Real Sour Cream & Onion Dip and a Wisconsin Cheese Giveaway: Set of Cheese Knives, Cheese Board, and 3-Bowl Bamboo Server

caramelized onion and sour cream dip with Ruffles potato chips

The unfortunate consequence of being deprived of chips and dip as a child is that I am the girl at parties hovering over the crock pot filled with queso dip, piling more than a manageable amount of hot crab spread into my Tostitos scoops, and destroying the poor bowl filled with spinach-artichoke dip.

In addition to childhood deprivation, part of my love for these sorts of dips, I suspect, stems from the fact that I never make them. As many of you know, so many of these most-adored party dip recipes call for opening a pack of soup mix filled mostly with dehydrated ingredients, two days worth of the recommended salt intake, MSG and a host of nitrates and preservatives. While this knowledge never seemed to prevent me from eating these dips — all willpower dissolves when confronted face to face — for many years it prevented me from making them.

With the recent success of a homemade sour cream-and-onion dip, however, I am hoping homemade queso dip along with a few other classics might be in my future, with any luck before the Super Bowl. Who knew that real sour cream-and-onion dip is astonishingly easy to prepare and far more delicious than its dried-soup variation? While caramelizing onions takes time — time, not work — throwing together this dip couldn’t be much more difficult than opening a box of instant soup. One bite of this sweet-and-tangy dip atop a salty Ruffles potato chip allayed my fears that my Super Bowl guests, upon observing the spread — my mother’s olivata, my aunt’s whipped feta with roasted red peppers, and not a crock pot in sight — might run out the door. If you feel like going this homemade-sour-cream-and-onion-dip route, rest assured that your guests will feel right at home watching the game. Just don’t forget the Ruffles… for some things there are no substitutes.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed: Winner is Dona. Now, for the giveaway: If you are interested in receiving this generous gift from The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which includes a 4-piece set of stainless steel cheese knives and cheese board as well as an eco-friendly bamboo, triple-play server, please leave a comment below. Tell me your favorite appetizer, hors d’oeuvres or dip/spread to make on Super Bowl Sunday. I have enclosed the full description of the giveaway below:

cheese knives and boardbamboo 3-dip server

Home to more than 600 varieties, types and styles of cheese, it’s no surprise Wisconsin wins more awards for its cheesemaking excellence than any other state or country in the world. This Wisconsin Cheese entertaining set includes a few entertaining essentials: a 4-piece set of Stainless Steel Cheese Knives and a an eco-friendly bamboo, triple-play server.

The triple-play server is also perfect for serving dips! If you’re looking for a few dairy-friendly dip recipes, check out the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s new collection of more than 50 dip recipes.




caramelized onions

Real Sour Cream & Onion Dip

Inspired by a recipe in Sally Schneider’s The Improvisational Cook
Yield = 1.25 cups

Notes: When researching recipes for this dip, I came across a ton of variations, many of which called for additional ingredients such as goat cheese, mayonnaise, dried onion powder, etc. While I thought for sure the goat cheese variation would win me over, none of the variations I tried was as good as this simple combination of equal parts caramelized onions and sour cream, some sort of member of the green onion family — scallions, chives, etc — and a little freshly squeezed lemon juice. I know how hard it is to resist trying out those flashy recipes, but I highly recommend giving this simple recipe a go first.

Side note: As far as classic dip ingredients go, sour cream is really on the light side: 2 tablespoons contains 60 calories. Just 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, in contrast, contains 100 calories. Just a thought.

caramelized onions:
Yield = about a heaping cup

4 cups diced onion (from about 3 to 4 small to medium onions)
2 tablespoons butter
kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vinegar* (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

*red wine, white wine, sherry, balsamic — anything


1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
4 scallions* or a bunch of chives, thinly sliced (to yield about 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon (or more) freshly squeezed lemon juice

*I used the white, light green and the tender parts of the dark green portions of the scallion.

1. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, season with a pinch of salt and cover the pan. Cook covered for about 15 minutes.

