Warm French Onion Dip

Take the flavors of French onion chip dip and French onion soup and put them together in a hot dip straight out of the oven. The result is this Warm French Onion Dip which is delicious with Parmesan crostini or any number of sturdy crudités.

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The classic chip dip of all time is the French Onion Soup mix dip. It originated in the 1950’s and was whipped up in no time by combining a packet of Lipton® French Onion Soup mix and sour cream. If you were really fancy, you might top it with some caramelized onions and serve it with ruffled potato chips. I loved this chip dip as a kid, but have to confess that I haven’t had it in years. 

This recipe for warm French onion dip takes that idea of French onion chip dip and mashes it with a recipe for French onion soup, making a warm oniony dip with lots of Gruyère cheese that is thick and decadent enough to be scooped up on crostini. Sounds perfect for cool weather sport watching, no?

INgredients on a wooden board - Worcestershire sauce, dry sherry, cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, Gruyère cheese, onions and chives.

French Onion Dip Ingredients 

The ingredients for the dip are relatively straight-forward. Obviously, we’ll start with onions. This recipe calls for Vidalia onions, but any sweet onion will do. Sweet onions become even sweeter as they cook and it’s their sweet flavor we’re going for. If you’re dying to make this dip and don’t have any sweet onions, just go with yellow onions and make sure you caramelize them well.

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Caramelized onions in a skillet with a parchment circle peeled away and a wooden spoon inside.

Start with Caramelized Onions

That is the first step in making this warm French onion dip – caramelizing onions. Caramelizing onions takes some time and really can’t be rushed. (You can learn more about caramelizing onions here.) Start with butter over medium to medium-low heat, cover the onions with parchment (to retain moisture) and stir them regularly. They will take at least 30 minutes, but you need to let your cream cheese warm up anyway, so take you time and do it right. A splash of Worcestershire sauce and some dry sherry helps to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the pan and enhance that beautiful brown caramelized color.

Then just stir all the ingredients together – that room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan and Gruyère cheeses and the beautiful onions – and transfer the mixture to a broiler-safe casserole. 

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A cast iron gratin dish with warm french onion dip inside and Gruyère cheese on top.

Make-Ahead French Onion Dip

You can do all the steps I’ve mentioned to this point ahead of time. Assemble everything in the casserole and top with more Gruyère cheese. Then stop. If you’re planning on your guests arriving in a few hours, leave the casserole on the countertop. If you’re making this way ahead of time, pop it into the refrigerator, but remember to bring it out of the fridge at least an hour before you want to bake it.

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Crostini on  a sheet pan with a blue towel wrapped around the bottom edge.

Parmesan Crostini

Unless you have seriously sturdy potato chips, you’re going to want to make crostini to serve with this warm French onion dip. It’s a weighty dip and needs a strong vessel to scoop through it. Sure you can buy crostini, but you’re using your oven anyway so why not slice up a baguette, sprinkle a little black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese on top and make a crostini worthy of this delicious dip?

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A hand dipping a crostini into warm french onion dip, with more crostini near by.

Air Fryer French Onion Dip

If you want to make this dip in your air fryer, can do! Just use a casserole dish that fits into the basket of your air fryer. Cover the dip with foil (tenting it so it doesn’t touch the cheese on top) and air fry at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Then, remove the foil and continue to air-fry at 400ºF for about 5 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and bubbly. You can also make the crostini in the air fryer, toasting the bread at 380ºF for about 6 to 8 minutes, but you’ll need to do them in batches so that they air-fry in a single layer. 

Gluten-Free French Onion Dip

If you’re a gluten-free eater (or some of your guests are), this is a great dip for you! One caveat: Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free, but if you’re using a different brand of Worcestershire sauce, do check the label. Of course, if you are trying to make this dip gluten free, you won’t be serving it on Parmesan Crostini! Instead, blanch some cauliflower and broccoli florets, cut up some carrots and celery and serve the warm dip with the sturdy crudités.

Both French Onion Chip Dip and French Onion Soup are classic recipes. I see no reason why Warm French Onion Dip shouldn’t follow suit!

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

Cooking School
How to Caramelize Onions

Caramelizing onions is not hard but it does take some time. They are great to have on hand to add...View Technique

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Warm French Onion Dip 

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 35 m
  • Servings:
    8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Vidalia onions chopped
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½  cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese divided
  • chopped fresh chives for garnish
Crostini for Serving:
  • 1 baguette loaf
  • olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and toss them in the butter. Cut a piece of parchment paper the same size of the inside of the skillet. Place the parchment paper on top of the onions as they cook. Cook over low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to pick up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF.

  3. When the onions have softened and browned, add the sherry, Worcestershire sauce and thyme leaves, tossing well to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and simmer for a few more minutes.

  4. Remove the skillet from the heat. In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese and ½ cup of the Gruyère cheese. Fold the caramelized onions into the mixture. Spread the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with the remaining Gruyère cheese and bake in the 375ºF oven for 15 minutes.

  5. Switch the oven setting to broil and leave the casserole under the broiler for 2 to 5 minutes, until the top has browned and is bubbly.

  6. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve the hot dip with crostini.

To make Crostini :
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.

  2. Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese on top.

  3. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly brown.

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Comments (2)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Sharon. You could use some balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar or just omit the sherry. It won’t alter the end result dramatically if you leave it out all together.

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