This healthier caramelized onion dip is lightened up but still super rich and creamy and perfect for dipping! Everyone goes crazy for this easy appetizer!
For me the holidays really kick off today!
Sure, I've been shopping (hello, Amazon and front door delivery, I love you so), baking cookies and holiday goodies, and I've been planning and doing Christmas cards and all of that.
But today my in-laws come in for a visit, tomorrow my son has his last-ever preschool holiday performance and this weekend my husband and I go for our annual Christmas symphony show.
And there's many more festivities to come in the next few weeks.
I am so ready and so excited! ❤️
So let's get on with it and get on to the food...
This healthier caramelized onion dip is such a fun one for snacking or parties.
It’s so rich and creamy — you’d never know it was lightened up! — and it’s perfect for dipping with some potato chips or veggies.
Celery and carrots are my favorite with this, but any veggie dippers would work.
And some good thick potato chips are the perfect salty bite to go with the sweet and creamy dip. 👌
Definitely a game day favorite!
Here's some other game day faves if you need extra snacks:
Also, I just gotta share this quick behind-the-scenes moment…
I typically make and photograph recipes in the early afternoon, so I can take advantage of the natural light coming into one of our front rooms.
So J, who is 5 and in pre-K, is always home from preschool and with me.
(He usually likes to try and take a few pictures himself. 📷❤️)
So on the afternoon that I was making this, I added the onions to my pan and was getting them started.
He was in the living room near the kitchen, playing with Legos.
He calls to me, “Mommy? Can you stop cooking that because I can smell that smell and I don’t like that smell.”
Gotta love that honesty, right?!
But back to this creamy dip, which actually smells divine by the time the onions cook down and it finishes…
You’ll love the underlying sweetness from the caramelized onions, the creaminess from the cream cheese and the tanginess from the Greek yogurt.
Such a good balance!
I gotta say, too, It’s crazy how much the onions cook down.
They started off in this amazingly huge pile in my pan. It was almost overflowing!
But by the end, they had really reduced down to just what’s seen here:
Reminds me of fresh spinach and how it wilts down to almost nothing compared with what you start with!
Notes on healthier caramelized onion dip:
- I use nonfat Greek yogurt for this recipe but you can also substitute sour cream. They both add a good tanginess to balance the sweetness of the onions.
- Or, you can sub mayonnaise in for some of the cream cheese or Greek yogurt.
- My onions sometimes release a lot of liquid as they cook. The onions won’t brown with a lot of liquid in the pan. So I drain a bit off to help the onions continue cooking and browning.
- You can skip the sugar in this recipe but it does help with the caramelization of the onions.
- The recipe calls for 3 large or 4 medium onions. It’s about 7-8 cups or so. You’ll end up with about 2 cups of caramelized onions at the end after they’ve cooked.
I also really recommend you use a mandolin.
I haven’t had one until recently so it’s definitely possible just to thinly slice your onions.
But the mandolin makes such quick work of it! It takes just a minute to get them all cut down - so easy!
Here’s the one I bought that I’ve been really happy with.
(Do use the food holder that comes with it though. I didn't and sliced my palm on onion #2 of this recipe. 😢)
Finally, I’ve included some optional bonus add-ins for this dip to give it a bit more depth and a boost of flavor, in case you want to try any of these.
Caramelized onion dip add-ins:
- A few dashes of hot sauce - adds a bit of heat to balance the sweet! 🌶
- A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce - adds great complexity.
- Or try a couple of splashes of balsamic vinegar.
- Or add a drizzle of sriracha over the top for serving. It looks extra pretty this way too!
Whether for holiday entertaining, game day eats or just anytime snacking, I hope you give this lightened up caramelized onion dip a try!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or use olive oil)
- 3 large onions (sweet, preferably), thinly sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar (see notes)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (or sub sour cream)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bonus add-ins: A few dashes of hot sauce, balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
- For serving: 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- Use a mandolin to thinly slice your onions. (Or do it by hand with a knife and slice thinly.)
- Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.
- Add onions, sugar and salt and stir to combine.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, 30-35 minutes or until deep golden brown in color. (I sometimes let them go for 40-45 minutes - they just get better and better!)
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and Greek yogurt, stirring until smooth and well combined.
- Add caramelized onions and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add any bonus add-ins then transfer the dip to a serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh chives.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. This dip will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
I use nonfat Greek yogurt for this recipe but you can also substitute sour cream. They both add a good tanginess to balance the sweetness of the onions.
Or, you can sub mayonnaise in for some of the cream cheese or Greek yogurt.
My onions tend to release a lot of liquid as they cook. The onions won’t brown with a lot of liquid in the pan. So I sometimes drain a bit off to help the onions continue cooking and browning.
You can skip the sugar in this recipe but it does help with the caramelization of the onions.
The recipe calls for 3 large or 4 medium onions. It’s about 7-8 cups or so. You’ll end up with about 2 cups of caramelized onions at the end after they’ve cooked.
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