Caramelized Onion Dip

Have you heard about this big football game that’s coming up next week?  It’s this once-a-year excuse to go all out, throw dietary caution to the wind and eat massive quantities of wings, dips and chips.  Or is that only at my house?  From what I understand, this is a nationwide phenomenon.  In case you are suffering from a last minute panic about what to make for the big game, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite football appropriate recipes, starting with this so-good-you’ll-want-to-eat-it-with-a-spoon onion dip.

dip on chip

I know that it’s so simple to grab a packet of powdery nothingness to whip up a batch of onion dip, but who is excited about telling their guests that the dip they are consuming at a furious pace came from a powder?  Astronauts eat food that comes from a powder.  Us earth dwellers should expect better.  This dip is so far beyond powder-based dips that you will never go back.  This takes traditional onion dip and cranks the volume up to Irrationally Good.  You may have to hide your spoons.


Caramelizing the onions adds a layer of flavor that gives the dip a subtle sweetness without adding any sugar.  A small amount of cayenne adds some heat but don’t be afraid, it cooks down into a mellow heat that even the most spice-phobic folks can handle.

caramelized onions

I would suggest making this dip the day before the big game, if you can.  Letting it sit in the fridge overnight allows the flavors to really marinate and come together.  Trust me, it just gets better with time.  Be sure to allow the dip to come to room temperature before serving.

onion dip

Now for some football favorites to help make your pad the House Everyone Wants To Watch the Game At:


Caramelized Onion Dip


2 large yellow onions
2 large shallots
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
2/3 cup light mayonnaise


- Cut the onions and shallots in quarters and slice into thin strips.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Combine butter and olive oil in pan.
- Add the onions, shallots, cayenne, salt and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue sauteing for another 30 minutes, stiring frequently, until the onions are browned and caramelized.
- Remove onions from pan and let cool.
- Place cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Using a electric mixer, beat until fully combined and smooth.
- Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve at room temperature with chips (or a spoon!).

Adapted from Ina Garten's Pan Fried Onion Dip

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15 Responses to “Caramelized Onion Dip”

  1. 1
    Jennifer — January 31, 2010 6:51 pm

    WOW this dip is calling my name!! I love caramelized onions. I could see spreading this dip on sandwiches and alike! thanks so much for the sweet inspiration!

  2. 2
    Kathleen — February 1, 2010 2:10 am

    Oh baby! This dip sounds fabulous! You gotta love Ina!!!

  3. 3
    BNDQ8 — February 1, 2010 10:42 am

    this dip souds delish!! i havent tried making an onion dip with cream cheese before but will do so soon :)

  4. 4
    Debi (Table Talk) — February 1, 2010 5:19 pm

    I have made this dip and concur: It is incredibly addictive~dangerously so!

    Nice job with your line up here—the football fare is always more interesting to me than what’s on the TV screen.

  5. 5
    angel — February 1, 2010 6:50 pm

    Ooowee! I cant wait to try this onion dip it looks delicious! love Ina shes great Ive tried some of her recipes. Thanks Kate.

  6. 6
    Susan — February 1, 2010 9:43 pm

    Beautiful blog, great recipe…I’m an Ina fan too…and this dip is one of my favorites….

  7. 7
    Allie (eat at allie's) — February 4, 2010 9:32 pm

    Wow the dip looks amazing and the brownies to die for! I can’t wait to try these recipes out :)

  8. 8
    Velez Delights — February 7, 2010 5:21 pm

    Yummy!!! This looks like something all of us here at my house would really like. I’ll keep it as a definite to-make recipe ? (@StephanieVelezR)

  9. 9
    Kristina — February 15, 2010 2:51 pm

    I will be making this and the spinach artichoke dip for my grandmother’s 70th birthday. She is a diabetic and has HBP so these two are both much more healtful options!

    Thank you!

  10. 10

    MMM…caramelized onions in or on anything makes me swoon. You’re so right…us humans really need to stop consuming things made from powder in a packet!

    That said I do like that crazy freeze dried astronaut ice cream they sell at the Hall of Science gift shop!

  11. 11
    justcooknyc — April 14, 2010 12:32 pm

    hmm, i’ve always been a fan of the stuff made with the powder soup mix, but now i’m thinking i should give this version a try

  12. 12
    Sarah — December 16, 2010 3:37 pm

    I made this dip with toffuti sour cream and cream cheese and no one had any idea. It was fantastic. A few of my friends are dairy free, they really appreciated the dip and others loved the flavor.

    • kate replied: — January 2nd, 2011 9:57 pm

      Sarah — Great to know that the dairy-free version is just as tasty!

  13. 13
    Joanne (Inspired Taste) — January 25, 2012 3:44 pm

    I wish I could reach through the internet and try some of that dip! Yum. Must make soon!!!

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