Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe


This has been at the top of my list for nearly a year, a barely legible scratch of pencil on a half-sheet of printer paper: make onion dip. In my mind the task was straight-forward - do an onion dip make-over, a version that doesn't require ripping open a packet of soup mix. As a kid my grandma would often whip up bowl of onion dip before we would visit her house. She would serve it alongside a bowl of corn chips, and I suppose this is where my taste for it developed. I decided to do a grown-up version here by using lots of deeply caramelized onions along with a Greek yogurt and sour cream base. I used dehydrated onions to give my dip that signature onion dip flavor, and to counter-balance the sweetness of the caramelized onions.

Onion Dip Recipe

I can also imagine cutting back on the dairy (and bumping up the protein content), by pureeing some silken organic tofu in place of 1/3 to 1/2 of the sour cream/yogurt (before adding the onions). I didn't test this, but I'm almost sure it would be good.

 
 
 
 

Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

If you have a hard time finding onion powder (not the same as onion salt), feel free to use crushed dehydrated onion flakes. Just add to taste.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), finely chopped
3/4 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine if you like)
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (low-fat is fine if you like)
3 teaspoons dehydrated onion powder/granulates (salt-free, natural)
very scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large thick-bottomed skillet over medium heat saute the chopped onions in the olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt. Stir occasionally with a wood or metal spatula and cook until the onions are deeply golden, brown, and caramelized - roughly 40 or 50 minutes (see photo). Set aside and let cool.

In the meantime, whisk together the sour cream, yogurt, onion powder, and salt. The important thing is to add whatever onion powder you are using to taste. Add a bit at a time until it tastes really good. Set aside until the caramelized onions have cooled to room temperature. Stir in 2/3 of the caramelized onions, scoop into a serving bowl, and top with the remaining onions. I think this dip is best at room temperature.

Makes about 2 cups.

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Your Comments


Culinary Cory
December 6, 2008

I like that you used both dired onion and carmelized onions. It's a great balance together.

 

I love that you can use organic tofu - looks like a great recipe!

 

I just caramelized my very first onions today for some winter greens...I'm excited to branch out! Bring it on, baby! Onion dip, Brussels sprouts, I'm a caramelizing machine! ;)

Anyway...great idea for holiday entertaining. Thanks!

 

hoodab
December 6, 2008

i've been thinking on a way to make a more natural version of the popular savory onion dip for over a year... i can't wait to give this a try, thanks!

 

Rebecca
December 6, 2008

Delish! I have a very similar recipe I love from a book by Rick Rodger's called Dip It! It uses mayo instead of the greek yoghurt. I imagine homemade mayonnaise would be divine. I serve mine garnished with fresh chopped chives & potato chips to dip :>)

 

Anna at MediocreChocolate
December 6, 2008

Oh, that looks so yummy. Much less bad for you than the original, much more flavor. Delicious.

 

shila
December 7, 2008

Caramelized onions are divine. And thanks to you it is one of my favorite flavors, especially in the spinach-mushroom quiche featured a while ago.

Since I throw extra spice into everything, I'm wondering how a garam masala infused version would taste.

 

Nirvana
December 7, 2008

Yummy! This will go on my to do list as well!

 

I have been craving something like this - nowhere to be found in Italy! I'll give it a try here! :)

 

Mama JJ
December 7, 2008

Wow. This looks really good. I always loved onion dip, but didn't want to bring the packet stuff into my home. We have some parties coming up, and this just might make the cut.

-JJ

 

Mrs Redboots
December 7, 2008

I expect you could also puree low-fat cottage cheese instead of some of the sour cream, or substitute low-fat fromage frais.

It does look incredibly good!

 

Knitter
December 7, 2008

I'm thinking that this would be a great accompaniment to latkes.

 

Deborah Dowd
December 7, 2008

This looks so awesome, even at 10 AM in the morning! I think this will be part of my Redskins watching food tonight (assuming that they play well enough not to ruin my appetite)!

 

Just gorgeous. This will make a perfect dish to bring to a party or family holidays. Do you recommend serving with the same corn chips your grandma did? Or do you have some fabulous gourmet toasts in mind?

