French Onion Dip made from scratch will knock your socks off. You will never, ever get this flavour in store bought dip. Not even from the most expensive posh gourmet store in town. I swear. This is incredible!
Confession time: I’ve made French Onion Dip using sour cream / cream cheese + a packet of French Onion Soup mix many, many times….
My favourite way of serving it at parties was to get a round loaf of bread, cut out a giant bowl and pour the dip in. Then serve the bread cut out on the side to dip. Never did veggie sticks make the platter. 😉
But then I discovered REAL Homemade French Onion Dip. Thanks to Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa). And I have never used a packet mix again.
You will be floored how different this tastes. It’s really easy, though it does take a wee bit of time (25 minutes) to cook the onions. It is worth every minute, I promise. I’m the impatient sort, but there is absolutely no shortcut to make sweet, beautifully caramelised onions. The rule is: minimum 25 minutes. Purists would say 50 minutes.
As much as I love Ina Garten, I often find myself cutting down the fat she uses in her recipes quite substantially. This is one such example. The original recipe called for 4 tablespoons of butter AND 1/4 cup of oil. I swear, this does NOT need that much – way too rich! I made it with 3 tablespoons of butter, no oil, which is plenty.
Ina’s recipe is also richer than other French Onion Dip recipes you’ll find “around” because she uses some cream cheese. Not a whole block, just half a block.
Oh wait! I just remembered the other changes I made to her recipe:
1. Cutting down the mayonnaise from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup because I thought 1/2 cup was too rich, even with the reduced amount of fat in the recipe; and
2. Changed the method so you don’t need to use a stand mixer for it. Because….really. You shouldn’t need a stand mixer for dip!
Just in case people are offended by how much I have changed Ina’s recipe, I’ve included the changes I made in the notes to the recipe!
So – the weekend is here. Time for nibbles and wine?
PS Because I went to the effort to make Homemade French Onion Dip, I thought I’d even go to the effort to make homemade crackers to serve them with. I plan to share the recipe soon. It’s super easy too! 🙂
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2½ cups diced onions (2 to 3 onions) (brown, yellow or white)
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 oz / 120 g cream cheese (cold), cut into cubes
- ¼ cup whole egg mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream (full fat is best, but you can use low fat or even yoghurt)
- ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
- Melt the butter in a fry pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should be sweet and golden. Remove from stove and allow to cool.
- Place the cream cheese in a bowl and microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds, or until soft enough to cream with a spoon (do not melt it!).
- Add the mayonnaise, sour cream and onion powder and whisk until lump free.
- Add the caramelised onions. Mix until just combined. Refrigerate until required.
- Serve at room temperature, garnished with chopped chives if desired. Serve with chips, bread, crackers or vegetable sticks.
2. Changes I made (feel free to revert to the original recipe!):
a) Original recipe called for 4 tbsp butter + ¼ cup oil. I reduced it to just 3 tbsp of butter. This is very rich as it is - you don't need any more!
b) Original recipe also called for ½ cup of mayonnaise. I found this too rich so I reduced it to ¼ cup.
c) Original recipe said to beat the cream cheese (at room temperature) with the mayonnaise and sour cream using a stand mixer. I tried this once and it is a bit fluffy at first but then it becomes denser after refrigerating it. So I make this by heating the cream cheese very gently in the microwave then simply whisking it with the other ingredients. Works perfectly, it's creamy and lump free (other than the onions of course!)
d) I added onion powder as an optional extra because I like the extra kick of onion flavour.
e) Original recipe called for 1 tsp of salt. I find this slightly too salty so I reduced it to ¾ tsp.
Nutrition per serving assuming 8 servings.
And I can’t resist…I have to slot this in: Dozer assuming his usual position while I shot the dip. Patiently waiting for a big dollop to land on the ground. Didn’t happen. Never does!