Homemade French Onion Dip

With deeply caramelized onions, Worcestershire sauce, some basic seasonings, sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise, this French onion dip recipe is so much richer than anything you’ll find at a store. While an onion dip mix is convenient, caramelizing your own onions takes less time than going to the store and the flavor is out of this world! Grab your favorite bag of chips and get ready to dig in.

A potato chip dipping into homemade French onion dip.

Chips and dip are one of my all-time weaknesses and French onion dip ranks right at the top of the list for me. For the longest time, I was happy to grab a jar or tub of ready-made dip from the grocery store or a container of sour cream and a packet of onion dip mix to stir together, but after watching Ina Garten make a homemade version over 10 years ago, I was inspired to make my own.

Over that span of time, I’ve played with different ratios of butter and onions, different seasonings, different dip components, and once I mixed together this version, that was IT for me. I’ve made it exclusively for a couple of years now and find the combination of deeply caramelized onions with cool and creamy sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise, along with some subtle flavorings to be the absolute best version I’ve ever tasted.

This homemade version is so simple to make and you won’t believe the incredible flavor it has!

A bowl of onion dip surrounded by potato chips.

The history of French onion dip

In 1954, a cook in Los Angeles put a packet of Lipton’s Onion Soup mix into some sour cream, and this party fav was born! It quickly caught on locally and had many names before French Onion Dip stuck for good in the 1990s, and Lipton’s started printing the recipe onto their packaging.

In the 1970s, homemade versions got popular, and people realized that caramelized onions were even better than a packaged mix. From there, plenty of variations have popped up and this is my absolute favorite version! (I also have some ideas for mix-ins below, if you’re feeling adventurous!)

Our base ingredients

Ingredients for French onion dip prepped and labeled.

The onions

If possible, small to medium-sized sweet or yellow onions are the best option for maximum flavor. However, you can absolutely use whatever type of onions are available to you, although I would not recommend using red onions.

I like dicing the onions small so that it’s extra easy to plunge a potato chip into the dip and pile it high. However, if you have any texture aversions and prefer a smoother dip, you can put the onions into a food processor for a few pulses before adding them to the skillet. Alternatively, you can do a rougher chop for a chunkier dip, but the cooking time may be a bit longer.

The dip part

For the creamy part of the recipe that makes the dip, well, a dip, I use a trio:

  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise.

I use three times as much sour cream as the other ingredients because the original onion dip recipe only uses sour cream, so I like it to shine for that traditional, nostalgic flavor. But I do love the balance that a little tangy cream cheese and creamy mayonnaise bring to the table, so I include those, as well.

Substitution Notes

  • Sour cream – You can replace some or all of the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.
  • Vegan alternatives – You can use vegan versions of the sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise if necessary.

Flavors!

Because the flavor of the caramelized onions is so spectacular, we don’t need to add much in terms of extra spices and flavors, but here is what I do add:

  • Salt and pepper – The standard seasoning duo and a must for most anything savory!
  • Cayenne – This is optional and we only use a pinch so the dip isn’t spicy, but it gives it just enough oomph to enhance the other flavors.
  • Worcestershire sauce – My very favorite “secret” ingredient! You don’t need a lot, but it seriously takes this dip from good to absolutely spectacular.

Step-by-step photos of caramelizing onions.

How to make onion dip from scratch

We’ve got all of the ingredients laid out and now we make it!

  1. Caramelize the onions – This single step is what makes this dip truly incredible, so it’s important not to rush it. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. When melted, add salt, pepper, cayenne, and onions. Stir them occasionally until the onions get translucent (about 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking onions until they caramelize and turn a deep golden brown (another 15 to 20 minutes). About halfway through that second step, I like to drizzle in water to deglaze the pan; you can also use wine or beer for this step!
  2. Cool the onions to room temperature – We don’t want to melt the sour cream, cream cheese, or mayonnaise by mixing everything together when the onions are still hot, so let them cool down completely.
  3. Mix everything together – In a large bowl, stir together the sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce until completely smooth and combined. Add the caramelized onions and stir to combine.
  4. Let it chill – Refrigerate the dip for at least 2 hours or overnight so that all of the flavors really get a chance to blend together.

Stirring caramelized onions into a creamy dip base.

Serving, making ahead, and storing

  • Garnishes: I love the chopped chives since they are mild; crumbled bacon is an awesome idea, too!
  • Serving Suggestions: Obviously, chips are best! I suggest wavy/ruffle chips or kettle chips, as they stand up well to the dip. You can also serve this with veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. all work well) or chunks of crusty bread.
  • Make-Ahead: This is a great dip to make the day before a party because it gets better as it is refrigerated! For the best flavor and texture, serve within 24 hours of making the dip.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You may notice that the dip gets a little watery as it sits in the fridge; give it a good stir and add a little sour cream if necessary.

More of my favorite dip recipes:

Homemade French onion dip surrounded by sliced vegetables and potato chips.

French Onion Dip

If you’ve never made a classic French onion dip at home, you won’t believe how easy it is to make and how absolutely phenomenal it tastes! I promise you won’t ever want to go back to store-bought dip packets again!

If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

French Onion Dip

Servings 8 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

With deeply caramelized onions, Worcestershire sauce, some basic seasonings, sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise, this French onion dip recipe is so much richer than anything you'll find at a store.

Ingredients:

  • 3
    tablespoons
    unsalted butter
  • 3
    medium
    onions
    (finely diced)
  • 1
    teaspoon
    salt
  • ½
    teaspoon
    black pepper
  • teaspoon
    cayenne pepper
    (optional)
  • ¼
    cup
    water
  • 12
    ounces
    sour cream
  • 4
    ounces
    cream cheese
    (at room temperature)
  • 4
    ounces
  • 1
    teaspoon
    Worcestershire sauce
  • Finely minced chives
    (optional, for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and cayenne (if using) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown and fragrant (about 15 to 20 minutes). After about 10 minutes, I like to drizzle in the water (or you could use wine!) to deglaze the pan and scrape up all those beautiful browned bits. Allow the water to completely evaporate and continue to cook until deep golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, and Worcestershire sauce until completely combined and smooth. Add in the caramelized onions and stir to combine.

  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight, before serving. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired, and serve with your favorite potato chips (I recommend kettle chips or wavy/ruffle variety!).

Recipe Notes:

  • Onions: Sweet or yellow onions are preferred, but you use any type available to you, except for red onion.
  • Vegan Alternatives: You can substitute vegan versions of sour cream, cream cheese, and mayonnaise.
  • Garnishes: I love the chopped chives since they are mild; crumbled bacon is an awesome idea, too!
  • Serving Suggestions: Obviously, chips are best! I suggest wavy/ruffle chips or kettle chips, as they stand up well to the dip. You can also serve this with veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. all work well) or chunks of crusty bread.
  • Make-Ahead: This is a great dip to make the day before a party because it gets better as it is refrigerated! For the best flavor and texture, serve within 24 hours of making the dip.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
Nutritional values are based on one serving

Nutrition:

Calories: 198kcal
Fat: 18g
Saturated fat: 10g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Sodium: 492mg
Potassium: 153mg
Carbohydrates: 8g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 5g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A: 599%
Vitamin C: 3%
Calcium: 71%
Iron: 1%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Photography by Dee Frances