You know those dip recipes that you can’t seem to stop eating? The ones that you keep going back to, time after time, even though you’re definitely getting full, but you just can’t seem to stop?
It’s nostalgic, reminiscent of your favorite French Onion Dip, but it’s taken up about 10 notches with the slow-roasted garlic cloves and caramelized shallots in the mix.
It’s also a deliciously perfect vegetarian appetizer that everyone will love.
Serve it on game day (really, any game day..football, hockey, basketball… it will fit at any sports-watching event you can think of!), put it out when gathering with friends for happy hour, or serve it at a party.
It’s a crowd-pleaser; the kind of appetizer that brings people together. You’ve been warned: you might want to make a double batch and get an extra bag of chips.
Ingredients for Onion and Garlic Dip
This dip is made with a few simple ingredients, but also includes a couple more gourmet-esque additions to really elevate this dip recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Garlic Bulb: yes, we’re roasting an entire garlic bulb and adding it to this dip! Roasted garlic mellows out the raw garlic bite and turns it irresistibly sweet with a rich garlic flavor.
- Yellow Onion: makes the best caramelized onions, keeping them sweet and tender. You can really use any variety you’d like. Yellow or Vidalia (sweet) onions will yield the sweetest results. Play around and see what you like best.
- Shallot: in addition to the aromatics, shallot adds a mellow flavor and creates a depth of flavor in the dip. It caramelizes with the other onion adding a delicate flavor.
- Olive Oil: is what we are sauteeing the aromatics in…you could substitute another oil or use butter if needed.
- White Wine or Stock: a little deglazing of the pan while we caramelize the onions… adding some liquid also keeps the onions moist and helps them do their thing.
- Sour Cream + Mayonnaise: the creamy base of the dip, these two are a traditional take on this dip. If you are looking for a healthier swap, you can substitute greek yogurt for half of each.
- White Pepper: another unique twist here, white pepper is a bit more pungent, earthy, and sharp, but usually a little less complex than black pepper. It adds a nice balance of flavors to the dip.
- Onion Powder: adding a little powder enhances the overall flavor and balances out the sweetness of the caramelized onions, keeping things savory!
- Worcheshire Sauce: don’t skip this! Keep in mind to keep this vegetarian, you need to use a vegetarian Worcheshire sauce, or substitute soy sauce in its place. It adds a wonderful umami flavor to the dip, along with a salty component. It, too, balances out the sweet caramelized onion and roasted garlic with its savoriness.
How to Make Caramelized Onion Dip
This dip is easy to make, but it does take time for the magic of caramelized onions and roasted garlic to happen. You’ll need about 45 minutes, but it’s fairly hands-off and totally worth the wait.
Roast the Garlic
First thing: roast the garlic. Cut the top off of a whole garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Then, place the foil packet in the oven to roast.
Shortcut: if you don’t want to be bothered to turn on the oven, you can add sliced garlic cloves (yes, the whole bulb’s worth of garlic still) to caramelize with the onions, keeping the temperature low and slow so they don’t burn.
Caramelize Onion and Shallot
With the garlic roasting, begin caramelizing the onion and shallot in a skillet. I recommend using a large skillet like12-inch cast iron so the onions have more room to caramelize.
It’s important to caramelize onions low and slow, so they develop the most flavor and don’t burn.
A note about slicing the onions: I like to caramelize the onions in slices for the evenest caramelization. After cooking, we will chop them smaller for the dip. If you want to skip this step, you can caramelize them already finely chopped, just keep an extra close eye on them.
Only stir the mixture every so often to allow them time to caramelize; going undisturbed is going to develop that flavor! The touch of balsamic vinegar here adds a kick of acidity and color, too.
About halfway through the cooking time, deglaze the pan of onions with a bit of wine if you have a bottle open, vegetable stock, or even water. This keeps them moist as they continue to cook.
Easily Chop the Caramelized Onions
Here’s my hack for chopping the onions once they’re caramelized: use kitchen shears to cut them into small pieces. Since they’re hot, this is the easiest way to get the perfectly caramelized onions into small pieces.
It’s time to mix the dip!
Now that the MVP ingredients are ready, it’s time to mix the dip together. Combine the remaining ingredients: mayonnaise, sour cream, white pepper, and onion powder.
Start with a small amount of Worcestershire sauce until it’s just right for your tastes. I highly recommend adding salt and pepper to your tastes, too.
This very important job of taste testing is essential…and one you should take very seriously. 🙂
Let the dip chill in the fridge before serving, for best results. You can absolutely enjoy it right away, but it will be more lukewarm than chilled because of the cooked onions. T
he longer it sits, the more the flavors will meld together, too. Once ready, garnish with fresh parsley or chives for a bit of color, and dig in!
My favorite way to enjoy this dip is with salty, crunchy potato chips. There’s nothing better than the combination! However, you can also enjoy it with pita chips, veggie sticks, slathered-on sandwiches, burgers, and more.
More Appetizer Dip Recipes to Love
- Grilled Sour Cream and Onion Dip
- Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Dip
- Savory Tomato Red Pepper Spread
- Artichoke, Leek, and Kale Dip
- Whipped Ricotta with Honey
- Crab Spinach Artichoke Dip
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Caramelized Onion and Garlic Dip
- 1 garlic bulb
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced (~2 cups)
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (~1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, additional for garlic drizzle
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, to taste
- ¼ cup wine, vegetable stock, or water
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon white pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste, vegan if needed
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Cut off the top of the garlic bulb to expose the cloves. Set in the middle of a large square of foil and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Wrap the foil around the bulb. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cloves are tender. Set aside to let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add onions and shallots. Stir in balsamic and about 1/2 teaspoon salt until coated. Cook for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally as they caramelize. Time will depend on the type of pan and onion slice size.
- Deglaze the pan with wine, stock, or water. Scrape the bottom of the pan as you add the liquid. Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes until onions are a deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using kitchen shears or a knife, chop onions into the desired size for the dip.
- Squeeze the garlic bulb to remove the cloves; chop the cloves finely to add to the dip.
- In a large bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste), white pepper, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, onions, and garlic. Be sure to taste test and adjust salt or Worcheshire sauce as needed.
- Top with chives and/or chopped parsley as desired. Serve with potato chips or veggie slices and enjoy!
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our easy vegetarian appetizer collection. Check it out!