2. Remove the cover, and increase the heat slightly. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions are not sticking. Sprinkle the sugar overtop and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring more frequently now, until the onions have turned a nice deep brown. Pour in the vinegar, turn off the heat, and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula to remove any browned bits. Take pan off the heat and transfer onions to a large bowl to cool.

3. This mixture should yield about 1 heaping cup of onions. When the onions have cooled, stir 1/2 cup of them into the sour cream. Taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in scallions or chives. Add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, lemon juice or more caramelized onions if desired. Save any remaining caramelized onions to add to omelets or pasta or more sour cream-and-onion dip.

caramelized onion and sour cream dip with Ruffles potato chips


  1. Deckled Edges says

    What a nice giveaway! I have a wonderful herb dip that I adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe that is amazing. We use it as a dip, a spread, and (when no one is looking) to eat straight out of the bowl with a spoon! :)

  2. Wendy says

    Never hosted a SB party, but love these unusual quesadillas–caramelized onion (sweet and with red wine), gorgonzola, and toasted walnuts. I could eat the whole plate!

  3. Jessica says

    My favorite go-to app is definitely bacon wrapped dates stuffed with manchego and an almond (sometimes I class it up with prosciutto instead of bacon).

  4. Ali says

    I can’t wait to try this dip! Love onion dip and am thrilled to see it made without a soup packet! We make buffalo chicken dip for almost all football games… Cream cheese in any appetizer makes it great!

  5. liz says

    I like to make vegetarian frito pie: fritos, a can of vegetarian chili, cheese, sour cream, and a little avocado on top!

  6. Catherine says

    I can relate about being deprived of chips as a child… The sad thing is that I do the same to my kids!
    White queso
    1lb white American
    1/2 c milk
    Pickled jalapeños and its juice.

  7. Katia says

    I love my goat cheese and sun dried tomato pesto dip…. Served with a good crusty baguette but also tastes amazing on triscuits!!!!

  8. Molly says

    I love making a ‘dip’ of baked feta cheese, or classic mexican bean. The sour cream and onion dip seems like a winner too, though!

  9. says

    My absolute favorite dip is a Lower-fat Chunky Spinach & Artichoke Dip that I created. Doesn’t matter what vehicle brings it to my mouth….I could eat the whole dish….but then I guess it wouldn’t be lowfat!

    6 oz. Organic Light Cream Cheese (Neufchâtel)
    1/3 c Light Miracle Whip, or choice of vegan salad dressing
    4 oz Organic Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
    1-14 oz can Artichoke Hearts – quartered, 1/3 c. brine from can-Organic if available
    1-10 oz package of frozen Organic Chopped Spinach
    1 Tb .Organic Minced Garlic
    Cracked Pepper to taste.

    Squeeze excess water from spinach add to a mixing bowl large enough to fit all ingredients. Put the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix thoroughly, breaking up the artichokes as you go using a gloved hand. Place in a covered backing dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 1-1 1/2 hours or until mixture is bubbling and browning around the edge of the dish.

    Serve with Wasa Bread (no fat), Tortilla Chips, Crackers, etc

    This dip is not as “wet” as most, just enough to dip. Refrigerate leftovers, Makes a great spread when lightly warmed and spread on ciabatta rolls, or bagels the next day.

  10. says

    great giveaway, alexandra! i like to bring spicy bean salad to the super bowl party–it has beans and kick, which the guys like, but isn’t super sinful or heavy, which makes the gals happy. :)

  11. says

    I love making chili bacon wrapped chicken bites. They are a super crowd pleaser. Last fall I actually made a very similar onion dip from 101 Cookbooks and it was fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Alexandra Miller says

    I can’t stop making (and eating) blue cheese stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon. Amazing appetizer for parties! Thank you for this great giveaway!

  13. Natalie says

    Totally weird, but I am really into a recipe I found (linked from elsewhere) on PETA’s website for buffalo cauliflower “wings.” I am not a vegetarian, nor do I only eat healthy things or anything ridiculous like that. I just tried making them on a whim one day, and they were a hit!

  14. Brenda says

    I like to make our Shrek dip – once you add madras curry powder to cream cheese it turns bright green – then you layer jalapeno jelly, mango chutney, toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries and green onions – everyone wants the recipe and cannot stop eating!! Thank you so much for the generous giveaway!!!

