Caramelized Onion-Garlic Dip

January 21, 2014

Caramelized onions may take some time to cook, but the development of the sweet/brown/complex flavors is absolutely worth the time required. I love using them on pizza, in dip, on baked brie… etc. So here’s an oldie-but-a-goodie appetizer from the ATK Family cookbook that makes good use of them. I’ve made this dip many times before, but I didn’t make it last year because I tried a caramelized onion/shallot dip from Bon Appetit instead. That one was delicious, but a bit more time consuming; this year I had frozen leftover caramelized onions, making this a 5-minute recipe. And with all the other party foods I had planned, I was all about expediency wherever I could find it!

Caramelized onion-garlic dip

The caramelized onions can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or kept frozen for several months. The dip will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Season with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper before serving.

Makes about 1½ cups


Caramelized onions (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1  tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1  tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2  pounds onions (about 4 medium), halved and sliced thin
  • 1  teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Salt
  • 1  tablespoon water
  • Pepper

Dip base

  • 3/4  cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4  cup sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. For the caramelized onions: Melt butter and oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Stir in the onions, brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deeply browned, about 40 minutes.
  3. Off the heat, stir in the water, scraping the pan to de-glaze. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chop onions finely.
  4. For the dip: Stir mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, ½ cup chopped caramelized onions, and garlic together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the dip for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.

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