Caramelized French Onion Dip

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This Caramelized French Onion is a really impressive appetizer that’s creamy, flavorful, and bursting with sweet onion flavor. If you’re looking for an excellent dip for game day or tailgating, look no further than this onion dip recipe.

Caramelized French Onion Dip

Every football season, my friends and I get together to root for our New Orleans Saints. Now, being a Saints fan means there are a lot of highs and lows, but it also means that we’re going to eat good!

Now, occasionally we get the typical game day spread of wings, pizza, and drinks with chips and dip. Now on this particular game day, one friend was in charge of beer, chips and dip, and he brought some store-bought dip.

First, I’ll say it did the job required in putting something in our bellies, but being the Chef I am, I started inspecting the ingredients and found gelatin and sodium hexametaphosphate.

You have to be aware of gelatin in your food if you don’t eat pork and when a company uses something like sodium hexametaphosphate instead of salt. You just have to wonder why.

I knew I had to go home and develop a homemade french onion dip recipe that would blow the store-bought version out of the water but could also be made with readily available ingredients in under 30 minutes.

This recipe for onion dip is what I created, and it’s truly amazing. I found myself making this recipe at least twice a month just so I could have something tasty and incredible to snack on during the week.

Let me show you how easy it is to make french onion dip at home.

Caramelized French Onion Dip in a bowl

What makes French Onion Dip French?

When it comes to classic French onion dip, many people might think that the only difference between it and other onion dips is the addition of some herbs. However, one key difference makes French onion dip stand out from the rest: caramelization.

How do you Caramelize Onions?

Caramelizing onions takes about 25 minutes to cook, but the results are worth it! The sugars in the onions will start to break down and caramelize, adding a delicious depth of flavor.

Once you have your caramelized onions ready, all you need to do is mix them with some sour cream, mayo, herbs, and spices. If you want, you can also add some chopped green onions for an extra bit of flavor. Give everything a good stir until everything is combined, and then pop it in the fridge to chill.

When you’re ready to serve, grab some chips or veggies and get dipping! This dip is perfect for any occasion – from game day gatherings to potlucks to casual dinners at home.

A bowl of carmalized onions

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the best homemade french onion dip.

Yellow Onions

I think yellow onions are the best ones to caramelize because they blend savory and sweet. This is important because a sweet onion like Vidalia may be too sweet and overpower the dip.

Sour Cream

It’s not a great onion dip without sour cream.

Mayonnaise

The mayonnaise helps create a creamier mouthfeel to the onion dip.

Seasonings

If you have been following me for a while, you know I have to have flavor! I use kosher salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic powder.

Caramelized French Onion Dip side shot

How to make the best caramelized french onion dip recipe?

Making a homemade french onion dip is really easy. The key is being patient while your onions cook, but the best part is the onions do all the work while you patiently wait.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat a medium pot over medium heat; add oil and butter. Once butter melts, add onions and half of the seasoning mix, cook for 2 minutes, add water, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Onions are done once their golden brown, season with the remaining seasoning mix. Allow onions to cool for 10 minutes. 

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and caramelized onions until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour or serve immediately with potato chips, bagel chips, pita chips, crackers, or vegetables.

Caramelized French Onion Dip on a wooden board

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks

Here are the best practices and techniques to build flavor with your amazing caramelized onion dip.

  • Chop your onions medium size, so you have a nice bite of onion in every bite.
  • The more uniform your chopped onions are, the more even and faster they’ll cook.
  • You can add your onions to a food processor and chop until fine.
  • Do not skip adding water. This makes sure that the onions don’t burn as they cook.
  • Looking for a healthier dip? Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Let the dip chill in the fridge for at least an hour for maximum flavor.
  • Garnish onion dip with fresh chopped Italian parsley, green onions, or chopped chives.
  • Feel free to add 1 teaspoon of onion powder for more flavor.
  • Do not use olive oil to caramelize your onions. Use an oil that can handle high heat, like grapeseed, avocado, or vegetable oil.
  • Make the dip a day ahead for the best flavor.

Caramelized French Onion Dip with potato chips
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FAQs

Here are the top questions readers have about making french onion dip.

What is the difference between French Onion Dip and onion dip?

The main difference between French onion dip and onion dip is that French onion dip is made with caramelized onions. Caramelizing onions develop a deeper and richer flavor than sauteed onions.

