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Course: Appetizers
Keyword: Dips, Game Day, Hacks, Make-Ahead, Onion Dip from Scratch, Snacks

Onion Dip from Scratch

Onion dip in a bowl on top of a striped platter with ruffled potato chips.
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 2 1/2 cups
French onion soup meets tangy sour cream in this homemade version of America’s favorite chip dip.
According to American culinary legend, an unknown Los Angeles chef devised onion dip back in the fifties by mixing Lipton soup mix with sour cream. Maybe, maybe not. What we know is that the folks at Lipton’s picked up the ball and ran with it to the point that more of their dehydrated onion soup mix was going into the dip bowl than the soup bowl.
I have nothing against using manufactured mixes, but look, after the zombie apocalypse strikes, and the megamart shelves are stripped bare…what do we do then? Those of us with this recipe in our go-bags will survive to dip another day. Food for thought people, food for thought.
This dip is even better when made a day ahead. Just make sure that you cover it well with plastic wrap because fats (like sour cream) take in flavors and aromas hanging around the refrigerator like crazy old grandmas collect leftover gift wrapping.
This recipe first appeared in Season 6 of Good Eats.
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  • 4 large yellow onions, peeled (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar, for deglazing
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Specialized Hardware

Onion dip in a bowl on top of a striped platter with ruffled potato chips.
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 2 1/2 cups


  • Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the onions and place in a large pot. Sprinkle with the baking soda, salt, and dark brown sugar, and gently toss with tongs. Cover the pot and let the onions rest for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, uncover the pot, and place over high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil and cook, stirring often, until the onions are reduced by 75 percent and are a light gold color. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for approximately 15 minutes, stirring often.
  • Deglaze the pan with a few shakes of sherry vinegar and water. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. The onions should be dark golden brown and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups in volume. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Once cool, put 1/2 cup of the caramelized onions in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and white pepper, and stir to combine.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Overnight would be even better.
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