Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend took the top spot in TJ’s 11th Annual Customer Choice Awards earlier this year—and it deserves its cultish devotion. Here are five of our favorite ways to use it every day.
Let’s be honest. Everything bagels are the best. I know you may want to argue. Some like the mellowness of sesame, or the texture of poppy seeds, or even the sweetness of cinnamon raisin when we’re feeling nostalgic. But my favorite adult bagel is an everything bagel, and I love finding a whole wheat everything bagel; it makes me feel very virtuous. I argue that it’s the seasoning that makes the everything bagel so appealing; the crunch of the coarse salt, the umami of the roasted garlic and onion, and the sweetness of the sesame. It really gives you everything!
My everything bagel pet peeve is when the bagel maker only seasons the top of the bagel, not the entire surface. If you’ve been victim of that crime, here is where Trader Joe’s has you covered with their coveted Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend (EBTBSSB). It has all the seasoning you want in an easy-to-pour glass jar. It’s salty, full of crispy garlic and onion morsels, and chock-full of white and black sesame seeds for an extra crunch.
There are myriad ways to utilize this seasoning, from sprinkling it on homemade buttered popcorn to rubbing it on grilled steaks. You could even make your own compound butter by adding the seasoning into room temperature unsalted butter; then use it to flavor roasted vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, and corn, or on seared chicken breasts or a juicy steak. Or if you’re feeling fresh, top your own raw tuna or salmon poke bowl for an unexpected umami flavor.
Personally, I love to use it as a way to add zing to my breakfast or lunch sandwiches, so here are my five favorite ways to incorporate this gem; try one for your next meal:
1. Avocado Toast with a Fried Egg
With avocado toast basically a staple in our breakfast routine, why not elevate it with some seasoning and a fried egg? I love toasting a hearty piece of bread, smearing it with mashed avocado, and then adding a fried egg that’s just a tad runny. Top with EBTBSSB, and things just got even better; the seasoning spices up the mildness of the avocado and egg.
2. Egg Salad
This seasoning is a nice addition to a creamy egg salad too. It adds texture, salt, and crunch. Try adding some egg salad into a whole wheat wrap (I’m partial to Trader Joe’s Low Carb Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas), top with the seasoning, and add in a handful of greens and cucumbers for more vegetables.
3. Tuna on a Bagel
If I’m feeling extra, I like to use this seasoning as a boost on top of tuna salad. And my ultimate tuna salad carb vehicle is either rye bread or, you guessed it, an everything bagel! It’s salty and briny and just really good. Throw a juicy, sliced tomato and some shredded lettuce on top to feel more saintly.
4. Smoked Salmon on Crackers
If I want a light snack, I like to top whole wheat crackers (Ak Mak from Trader Joe’s) with some horseradish aioli and a few slivers of smoked salmon. Top with EBTBSSB and a squeeze of lemon and you have salt, fat, acid, heat… A perfect bite each time and great for impressing your guests during hors d’oeuvres hour.
5. English Muffin with Tomato and Cream Cheese
This setup was actually my first foray into using the seasoning. I like to take a toasted whole wheat English muffin, spread with whipped cream cheese, and top with sliced tomatoes and the seasoning. It’s a nice mix up when you don’t want to eat a whole bagel. I love the heartiness of the whole wheat English muffin, acidity of the tomatoes, and richness of the cream cheese paired with the saltiness of the seasoning.
Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning, $7.99 from Amazon
If you don't live anywhere near a Trader Joe's, you can pay a premium to get your EBTBSS online.
Related Reading: How to Make All Your Favorite Trader Joe’s Food at Home
Even More Ideas
You can also try:
- stirring it into an easy dip or hummus
- using it to crust salmon or shrimp before cooking (try the same trick with a simple roast chicken, baked chicken fingers, or seared steak too)
- sprinkling it atop homemade crackers, pizza crust, or bread before baking; ditto homemade bagels or soft pretzels
- adding it to the toppings roster for a baked potato bar
- tossing roasted veggies with EBTBSS instead of simple salt and pepper
- using it to give a little boost to fried eggs or creamy soups
- swapping it in for your usual bloody Mary rim salt
But don’t stop there—it’s one of those things that’s legitimately good on almost anything.
Just go easy on any salt already in the recipe, or even cut it out completely, as the seasoning blend packs a nice sodium punch on its own.
Header image courtesy of Marisa Olsen.