This sour cream and onion dip is like the classic French onion dip you remember from your youth. It’s filled with caramelized onions in a creamy, plush dip you’ll want to serve for parties, game days or just for snacking.
When I was growing up, Lipton French onion dip was “the quintessential snack” for birthday parties, sleepovers and football games.
Eventually, my tastes evolved from the dip made from dried soup mix to the ready-made Heluva Good French onion dip found in the refrigerated section.
However, nothing compares to homemade, right? And you’re going to love THIS recipe.
I’m happy to say that no French onion soup mix was harmed in making this dip. It’s a simple mixture, made from scratch with real ingredients and tastes even better than those commercially available onion dips.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Sour cream and onion dip is a universally loved snack.
- It’s easy to make with no artificial anything. No packs of onion soup mix were harmed in making this dip.
- Can (and should) be made in advance.
- It’s delicious for snacking with potato chips.
- You can spoon it over a chicken breast for an impromptu French onion chicken; it goes great on burgers and makes a delicious sandwich spread.
- Sour Cream – I used full-fat sour cream instead of light — I mean, it’s onion dip and meant to be indulgent.
- Cream Cheese – needs to be at room temperature; otherwise, it won’t blend smoothly.
- Mayonnaise – I used Duke’s, but Hellman’s would be good, too. Do not substitute Miracle Whip.
- Kosher Salt – I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, which is less salty by volume than Morton’s. If you have Morton’s, use a little less so it’s not too salty.
- Black Pepper – freshly ground will give you the best flavor.
- Cayenne Pepper – This is essential – it doesn’t make the dip spicy or hot because its blended with dairy, which mutes the heat.
- Caramelized Onions – I use yellow onions for this dip recipe, but you can use white or red as well. Here’s how to caramelize onions in under an hour.
- Combine the room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a bowl.
2. Use a hand mixer to beat the ingredients until the texture is smooth.
3. Add cooked and cooled caramelized onions.
4. Use a rubber spatula to fold and stir them evenly into the sour cream dip mixture.
5. Transfer the onion dip to an airtight container or bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to marry and the dip to thicken and set.
- To make it easier to scoop the French onion dip onto chips or crackers, roughly chop the caramelized onions before adding them to the sour cream mixture.
- Sour cream and onion dip will be loose at first but will thicken as it chills in the fridge.
- Because it is so thick, you’ll want to serve it with sturdy chips (I recommend Trader Joe’s Ridge Cut Kettle Chips) or try it with pita chips, pretzels, crackers, and even carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers or another type of veggie cut into crudité sticks.
- Add crumbled bacon to the sour cream and onion dip for a smoky, over-the-top treat.
- For more depth of flavor, you can add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion or onion flakes. (Not all of them; pick one).
- For a lower fat and calorie French onion dip, substitute the sour cream for Greek yogurt and use Neufchatel instead of cream cheese.
- Worcestershire sauce (about ½-1 teaspoon) will deepen the umami and onion flavor.
- To add fresh onion flavor, add thinly sliced green onions (a.k.a. scallions), which are less sharp and pungent.
- Add lemon juice or chopped fresh herbs like dill or chives for brighter flavors.
Storage and freezing:
You can make this recipe 2-3 days ahead. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and stir just before serving to recombine in case the caramelized onions weep into the dip.
Dairy based dips don’t freeze well, so I don’t recommend it. Liquid will leak from the onions and change the texture and creaminess of the recipe.
However, you can make and freeze caramelized onions for up to 2-3 months, making this recipe quick and easy to make at the last minute.
Caramelized onion dip uses sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise to achieve its creamy smoothness.
It likely got its name from the classic French onion soup with its traditional base of caramelized onions in a savory beef broth topped with a crusty slice of baguette covered in gruyere cheese.
My tasters munched through this sour cream and onion dip in one sitting — helpless to resist the velvety smooth, richness and classic onion flavor, especially with a basket of crunchy potato chips.
Make this recipe soon!
More easy dip recipes you’ll love:
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Caramelized Onion Dip
- 1 hand mixer
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup caramelized onions chopped into small pieces.
- chopped chives optional
- extra caramelized onions
- In a medium bowl, combine the 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature, ½ cup sour cream, ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
- Use the hand mixer to beat the ingredients together until smooth (start with slow speed and move up to high, beating for about 1-2 minutes.
- Fold in 1 cup caramelized onions until well combined. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
- Transfer to an airtight container (or a bowl covered with cellophane) and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to marry and thicken slightly.
- Serve with potato chips, crudite, or crackers.
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