Looking for the perfect dip to impress your guests? This Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip is what I like to call the adult version of French Onion dip. The same classic flavors, but totally elevated!
Thick and creamy dip bursting with flavor and with chunks of caramelized onions in every bite. Plus, it comes together in less than 30 minutes and with less than 10 ingredients, making this one of my favorite dip recipes for entertaining.
Caramelized Onion Dip Ingredients
Here’s everything you need:
- Yellow onion. One large yellow onion will give you all the delicious caramelized onion flavor you need!
- Unsalted butter. To caramelize the onions in.
- Water. To help get an even caramelization on the onions.
- Salt, pepper, and onion powder. To add flavor to each and every bite.
- Sour cream and cream cheese. The thick and creamy base to your dip.
French Onion Dip with Caramelized Onions Tips and Tricks
How to Slice Your Onion for Caramelizing
The key here is slicing the onion pretty thin, so it caramelizes quickly and integrates beautifully into your dip. In order to slice your onion, you first have to peel and core it.
Start by chopping the onion into 3 or 4 parts around the core. We won’t be using the core in this recipe, but it can be saved in a freezer bag with other vegetable scraps to make your own veggie broth.
Once you’ve cut out your core, you should be able to easily remove the outer layer of the onion. Again, the outer layer can be saved for veggie scrap broth, or they can easily be composted.
Once your onion is peeled, you can place it on your cutting board, flat side down, and slice into thin strips.
Then, you can use your hands to separate the layers. From there, cut any of the longer pieces in half, so you’re left with thin slices of onion that are roughly an inch long.
If you want smaller chunks of caramelized onion in your dip, you can cut them into smaller pieces now.
Add the Onion and Butter to a Pan to Caramelize
Now it’s time to caramelize your onions! Add the onions to a large frying pan over medium-high heat with the butter, stirring to coat the onions as the butter melts.
Then, use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread the onions out in a single layer on the pan and allow them to cook in the butter for 5-7 minutes without touching them. This is key! Let the onions do their thing in the butter and resist the urge to stir them.
There will be some browning at the bottom of the pan, and a lot of browning on the underside of the onions.
How to Use Water to Help Caramelize Onions
Once the underside of your onions is browned, add the water to the pan and use the wooden spoon or spatula to stir, scraping any brown butter from the pan. The water will help distribute the browned butter and change the color of all your onions to a nice golden brown.
Continue to heat, stirring occasionally until the water cooks off. Add more water if needed, continuing to stir and cook until the onions are tender and a deep caramel color. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Whisk Together Your Dip Ingredients
As your onions are cooling, it’s time to start putting together your dip.
You can whisk it up in a mixing bowl, or you can just mix it up in the bowl you want to serve it in for less cleanup.
Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, so it easily integrates with the other ingredients.
Add the cream cheese, sour cream, salt, onion powder, and black pepper until smooth.
Use a Fork or Whisk to Avoid Lumps
Make sure to use a fork or whisk to fully combine the ingredients together.
I usually use a fork because it allows me to mash any lumps that remain from the cream cheese with the back of my fork.
Add the Onions Last
Finally, add the caramelized onions to your French onion dip. It’s okay if they’re not completely cooled, but it’s best if they aren’t too hot. Use a spatula or your fork to fold the caramelized onions in so they are evenly distributed.
Serving Your Caramelized Onion Dip
This caramelized onion dip is best served cold or at room temperature.
The most classic pairing for this dip is potato chips with ridges as pictured, but this dip is versatile. It can even be spread on a sandwich to add flavor!
Here are some of my other favorite things to serve with this dip:
- Potatoes chips of any kind.
- Toasted bread.
- Vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers, and broccoli.
How to Properly Store French Onion Dip with Caramelized Onions
This Caramelized Onion Dip will last for 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, this dip does not freeze well.
After refrigerating, your dip may thicken up a bit. Always give your dip a stir to loosen it a bit before serving it. If it seems too thick and you want to thin it out, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of milk and use a fork to stir.
Green tip: Did you know that 50% of food waste happens at home? Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and reheating your leftovers to enjoy!
Caramelized Onion Dip Frequently Asked Questions
What is caramelized dip made of?
Caramelized Onion Dip is made of tender caramelized onions, a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream, and a blend of seasonings.
What is the trick to caramelizing onions quickly?
The trick to caramelizing onions quickly is to coat them in melted butter and then allow them to cook without moving them for a good 5-7 minutes. Then, add water, and mix, to distribute the browned butter and evenly caramelize the onions.
Want to sharpen your kitchen skills?
Why You Should Make this Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip
- The texture! Thick and creamy dip with chunks of tender caramelized onions.
- It’s fun! What’s a better shareable and interactive food than dip?
- It’s a crowd pleaser. This is a family and friend favorite!
Creamy Caramelized Onion DipPRINT PIN RATE
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature (4 oz = ½ block cream cheese)
- ½ cup sour cream (½ cup sour cream = 4 oz)
- Peel and cut your onion around the core. Then, slice your onion into thin strips. If you want your dip to have smaller pieces of onion, you can opt to dice the onion instead.
- Add the onions and butter to a large frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring to coat the onions as the butter melts. Then, spread the onions out in a single layer on the pan and allow them to cook in the butter for 5-7 minutes without touching, so that there is some browning on the onions and the pan.
- Then, add the water and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping any browned butter on the bottom of the pan and stirring to distribute the browning color.
- Continue to heat, stirring occasionally until the water cooks off. Add more water if needed, continuing to stir and cook until the onions are tender and a deep caramel color. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or serving bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream, salt, onion powder, and black pepper until smooth.
- Fold in the caramelized onions and serve at room temperature with chips. Enjoy!
- If you want smaller chunks of onion in your dip, you can opt to dice the onion instead of leaving them in 1-inch slices.
- You can save your onion cores and peels in a freezer bag with other veggie scraps to make your own vegetable broth or you can compost them!
- For another crowd-pleasing dip, check out this 5-Minute Hummus.