This $3 Trader Joe’s Dip Is the Key to Your New Favorite Garlic Bread — And So Much More

published Sep 7, 2022
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display wall of Trader Joe's dips
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

I know I can’t be alone in saying this, but I often base meals around condiments. Spicy chutneys, sambal oelek, yuzu hot sauce, mustardy barbecue sauces — I love them all. My condiment shelf (literally) runneth over.

I grew up with a Southern mom who snuck mayonnaise into a lot of my food (she was really worried I wouldn’t like it, which would be a cultural catastrophe), so this 100% checks out in my genetics. And I more than get it now: Dips, sauces, and condiments are supremely underrated as the flavor powerhouses they are. On more than one occasion they’ve been my culinary north star in the kitchen, swiftly steering me clear of cooking ruts.

As a condiment connoisseur, I’d be remiss (remiss!) to not share that Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread & Dip is the bright, creamy dip your fridge is likely missing.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread & Dip?

Also known as toum, this fluffy, white spread is likely a familiar sight at your neighborhood Lebanese takeout spot. More complex than the sum of its parts, Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread is made with garlic, lemon juice, and oil, whipped into a light, mayo-esque spread. An eight-ounce tub is $2.99 and a little goes a long way.

What’s the Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread & Dip?

I’ve found very few situations that this spread doesn’t improve. Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread is great for topping kebabs, tossing with roasted vegetables or pasta, or stirring into rice or mashed potatoes. It will instantly brighten up your standby avocado toast (or any sandwich, really).

When I used to work at Trader Joe’s, one of the weirdest things I noticed was that the grocer doesn’t sell garlic bread, of all things. It sells two types of garlic naan, as well as garlic naan crackers, and garlic bread cheese, but no garlic bread. But what is pasta without garlic bread? It simply wouldn’t do.

So I have a quick-fix suggestion to solve this problem, using the garlic spread as the star. First, halve a TJ’s baguette lengthwise and cut it into individual slices. Whip together equal parts garlic spread and softened butter, spread the mixture on the baguette slices, and broil until golden-brown (about 3 to 4 minutes). I also like to sprinkle the bread with plenty of grated Parm, but that’s optional. Dip the garlic bread into more garlic spread, if you wish (and you likely will).

Find it in stores: Trader Joe’s Garlic Spread & Dip, $2.99 for 8 ounces

Do you agree with this Trader Joe’s dip pick? Tell us about it in the comments below.