  15. says

    Count me in! My favorite dip is Ina Garten’s green goddess dressing — chips, carrot sticks, and crackers are mere vehicles to bring this yummy goodness to my mouth.

  16. Anne says

    Here in Maine, the “big game” usually falls during shrimp season (yes, there is a season for shrimp), so I make lots of things featuring those small bites of deliciousness–shrimp dip, shrimp quiche, and shrimp cocktail, for starters.

  17. Suzanne Barker says

    My mom’s shrimp dip – cream cheese, shrimp, tomato soup, worchestershire sauce and some siracho with Ruffles.

  18. says

    My mom used to make a delicious appetizer. It sounds goofy, but if you make a tray of them, you’ll want to eat them all! Using a shot glass, she cut small rounds out of soft white bread. (No crusts) Spread with mayo. Sprinkle each with finely chopped onion and grated Parmesan cheese. Broil one minute until lightly brown and bubbly. Amazing! The bread melts in your mouth; it becomes almost like custard. I gotta go make some for breakfast right now! :)

  19. says

    Our absolute favorite appetizer at the moment is shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce, and we are not above using the promise of it as bait to lure guests to our Super Bowl party! :)

  20. Janel says

    My favorite spread happens to be your Salsa di Parmigiano. The recipe looked so awsome that I forwarded it to my brother before I had even tried it. Then I made it and served with the salad course on crostini for a pre-Christmas dinner party. There wasn’t one piece of bread left. They couldn’t stop eating it. Since that time I have shared the recipe and the website with many and made the spread and taken it to numerous get togethers. The salsa even was blamed for a friends weight gain over the holidays!

  21. says

    Ooh I’ve never been to a superbowl party, but my mum makes the most amazing creamy spinach dip inside a hollowed out granary cottage loaf, you then chop up the bread you cut out and use that to dip – yummarama! She got the recipe from an American friend so I’m pretty sure it was a superbowl staple in their house

  22. annebelle says

    i make a thick yet smooth blue cheese dressing, then load it up with blue crumbles. chip-dippers and wing-chompers both eat it up. the crowd has gotten bolder lately — i’m able to increase the amount of blue cheese i use each year. (i bring extra for folks to load onto bread/crackers too.) yum, i must say.

  23. Laura says

    My favorite all the way is clam dip with ridged chips to make sure you get the clams! I wouldn’t turn away blue cheese dip or guacamole either. Thanks for offering a great giveaway.

  24. Jillian_R says

    Our “dip” choices change by the year depending on who will be ther and what recipie has caught my eye. I will be trying your onion dip this year!

  25. Marji says

    I have to make myself sit on the other side of any room that contains a dish full of hot parmesan and artichoke dip or I embarrass myself and my family, truly shameful.

  26. crotchfairy says

    I’m ashamed to admit that despite being able to roast a mean turkey and whip up fabulous souffles, I am all thumbs at caramelizing onions. Something just goes wrong, but I have more reason to try this superbowl season.

    My go to dish is floured and fried wings coated in a sauce of butter, sriracha and minced garlic. It’s a seductive, delicious burn.

  27. Elizabeth says

    I love making Atomic Buffalo Turds, which are made by slicing jalapenos in half, spreading the inside with cream cheese, putting a lil smoky in the cream-cheesed-half, wrapping it in bacon, closing it up with a toothpick, covering it in BBQ sauce, and baking or throwing it on the BBQ!!!

  28. sarahem says

    I discovered a cheeseball recipe on Pinterest that is absolutely divine and my family has devoured each time I’ve made it. It’s made with blue cheese, cream cheese, red and green peppers, onion, celery, and then rolled in pecans. So decadent, and so good!

  29. CAY says

    UM, can THIS be my favorite Super Bowl appetizer now? Yum! Actually, I have to go with potato skins, although somehow I never make those myself, resorting to the much simpler nachos.

