How to Make Your Own Trader Joe's-style Thanksgiving Seasoning

Illustration for article titled I Could Not Find the Trader Joes Thanksgiving Seasoning So I Made My Own

Photo: Claire Lower

The Right StuffingThe Right StuffingIt’s turkey time, which means you may or may not be freaking out about how to prepare the biggest meal of the year. Don’t worry, we here at Lifehacker have you covered with The Right Stuffing, featuring tips, tricks, and many, many recipes to make sure you have the easiest, tastiest Thanksgiving possible.

As I type these words, I am eating a pile of fries that taste like the last Thursday in November. They’re fries with a stuffing vibe—a great vibe—and they came into being without any help from a certain trader named Joe.

Let me back up. When Trader Joe’s announced it would be releasing a Thanksgiving-themed seasoning blend called “Everything but the Leftovers,” I was elated. I love a theme almost as much as I love shakers full of salty powders, so this was a natural fit.

I pitched a taste test of the seasoning as a “Hack or Wack—Snack Edition” video—and it was accepted!—but disaster struck when neither I nor our video producer Joel Kahn could find it at our local Traders Joe. I checked mine three separate times before Joel told me his location wouldn’t be getting any until January, which kind of defeats the purpose, but oh well.

I was, however, still quite taken with the notion of a Thanksgiving seasoning blend, and decided to make my own. After all, the Trader Joe’s version was mostly onion powder, plus all the “usual” Thanksgiving-related dried herbs, and I have access to all of those things.

But being me, I could not help but mess with the formula a bit. Rather than try and guess TJ’s ratios, I decided to craft a seasoning blend to suit my needs, and my needs involve a cube of poultry bouillon. (Trying to replicate the TJ’s blend would be a fool’s errand anyway, since I cannot taste it.)

If you can find turkey bouillon cubes, get those, and then tell me where you got them, because all I could find was chicken. (If you’re a vegetarian, you can use a vegetarian version or a cube of vegetable bouillon.) Luckily, chicken bouillon is very close to turkey bouillon, especially when you pulverize it with sage, thyme, rosemary, and a little celery seed. Because I am not the biggest fan of celery, I only used a couple pinches of that last ingredient; taste and add more if you think it needs it. The result is a savory powder that will lend a bit of Turkey Day cheer to anything you shake it on.

To make your own batch of Thanksgiving seasoning, you will need:

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (or turkey if you can find it)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 pinches of celery seed

Combine everything in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until you are left with a fine powder. Give it a taste, and adjust with more sage or celery seed if you think it needs it. Sprinkle on a bowl of Christmas movie-watching popcorn, add it to your stuffing to make it read more “stuffing-y,” or use it to season any potato product. You could even use it to dust your wets for Thanksgiving-themed crudités. Who doesn’t want a Thanksgiving cucumber?

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