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Food & Recipes

Everything Bagel Seasoning: The Versatile Flavor Blend That You Can Make in 5 Minutes

This savory blend isn't just for bagels — use it to flavor up meat, pasta and even ice cream!

If you’re looking to dress up everyday dishes, a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning will go a long way. This addictive spice blend was once exclusive to actual bagels — but now it’s now used on just about everything like meats, baked goods and even ice cream. That’s because it does wonders for infusing dishes with salty and savory flavors. Plus, you can make this seasoning blend from scratch in about 5 minutes using a handful of pantry staples. Keep reading to learn how this unique spice blend went from bagel shop delicacy to pantry staple, plus learn how to make your own seasoning at home!

What is everything bagel seasoning?

The word “everything” is pretty broad, but the essential everything bagel seasoning mix contains a blend of dried garlic flakes, dried onion flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and salt. “Whenever I talk to bagel makers, they always tell me everything is their most popular flavor, and that it’s so popular that now they bottle their homemade everything seasoning,” says Jason Diamond, a journalist who’s written about bagels for The New York Times and New York Magazine. Everything bagels evolved out of the stuff bagel makers had left over after making single flavor bagels. “It’s sort of a beautiful idea of not letting anything go to waste, and it turned into the bagel flavor most people go for,” Diamond explains. The everything bagel has economical roots, but it’s become the perfect pick for those of us who are indecisive and literally just want a little bit of every single thing.

How everything bagel seasoning became popular

An oral history on the site TasteCooking.com traces the everything bagel’s dramatic history — and like so many culinary favorites, a number of different people claim to have invented it. These people include David Gussin, who worked at a New York bagel shop as a teen in 1980 and told his boss to toss some surplus seeds on a bagel; Joe Bastianich, a chef who said he had the idea to use extra seeds as a topping as a teen in 1979; Seth Godin, a “marketing guru” who claimed, “in 1976, at age 16, I was making everything bagels. So were a lot of people”; and Brandon Steiner, a businessman who avowed that when working the night shift at a bagel shop in 1971, “I’d get bored, so I started screwing around with the bagels, adding different kinds of seasoning to them… And just like that, the everything bagel was born.” 

TasteCooking.com calls everything bagel seasoning “a default way for chefs to sprinkle a bit of New York City sensibility across their cuisine” and notes that “the craze was only fueled when Trader Joe’s began selling shakers of Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend in February 2017.” Trader Joe’s products have both novelty (you can only buy them in-store) and reasonable prices, so they frequently inspire cult followings — and Everything but the Bagel is no exception. However, it’s just as easy to make your own seasoning that tastes as good as the store-bought kind and has promising health perks.

Is everything bagel seasoning good for you?

This flavor blend contains ingredients that studies link with having a range of health benefits. To start, sesame seeds are a rich source of protein and lipids (essential fatty acids). This allows the ingredient to help protect against inflammation, cancer and high blood pressure. Poppy seeds are another core ingredient that contains key nutrients including fiber — which is essential for gut health and digestion. Dehydrated seasonings like dried onion flakes are full of quercetin, a compound that’s been shown to aid in preventing infections, diabetes and heart issues. The calorie count of everything bagel seasoning is also impressive as ¼ teaspoon a from brand like McCormick doesn’t contain any calories. However, this amount does have 65 milligrams of sodium — so a little goes a long way in terms of flavor and nutritional effects. Ultimately, this seasoning is a clever way to add a dash of bagel taste to your meals without needing to load up on bread.

How to make everything bagel seasoning

While you can buy everything bagel seasoning from a variety of brands, making it requires just five ingredients. Try this recipe from Food Network to whip up your own batch of seasoning in mere minutes!

Homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning

Everything bagel seasoning in a jar
Getty

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • 3 Tbs. dried onion flakes
  • 3 Tbs. dried garlic flakes
  • 2 Tbs. coarse sea salt

Directions:

  • Yield: 1 cup
  1. In small bowl, stir together all ingredients until fully combined.
  2. Pour seasoning mixture into airtight container and store in cool, dry place up to 1 month.

The various uses for everything bagel seasoning

You can sprinkle everything bagel seasoning on pretty much anything that needs a hit of crunchy, roasted, savory flavor. Trader Joe’s recommends putting it on grilled chicken, buttered popcorn, baked potatoes, creamy dips, pizza dough, salad dressings, pasta, mac and cheese or panko-breaded anything. Other ways to enjoy it include sprinkling it on salmon, mixing it into cornbread batter or using it to season chicken tenders. You can even use it in desserts, for a satisfying sweet-and-salty mix; the ice cream brand Jeni’s once sold an everything bagel flavor that’s described as “the flavor you never knew you wanted.” Whether you go the savory or sweet route, this seasoning is sure to elevate your everyday meals!

A delicious recipe that uses this seasoning

Our test kitchen takes cheeseburger sliders to the next level by sprinkling them with everything bagel seasoning before baking. Here’s the recipe, which is inspired by Ree Drummond’s method for whipping up melty mini burgers in 30 minutes!

Pull-Apart Cheeseburger Sliders

A recipe for Pull-Apart Cheeseburger Sliders
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These ooey-gooey-good bites are served on Hawaiian rolls, but you can use any small rolls you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 count) package Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1¼ lbs. ground sirloin
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs. mustard
  • 8 oz. grated cheddar-jack cheese
  • 12 dill pickle slices
  • 1 Tbs. everything bagel seasoning

Directions:

  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
  1. Heat broiler. Without separating rolls, use serrated knife to slice them in half through middle. Lay halves cut side up on baking sheet pan; broil until lightly toasted, 1½ to 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 Tbs. oil. Add onion; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add ground sirloin, salt and pepper. Add Worcestershire; cook, stirring often, until meat is done, about 5 min. Remove from heat.
  3. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. Spread mixture evenly over both halves of rolls.
  4. To build sliders: Sprinkle half of grated cheddar-jack cheese in even layer on bottom halves of rolls. Spoon meat in even layer all over cheese, then add remaining cheese and center a dill pickle slice over each roll. Top with other half of rolls. Brush surface with remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle generously with everything bagel seasoning.
  5. Bake until cheese is melted and tops of rolls are toasted, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately and let everyone pull ’em apart!

Continue reading for other ingredients you should add to your pantry!

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Your Dried Herbs & Spices *Do* Expire — Here’s How To Tell When To Toss Them

Texas Roadhouse Steak Seasoning: Make It At Home To Enjoy Big Flavor for Less Money

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