Homemade Onion Dip Recipe ♥

Who knew? Onion dip made from scratch!
Today's homemade party dip recipe: Onion dip made from scratch with slow-sautéed onions, sour cream, mayonnaise and flavorings.

Is this a Who Knew? recipe, as in, Who knew we could make onion dip from scratch? The Yes, of course! answer is so obvious but never before did it occur to me to make real onion dip.

It's the Cool Whip Syndrome, I think. When my mother was teaching Home Economics, she overheard a student report that 'real Cool Whip' -- meaning real whipped cream -- tasted so good. But if Cool Whip is so easy, so convenient, why bother to make real whipped cream?

To my taste, this homemade Onion Dip is completely delicious. It's all about the smoky earthy onion flavor, thanks in part to my upping the proportion of onions:binder. I did make a tactical error, however, by sautéeing the onions with a tablespoon of brown sugar, something that works like gangbusters for fajitas but contributed an unnecessary sweetness to the dip. In addition, when it comes to choosing onions to use for the bean dip (or anything else, for that matter), don't be tempted to use 'sweet onions' such as Vidalia onions or Walla Walla onions, which are wonderful raw but fall flat once cooked.

Tonight I'm taking the Onion Dip to a special potluck of two book clubs where we'll discuss the Michael Pollan book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. This is my second time through the book; I am newly convinced that it is the Silent Spring of food. Someday, I believe, we'll recognize that this book created the tipping point that changed our expectations, our demands, to banish late 20th century Cool Whip and supermarket onion dip food products to return to real food made from whole ingredients.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes plus occasional attention while the onions cook for up to an hour
Time to table: 3 hours
Makes about 2 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped, about 4 cups
1/2 cup mayonnaise (low-fat Hellman's is perfect but the inspiring recipe called for 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup sour cream (or 3/4 cup if you like)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Horseradish to taste (I used about a tablespoon of mild horseradish)
Fresh garlic to taste (I used a teaspoon of minced garlic)
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil on MEDIUM HIGH in a large kettle until shimmery. Add the onions and stir to coat with fat. Cook, stirring every so often, until the onions darken and turn golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool a bit. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a serving dish and let chill for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld.

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~ Easy Radish Spread ~
~ Beet Pesto ~

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~ more onion recipes ~

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© Copyright 2008

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna,

    Indeed, who knew?! This looks unbelievably good. I don't like "normal" onion dip, but I'm salivating over this. Freshly sauteed onions and sour cream -- how could it *not* be good? I can't wait to make this. Quick, I need to find some people to invite over!

  2. Mmmmmmmm . . . This recipe looks yummy! I''m going to make it on Sunday for our weekly football feast.

  3. This is a far cry from Lipton's Onion Soup Mix! Looks delicious.

  4. That's a new combination for me, but it does sound like something that would appeal to an Estonian palate, so I'm bookmarking this :)

  5. No kidding? It's that easy?! Going to have to try this. Thanks Alanna!

  6. Speaking of food lit, you might want to read _My Year of Meats_ by Ruth L. Ozeki. It was entertaining, eye-opening, and a little frightening to learn so much about American meat as big business.

  7. This looks so good, I thought I'd share another dip idea...Here at Kitchen Caravan we've made a garlic-yogurt dip that goes nicely with some roasted veggies: http://www.kitchencaravan.com/recipe/slow-roasted-veggies-garlic-yogurt-dip.
    These are great alternatives to store-bought dip...homemade is just so much more appealing!
    Looking forward to your next post!

    -Anastasia from Kitchen Caravan www.kitchencaravan.com

  8. I grew up on store-bought French onion dip, and yes I loved my French onion dip. Definitely need to give this a try for our next party! Thanks!

  9. Sounds delish! Just saved to del.icio.us. : )

  10. Oh my, I made this dip for our Sunday football/baseball party this past weekend and it was awesome. Everyone complimented me on it. Last night I boiled a potato and then mashed it with the leftover dip. Yummy. I will definitely making this recipe again!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna