Watch out, Tajin, you’ve got some spicy competition! Trader Joe’s is the beloved grocery store brand behind some of our favorite spice blends, salad dressings, frozen snacks, and well, just about anything delicious, which is why they’ve developed such a loyal following over the years. And the fact that everything is so affordable is always an added bonus.
But when it comes to all their different spices, it’s hard to know where to start—and what to use them on—which is why we’re shining the spotlight on one of our favorites: Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend. With a flavor profile that’s similar to Tajin, it’s quickly become a competitor for the cult favorite seasoning and can instantly take any dish from basic to bold with just a dash or two.
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Is Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning the same as Tajin?
Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend is a combination of salt, chile powder and lime juice powder. Similar to Tajin, this seasoning blend isn’t so much hot and spicy as it is limey and, turns out, it makes the perfect accompaniment to just about all of your summer dishes.
We’re going to show you how to incorporate it into breakfast, lunch, dinner—and yes, even dessert—with these Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend ideas!
How to use Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning
1. Make a salad dressing
This one is a favorite for sure. Half olive oil, half vinegar, a little honey, a splash of lime juice and a spoonful of this spice blend comes alive in a bright dressing that looks just like a southwest sunset. It’s beautifully balanced (as long as you skip any additional salt) and makes a taco salad even more delicious. Toss with sourdough bread cubes or tortilla strips for a crunchy addition to your salad as well.
2. Sprinkle it on fruit
Perhaps the OG way to use this type of seasoning is to sprinkle it on mango, pineapple and even orange slices. This method is a favorite of Trader Joe’s—on their website they tout sprinkling this seasoning blend on the sweet stuff, saying “sweet and crisp fruit, contrasted with tart lime, enhanced by salt, and given an ever-so-slight, pungent, chile-powder kick.” Yum.
3. Use it in a cocktail
Or, rather, on the rim of a cocktail glass. Why have a margarita with plain old salt when you could rim your glass in this sunny blend and truly kick your cocktail up a notch? The touch of heat from the spice blend pairs nicely with a strong tequila and the lime is just a given—it’s a match made in heaven.
4. On your popcorn
Even if you’re usually all “butter or bust” on your movie night snack, give a few shakes of this seasoning a try. We bet you’ll be surprised. The crunchy hot kernels with the deep dark chile spice and a hint of lime are absolutely delicious. Add butter (or olive oil) to make it really stick, but again, skip the salt on this one as the seasoning blend has more than enough.
5. Add to your guacamole
While guacamole usually has lime and chile seasoning of some sort in it anyway, adding a shake or two of this seasoning blend makes it an easy, one-step way to amp up your guac game on Taco Tuesday.
6. On your eggs
An egg cooked in butter and set atop a (Trader Joe’s, of course) crisp hash brown, covered in this chile lime seasoning? Genius move. No additional seasoning is needed on top of this fancy breakfast either. Set on a bed of peppery arugula or baby kale, this is one fantastic way to start your day (or make someone else’s).
7. Use in a meat or seafood marinade
In case you’re ever stuck with a plain protein to cook for dinner—whether it’s chicken, tofu, steak or shrimp—look no further in your cabinet than this spice blend that makes chicken nachos sing and shrimp tacos dance. Liven up a salmon burger or dust on top of tofu nuggets for an easy effortless meal in minutes.
8. Make a dip
If you need a quick summer dip for that BBQ you forgot about, add a tablespoon or two to some plain yogurt or sour cream and give it a good mix. You’ll have a zingy, delectable dip in no time flat. Alternatively, you can make a dipping oil by mixing the chile lime seasoning, herbs and olive oil.
9. Spice up your crudite
You’ll be the crudité queen at your next party simply by taking a pinch of this seasoning and coating your veggies in it. Jicama, carrot sticks and cucumber go from “meh” to mouthwatering with a tiny bit of the seasoning blend. Better yet, sprinkle it on charred shishito peppers or buttered corn on the cob for a side dish that’ll leave you wanting more.
10. Season soups or stews
Add the TJ Chile Lime blend to your favorite black bean soup or chili recipe and watch it take on a whole different flavor profile. Better yet, the addition of a million other spices in your recipe will be unnecessary since this one has everything you need to balance out your Mexican masterpiece.