In the Los Angeles area, there is a local restaurant chain called Zankou Chicken. The loosely Lebanese-themed menu includes rotisserie chicken, shawarma, and various sides. Most importantly, they include little containers of their famous garlic sauce with every order.
This garlic sauce is beloved in LA. You can put it on everything they serve, and I’m pretty sure you can use it as currency. The condiment is actually toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce made simply of whipped raw garlic, oil, lemon, and salt.
While I eat Zankou from time to time (my husband loves it), I was pumped when I saw that Trader Joe’s carried toum in the refrigerated deli section. Now we can garlic up everything anytime we want—and oh boy, do we.
Why I Love Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread Dip
Confusingly called Garlic Spread Dip, the name is pretty accurate. You can use it as a spread and as a dip, plus so much more. The texture is smooth and almost fluffy, perfect for spreading or dipping. While you can make toum at home, I find it tricky to achieve this perfect texture, so I prefer to buy it.
Plus, it has a short ingredient list: canola oil, garlic, lemon juice, citric acid, and salt. That’s it! Once I started using it at home, I kept finding more and more uses for the tasty spread. Now I run through a container in record time. At just $3.69, I have a tendency to grab a tub almost every time I go.
How I Use Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread Dip
Here are some ways I like to use the garlicky, smooth spread/dip:
- Spread it on burger buns, sandwich bread, lavash, and pita
- Use as a dip for vegetables
- Add to salad dressing, like Caesar, ranch, or a vinaigrette, for a bit of creamy bite
- Add to marinades. I slathered chicken thighs simply in the spread and some lemon juice and grilled them and it was dee-licious
- Add to sauces. I’ve added a scoop of the spread to everything from fresh tomato sauce to pesto. It’s a great shortcut if you don’t feel like mincing garlic
- Add to potato, chicken, and egg salad
- Use to “butter” the outside of your bread for grilled cheeses and other toasty sandwiches
- Spread on the inside of a quesadilla
- Stir into soup, like a minestrone or Italian wedding soup
Arguably the Best Use of Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread Dip
If you need one big reason to buy this TJ’s product, make it this. It is the secret to instant garlic bread.
Spread it generously on a split loaf of French bread, Italian bread, leftover sandwich bread, whatever you like. Stick it in a toaster oven or under the broiler, cut-side-up, and toast until browned around the edges and fragrant. Instant garlic bread for any time the craving strikes!