HS; I might use this cracker recipe and do different shapes.

 

ashley (sweet & natural)
December 7, 2008

This looks delicious. Carmelized onions are a favorite of mine, and I really like the use of Greek yogurt here.

 

Rhonda
December 7, 2008

Thanks for taking on some of these old standards and updating them with a healthy twist...particularly at this time of the year when I remember so many mid-western family potlucks that brought out this style of dish!!! Comfort food that is also brain food is wonderful!

 

Jess
December 7, 2008

this came across my google reader this morning. and i literally stopped what i was doing and went to the grocery store.

i used fat free greek yogurt and fat free sour cream. it's fantastic. totally amazingly delicious. thanks for this post!!

 

Lisa
December 7, 2008

I make a similar dip, but I include a roasted bulb of garlic as well. So much better than the soup mix dip!

 

sonal
December 7, 2008

wow!!
i can imagine the taste... yummm!!!!!!

 

LadyBanksia
December 7, 2008

This sounds awesome! I've never tasted the greek-style yogurt, but a family member says its divine.

A momentary diversion, if I may -

To go with this dip, I backtracked through the cracker link, read through the recipe and comments, and thought...hmm - this sounds alot like pasta making; and when I make my pasta, I incorporate veggie purees into it to make up for some of the moisture. The colors are gorgeous, so why not try that with the cracker version? Spinach or tomato crackers sound fabulous, and you could use italian herbs for the tomato ones, etc. Wonder what would happen if you spritzed the tops with vinegar and pinched on some grainy sea salt? Would the 'bite' bake off?

Both of these are on the top of my to-do list and the top of my to-eat list!

Thank you, Heidi!

 

vini
December 7, 2008

I love how sweet the onions get when caramelized.
you inspired me to create my own food blog:
thecookingroom.blogspot.com

 

vini
December 7, 2008

I love how sweet the onions get when caramelized.
you inspired me to create my own food blog:
thecookingroom.blogspot.com

 

oysterculture
December 7, 2008

Thanks so much for sharing, I love dip, but have been reluctant to make it for the same reasons you shared - ripping open a packet of dehydrated stuff. I cannot wait to try, as I get cravings. For those having a hard time finding onion pwerder. I love Penzy's as a spice source and they do carry it. www.penzys.com

Thanks again

 

Diane Mikulovsky
December 7, 2008

I love this idea and definitely will try it! In my younger and poorer days, which are slowly reapproching, (not the younger part, just the poorer part) that is just about all I ever ate and could afford was onion dip and potato chips. That and macaroni and cheese. Thank you for re-inventing it and I will also probably use the yogurt and tofu ideas for it!

 

snapdragon
December 7, 2008

Tofutti makes a non-dairy sour cream that is as good as the dairy version, so that's a no-brainer for my non-dairy husband.

But I'm less sure what to use for the yogurt. Would a combo of cream cheese (Tofutti's, also as good as the dairy version), perhaps "thinned" with very soft tofu or even rice or almond milk, do the trick?

What is it that makes Greek yogurt different from the usual stuff?

 

Hayley
December 7, 2008

I just made some caramelized onion bread over the weekend, and this dip sounds perfect for my leftover onions!

I've always loved this dip, but stopped making it when I changed my eating habits...Thanks for the great ideas.

Hayley
www.buffchickpea.com

 

VeggieGirl
December 7, 2008

OH MY, heavenly!!

 

Candy
December 7, 2008

New Seasons here in the PDX area makes a caramelized shallot dip in their deli. They season it with a bit of thyme...a highly recommended addition. Besides, we can all use more thyme during the holidays...sorry, I couldn't help it.

 

ellenelizabeth
December 7, 2008

Oh Heidi! How you tempt me with your Staub cocottes. I love them and need them in my kitchen! Any chance we can get them in a picture next to something that will show us their size more accurately?
I cannot wait to make this onion dip, but I'm home alone this weekend and fear I would eat it all up myself!

 

Michelle
December 7, 2008

Onion dip with dignity. Thank you.

 

Kim
December 7, 2008

I love this idea--no more soup packet onion dip! This is sure to be a hit, and a nice surprise for friends and family during the holidays this year.

