Real French Onion Dip Recipe

Overhead view of french onion dip surrounded by Chips

Serious Eats / Victor Protasio

A creamy dip with an intensely onion flavored base. A splash of lemon juice adds some brightness while a bit of Worcestershire sauce gives it a meaty, umami-ful backbone. Looking to up the umami factor even more, I decided to also add a touch of grated Parmesan cheese.

January 2011

This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and updated to omit the baking soda.

Recipe Facts



Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Active: 30 mins
Resting Time: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Makes: 2 cups

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  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 3 large yellow onions (1 1/2 pounds; 680g), finely diced

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more as needed; for table salt, use half as much by volume

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 ounce (15g) finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives


  1. Heat sugar in a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat until completely melted and light brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately add onions and stir with wooden spoon to coat onions in sugar. Add butter, salt, and black pepper. Stir  to combine. Cook, shaking pan occasionally until onions release all their liquid and brown coating builds up on bottom of pan, 6 to 8 minutes.

    Overhead view of onions in pot

    Serious Eats / Victor Protasio

  2. Add 2 tablespoons water shake pan while scraping with wooden spoon to deglaze brown bits from bottom of pan. Continue cooking, shaking occasionally until coating begins to build up again, about every 2 minutes. Repeat deglazing and cooking steps three more times until all water is used up and onions are deep brown. Transfer to medium mixing bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.

    Overhead view of adding water to browned onions

    Serious Eats / Victor Protasio

  3. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parmesan, and Worcestershire and whisk to combine. For a smoother texture, run through blender or food processor for 1 minute until smooth. Chill in a sealed container for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days (flavor will improve with time). Spoon into a bowl, sprinkle with chives, and serve with potato chips.

    Overhead view of whisking ingredients together in a bowl

    Serious Eats / Victor Protasio

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
199 Calories
17g Fat
11g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 301mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 59mg 5%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 181mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)