Skinny Dipping: Lightened-Up French Onion Dip

As a child of the 70s, I remember French Onion Dip quite fondly. It was ubiquitous back in the day, mostly because even the least culinarily-inclined person knew exactly how to make it – take one envelope of onion soup mix, add to one container of sour cream, mix together and let stand for an hour or two to rehydrate the onion flakes. Tah dah! Instant dip.

Lightened-Up French Onion Dip

It’s easy, it’s quick and by golly, it totally justifies the existing of plain ruffled chips. (Nobody actually eats those without dunking them in dip, do they?)

The thing is, the real thing is a million times better. Sure, chopping and caramelizing a giant pile of onions does require a little more effort and lots more patience… but the payoff at the end is utterly worth it. It is to the instant soup dip as real mac n’ cheese is to the orange-coloured stuff in a box.

Chopping Onions

The reward for your hard work and patience is a beautiful bowl of dip that’s creamy, slightly tangy, with a deep and slightly sweet caramelized onion flavour. It also has a little secret… the usual sour cream has been replaced with non-fat Greek yogurt. Same thick, creamy texture, only without the fat (and none of those extra things they add to non-fat sour cream, either).

Living in a Greek neighbourhood, it’s always been relatively easy to find a good-quality Greek yogurt, but lately it’s gotten even easier thanks to the explosion of mass-market brands hitting the supermarket shelves. It’s pretty magical stuff… because it’s so much thicker than regular yogurt, you can get a rich and creamy texture even when you’re using the non-fat kind.

Lightened-Up French Onion Dip

And let me tell you, the yogurt is utterly perfect in this dip. It adds a little tangy note that plays up the sweetness of the onions, and a rich creaminess that makes this dip feel like a guilty treat even though it’s actually not bad for you at all. Pair it with veggie sticks for a healthy snack, or serve it up with chips for game night.

Lightened-Up French Onion Dip

No sir, this definitely ain’t your momma’s onion soup dip. Your chips (or veggie sticks) won’t know what hit ’em!


Homemade French Onion Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is the real deal - a lightened-up creamy, tangy yogurt dip flavoured with loads of finely chopped onions slow-cooked until golden brown and caramelized. One bite and you'll never go back to the soup mix version again. Promise.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups finely diced red onion
  • 1½ cups finely diced yellow onion
  • 1½ cups finely diced sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1½ cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until translucent and just starting to colour.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized (if the onions start to burn at any point, add a tablespoon or two of water and continue cooking). Stir in garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together yogurt and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the cooled onions, lemon juice and Worcestershire. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. Transfer to a pretty serving bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour (or up to two days) to allow the flavours to blend together, then serve with chopped vegetables or potato chips for dipping.



  1. Rochelle (@AcquiredLife) says

    Oh. My. Gawd. I need some dip now! I haven’t had onion dip in forever (and no dip at all since we’ve been in Portugal *cries*), and now I know how to do it :D Thank you Isabelle, for giving me a reason to force everyone to deal with my love of dip!

    • Isabelle says

      Poor Rochelle! I never thought about it before, but you’re right… I don’t remember seeing all that much dip in Portugal when I last visited. Hope you get a chance to get your dip fix soon!

  2. Eliot says

    I would love to have a big bowl of this and a spoon. It is healthier, right? So I can just eat it straight. Right? (Humor me here, please.)

    • Isabelle says

      But of course. It’s chock-full of protein and calcium… it’s the chips you should watch out for! :)

  3. says

    I was so proud of myself for “lightening” my onion dip recipe. I swapped out the sour cream for Greek yogurt..I’m pretty sure the butter, oil, mayo, and cream cheese kept it from truly being lightened.

    • Isabelle says

      Every little bit counts, Deanna. :) Switching from a full-fat 9% yogurt to a non-fat 0% still saves you a load of fat and calories!
      You could theoretically make it lower-fat by using a light mayonnaise… though I try avoid most “low fat” or “non-fat” products because most of the time the fat is just replaced with something else. (The non-fat Oikos is made with just skim milk and bacterial cultures… so it’s okay in my books.)

  4. Kiri W. says

    Oooh, perfect! I love French Onion dip, so a lightened up version makes me happy. Oikos is pretty much heaven in anything!

  5. says

    This looks delicious. I am not a huge dip gal but my guys love it. As does my brother. Maybe I’ll make it next time he visits. Home made is always better.

    • Isabelle says

      Isn’t that pattern awesomely retro? The designer, Kathie Winkle, is one of my very favourites… I snag her pieces whenever they turn up at my local Goodwill. :) I’m very jealous of your friend for growing up with a full set!

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