Trader Joe’s New Seasoning Blend Is Weird, But We Can’t Stop Sprinkling|Recipes Spots

  • on January 21, 2023
Trader Joe's Ketchup Sprinkle

Trader Joe's Ketchup Sprinkle
Simply Recipes / Myo Quinn

I am no longer surprised by Trader Joe’s rotating door of new products. Some are strange—I’m still scarred by the chocolate-flavored potato gnocchi—others genius (Everything But the Bagel Seasoning!), and many more so delicious they’ve become essential, like the Mandarin Orange Chicken. A few days ago, a new jar was added to their ever-growing arsenal of seasoning blends: Trader Joe’s Ketchup Flavored Sprinkle Seasoning Blend.

“Uhhh, ketchup sprinkles?!”

“‘Whenever you’d think to use ketchup.’ Excuse me what does that mean?”

Even our most adventurous editors couldn’t wrap their heads around this new product. That’s where I, a person willing to spend my hard-earned dollars on most anything with a Trader Joe’s label, is useful.

At the most basic level, TJ’s ketchup sprinkles are great for adding ketchup flavor without adding ketchup wetness. It’s made with powdered tomatoes, vinegar, onions, and garlic, sugar and salt—basically dehydrated ketchup. It’s saltier than ketchup, so try a little shake first and skip the salt when using it in a recipe.

Here are lots of ideas for how to use TJ’s ketchup sprinkles:

Overhead view of sweet potato fries on a platter with a dipping sauce.
Simply Recipes / Eliezer Martinez

Potatoes’ Best Friend

No pairing is more iconic than ketchup and fries, and that’s where TJ’s ketchup seasoning shines: sprinkled on French fries, string, steak, curly, and waffle fries, tater tots, hashbrowns (you have to try these in the air fryer), and even oven roasted potatoes. In fact, all crispy, crunchy potatoes or sweet potatoes should be doused in ketchup seasoning as soon as they come out of the oven or air fryer. Every bite will be salty and bright, exactly what’ll make you go back for more.

Fried Catfish
Elise Bauer

Dredge for Frying

Add Trader Joe’s ketchup sprinkle to your fry batter or dredging flour for frying catfish, chicken, pickles, and green tomatoes. No one will think, hmmm love the ketchup in this fried chicken, but it’ll taste magical—a smart and delicious sleight of hand to add big flavor.

old bay chicken wings
Elise Bauer

It’s Basically Flavored Salt

Treat TJ’s ketchup seasoning blend like you would any flavored salt like garlic salt, old bay seasoning, adobo seasoning, and Lawry’s seasoned salt. Here are recipes you can use the ketchup seasoning blend instead of these classic seasoning salts:

  • Old Bay Chicken Wings
  • Old Bay Shrimp Rolls
  • Garlic Knots
  • Bloody Maria or Bloody Mary
  • Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls
  • Boiled Peanuts
Side view of easy kettle corn in a teal bowl.
Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

Upgrade a Basic Snack

A quick Google search yields the most recommended way to use TJ’s ketchup seasoning: sprinkled on potato chips to re-create Lay’s popular ketchup potato chips. So smart, especially since they aren’t the easiest to find for some of us. Steal the idea and sprinkle it on other basic snacks like popcorn, pita chips, crispy chickpeas, roasted pumpkin seeds, and toasted mixed nuts.

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