I Tried 8 Popular Trader Joe’s Dips & the Best Was Garlicky Bliss

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There are endless reasons why people can’t get enough of Trader Joe’s and why it stands as America’s current favorite grocery chain, according to a recent study. One area where the store excels in particular is the snack department.

You can always find classic munchies on the shelf, such as the award-winning Chili Lime Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips and Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels Nuggets. Seasonal goodies are constantly being debuted or re-released. But it’s not all crunchy. Trader Joe’s also carries a star-studded lineup of scoopable and spreadable dips.

Some dips are veggie-packed, and others boast a very simplified ingredient list. Some are health-conscious, and many are dairy-free and vegan. A few are spicy, while others are sweet. Each has a unique flavor profile and fan base. But, when pitted against one another, which one wins out as the most delicious and divine dip of all? Let’s find out in the ultimate Trader Joe’s dip showdown.

Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip

trader joe's everythng and elote dip
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER SERVING (2 TBSP): 60 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 1 g protein

I didn’t even know what elote was a couple of years ago, and now it seems that elote-flavored foods are taking over. If you’re behind on the trend, the Spanish word refers to a Mexican street food: corn on the cob smothered in some mayo or white sauce and covered in chili powder, cheese, and lime juice. It’s unbelievably delicious.

Of course, Trader Joe’s wasted no time in jumping on the fad. Thus, Everything and the Elote Seasoning Blend and its buddy Everything and the Elote Greek Style Yogurt Dip were born. Both generated a lot of buzz when they debuted in 2021. For my first time giving the dip a go, I picked up an 8-ounce container for $3.79.

The look: Less lumpy than anticipated. I expected a large population of yellow kernels in a Mexican corn dip, but I barely saw any. The dip is a smooth, peach-colored spread with plenty of seasoning.

The taste: The Southwest chili powder flavor is overpowering. It’s not spicy but extremely robust. It took me a couple of bites to grow accustomed to it. Beyond that, I couldn’t get past the lack of corn in the tub. Without the kernels, the dip boils down to yogurt with seasonings, as the cheese taste is difficult to pinpoint. I was excited for this one, but it was a bit of a letdown. It made me pine for Costco’s Rojo’s Street Corn Dip–a much tastier elote-inspired alternative, in my opinion.

RELATED: I Tried 9 Trader Joe’s Wines Under $15—& One Was Worth Every Penny

Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

Trader Joe's spinach dip
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER Serving (2 TBSP): 30 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (<1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 1 g protein

Next up is the veggie-packed Spinach & Kale Dip—not to be confused with the Spinach & Artichoke Dip, which is the chain’s current Customer Choice Award-winner in the appetizer category.

While the kale version isn’t as decorated as the artichoke dip, it is still a highly sought-after choice. It’s also one of the healthiest, with a low-fat Greek yogurt base and core good-for-you ingredients, including water chestnuts, red peppers, carrots, green onions, and the aforementioned greens. All this adds up to just 30 calories per serving for a more guilt-free snacking experience. The 16-ounce container cost me $4.49.

The look: Exceptionally chunky and thick. The container is overflowing with various shapes and sizes of leafy green vegetables, and bell peppers can be seen from the top.

The taste: Just a few spuds away from being a potato salad. With the dip’s creamy nature—from both the yogurt and mayonnaise—mixed with green onions and a very prominent dill flavor, that’s all I could think of as I munched. Otherwise, it does earn my respect for being fresh and offering diverse veggies. I enjoyed the crunch from the carrots, peppers, and especially the water chestnuts—an underrated vegetable I don’t have often enough.

Everything but the Bagel Greek Style Yogurt Dip

trader joe's everything but the bagel dip
Megan Hageman, Eat This, Not That!

PER 2 TBSP: 60 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein

Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning came out in 2017, sparking an all-out frenzy. Not only did consumers begin sprinkling the blend over anything and everything, but the chain itself also went a bit bonkers, rolling out more and more “everything” products since. Everything But the Bagel crackers, chips, nuts, and smoked salmon now exist in addition to this yogurt-based dip at the store. It felt fitting to include this 8-ounce byproduct as part of my haul for $3.79.

The look: The foundation is as described: Greek yogurt. Sesame and poppy seeds are mixed in, but the quantity is scanty.

The taste: Underwhelming. I could tell by looking that there wasn’t enough Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. The seeds, dried onion, and dried garlic that were present lacked crunch—presumably from being buried in the dip. I would have added a few more shakes on top if I had a bottle of the blend in my spice cabinet. Without this extra dose of flavor, though, the dip dissolves into more of an upscale, healthier version of cream cheese. As such, I think it would make a great alternative to smear on a bagel. But to stand out in the dip department, more character is needed.

RELATED: 11 Best Trader Joe’s Seasoning Blends, According to Customers

Crunchy Chili Onion Hummus

Trader Joe's Crunchy Chili Onion Hummus[
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER SERVING (2 TBSP): 80 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 2 g protein

When it comes to hummus, the quirky market has options out the wazoo. Organic, Mediterranean Style, Cilantro and Jalapeño, Roasted Garlic, Dill Pickle, and Chocolate are just a sampling, with Trader Joe’s most recent concoction being the Crunchy Chili Onion Hummus. This product marries the store’s Crunchy Chili Onion sauce—made with dried onion, garlic, red bell peppers, and chili peppers—with a traditional, creamy hummus. It is a promising combo, but do these two rights add up to something even more incredible? I grabbed a 10-ounce tub for $3.99 to find out.

