How To: Make Copycat Trader Joe's Spices at Home

Make Copycat Trader Joe's Spices at Home

The spice selection at Trader Joe's is both inexpensive and truly top-notch. According to their site, they deal with some of the highest-quality spice manufacturers in the world and, in working with them directly, they eliminate hidden costs spent on promotions, brand-building, and advertising. This allows the customer to experiment with new flavors and build up their spice rack—without the usual limiting factor of high cost.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks

If you don't have access to a Trader's in your culinary neck of the woods, that's okay—in this article, we're going to show you that 5 of their most famous spice combinations can be recreated at home to rock your world.

21 Seasoning Salute

For the uninitiated, the 21 Seasoning Salute at Trader Joe's is a marvelous mix of flavors that goes well on just about everything. What really makes this seasoning stand out, however, is that it doesn't rely on salt to make its flavors pop; instead, it just includes a whole lot of spices (hence the name). So if you're looking for a great way to inject flavor into your food without increasing your daily sodium intake, this mix is right up your alley.

We recommend using it for: Salad dressings made with olive oil, roast chicken, cheese pizza, grilled veggies, and scrambled eggs.

Ingredients (all 21 of them):

  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • dried celery seed
  • ground cayenne pepper
  • dried parsley leaves
  • dried basil leaves
  • dried marjoram
  • dried bay leaf
  • dried oregano
  • dried thyme
  • dried savory
  • dried rosemary
  • cumin powder
  • mustard powder
  • ground coriander seed
  • garlic powder
  • dried carrot
  • dried orange peel
  • dried tomato
  • lemon juice
  • lemon oil

How to make it: No complicated directions needed—just mix equal parts together, grind, and spice away.

Image by Lenny Gale/Life is No Yolk

BBQ Rub with Coffee & Garlic

Before we say anything else, we must forewarn you: beware of the caffeine and perhaps go with decaf coffee if you find yourself sensitive to caffeine in the late hours. We once spent an entire night awake after indulging in coffee-rubbed flank steak.

With that said: this seasoning—although it's more accurately described as a rub—is the perfect combination of earthy and savory. Coffee may not sound like your go-to when it comes to meat rubs, but it will be once you try these awesome flavors mixed together!

We recommend using it for: Steaks, chicken and fish as a rub; use it in smaller amounts on pasta, veggies, and baked potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • ground coffee
  • brown and white sugar
  • sea salt
  • roasted garlic
  • onion flakes
  • smoked paprika
  • red bell pepper
  • dried clementine/Mandarin orange rind
  • paprika oil

How to make it: Simply mix an equal ratio of everything apart from the coffee, garlic, sugar, and sea salt. Then, add a 2:1 ratio of the coffee and garlic compared to the other ingredients. Lastly add the sugar and sea salt to taste.

Image via The Trader Joe's Experience

Every Day Seasoning

The Every Day Seasoning is so simple to make and pair with foods that you can... well, use it every day!

Image by Mandy/The Thin Twin

We recommend using it for: Salads, sauces, meat, poultry, soups, and casseroles. Basically... anything and everything, all the time and every time.

Ingredients:

  • coarse sea salt
  • whole mustard seeds
  • rainbow peppercorns
  • whole coriander seeds
  • dehydrated onion
  • dehydrated garlic
  • red pepper flakes

How to make it: Combine these in equal ratio, then adjust to suit your tastes. The best way to enjoy this seasoning is to put the mix in a grinder so you can freshly grind the flavors.

Image by Rebecca/Girls Gone Child

Poultry Rub

Ah, the Poultry Rub. Don't let the name fool you, though—this delicious seasoning can be used with more than just poultry.

Image by Nick & Bay Nigro/Food Hacks

We recommend using it for: Scrambled eggs, toast with cream cheese, chicken tenders, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, whole chickens, chicken drumsticks. In short—don't be a chicken. Use it in every way you can—like a millionaire intent on going broke!

Ingredients:

  • sea salt
  • garlic flakes
  • roasted onion
  • sugar
  • paprika
  • sage
  • marjoram
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • parsley
  • dried lemon zest
  • black pepper
  • lemon juice
  • sunflower seed oil

Mix all of the ingredients in equal ratio except for the lemon juice and sunflower seed oil. When applying to poultry, add the lemon juice and oil before adding the rub. When using on other foods, it's okay to omit them.

Image by Rita/Food.com

Lemon Pepper

Lemon Pepper is the all-purpose go-to seasoning for just about anything you can brainstorm.

We recommend using it for: Toast with sliced avocado, chicken tenders, simple pasta with butter, bagels with cream cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes, and fresh white fish with lemon juice.

In short... we put it on everything. Because it is our everything. So here's the best recipe we've found to replicate this magical seasoning at home.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large lemons
  • 1/3 cup of crushed peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup sea salt

Directions:

  1. Zest all of the lemons, then mix the zest with the crushed pepper.
Image by Laurie/Simply Scratch
  1. Spread this mix on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 170°F until the zest is totally dry (this might take an hour or longer, depending on your oven).
Image by Laurie/Simply Scratch
  1. Next, add the dried lemon pepper mix to a grinder and grind until you reach your desired texture.
  2. Lastly, mix your new seasoning with sea salt and store in a container. Bring it out daily to enhance your favorite food.
Image by Laurie/Simply Scratch

Spice Up Your Life

If you're fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe's, you already know that you're one lucky duck. With reasonable prices for spices and seasonings, you have all the tools at your fingertips to make well-seasoned, delicious food. But for those of you who live too far away from the magic, we hope that this list will spice things up a bit for your everyday cooking.

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