This homemade French Onion Dip recipe will make you ditch the packet from the grocery store for good! It has the most intense onion flavor. 

It costs about $5.31 to make three cups of this dip. This French Onion Dip recipe makes twelve servings for just $0.44 per serving.

I love making a variety of dips when I am entertaining. Some of my favorites include this Slow Cooker Rotel Cheese Dip, this Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip, and this Whipped Feta Dip.

Onion dip that is garnished with chives.

It’s decided, the smell of onions caramelizing on the stovetop is my absolute, all-time favorite smell to be wafting through the house! To me, it smells so comforting. 

Many of my favorite recipes have caramelized onions, but this onion dip recipe is all about the onions and only the onions. You will never buy store-bought again after making this dip at home. It is fresh, creamy, and savory.

This homemade onion dip is simply heavenly! So heavenly that you need to drop everything you’re doing and make it right now. Seriously, right now!

This onion dip will make you the MVP at your Super Bowl party. You may even see someone lick the bowl clean (stranger things have happened at Super Bowl parties, am I right?!).

The sad thing about this dip is that you won’t have any leftovers the next day. So my suggestion is to leave yourself a small container of it hidden in the depths of your refrigerator. Somewhere only you will be able to find it. Trust me; you’ll thank me later!

Ingredients and Cost

Per Serving Cost: $0.44

Recipe Cost: $5.31

  • 5 Tablespoons salted butter – $0.50
  • 4 cups yellow onion – $2.48
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper – $0.03
  • ⅓ cup water – $0.00
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon balsamic vinegar – $0.14
  • 2 ½ cups sour cream – $2.16

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

Overhead picture of onion dip in a blue bowl with chips surrounding it.


  1. Begin making the dip by melting butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Next, add the onions, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  3. Then, stirring occasionally, cook the onions until they are translucent. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the onions are golden.
  4. Next, add half the water to the skillet and cook. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits until the water evaporates.
  5. Then, add the remaining water and cook until the onions caramelize, and the water evaporates again. Now remove the skillet from heat and stir in the vinegar.
  6. Then, let the onions cool to room temperature in another bowl.
  7. Next, add sour cream to the onions and stir together. Season with salt and pepper before you refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Finally, top with sliced chives and serve the homemade French onion dip!

***Make sure you check out the recipe video in the recipe card! 

Recipe Variations and Tips

  • When you’re in a pinch, you can use Greek yogurt, but you won’t get the same creamy tang that sour cream gives the dip.
  • Low and slow is the key to perfectly caramelized onions. Resist the temptation to increase the heat to speed things up!
  • I like serving the dip with toasted or untoasted baguette, crinkle-cut potato chips, and fresh veggies!

Storage and Serving Tips

MAKE AHEAD: You can make this dip up to 24 hours in advance. Just give it a quick stir before serving.

SERVE: Along with most recipes with dairy in them, this dip should not sit out longer than two hours. 

STORE: French Onion Dip will stay fresh in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 1 week.

FREEZE: This dip does not freeze and defrost well. Therefore I do not recommend freezing this dip.

French onion dip in a white bowl.

Recipe FAQ’s

How long does onion dip stay good for?

French Onion Dip will stay fresh in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 1 week.

What do you eat with onion dip?

There are lots of yummy things to go along with this delicious French onion dip. Think carrots, celery, or broccoli. Veggies are such a great option to dip into this dip! 
You could also go salty and do ridged potato chips, pretzels, pretzel chips, or pita chips. Oooh, you could even do a toasted or untoasted baguette. 
I think any of these would be fantastic choices to serve alongside the French onion dip. Let me know what you end up serving with it!

Why is it called French onion dip?

According to Wikipedia, French onion dip was first known as Lipton California Dip after the Lipton company began promoting the dip on a television show. The name changed over time as the recipe’s popularity rose to simply California dip and then to French Onion Dip. French Onion dip has won out over time.

Where did the French onion dip originate?

French onion dip was first created in Los Angeles in 1954 by an unknown French cook.

Cook’s Tools

  • large skillet
  • wooden spoon
  • liquid measuring cup
  • cutting board
  • chef’s knife

More Party Dip Appetizers

5 from 14 votes

French Onion Dip

Author Adapted from Cook’s Country February/March 2013
Recipe Cost $ $5.31
Serving Cost $ $0.44
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
12 people
This homemade French Onion Dip recipe will make you ditch the packet from the grocery store for good! It's has the most intense onion flavor. 


  • large skillet
  • wooden spoon
  • liquid measuring cup
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife


  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups yellow onion chopped fine
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • cup water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups sour cream
  • chopped chives for garnish (optional)



  • In a large, 12-inch skillet over medium heat melt butter.
  • Add onions, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until onions are golden, about 10 minutes.
  • Add half the water to skillet and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until water is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Add remaining water and cook until onions are caramelized and water is evaporated, about 5 minutes longer.


  • Remove from heat and stir in vinegar. Scrape onions to medium bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.


  • Add sour cream to onions and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Top with sliced chives and serve!



Makes 3 cups of dip. 


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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Picture collage of the onion dip in a white bowl and a chip dipping into the onion dip.
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This post first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on January 25, 2016. I have since updated some of the pictures and added a recipe video. 

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Recipe Rating


  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for a party this weekend and everyone loved it! I had no leftovers. I will never buy store bought French onion dip again! This will be my go to recipe.

  2. This homemade French onion dip is going to be a huge hit in my house. My husband will be asking for this every weekend.

  3. Oooh caramelized onions are a favorite of mine. So much incredible flavor packed into this dip! Yum!

  4. I love French onion dip!! And am so making this homemade version for my next girls night. Just better have some extra chips on hand 😉