Make A Better, Faster Onion Dip With Burnt Onions

Make A Better, Faster Onion Dip With Burnt Onions
Photo: Shutterstock

Onion dip is mayhaps my favourite dip, but caramelising onions is both annoying and boring. Since I am already always a little bit annoyed and loathe being bored, I am now all about the burnt-onion lifestyle, and have taken to replacing caramelised onions with scorched ones when making onion dips.

Please do not misunderstand: I do love the taste of caramelised onions, but I have no wish to cook a thing that has to be simultaneously babied and ignored. Stir them too much, and they take over an hour to caramelise; stir them too infrequently and they burn (and still take over 45 minutes to fully caramelise). But by embracing impatience and intentionally scorching the little brats, you can make an intensely flavorful onion dip in a fraction of the time.

Honestly, a lot of the nuance of caramelised onions can gets lost once you mix them in with copious amounts of sour cream and/or mayonnaise. The deep, roasted, savoury, slightly bitter flavour of burnt onions, however, is a little harder to obfuscate, no matter how much fat you throw at it. (This is why they work really well in ranch dressing.) You don’t need a special recipe for burnt onion dip; any recipe that calls for caramelised onions (such as this one) will work. Just use the same amount of onions and cook the heck out of them in a little oil over medium-high heat until they look like this:

Photo: Claire Lower

Let the onions cool, add them to some sour cream, doctor it with Worcestershire sauce, MSG, and maybe some onion and garlic powder. If you want a smoother dipping experience, you can puree half of them into the sour cream. Once everything is mixed together, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the dip set and the flavours meld. Serve with lots of potato chips.

Log in to comment on this story!