  30. Reen says

    I butterfly raw shrimp and smear goat cheese or any spreadable cheese (think the original recipe calls for a laughing cow type spreadable cheese but I’ve also loved it with ricotta) wrap it in prosciutto (bacon in the original recipe and its delicious either way) and then cut strips of puff pastry and wrap it around the whole thing and bake! the shrimp never overcooks for some reason maybe bc its wrapped nicely in yummy goodness. It’s great on it’s own but sometimes i make a chipotle, sour cream, mayo dipping sauce.

  31. says

    Hello! New to commenting, but I’ve made several of your recipes and have been raving about them to friends. I think in the past week I’ve mentioned your blog at least 3 times!

    Anyway, I came across a home-made tomatillo salsa recipe that I make for parties. It’s simple, with roasted tomatillos, onion, garlic, peppers, etc. And I’ve found that the earlier I make it and leave it sit, the better the flavors! It’s great for parties :)

    Keep up the lovely work here, I absolutely love your blog!

  32. Meg says

    My go-to is Rotel an Velveeta with Fritos. I don’t eat it, but my husband and his friends just think it is perfect football food!

  33. Lark says

    My favorite appetizer to take to parties is a baked egg casserole, a concoction of eggs, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped, pickled jalapenos, thoroughly mixed, then baked in the oven until golden. A sprinkle of paprika enhances the golden top. The dish is a hearty protein that is vegetarian friendly. Not a speck is left over.

  34. lizzie says

    I love Ina Garten s tzatziki – I always wring out the grated cucumber in a flour sack tea towel before adding it to the dish Delish !

  35. Marcia Renert says

    I’m loving Ina Garten’s spiced nuts. I’ve made them a lot lately and they are a HUGE hit. Her recipe makes a lot (as do most of her recipes) which means that if you are bringing them somewhere, you still have enough to leave some home!

  36. Carrie says

    Wow, I will definitely be making the onion dip, and I totally agree, nothing but Ruffles for that dip! I think my fave is still artichoke dip with pita chips. I seem to be able to have a hollow leg when it comes to that.

  37. erica says

    Nothing beats a good homemade salsa. I’ll put that on just about anything! But this dip could be a close competitor. I love anything onion!!

  38. Natalie T says

    My new favorite dip these days is a Creamy Brussels Sprout dip by Minimalist Baker :) It’s delicious- check it out!

  39. Linda says

    Our favorite appetizer is simply toasted almonds roasted at 375 degrees for 12 minutes with a mid roast stir at 6 minutes. Pecans work equally well with only a total 8 minutes.

    When looking to a more filling appetizer we get puff pastry from Grand Central Baking here the Pacific NW and then layer on goat cheese with seasonal veggies – asparagus; arugula, onions and peppers; sauteed onions and bacon; etc. and bake that at 400.

  40. says

    I make wings! Standard, simple buffalo wings (an Alton recipe) that are major crowd-pleasers. Every time I make them for friends, they seem to talk about them for ages afterward! They’re so easy, too.

    This dip looks insanely good! I also was deprived of chips&dip growing up and am in love with them. It’s why potlucks/Superbowl parties are my downfall, calorie-wise! Yikes!

  41. Dona says

    I make a roasted olive and Feta dip thats so good! But I wouldn’t turn up my nose at good old Rotel and Velveeta either.

  42. Bonnie says

    I love a good artichoke dip, or taco dip, or onion dip, or eggplant salad on toast, or olive spread on bruschetta… Now I’m hungry. lol :)

  43. Becky says

    Love to offer bruschetta, olives, cheese and sliced meats on a board. So pretty and easy to put together. Great with wine!

  44. Carol says

    By far my absolute favorite dip, the one I get the most requests for and the easiest to make is Reuben Dip in a pumpernickle bread bowl. It has to have 10,000,000 calories in every bite ummmm must be why I love it!! Will be having it instead of dinner on Super Bowl!!

  45. Kelsey W says

    There’s a spinach dip recipe from the Kraft website that I’ve been making (and LOVING) for years, but lately I’ve been really into salsas and little taco cups as appetizers.

  46. Anne Murphy says

    I love making Guy’s Carmelized Onion Dip but I’m going to give this one a try. Looks YUMMY!!!!
    Love your site!