Can I also ask about the little pot you have the dip in? What is the brand, etc?

 

Victoria
December 7, 2008

yum, there's nothing i love more than caramelized onions. can't wait to try this!

 

Pamela
December 7, 2008

Nice holiday idea. I bet it would be good to dip veggies in, also. I tried a hummus recipe recently, and when served with warm pita bread and veggies, (carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini) it made its own little meal.

 

lisa from lo and behold
December 7, 2008

I have some leftover carmelized onions from your crunchy cornbread sticks that I made on Friday and which I LOVE! This dip sounds like a perfect use. Thanks so much!

 

Laura Bee
December 7, 2008

Made it tonight, LOVED IT.

 

Dustin
December 7, 2008

OH WOW! I NEED TO TRY THIS!!!

THANK YOU!!

 

colorwhisperer
December 7, 2008

OMG, Heidi, you are Awesome! I adore onion Anything but this classic holiday treat is one thing I can't even go near due to the insane amount of soidium Nitrates and Nitrites, to which I am hugely alleargic (hypertension, waekness, exhaustion followed by vomitting..no fun at all)
Bless you dear one!
I can't wait to try it with the Silken tofu in place of the dairy. YUM!

 

Kristen
December 7, 2008

I love onion dip! I cringe when I think about the traditional unhealthy way I used to eat it. All that sodium and mystery ingredients in the "mix".

This sounds great, I am going to try it with goat yogurt since cow's milk is a problem here. I love the idea of the caramelized onions, looks very yummy!

 

Evie
December 8, 2008

Oh, YUM!!! I love onion dip with blue cornchips. The cornchips will have to wait until I go back to the States (none in Argentina), but I want this dip NOW! So much better than opening up a package, though that was pretty yummy, too. Can't wait to try this!

 

Evie
December 8, 2008

Oh, YUM!!! I love onion dip with blue cornchips. The cornchips will have to wait until I go back to the States (none in Argentina), but I want this dip NOW! So much better than opening up a package, though that was pretty yummy, too. Can't wait to try this!

 

Jen
December 8, 2008

My favorite kind of dip! I grew up eating the soup mix & sour cream variety, but this recipe is so much more appealing. I can't wait to make it. Great photos!!

 

Angel
December 8, 2008

I cannot wait to try this! This recipe will be the perfect quick but savory treat to serve at the potluck Xmas party my family is going to this upcoming weekend. Ohhh it looks so good. I wish I could fix some right now but alas, I am stuck at work! Thanks so much for posting this recipe! :) ~A~

 

Quetta at A Solo Gourmet
December 8, 2008

I do love caramelized onions! I'll have to try this at my holiday party next weekend.

 

Vickie
December 8, 2008

Congratulations on your writeup in the Wall Street Journal this morning. Well deserved - I love your blog.

 

There is nothing better than caramelized onions and Greek Yogurt.... yum...

 

LadyBanksia
December 8, 2008

Okay, so I just made this...at least an modified version...

I forgot to get the sour cream the other day, so I went with lowfat greek-style yogurt all the way, cut with a little half-n-half that I had in the fridge.

Over the top!

Heidi's recipe will easily hold its own at any get-together that calls for onion dip on the table. No more packets for me!

PS: I did sneak a few things in - one clove of garlic through a micrograter when the onions were almost finished cooking, and then a little dill in it after trying several bites...I'm a dill freak!

 

Monique
December 8, 2008

Too funny; you just posted this as I just broke down yesterday and bought the zip-open version (and I've been so good in resisting for so long...)

Thanks for saving me from breaking down again. I look forward to trying this one out and adding it to my stack of regular recipes I use from your site.

 

Gemma
December 8, 2008

A scrumptious dip and you can innovate by adding bits of capers or spring onions or olives or anything for variation at different occasions.

 

Organic Goodness
December 8, 2008

This looks like a great one to bring to the holiday get togethers. It will probably rival the traditional onion dip...and become a new main stay. Thanks!

 

Mrs Redboots
December 8, 2008

@ snapdragon: soya yoghurt? Or is it difficult to get unflavoured where you live?

 

Denise
December 8, 2008

DROOL! This looks AMAZING!!!

 

Jaime
December 8, 2008

Oh man, this looks amazing! I wonder if it could be made palatable for a lactose-intolerant soon-to-be party-thrower like myself. Tofu, tofutti products, lactaid cottage cheese... any ideas? Tofutti sour cream skeeves me a bit, and soy yogurt tastes so different...

 

Not Cheez Whiz Again
December 8, 2008

This looks and sounds delish. I can cut back on or eliminate the salt and bump up the onion powder a bit for my low-sodium diet family members.... serve with some homemade potato chips..... yummm.....

 

Emily
December 8, 2008

I was just coming to your site to look for a recipe for an appetizer for a holiday party and I was pleasantly surprised with your latest post. I will be trying the dip this weekend and will let you know how it turns out.

 

Spike
December 8, 2008

It would be cool if the comments thread didn't close - then, as people make the recipes, they could come and comment on them.

 

Cat
December 8, 2008

I made this today and it is incredibly good. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat commercial or soup mix onion dip again. It was hard, though, not to eat the caramelized onions with a big spoon as they cooled.

Thanks for a great recipe.

 

Culinary Artist
December 9, 2008

Very hard to go wrong with caramelized onions. I'll try a slight variation on this when I get the chance.

 

juliadevi
December 9, 2008

try this with shallots and roquefort....
and then use carrot and celery sticks to dip....
i make it for parties and there is never any left!

 

karen
December 9, 2008

I REALLY want to make this. It's going in my pile of things I have to try! It looks so great!

 

ellenelizabeth
December 9, 2008

I could not stop thinking about this, so I made it last night for friends coming over tonight. It is sooo good! In case anyone is interested, after letting it sit overnight in the fridge, it kind of takes on more a classic onion dip color from the caramelized onions. Awesome Heidi, just awesome!

 

Jessica Zeiler
December 10, 2008

This is very very similar to Ina Garten's take on onion dip, except she uses mayonaise, sour cream and cream chese. I've made that dip a few times and it was a huge hit. I bet this one would be a hit as well, the greek yourgurt gives things a nice tangy flavor and is healthier.

You can also carmelize onion in a slow cooker. It's a great hands off way to get carmelized onions and as a bonus it makes your house smell wonderful.

 

t-corn
December 11, 2008

i just carmelized onions for the first time yesterday (most amazing things ever) and there is a christmas part next week i was thinking about making some more for. this sounds perfect!

 

gastroanthropologist
December 11, 2008

Thanks for the recipe. I made some tzatziki the other day and had a lot leftover so I doctored it up by adding carmelized onions and onion powder. It made a totally new and yummy dip.

 

Deb
December 11, 2008

I checked out the onion powders at my local co-o (http://www.willystreet.coop), and did not like the smell of them. So near the end of the onions cooking, I melted a vegetarian bullion cube (Knorr brand) into the onions. I love the tang of the Greek yogurt in this - I had used a combination of mayo & sour cream before, and the yogurt is delish!

 

Stacey Snacks
December 11, 2008

This sounds much better than the usual Lipton soup recipe mix that flavored dips for years at parties!
Will try this for the holidays.
Stacey Snacks

 

mlle noƫlle
December 12, 2008

There is a wonderful set of detailed instructions for caramelizing onions on the blog Tigers & Strawberries:

http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/2008/03/24/cutting-and-browning-onions-for-proper-flavor-in-indian-food

And if I may suggest, it may be easier for "beginners" (or people who don't want to have to stand as vigilantly over the stove) to caramelize them in slices and then dice them afterwards, just to make sure the tiny pieces don't burn.

 

jennredd
December 13, 2008

YUM! I just made this tonight for a group of friends. Everyone loved it, thank you!! :)

 

Diane from NYC
December 13, 2008

I doubled the recipe and used 1 box of tofu and 3/4 sour cream + 3/4 fat free greek yogurt. It is amazing. We had it on baked potatoes the first night and leftovers with pretzels as a dip. Thanks!

HS: Sounds great Diane. Thanks for reporting back - I'll have to give the tofu version a go next time for sure. Glad you had success with it.