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Yellow shallow dish with caramelized onion dip, potato chips around

Homemade French Onion Dip (easy recipe)

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A great dip with a creamy texture and rich flavor, it's an easy appetizer made with caramelized onions, sour cream, and a few other simple ingredients. No more store-bought stuff, as it comes together in 30 minutes! Eat it with potato chips, it's the best way.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

Units
  • 1 large red or white onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or olive)
  • Splash or white wine (see Notes below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, you might not want it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Instructions

  1. Peel onion, cut it in half and then slice thinly (see Notes below).
  2. Melt butter and oil in skillet, add onion and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add enough tap water to just cover the onions.
  4. Cook over slow/medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, until the liquid evaporates.
  5. Start stirring the onion constantly for a few minutes, until brown and caramelized.
  6. Allow them to cool down to room temperature.
  7. In a bowl mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and cooled onions, saving a tablespoon for garnish.
  8. Add cayenne, 1 tablespoon milk or cream, and mix well. Make sure the consistency is the right one so the potato chips don't break when scooping it. Add a teaspoon or more liquid if necessary.
  9. Check for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
  10. Mix in chives, saving a teaspoon for garnish.
  11. Serve at room temperature topped with some caramelized onions and chives.
  12. Eat with potato chips.
  13. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Notes

  • White wine: I caramelize the onions with wine, it adds a great depth of flavor and much-needed acid, in my opinion. And it evaporates while the onions cook. Use only water if you don't want alcohol.
  • How to cut the onions: you can slice or chop them, thick or thin. Take into account that it will affect how soft they become, as smaller or thinner slices will soften more while cooking in the liquid.
  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Salt: I add it from the beginning so they impregnate the onions. Don't oversalt it from the start. Remember, the liquid evaporates making the flavors stronger, including the saltiness. 
  • Spiciness: I love cayenne, but I have made it with smoked paprika and Merken (amazing smoked paprika from Chile). A few drops of Sriracha should also work.
  • Milk/cream: the dip should be fluid enough for the potato chips to scoop it up comfortably, so add some extra teaspoons of liquid if needed.
  • Chives: add color, crunch, and a dose of fresh onion flavor. You can also use chopped green onions, white and light green parts.
  • Blender: for a very creamy appetizer dip, blend the ingredients in a regular blender or with an immersion blender (my choice). The flavor will also be fantastic. 
  • Lower fat variation: use some Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese. The dip will not be as rich tasting and thinner in consistency, so omit the milk.
  • Plan ahead: you can prepare the dip a day before you plan to serve it. Add the garnishes at the last minute. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Appetizers - Dips
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: International

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 1.5 g
  • Sodium: 172.2 mg
  • Fat: 16.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.3 g
  • Protein: 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 23.7 mg