And it’s under three dollars.

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Every now and again you come across a special food product that changes your life—one of those magical ingredients where a drizzle, drip, pinch, or dash just elevates everything it touches. My latest life-changer? Trader Joe's Mushroom & Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend.

Why I love Trader Joe's Umami Seasoning Blend

This unassuming little bottle in the spice section is easy to overlook, so close to brasher companions like Everything but the Bagel seasoning, but don't sleep on this punchy number that brings all sorts of yum to the party in nearly endless applications. A blend of kosher salt, dried onion, ground mustard, porcini mushroom powder, white button mushroom powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and dried thyme, this stuff elevates pretty much everything it touches.

Trader Joe's Umami Seasoning
Credit: Courtesy Trader Joe’s

How to use Trader Joe's Umami Seasoning Blend

Let me count the ways to use this versatile spice blend (okay, 17): 

  • As a seasoning rub for steaks, chicken, and pork
  • For flavor in soups, stews, sauces, and gravies
  • Whisked into oil and vinegar for an instant fancy vinaigrette
  • Stirred into mayo for a seasoned aioli
  • Added to sour cream with some caramelized onions for a dip that every chip wants to meet
  • Sprinkled on popcorn for the ultimate movie night snack
  • Tossed with toasted nuts that have been sprayed with a bit of olive oil for an addictive bar snack
  • Dashed into plain rice for some pilaf energy
  • Blended into butter with some added fresh garlic paste for a garlic bread that is out of this world
  • Sprinkled on your next batch of focaccia or homemade crackers before you bake
  • Lightly dusted over my pizza crust before the sauce goes on
  • Oomphing up a simple pasta al oglio
  • Taking steamed vegetables from simple to spectacular
  • Spooned into a bottled BBQ sauce to make it taste homemade
  • Elevating a Bloody Mary mix
  • Rubbed over an oiled chicken for a roast with skin so delicious you'll be furtively picking at the carcass in the kitchen
  • Blended into ground meat for meatballs or meatloaves that sing

Why I'm stocking up on this spice blend for the holidays

The thing I am most excited about with this seasoning is the anticipation of how I am going to use it when the holidays roll around. From seasoning stuffing to rubbing under the skin of my turkey, to a dash mixed into crème fraiche to top pumpkin soup, to sprinkling over sliced delicata squash rings for appetizers, I'm stockpiling this stuff now! It will last a year at room temp, or pretty much indefinitely in the freezer, so don't be shy about going all in. Your cooking will thank you.