What chip is good for onion dip?

Since this onion dip is so flavorful, I like to use plain potato chips with ruffles to grab all that deliciousness. Sour cream and onion would be a close second. However, you can use any potato chip you like; pita and bagel chips will be great too!

What is caramelized onion dip made of?

Caramelized onion dip is made of onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sour cream, and mayo. You may also find recipes that include cream cheese and onion powder too.

What kind of onion is best to caramelize?

The best onion to caramelize is yellow onions. They have a medium sugar content, which helps them to caramelize quickly and evenly. Plus, they’re the perfect balance of sweet and savory. 

Vidalia onions have a high sugar content and help them caramelize fast with a deep sweet onion flavor. I personally find it overpowering for dips and burgers, but if you love the sweet, sweet onions, Vidalias will work.
 
White onions do a great job, too, but I would stay away from red onions.

What can I do with a lot of caramelized onions?

There are several things you can do with caramelized onions. They’re excellent on burgers, baked or grilled chicken, fish, steaks, salads, salad dressings, and onion dip.

Does adding sugar caramelize onions?

Adding sugar does help the onions caramelize, but it is not necessary. You can also add a touch of brown sugar to deepen the flavor if you’d like. It has been a common technique people use to expedite the caramelization of onions, but it just shows a lack of technique. 

You do not need to add sugar to caramelize onions; all you need to do is cook the onions in a pot, low and slow, for 25 minutes. The natural sugars will caramelize the onion perfectly every single time.

Do you use oil or butter to caramelize onions?

I use both oil and butter to caramelize onions. Both help to cover the onions in fat and prevent them from sticking to the pan. Because oil has a higher smoke point than butter, you may cook the onions at a higher temperature for longer without burning the butter.

Caramelized French Onion Dip on a wooden cutting board

Storage

Homemade French onion dip is best the day after it’s made and will remain fresh for 7 days in an airtight container in the fridge or until someone eats it all in.

More Appetizer Recipes

Here are some more incredible appetizers you can bring to the gameday party.

Latest Recipe Video:

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Before You Begin

Before getting started, here are the steps I use to get organized. 

Step 1: Get all ingredients for the caramelized onion dip on the counter.

Step 2: Chop onions and measure everything out into individual bowls.

Step 3: Start following the recipe and get ready to dig into the best onion dip ever!

If you’re looking for an impressive dip to take to your next get-together, be sure to try my caramelized French onion dip. It’s sure to be a hit with your friends and family! And don’t forget to leave me a comment and star rating below. I always love hearing from you guys.

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someone dipping a potato chip in Caramelized French Onion Dip

Caramelized French Onion Dip

Kenneth Temple
This Caramelized French Onion is a really impressive appetizer that’s creamy, flavorful, and bursting with sweet onion flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, French
Servings 8 persons
Calories 227 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 medium yellow onions chopped medium
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add oil and butter; once butter melts, add onions and half of the seasoning mix, cook for 2 minutes, add water, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions are done once they’re caramel brown, season with the remaining seasoning mix. Allow onions to cool for 10 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and onions until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and store in the fridge for 7 days or serve immediately with potato chips, crackers, or vegetables.

Notes

Pro Recipe Tips & Tricks
Here are the best practices and techniques to build flavor with your amazing caramelized onion dip.
  • Chop your onions medium size, so you have a nice bite of onion in every bite.
  • The more uniform your chopped onions are, the more even and faster they’ll cook.
  • You can add your onions to a food processor and chop until fine.
  • Do Not skip adding water. This makes sure that the onions don’t burn as they cook.
  • Looking for a healthier dip? Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Let the dip chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Garnish onion dip with fresh chopped Italian parsley, green onions, or chopped chives.
  • Feel free to add 1 teaspoon of onion powder for more flavor.
  • Do not use olive oil to caramelize your onions. Use an oil that can handle high heat, like grapeseed, avocado, or vegetable oil.
  • Make the dip a day ahead for the best flavor.
Storage:
Homemade French onion dip is best the same day it’s made but will remain fresh for 7 days or until someone eats it all in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 391mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 278IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword onion dip recipe, onion dip recipes, french onion dip recipes, homemade onion dip, caramelized onion dip recipe,
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