This French onion dip recipe is totally next-level! Made with real caramelized onions, it’s savory/sweet, tangy, & so creamy!
I have a confession to make: I have eaten way more French onion dip in my lifetime than any reasonable human should.
My love affair with onion dip began when I was a small child, and as I grew up it may have grown a little out of control.
I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. The craving strikes often! Sometimes, when I’m alone, I’ll even have it for dinner. Ssh!
Usually, I do it the cheat’s way: Just a sprinkling of onion soup mix stirred into some sour cream.
But for today’s recipe, I got serious about it.
Real onions, slow cooked until jammy and caramelized with a blend of savory seasonings and a combination of cream cheese and sour cream, for a dip that is totally next-level!
Table of Contents
- What is French onion dip?
- Why this is the best French onion dip recipe
- What does onion dip taste like?
- Special equipment
- How to make French onion dip
- How to serve
- Expert tips
- Frequently asked questions
- A few more of my favorite snack recipes
What is French onion dip?
French onion dip has been around for decades. I believe it became really trendy in the 1960’s or ’70’s? Right at that time when convenience foods and box mixes were reigning supreme.
It’s made with dehydrated French onion soup mix, which is a dry powder. This is where it gets its name!
It’s a creamy dip, usually served with potato chips, and in my opinion, it’s the most delicious food in all the land.
This French onion dip recipe goes back to basics, utilizing real sweet onions and a balance of seasonings that round everything out in the most gorgeous way.
Why this is the best French onion dip recipe
- Tastes amazing: The balance of savory, sweet, and creamy is seriously killer!
- Few ingredients: You only need a few basics to make it.
- Easy to make: It’s made in just a few simple steps.
- Quick: It’s ready in a matter of minutes!
What does onion dip taste like?
This dip has a natural sweetness from caramelized onions, but it’s balanced out with savory seasonings and a slight tang from the cream cheese. Sour cream gives it a cool, refreshing mouthfeel, and it’s all complimented by crunchy, salty potato chips.
Butter: Just a little bit, to saute the onions in. I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
Onion: Any kind of onion will do, but I typically buy a sweeter variety like Maui or Vidalia.
Cream cheese: This ingredient lends a slight tanginess to the dip, and makes it wonderfully thick and rich.
Sour cream: Brings a cool, refreshing smoothness that keeps you going back for more!
How to make French onion dip
This recipe comes together in just 3 simple steps!
Step 1: Caramelize the onion
In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
Then add the onion, along with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Cook this mixture, stirring often, until the onions go deeply golden brown and jammy.
Step 2: Add cream cheese
Take a few spoonfuls of the onion mixture out and set them aside for garnishing later.
Next, plop in a brick of cream cheese.
Break the brick up with the side of your spatula, then stir it all in, allowing it to melt.
Step 3: Stir in sour cream
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sour cream.
How to serve
Transfer your dip to a serving bowl, top it with the reserved caramelized onions, and you’re ready to dive in!
Personally, I like this dip best with wavy potato chips. But you could serve it with any kind of dipper!
Chop finely: When you dip your chip in, you don’t want to have to dig for a big or long piece of onion. It’s best to chop relatively finely, so that you can easily get a bit of caramelized goodness in every scoop.
Go low and slow: Caramelizing onions takes a little patience! It’s best to go low and slow. If the heat is too high, you’ll get crispy edges and raw centers. We want consistent cooking, all the way through, and a soft, jammy texture.
Keep stirring: Be sure to stir frequently so the onions cook evenly.
Keep it moist: If the caramelized onion mixture seems dry, don’t be afraid to add a splash of water to loosen it up.
Make it your own: Feel free to modify this recipe to your own tastes. Think about adding chopped fresh scallions or chives after cooking, or cooking the onions in bacon fat and sprinkling in some crispy bacon, or adding cheese! I think grated gruyere would be fantastic, and it would really pick up on the French onion soup vibe.
Taste on a chip: You can’t really judge the salt level unless you taste the dip on a dipper. Potato chips can be really salty, and that can throw off the balance.
Frequently asked questions
You can definitely make this recipe ahead and just keep it chilled in the fridge.
If you do, it becomes even thicker when cold. You can almost use it like a spread! Try it on your morning bagel!
This dip will keep (chilled) for around a week in the fridge.
You can try freezing it, but it may become a little grainy after it’s thawed. Thaw it at room temp or in the fridge, and give it a good stir as it could separate a bit.
I estimate that this batch should serve about 6 people as an appetizer or snack.
The nutritional info provided in the recipe card below reflects a serving size of 1/6th the whole batch. It does not include potato chips or any other kind of dipper.
A few more of my favorite snack recipes
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French Onion Dip
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, then add the onions, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cook the onions, stirring, until they're deep golden brown and jammy* (approx. 10 minutes).
- Add the cream cheese, breaking it up into smaller chunks and stirring in until incorporated.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream.