because you don’t need a big jar of each of the components. I feel like it goes really well with creamy things, like cream cheese or tzatziki or hummus. I’ll usually sprinkle the mix on top of some hummus, and then dip stuff into it. And then maybe add a little olive oil. It’s great just for snacking. Because obviously, when you run a restaurant you don’t actually have time to cook at home. So you’ve gotta snack. And this just makes everything delicious.

I’ll put it on carbs, too: if there’s something that doesn’t have an everything flavor, you know, like pita or something like that — crackery-y things — I’ll put it on that. Or on top of roasted vegetables: maybe you have some roasted carrots with a crema or some sour cream, and sprinkle it on top of that, which is delicious. Or you can sprinkle it on top of some avocado, if you’re doing that weird snack thing I do where you just cut an avocado in half and dip some chips in there. It’s not very cheffy, but it’s good!