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