  47. Stephanie says

    I was a chip and dip queen when I was younger. I can’t believe my parents let me eat like that! I am planning on making buffalo hummus and pita chips this year.

  48. Laurie Fraser says

    We love homemade hummus and toasted pita chips! My husband was dubious at first and now it’s one of his favs and homemade spinach and artichoke dip is always a hit around here, no calorie counting allowed! This weekend we’re going to try the recipe for real sour cream and onion dip….I’ll probably never buy the stuff at the store again….smile! Love your blog!!

  49. Linda Montes says

    Oh, salmon dip with pita chips!! And a side of guacamole and pico de gallo!! Thank you for the opportunity.

  50. Kay says

    I’m a big fan of date-walnut spread: just toss roughly equal amounts of pitted dates and walnuts in a food processor and blend until the mixture looks almost like a nut butter. It’s amazing on bread or crackers, especially accompanied by some goat cheese (humboldt fog is my favorite!).

  51. says

    One of my favorite dips is simply pico de gallo and cream cheese mixed together and served with tortilla chips. I am definitely trying this sour cream and onion dip though. I’ll eat pretty much anything that has caramelized onions in it!

  52. gammypie says

    I’m from Texas. Super Bowl Sunday wouldn’t be complete without Rotel dip; Velveta and Rotel. If I’m feeling fancy I’ll toss in a pound of cooked sausage then garnish with sour cream and guacamole. Delish!

  53. Livia says

    My favorite dip is spinach artichoke dip served with pita chips. Yumm!

    On another note, it’s really cool to see more people who regularly read your blog come out and post enticed by a giveaway :-)

  54. Lanee says

    Crispy brussel sprouts with garlic aioli . . . did I mention I’m not exactly a football fan? Can we make this a cocktail party, or maybe just like an Oscar’s thing, you know? But seriously, I want that cheese set (I generally have equal parts cheese and produce in my grocery bag, which, come to think of it, might be why I enjoy your blog so much – Hello baked fontina!).

  55. ShannonMarie says

    I like to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Many of my friends have been cutting calories for so long, they’ve forgotten how wonderful real full fat cheese, bread and actual butter taste.

  56. says

    Hmmmm… Hummus or white bean dip if some kind, roasted peppers, roasted chicken wings with Asian sticky sauce, Goat cheese crostini s… I’ll have to think about this some more, but cheese of all kinds are beloved in this house!

  57. Sharon Burns says

    Not a football fan but no reason not to have a party! Chips and guacamole, wings, and why not some queso? And we have to have a touch of dessert…..

  58. Lindsay says

    It’s not one I make, but my bf’s grandma makes the best clam dip. I’m pretty sure it’s a heart attack in a bowl, but that doesn’t stop me from consuming large quantities!

    This dip looks great – I have a big ol’ weak spot for carmelized onions!

  59. Linda Davis Siess says

    My new appetizer go-to is a log of goat cheese, with warmed thyme-and-lemon-infused olive oil and pitted green and kalamata olives (recipe via Leite’s Culinaria) – so yummy warm or cold, with thinly sliced baguette! But I’m a glutton for good ol’ artichoke dip :)

  60. Carol Yemola says

    I make a very simple vegetable dip that is absolutely addicting. Combine 1 c. mayo, 1 c. sour cream, and 1 package of dry Good Seasons Italian dressing. There ya go! And if there is dip left over, I use it to coat chicken tenders and then roll in seasoned bread crumbs. Double delicious!

  61. K Huddleston says

    Raised in WI, but currently living in TN, I am always a hit at parties when I bring a tray of WI cheddar, swiss, and mozarella.

  62. Garrett Kau says

    One of my favorites is a wheel of brie with sliced almonds wrapped in puff pastry, baked and served with fresh Granny Smith apple slices and crackers.

  63. says

    Besides blatantly having plenty of cheese and sausage on hand, bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers is just about one of the best appetizers one can offer anyone, regardless of whether there’s a game on.

  64. Hannah says

    My family always puts out a bowl of crackers with a creamy egg dip. It’s such a simple concoction of hard boiled eggs, green onion, cream cheese, mayo, cottage cheese, and s & p. It’s great for any party.

