While I love a great entree, let’s be real — one of the best parts of holiday entertaining is the apps and cocktails. There’s something magic and communal about the act of gathering before a good meal with a full table. While a full spread of dips, boards, and cocktails sound great in theory – it can end up being just as much work as the meal. So keep things simple with this Dairy-Free French Onion Dip.
This dip is rich with deeply caramelized onions and balsamic, bright with lots of lemon and herbs, and absolutely stellar on a kettle chip, crostini, or with crudite to keep things Paleo. The best part? It’s mostly hands-off. The most time-consuming part is cooking the onions in bacon grease for almost an hour, letting them break down and get caramelized, but this is done in the oven so no need to watch them on the stove, leaving you time to get other prep done ahead of hosting.
For your dairy-free guests, this Dairy-Free French Onion Dip tastes just like the real deal. It’s rich and creamy – reminiscent of a French onion soup on a cold day.
Another great holiday appetizer idea is my Baked Feta with Olives, Sopressata and Thyme. It also includes steps to make crostini if that is what you would prefer to serve this with!
Dairy-Free French Onion Dip
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 3 medium sweet yellow onions - peeled and very thinly sliced about 6-7 cups
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ cup low-sodium beef broth sub vegetable broth
- 12 oz. dairy-free sour cream room temperature (I used Kite Hill)
- 8 oz. dairy-free cream cheese room temperature (I used Kite Hill)
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup chopped fresh chives plus more for garnish
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- crostini, kettle chips (sub various vegetables for Paleo)
- On an unlined baking sheet, add bacon directly on the pan, arranging them in a straight line. Transfer the sheet to a COLD oven and turn the heat to 375. Cook for 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Keep the grease on the pan. You will use it to roast your onions in.
- Turn the heat up to 400.
- Add your thinly sliced onions to the baking sheet with the bacon grease. Add the olive oil, thyme, Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Give it all a toss and spread out the onions in a thin layer. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven, and cook for 40 minutes, scraping the sheet intermittently if the onions begin to brown unevenly. Some crisp is okay! We want the onions to get deeply browned and sweet.
- After 40 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven and add the balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, and beef broth. Using a wooden spoon, stir the liquid around, scraping up all of the browned bits. Spread the onions out in an even layer again and transfer back to the oven. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, until all of the liquid has reduced, and the onions are deep brown and jammy. Remove from the oven and allow the mixture to cool completely.
- While the onions are cooling, mix the base. In a medium mixing bowl, add the sour cream, cream cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine until there are no lumps. You can use electric beaters for this if you want it to be really smooth. Add in the herbs and stir to combine.
- Once the onions are cooled, transfer the mixture to a cutting board, and roughly chop. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the onions for garnish. Transfer the remaining onion mix to the bowl and add three slices of crumbled bacon. Stir it all very well to combine. It will take a bit of elbow grease to get all of the onions fully incorporated.
- To serve, transfer your dip to a serving bowl. Garnish with the extra onions, bacon, and chives. Serve with kettle chips, crostini or various vegetables for Paleo. Enjoy!
Photography by Eat Love Eats.
DeeJanuary 1, 2022 at 7:20 pm
Another great DD recipe! Made this for a NYE party and everyone loved it— I will say it was a little bit more on the sweeter side because of the “jammy” onions and I prefer my onion dip to be more savory– a few other guests also commented on the sweetness. I think next time I’ll omit the balsamic vinegar and use regular onions vs. the sweet onions to see if that tones down the sweetness. But other than that, I love how I can always trust Alex for amazing dairy-free recipes!
JenniDecember 29, 2021 at 6:09 pm
This is delicious! Making it again for NYE. I used an immersion blender to blend the onions in and it worked well.
BlairDecember 27, 2021 at 7:38 pm
absolutely delicious! we have no dairy intolerance so i used regular sour cream and cream cheese – 100% amazing! while the roasting of the onions takes a while, your house will smell wonderful. i cheated and used a bag of bacon bits, just to save on some time! thanks alex!
AshleyDecember 27, 2021 at 6:55 pm
My entire family loved this dip! We’re in a small town so unfortunately I couldn’t find Kite Hill my preferred choice, but it still ended up working with Tofutti sour cream and Violife cream cheese. The texture was a little runny, so we didn’t reheat it and just went with slightly colder than room temp. Leftovers were used on dairy-free grilled cheese sandwiches and it was fantastic!
AndriaDecember 20, 2021 at 2:40 pm
Can I do this without the bacon? I have a couple vegetarians coming for Christmas Eve.
AlexDecember 20, 2021 at 10:06 pm
yes it will still be great without bacon!
Amy FoxDecember 19, 2021 at 10:50 pm
You recipe has lemon zest listed twice…I’m assuming it’s supposed to be 3TBLS Lemon juice and 2tsp lemon zest …?
AlexDecember 19, 2021 at 11:49 pm
Yes, just updated!
RachelDecember 19, 2021 at 4:41 am
Should this be served at room temp?
AlexDecember 20, 2021 at 10:07 pm
EmmaDecember 19, 2021 at 3:19 am
Can you still make this 3 days in advance if you use real sour cream and real cream cheese?
AlexDecember 20, 2021 at 12:56 pm
yes that should be just fine.