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Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch is the Perfect All-Purpose Condiment

by | Mar 3, 2022 | Taste Tests

Crunchy fried garlic and toasted dried onion swimming in a sea of smoky, savory chili infused olive oil make Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch a condiment of pure perfection!

Macro close up of trader joe's chili onion crunch over hummus

The product(s) in this taste test food review have been independently selected and purchased by Sweet, Savory & Sassy. However, this post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy.

Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch has been around for a while. But, this slightly spicy condiment didn’t seem to catch on as quickly as it deserved to go viral. There are posts here and there from 2019 and 2020 about this asian-inspired chili crunch, but it didn’t really hit until 2021 when it was all over social media.

Trader Joe’s is notorious for a few things that make a shopping trip there a bit less enticing. Things like small stores, tiny cramped shopping aisles, and (hilariously) horrible parking lot etiquette from its many patrons. Add on top of that, living in one of the world’s most populous cities and a visit to Trader Joe’s becomes it’s own special kind of hell. When I lived in the DC area, I loved stopping in regularly to my local TJ’s. Now living in South Brooklyn, it’s a jaunt to get to a Trader Joe’s.

Nevertheless, this damn Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch kept popping up in my social feeds to the point where I no longer could muffle its siren call. My introverted ass had to woman-up and face a throng of Brooklynites to finally get my hands on a jar.



Taste Test Review Rating System

Trying out new things is always fun, but it’s honest and transparent reviews that really help us as consumers to make an informed decision. Given this, I will always be candid about how I feel about a product.

Every food product is reviewed on its Appearance, Taste, and Price. I take into account questions like, “Does it look IRL like it does on the packaging?”, “Would I go back for seconds?”, “Is this something I would share with others?”, and “Is this worth the price?”.

There’s no point system here—we don’t go through life judging whether something is a 3.7/10 or 7.8/10. We judge based on whether we like or don’t like something and whether we would or would not buy it again. So my rating system is simply four levels of appeal: Love it, Like it, Leave it, and Lose it.

Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch First Impressions

close up of jar of chili onion crunch from trader joe's

Seeing this chili crunch in so many people’s social feeds, I was already pretty amped up to see, smell, touch, and taste this viral condiment. It looks very harmless for a chili crunch. The Trader Joe’s version is made up of crunchy fried garlic, toasted dried onion, untoasted dried onion, dried red bell pepper, crushed chili peppers, sea salt, paprika (for color), and olive oil. The ratio seems to favor heavy on the garlic and onion side leaving me to believe that this condiment isn’t going to carry much heat.

It smells slightly smoky and overwhelmingly of garlic. Quite frankly, it smells friggin’ amazing! Just smelling it was making my mouth start to water. I tried the Chili Onion Crunch on its own and the first thing I thought to add it to was hummus. The glee and anticipation was barely containable; suddenly, I got a bit freaked out by the hold this tiny jar of dried spices and olive oil was having over me.

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Appearance – Does the Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch Look as Advertised?

The photo on the Trader Joe’s website just shows the Chili Onion Crunch in the jar, so not a lot to compare it to really. But yes, it totally looks as it’s advertised. However, I had seen the Chili Onion Crunch in the photos and videos of several foodies that I follow….so I had an idea of what to expect and it totally matched up.

overhead shot of a spoonful of trader joe's chili onion crunch

It looks…well…crunchy. It looks like it’s a condiment that will add not just flavor and spice, but great texture to any dish where you add it. Soaking in the olive oil, you’d think that everything would get soggy. But surprisingly, it looks like the only transformation that happened was a general infusion of flavor into the oil. As you dip a spoon into the Chili Onion Crunch to taste, you can literally hear how crunchy this condiment is despite all of the oil.

Taste – Does Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch Keep You Coming Back for More?

This Chili Onion Crunch absolutely kept me coming back for more! I tried it by itself to see what it tastes like on its own. It’s a savory winner; big time onion and garlic flavor with not as much heat as expected. The olive oil make this feel rich and the fried garlic is satisfyingly crunchy. There is a little bitter endnote when eating it on its own, but nothing overwhelming or unpleasant.

Next, I tried it on some bread. I spooned some of the chili crunch onto the bread and then got a bit more of the olive oil to drizzle over the top of the bread. Holy cow! Ok….here is the heat. With the crunch, the savoriness of the garlic and sea salt, and the heat of the oil, I was quickly growing a mental list of foods and dishes I needed to add it to and try! Eggs, pasta, hummus, cream cheese, taco salad, stir fry, and on and on and on.

close up of trader joe's chili onion crunch on bread with hummus

Price – Is Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch Worth It?

Trader Joe’s sells their Chili Onion Crunch in a 6-ounce jar for $3.99. One serving is 1 tablespoon and this works out to about 9 tablespoons per jar. Now you might see that number and think holy crap that ish is expensive!

But I think it’s quite a fair value because from my experience you probably won’t be using this deliciousness in multi-tablespoon quantities. A little goes a long way, my friend! For reference, the photo below has about 2/3 a cup of hummus to 2 teaspoons of chili crunch.

hummus in a bowl topped with trader joe's chili onion crunch and toasted bread on the side

Results — Love It, Like It, Leave It, or Lose It?

If you couldn’t tell already, I’m in LOVE with Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch! I couldn’t stop adding it to everything in sight. I added it to the hummus as you see, to my eggs at breakfast, to a slice of toast with cream cheese, to Chinese food we had delivered for dinner, had more on its own on bread, on a cheese quesadilla, and more. The next thing I knew, my jar was almost gone. I’ve been doling out the remaining chili crunch pretty selectively. When I face the throng of Brooklynites again, I’ll definitely be stocking up on this Chili Onion Crunch!

Where You Can Find Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch

Sadly, there isn’t a Trader Joe’s in every town and city in the U.S. Yeah, I know that sounds like overkill of enthusiasm for TJ’s since I opened this post with the negative aspects of the retail chain’s notoriety. BUT, those negatives are enormously overshadowed by all of the positives. Trader Joe’s has so many unique products that taste good and are, honestly, very fairly priced. They also have a good selection of dupes of popular products that are at either insanely good prices or fairly affordable prices (it really depends on the product).

So yeah, obviously you can get Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch at your local Trader Joe’s store. The product is overwhelmingly popular these days, so your store should have it in stock. If it doesn’t, or if you are an unfortunate soul not blessed with a nearby TJ’s, you can always check out Amazon. I’ve often seen it available through Amazon from many sellers; some will try to bend you over on price while others price it with a reasonable bump over retail.

Have you tried this product?

Let me know in the comments whether you liked it or not!

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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