The look: The Crunchy Chili Onion is confined to a small crater in the center. It looks fiery in a shade of crimson red. Juice from the sauce dribbles out over the oatmeal-colored hummus, making the entire bowl look oily, especially around the edges.

The taste: Similar to a roasted red pepper hummus but with the heat cranked up. The mild and neutral hummus base helps offset the spice from the Crunchy Chili Onion and absorbs some extra liquid as it’s mixed together.

It achieves a nice balance. But there’s something missing from this dip: crispness. That’s the biggest draw of the Crunchy Chili Onion sauce. The word “crunchy” is in the name, but just like the seasoning in the Everything but the Bagel Dip, all that snap is lost when the hummus comes into play.

Truffle Dip

trader joe's truffle dip
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER SERVING (2 TBSP): 60 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 2 g protein

If you’re looking for something more frou-frou at Trader Joe’s, why not try the Truffle Dip? Being made from one of the world’s most expensive foods should qualify as a delicacy. That also means it comes with an inflated price tag of $5.49 for 7.5 ounces—the costliest dip on the shelf. In addition to a merger of both white truffle-infused olive oil and a black truffle base, its recipe includes cream cheese, light cream, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper.

The look: Off-white in color—I expected a slight grey or brown tinge—and speckled with black bits from the truffle and pepper.

The taste: It took me a while to decide what kind of chip or other food to pair it with, and I think I still made the wrong choice, but c’est la vie. As I considered my options, the dip’s earthy truffle aroma permeated the air around me. Thankfully, the taste was more subtle and not too fungi-like. It’s a mix of decadent richness with an umami punch. My advice would be to eat the buttery dip spread on a sandwich, add it to mac and cheese, or use it as part of another kind of recipe, though. I imagine it would get old fast when eaten as a straight dip.

RELATED: Trader Joe’s Just Revealed How New Products Get Approved

Caramelized Onion Dip

trader joe's caramelized onion dip
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER SERVING (2 TBSP): 70 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), <1 g protein

If you’re a fan of French onion soup, you’ll love caramelized onion dip. It’s a creamy, snackable version of the staple dish, and you can find it at Trader Joe’s. The chain’s rendition consists of onions cooked down in butter and balsamic vinegar until they’re, well, caramelized. Then, a trifecta of sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise are thrown in, along with vegetable base, oil, and seasonings. Brown sugar and regular sugar are included, too. This medley of flavors has a price tag of $3.79 for 10 ounces. If you’re lactose intolerant, don’t worry. You can still get in on the action with the vegan replica of the dip.

The look: Thick and packed full of onion pieces. It comes in a shade of light ivory to yellow.

The taste: Savory and sweet with crunchy onions in every bite. I’ve had versions of onion dip before that have just been sour cream-based. This one provides more depth and richness with the sugars, mayo, and cream cheese. Plus, the onions taste fresh and maintain their texture rather than just being dried or dehydrated. When paired with a salty but neutral companion like potato chips or pretzels, this dip is highly addictive—you’ve been warned.

Sweet Cannoli Dip

trader joe's sweet cannoli dip
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER SERVING (2 TBSP): 100 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 2 g protein

Entering the ring as the only dessert-style dip is Sweet Cannoli. This sweet spread imitates the cream inside the tube-shaped Italian pastry. As such, it’s made from a few simple ingredients, including cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sour cream. Despite its classification as more of a confection than an appetizer, you can find it among Trader Joe’s dip options, priced at $3.99 for 8 ounces.

The look: The best way I can describe its appearance is like a bowl of melted vanilla ice cream. ‘Nuff said.

The taste: Like liquified cheesecake or a divine fusion of cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. It reminds me of a fruit dip rather than a cannoli filling. If you can look past that, it’s a delectable dip. I had to resist the urge to spoon it into my mouth directly. The consistency is thicker than yogurt and loosens up a bit as you stir. I enjoyed it with some Ritz crackers. I plan to pair it with the Trader Joe’s Belgian Butter Waffle Cookies next time and bring some mini chocolate chips into the fold, too.

RELATED: 10 Most Popular Items Trader Joe’s Discontinued in 2023

Garlic Spread Dip

trader joe's garlic spread dip
Megan Hageman for Eat This, Not That!

PER SERVING (2 TBSP): 150 calories, 15 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), <1 g protein

According to Trader Joe’s, this spread was inspired by a Middle Eastern recipe known as toum–the Arabic word for garlic. I expected it to contain sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt, or mayo to achieve its creaminess. My assumption was wrong. It’s made from garlic, lemon, canola oil, and salt, all whipped together until they morph into a cohesive, spreadable dip. Can you imagine how many garlic cloves it takes to form an 8-ounce tub for $3.69?

No matter how it’s made or where it comes from, TJ’s shoppers are head over heels for the bold spread. One fan on Reddit even went so far as to say their entire life revolves around it. After hearing that sentiment, I had no choice but to include it in the taste test.

The look: Off-white and somewhere between clumpy and fluffy. It shares many similarities to whipped ricotta or feta cheese.

The taste: Slightly acidic from the lemons, but the rest is smooth, garlicky heaven. I didn’t imagine something so potent and purely garlic could be delicious, but Trader Joe’s proved me wrong. I paired it with basic chips, but it would shine alongside French fries if you go the dipping route. It could be slathered onto nearly any food—from bread to pizza to sandwiches—and it would be delicious every time. A little goes a long way, and the garlic stench on your breath may linger, but that’s a sacrifice you’ll be happy to make.



Post source: eatthis

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