Since I visited New York City in September, my family has become addicted to this oniony, garlicy sesame bagel seasoning!
Before I left for my trip, I checked the location of our hotel on the map and was excited to discover that there was a Trader Joe’s around the block. There isn’t one in our entire state, so when I travel, I like to check them out.
Unfortunately, I usually get into the store not knowing what to look for and wind up disappointed. This time I did a little preliminary research in some of the Facebook groups I follow, and in all of them there was one product that was constantly mentioned: Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning. So I bought a jar and brought it home.
Immediately it became the most popular seasoning in my house. My husband started sprinkling it on grits, sandwiches, and toast, I started putting it on potatoes and tofu, and pretty soon that jar was almost empty. I checked into ordering it online, but the cost was ridiculous, considering the simple combination of ingredients. So while I still had a little left in the jar to compare, I started working on the perfect formula for homemade everything but the bagel seasoning.
I used the order of ingredients on the jar as a guide and let my taste buds tell me when I had the right proportions. I happened to have sesame seeds, both white and black, poppy seeds, and salt, so I made a quick run to the store for dried onion flakes and garlic.
I first made it using fine kosher flake salt but found that it all wound up at the bottom, so I tried again with coarse sea salt, and it was perfect.
The onion flakes I bought were a little large, so I crushed them lightly in a mortar and pestle. This probably isn’t necessary with all brands of onion flakes, but I found it made the ingredients more consistent in size.
The final recipe is below, but I know you’re probably wondering, “What do you use Everything Bagel Seasoning on?” Well, let me tell you!
Toast, Biscuits, Sandwiches, and Anything Bread
It seems kind of obvious, so let me get this one out of the way: Everything But the Bagel tastes great on bread. Sprinkle it on toast (dry or spread with mustard or your favorite bread spread), press it into the tops of bread or biscuits before you bake them, and turn regular bagels into everything bagels with just a sprinkle.
Sprinkle it on sandwiches. While I was still able to get good tomatoes, I loved making a tomato sandwich sprinkled with bagel seasoning, and my husband loves Tofurky slices sprinkled with the stuff.
And of course, Everything but the Bagel makes the best avocado toast. Just sprinkle it on sliced or mashed avocado for the perfect breakfast.
Use Everything but the Bagel Seasoning on Potatoes and Grains
Everything Bagel seasoning perks up any potato dish. I love it sprinkled on a hot baked potato, but it also adds flavor to air fried potatoes, oven fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, and scalloped potatoes. I sprinkle it on oven fries and air fries after they are cooked, tossing them in a teaspoon or so of aquafaba or vegetable broth to help the seasoning stick.
As Southerners, we love sprinkling this seasoning on grits. It’ll also perk up a simple serving of rice or other grains.
Use Everything Bagel on Vegetables
I can’t think of one vegetable I wouldn’t sprinkle with my homemade Everything Bagel seasoning! It goes particularly well with the mild flavor of roasted cauliflower and asparagus, but I can imagine it on broccoli and even salads.
Make Tofu Taste Like a Bagel
Homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning lends a great onion and garlic flavor to tofu prepared any way. Marinate tofu in soy sauce and your choice of seasonings; then air-fry it, waffle it, or bake it. Once it’s cooked, sprinkle it liberally with Everything seasoning. I like how it adds a little crunch as well as flavor!
I’ve also sprinkled Everything on scrambled tofu for an added dash of flavor.
Make Everything but the Bagel Hummus
We love adding bagel seasoning to hummus! I simply make a batch of my Hummus in the Blender and sprinkle it with homemade Everything Bagel seasoning. If you really want to add a lot of flavor, you can also blend a couple of teaspoons of the seasoning into the hummus.
Use Bagel Seasoning on Casseroles
Everything but the Bagel adds a bit of crunch and flavor to casserole toppings. Simply mix it with Panko or bread crumbs to make a lightened up topping for any casserole you like.
My bright idea for Thanksgiving this year is to make my Green Bean Casserole and instead of the decadent fried-onion topping to combine panko, Everything Bagel, and a little extra of the dried minced onions. It will be so much lighter than the original, and I think the sesame seeds will give it a rich, nutty taste.
When I created my Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe, my first instinct was to add Everything Bagel to the topping, but I was afraid it was a seasoning most people don’t have. Well, that problem is solved with the following recipe!
A Word About the Cost
If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, buying Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning there is probably the least expensive option if you plan to use it sparingly. It’s normally $1.99 for 2.3 ounces. If you have to buy it online, such as on Amazon, the price leaps to around $6.70, with Prime free shipping.
I was fortunate to have most of the ingredients in my pantry, but I decided to do a little looking around locally and found black and white sesame seeds at the Indian grocery for $2.99 for 7 ounces. Indian stores usually have great prices on hard-to-find spices. They probably had some of the other ingredients, including poppy seeds, which are the most expensive ingredient in this spice blend–$3.29 for 1.96 ounces at the local Kroger. (Coincidentally, the poppy seeds are the one ingredient I feel I could leave out without any change to the flavor; they do add a nice contrasting shape and color.)
If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, you’ll definitely have to pay out more money if you decide to make it yourself than if you buy it from TJ’s, but if you become addicted to it like my family has, it’ll be cheaper in the end to make your own bagel seasoning.
Homemade Everything but the Bagel Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container. Note: if you use onion flakes that are larger than the other ingredients, you may crush them lightly in a mortar and pestle before mixing them in.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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I’m not affiliated with Trader Joe’s in any way, but if you buy something through one of my Amazon links, I do get a small commission. But I recommend shopping local for this recipe!