I personally taste-tested various salad supreme substitutes to find the best one for every occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or want a swap that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
The best substitute for salad supreme is to make it from scratch. The process is quick and all the ingredients are easy to find. You can also use everything bagel seasoning and mix it with cayenne and parmesan.
I made a batch of pasta salad to try out different salad supreme seasoning substitutes.
Salad supreme is a vibrant spice mix from McCormick. It boasts an addictive spicy, cheesy flavor with a hint of tang. As the name suggests, it’s typically used for sprinkling over salads, but its powder form makes it really versatile. You can sprinkle it over pretty much anything! I love it over popcorn.
Here are the substitutes I tested and the verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Homemade Salad Supreme||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Everything Bagel Seasoning||1 tbsp salad supreme = 1 tbsp everything bagel seasoning + pinch cayenne pepper + ½ tsp parmesan cheese||8/10|
|Cajun Seasoning||1 tbsp salad supreme = 1/2 tbsp cajun seasoning||8/10|
Homemade Salad Supreme
I’m all for convenience, but making your own blend is the only way to really match the flavor of salad supreme seasoning. And it’s not that hard.
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp poppy seed
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp romano cheese (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you skip the cheese, you can keep the spice blend at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
All of the ingredients are easy to find, and you probably already have a few in your cupboards.
But I also added a dash of buttermilk powder for an extra tang, and I swapped the Romano for Parmesan cheese because it’s what I had in my fridge.
Pro-tip: Don’t hesitate to play around with proportions to create your perfect blend.
How to Substitute: Replace salad supreme seasoning in a 1:1 ratio with the homemade version.
Everything Bagel Seasoning
Everything bagel seasoning is like a simplified version of salad supreme seasoning. It’s a mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onion flakes, and dried garlic flakes.
The seeds give the mixture a crunch, just like salad supreme and it has a nice flavor from the onion and garlic. It’s only missing the heat and cheesiness of salad supreme. This is easy to fix though. Mix a tablespoon of the bagel seasoning with a pinch of cayenne pepper and 1/2 a tsp of parmesan.
As much as I love cheese, I don’t recommend going overboard because it can make the mixture too salty. And if you think the mixture is too crunchy, you can give it a quick blast in a food processor.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tbsp salad supreme seasoning with 1 tbsp everything bagel seasoning + pinch cayenne powder + ½ tsp parmesan cheese.
Cajun seasoning isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about salad supreme substitutes, but it will work in a pinch. It’s got cayenne and paprika, so it has the same heat as salad supreme. But there’s no crunchy seeds or salty cheese.
You can add in poppy seeds and cheese if you have them, but I didn’t find this to be a deal breaker.
Cajun seasoning is spicier than salad supreme, so don’t use too much It can quickly become too spicy. If you do accidentally use too much, have some mayo on hand to help balance it out.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tbsp salad supreme seasoning with half the amount of cajun seasoning.
Substitutes To Avoid
I came across a few suggestions while researching that I didn’t think were good swaps for salad supreme seasoning:
- Italian seasoning: This is an accessible seasoning blend, but it tastes nothing like salad supreme. It’s a mixture of herbs, with no seeds, paprika, or cayenne involved.
- Individual spices: Salad supreme is a seasoning blend, so using individual spices alone won’t help you replicate its complex flavor profile. Using one spice to season a pasta salad could easily get overwhelming too.
BEST Salad Supreme Seasoning Substitutes + What To Avoid
- 1 ½ tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp poppy seed
- ½ tsp celery seed
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp romano cheese
- Combine everything in a bowl and mix well. Transfer into an airtight jar or container and store in the fridge.