This Caramelized Onion Dip is a happy dance just waiting to happen. The aroma of sweet onions as they glistened in the skillet, color and flavor deepening, proved worthy of the patience and anticipation. Sweet, savory, creamy richness all from real, slow, good for you food.
Let me begin with a confession. I love onion dip. You know the one with a tub of sour cream and a package of Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix…hand me some potato chips and I’m Super Bowl happy. Well, at least until the sodium and food additives hit me like a ton of bricks with unquenchable thirst, puffy hands, and a headache—that’s what we call a junk food hangover and it is no fun.
Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix ingredients: onions (dehydrated), salt, cornstarch, onion powder, sugar, autolyzed yeast extract (barley), caramel color, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, monosodium glutamate, corn syrup, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, sulfur dioxide (used to protect quality)
Each year when it’s time to plan our Super Bowl menu, the tug-of-war begins. Like I said, I love the stuff, and I know it is something I should never eat. So justification ensues (it’s only one time) and the denial I so easily slip into begins to win … crazy, I know.
Last week when refining this recipe, I was ecstatic to find a replacement for my beloved, yet terrible vice. I’m always happy to replace junk with healthy, delicious, whole food—always. One bite and I knew my tug-of-war days were behind me, at least when it come to onion dip.
Don’t let the idea of nursing the components of a party dip on the stove for more than an hour dissuade you for a second. Caramelizing onions is not a labor-intensive task; it only requires a little patience and the occasional stir. Unload the dishwasher, prep food for dinner, do the laundry—you get the idea—just let the onions do their thing. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week, so if by chance there is any left over after the Super Bowl, use it for burger dressings, sandwich spreads, and chili toppings too.
Adapted from Celebrations.com Healthy Onion DipPrint
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 1/2 cups sweet yellow onion — sliced
- 2 cloves garlic — minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (optional) — or other unrefined sweetener
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- salt and pepper — (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon scallions — sliced diagonally for garnish
- Heat olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until oil covers the pan evenly and is hot. Add the sliced onions and stir enough to coat the onions with the oil and butter. Continue to cook onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and unrefined sugar, spread onions evenly over bottom of skillet, reduce heat to low.
- Allow onions to gently caramelize over the next hour, stirring occasionally to ensure they caramelize evenly. Add minced garlic to the skillet the last 15 minutes of caramelizing the onions. Onions should be deep, golden brown when done.
- Once done, allow onions and garlic to cool. Chop onions to desired consistency.
- Mix onions, olive oil, granulated garlic and onion into yogurt. Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Garnish with scallions and serve with chips, crackers, or vegetable sticks.
When using Vidalia, Maui, or other super sweet onions, omit sugar or any other sweeteners, as they are not necessary. If you forget to add the garlic before the hour of caramelizing is up, don’t worry, add the garlic and let the onions caramelize with the garlic an extra 15 minutes. There is no exact time when the magic happens, some let onions caramelize for up to 2 hours.