  65. says

    Seven layer dip for the obligatory chips. My favorite is fresh chevre mixed with dried cranberries and crushed almonds. Scoop that mixture onto Raincoast Crisp crackers. Yum!

  66. elener mcdonough says

    we love crackers with hamand wisconson gouda also we love old fashioned deviled eggs excellent taste great appatizer we cant get enough wiscon cheese we have all types of cheese everyday healthy taste love chedder in macn cheese

  67. Angela says

    I’ll probably dig up my mom’s Stuffed Mushroom recipe for Super Bowl Sunday – really tasty and easy. I could eat a whole platter myself! But Fried Cheese Curds hit the spot too. Oh decisions, decisions…

  68. Nora says

    Love stuffed mushrooms, although for Super Bowl sunday I’d have to go with Buffalo Wings. Perfect match with football!

  69. Chantal H. says

    Homemade olive tapenade! I also like to make an olive and celery relish. Both go great with chips, crackers and cheese of all sorts.

  70. Alex says

    Last week I found myself with some extra avocado and cilantro after taco night, and wanted to use it up before it went bad. I’ve been really into making different kinds of hummus lately, and had some shelled edamame beans in the freezer for that purpose, so I decided to whip up what I’m currently calling “humamole”… a combination of edamame hummus and guacamole. It was so delicious, and even better the next day. We ate it with tortilla chips but it would also be great with pita chips, crackers, veggies, etc. I’m definitely making it again for the superbowl!

  71. says

    I make an awesome bacon/tomato/cheese dip that gets gobbled up the minute I put it out. Found the recipe online and made a couple of adjustments. Can’t get enough of it 😉

  72. Claire F says

    Hands down, my favorite food for game day is home made, classic wings. Oh man. With blue cheese dressing and some veggies on the side for dunking it’s perfect. I also can never say no to guac, salsa, and queso. I love making hot spinach dip and serving it with pita bread and bagel chips as well (although I eat that more than the boys do. They seem to be scared of green food).

  73. Juliana says

    I just made this and it came out absolutely amazing! I’m not one who really likes sour cream… but I am one who loves onions (seriously I could just eat them whole, it’s kind of gross). Anyway, I made it, tasted it, and it is amazing. Definitely going to be making it a lot from now on. It was also super easy! Love it.

    • says

      Haha, you are funny, not gross at all. I top almost every burger I eat with a fat slice of onion. Total understand where you are coming from. And I am the same in regard to the sour cream. I’m not really a sour cream dip girl either, but I absolutely love this recipe. So glad you do too!

  74. Tamara says

    THIS. IS. PERFECTLY. AMAZING! …. I cannot say enough great things about this dip. EVERYONE asked me for the recipe. This and your marinated olives ( OMGOMGOMG) were the hits of Thanksgiving (even more than the “real” food!)
    Thank you SOOO much!!

    • says

      Yay! So happy to hear this. This dip is my favorite to bring to football-watching parties. So glad you like the olives, too — aren’t appetizers always so much better than the main coure :) ? I am so often disappointed with my entree when I’m out to eat…I should always just stick to the bread and apps. Thanks for writing in!

    • says

      Yay! I hope it was a hit this year as well. I made it, too, along with the honey-soy wings and peasant bread. It was a success! Too bad the game was a bust :(

  75. Tamara says

    Guess what everyone asked me to bring for Thanksgiving? Onion Dip and marinated olives! LOL. They’re still amazing! Happy Holidays!

  76. Sunie Worrells says

    I’ve made this for a super bowl party today. The whole house smells like onions, my eyes are weeping, but this is soooo good! We keep “testing” it to make sure it is seasoned correctly. I found I wanted considerably more pepper than I had anticipated. I have always been a big fan of the old Lipton Onion Soup variety, but this is a whole different “ball park”. We hope our friends will love it too! Thanks!

    • says

      So happy to hear this, Sunie! This is one of my favorite dips, and it always is a hit — I hope your friends liked it, too. I made a blue cheese dip for a gathering at our neighbor’s house, and that was very well received, too — I will post the recipe sometime soon. Hope all is well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *