I have your dip recipe for the summer guys!! This French Onion Dip features caramelized onions in all their sweet and savory glory, rounded out with some tangy cream cheese and sour cream. Your potato chips have never known such bliss! I honestly thought I didn’t like onion dip, (it’s so…oily?) but homemade French Onion Dip is a whole nother level of creamy, cheesy caramelized perfection.

hand pulling crinkle cut potato chip scooping up french onion dip.
Table of Contents
  1. The best recipe for French onion dip
  2. What is French onion dip?
  3. French onion dip recipe ingredients
  4. How to make French onion dip
  5. What do you eat with French onion dip?
  6. How long does French onion dip last?
  7. Can you freeze French onion dip?
  8. French onion dip frequently asked questions
  9. More incredible dips and sauces you’ll love!
  10. French Onion Dip Recipe

Growing up, our house backed up to an intersection. Kitty corner from us was our church, where I attended seminary every morning in high school at 6:05am (!!!), and across the street was the high school. I always joked with my friends that my entire life was encapsulated in one intersection.

We were literally 50 yards from everything, but you had to walk down the entire block and then back again to get there. If you wanted to stick with those conventional sidewalks, that is.

Hopping the 6 foot cement fence in the backyard was the obvious solution, but how? My dad came up with the idea of using a ladder, the kind with a shepherd’s hook at the top, that people use for above-ground swimming pools. Voila!

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little girl on a ladder on a cement fence with purple tree.
Valentine learning to hop the fence 💕

The whole neighborhood started using the ladder to skip the extra block to school, and it was used for years. My dad still hops the fence to get to church every week. He likes to race my mom, who drives the two blocks (ain’t no way she’s hopping the fence in a skirt), and sometimes he beats her.

When you hop a 6-foot fence several times every single day, you get pretty casual about it, or at least I did in high school. One morning on the way to seminary, when it as still dark outside, I jumped without looking, and landed directly in front of this woman out for her morning jog. She screamed sooo loud and was clearly terrified that a random teenager had literally fallen out of nowhere into her path. We didn’t collide, thank goodness, but it was very close! 16-year-old-me felt so bad, but not so bad that I don’t still kind of laugh about it to this day. (I wonder what HER story is 😅)

I asked my family for more fence hopping stories:

I think you can guess which messages are from my brothers, always keepin it classy 😅

One day, my dad was making scrambled eggs. He went outside, knelt down by the weeds that grew out of the landscape edging we all stepped over every single day on the way to to hop the fence, snipped said weeds with scissors, and sprinkled them over his eggs. Because they were CHIVES. My mind was absolutely blown. Yer a wizard, Dad! I had NO idea we had edible weeds in our yard 😂

I always think of this when I buy chives, like for today’s recipe, which I am SOOO excited about!!

ceramic bowl filled with French onion dip and garnished with snipped chives and potato chips.

The best recipe for French onion dip

I never thought I could adore a dip the way I adore this dip. I love me some caramelized onions, but go ahead and add a ton of creamy cheese and chips? Stop itttt.

This will be the only thing I’m snacking on poolside this summer. If you invite me to your summer BBQ, I’m showing up toting this dip. I might even still be stuck on it come Thanksgiving, where it actually makes a perfect centerpiece to a Charcuterie Board. (I would know, this dip with charcuterie is what I served last November! I’ve been holding out on you for months with this recipe!!)

glass bowl of French onion dip with a few crinkle cut potato chips stuck in the top.

What is French onion dip?

Have you ever had French Onion Soup? If not, please go make that right now, then we can talk.

Just kidding. (Also, did you click over? Those pictures are sooo old but I promise the soup is legit.)

French Onion Dip is just the cheesy, dip-able version of the glorious soup.

The soup starts out with a ton of onions, which we slowly caramelize with the patience of turning coal into diamonds. (Trust me, worth it). Once finished, we immerse them in a rich beef broth. THEN we top it with crusty bread and cheese, which is broiled to perfection. I know, RIGHT??

The dip version takes the flavors and adds a ton more cheese, minus all the liquid, plus potato chips. I mean how can we go wrong here?

French onion dip is specifically made with beef broth flavors. If it doesn’t have the beef component, then it’s just onion dip. I have some BEEF with today’s sneaky snack makers, because there are so many store-bought ready-to-eat dips out there claiming to be French onion, that are really just plain ol’ onion dip. NOT SO, SIR! Give me my beef or give me death. Or something like that.

Onion dip is mostly sour cream with dried minced onion and a few other seasonings, almost like a super oniony ranch. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I can get down with a good onion dip as much as the next guy, but it is not the same!! No beef, no caramelized onions, and doesn’t come close to the deep, savory, almost sweet flavor of French onion dip!

close up of French onion dip showing the creaminess as well as the bits of real, caramelized onions.

French onion dip recipe ingredients

Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make this dip. Nothing special, the magic happens when we caramelize! Check out the recipe card for exact amounts!

ingredients for french onion dip - cream cheese, onions, beef base, sour cream, and more.
  • yellow onions
  • butter
  • kosher salt
  • granulated sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • Beef base
  • white wine vinegar
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • lemon juice
  • chives, optional
  • crinkle cut potato chips

How to make French onion dip

This dip takes an hour to make, but only because caramelized onions refuse to be rushed. They are drama queens like that. Caramelizing is not hard work, it just takes a while. The toughest part is actually chopping them up!!

super thinly sliced onions on a wooden cutting board, all ready to be caramelized.

The fact that I was willing to cry my way through these onions is testament to how much I LOVE THIS DIP. One onion I can handle, but three? So many tears. I busted out the onion goggles for sure (they actually work. I use regular swim goggles! They seal to your face better than marketed “onion goggles“. The only downside is that I have raccoon eyes for an hour afterward.)

woman wearing goggles in kitchen

Onion time 😂

My other tip I learned from my mom: when the tears come, run your wrists under cold water from the tap. It works every time! Bodies are weird guys. What do your wrists have to do with your eyeballs?? Just thinking about this makes me want to go try acupuncture.

Toss all your hard-earned onions in a skillet with a couple tablespoons butter. Heat over medium for a few minutes to get them going, then turn the heat down to medium low.

top pic: onions in pan, bottom, onions starting to brown and scorch.

When the pan dries out and the onions start to stick to the pan (and even, eep, start to blacken, yikes) it’s time to add the white wine vinegar. Deglaze the pan, stirring up all the brown bits and glorying in all the flavor you are working up! Then add in some beef base. This addition of beefy flavor is what distinguishes this dip as “French onion.” Without the beef flavor, it would just be onion dip. I love the deep umami it adds!

top pic: beef base in pan with browned onions, bottom pic wooden spoon mixing them together.

And voila, 40-50 minutes later, your onions are caramelized! Don’t they look so good?? Give them a taste. MARVELOUS.

Chop them up now if you didn’t do it before caramelizing. (You can totally chop the onions into a dice before caramelizing. I’m just always crying a river at that point, so I chop after when it’s easier 🤣)

top pic: chefs knife chopping browned onions smaller, bottom pic hand mixer beating cream cheese.

Beat up your softened cream cheese and sour cream.

top pic: beaten cream cheese in glass bowl, bottom pic chopped onion and other ingredients added.

Add in the garlic, Worcestershire, and lemon juice, and of course the onions. Don’t add them hot! Let them cool a little bit so you don’t melt your cream cheese. Fold it all together.

Guys, that’s it!! Dig in! Sprinkle with some chopped fresh chives that you have snipped from the weeds in your yard 😂, or some green onions that you have chopped more finely than usual.

hand holding a crinkle cut potato chip loaded with French onion dip and chive garnish.

What do you eat with French onion dip?

Well if you’re like me, you could eat this stuff straight up with a spoon. But there are a few particular items that I particularly love that work as dippers at parties!

  • crinkle cut potato chips are BY FAR the best potato chip option, with that classic potato chip taste to complement the flavor of the dip and strong enough to scoop inappropriate amounts of it without breaking
  • I love this dip with veggies: carrots especially, but also cucumbers, bell pepper, celery, jicama, snap peas, etc.
  • try other crinkle cut chip flavors: I absolutely love this dip with Salt & Vinegar Chips. Or try different vegetable crinkle cut chips (like sweet potato, tomato, spinach, etc)
  • french fries! hello!
  • pita chips, pretzels, or any kind of cracker
  • slices of good bread like French or sourdough, or crostini (toasted baguettes). Bread would make it feel a little like Spinach Artichoke Dip, hello yum.

You can also use your dip as a condiment to elevate so many foods! Check ’em out:

a crinkle cut potato chip laden with French onion dip hovering over the bowl of dip.

How long does French onion dip last?

First, make sure it’s in an airtight container. Then store it in the refrigerator where it should last for 5-7 days. French onion dip IS PERFECT for making ahead to save you time the day of serving. I’m thinking Thanksgiving, New Years Eve, any potluck ever. It can be served chilled, so it will be ready to pull out and use right away. But don’t limit yourself if you have travel time. This dip is killer when served room temperature. (I actually prefer room temp.)

Can you freeze French onion dip?

I do not recommend it. Dairy, in particular the sour cream in this case, does not do well in the freezing and thawing process. It tends to separate and get watery or grainy. No thank youuuu. Stick to keeping this dip in the fridge for storage. If you don’t think you can eat the whole batch in 5-7 days ((or honestly, you didn’t hear it from me, but it lasts longer than this if well sealed), I recommend either making a half recipe or planning to gift some to friends or neighbors.

two crinkle cut potato chips nestled into french onion dip with snipped chive garnish.

French onion dip frequently asked questions

What is french onion dip made of?

French onion dip starts with a creamy base made up of cream cheese and sour cream. Then we’re adding perfectly golden caramelized onions and rich beef broth flavors are mixed in. That’s it! It does take some time to cook down the onions, but please ditch the onion soup mix because I promise: the knock-your-socks-off flavor is 100% worth it!!

What’s the difference between French onion dip and onion dip?

French onion soup is derived from the flavors of French onions soup. Sweet caramelized onions and savory beef broth are the backbone of the soup, and those same flavors are mixed with a smooth cream cheese and sour cream base to make a dip. The end result is deeply flavored, savory but sweet deliciousness. Onion dip, on the other hand, has no beef influence. It’s just the cheese and the onion. It’s kinda like ranch dip’s more oniony cousin, and is a lighter dip option than French onion.

what is the best chip to eat with French onion dip?

This girl enjoys a quite high dip to chip ratio, so I’m all about the crinkle cut potato chips!! Buy a high quality brand like like Kettle or Boulder Canyon, but really any kind will do ya fine. Basic potato flavor is best, so you get the salt and crunch, but nothing else to compete with the flavors of the dip. And as far as classic thin potato chips, only buy them if you enjoy a frustrating, chip-breaking dip session. They’re just too thin to hold up!

If you can’t find regular crinkle cut potato chips, stick with crinkle cut style, and choose something like a veggie chip (I know some brands have sweet potato chips, or more exotic roots like taro). The next best option is probably a good plain pita chip, or toasty baguettes!

close up showing half a bowl filled with caramelized French onion dip with chive garnish and chips.

More incredible dips and sauces you’ll love!

I’m a sucker for a good condiment. It can totally make a whole meal or even event to have just the right sauce or dipper!! Look through these recipes for your favorite dip recipes and more!

finger and thumb holding a crinkle cut potato chip loaded with French onion dip with chive garnish.

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French Onion Dip

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 3 large yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Beef base
  • 1 tablespoon water, if needed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 small clove garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • chives, chopped, to garnish
  • 1 large bag high quality potato chips, for serving


  • Set out your block of cream cheese so that it is soft when you need to beat it later.
  • Caramelize the onions: Thinly slice the 3 onions. Thin slices caramelize more evenly than big ol pieces!*
  • Set a 12-inch high sided pan over medium heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter, then add all the onions. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. The cayenne is for flavor and not heat, if you like things a lil spicy, add 1/4 teaspoon!
  • Saute the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium low, and settle in for the long haul. Onions take about 40-50 minutes to caramelize fully.
  • Eventually, after 10-15 minutes, the bottom of the pan will get dry and the onions will start sticking to the pan. At this point, deglaze the pan by adding 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar and using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon beef base and stir it all together. Keep sauteing until you have reached the 40-50 minute mark. If the pan gets very dry and the onions start to blacken on the edges, add 1 tablespoon water and stir. Repeat this process as often as necessary. At the end, your onions should be a deep brown caramel color, with no white parts, and not blackened. (not too much, anyway.)
  • Remove the onions from the heat and let cool for a while. When you can handle them, scrape them onto a cutting board and chop into bite-size pieces.*
  • Make the dip: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add 8 ounces softened cream cheese. Beat with a hand mixer until it is smooth and creamy, and there are no lumps.
  • Add 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 small clove of minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon), 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Continue beating until it's all mixed together. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper to taste!
  • Use a rubber spatula to fold in the cooled and chopped caramelized onions. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped chives (or green onions are good too, thinly sliced).
  • Serve right away with potato chips! I like the crinkle cut potato chips, I feel like they are sturdier and hold up better for dipping.
  • Store the dip in a covered container in the fridge. It will keep for a couple weeks! (Ask me how I know 😂) This is a GREAT make ahead appetizer, the flavors just get better with time.


*You can chop your onions into a normal dice before cooking, if you wish. I’m always crying a thousand tears by this point and want to get them in the pan as fast as possible, so I just slice and go! We don’t want long stringy onions in our dip; I always take the step to chop up the onions after they have caramelized. But if you are not a crier, you can do the full dice before cooking, if that’s more convenient! 


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 632mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 636IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Calories: 203
Keyword: dip, french, onion
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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