Chef's Hat: Use fresh ingredients for festive French Onion Dip

French Onion Dip made from scratch has a fresher and more intense flavor than you get if you make the dip with a dried soup mix.

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

For years, my family and friends have whipped up a batch of French Onion Dip that was based on a boxed soup mix, and it always went over well.

But after reading the back of the box and seeing that this mix contained all kinds of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, it felt like it was time find an alternative way to make this party favorite.

The creation of French Onion Dip is purely an American creation with no ties to France or French cooking whatsoever. This hearty dip is a mixture of sour cream, dried or caramelized onions and herbs. No French recipes were ever involved in the creation of this dip.

There is an easy and quick way to make a batch of this dip, most likely with ingredients you have on hand.

There are numerous variations on how to make French Onion Dip from scratch; but there are two main methods - one that uses dried onion flakes and the other that uses cooked, fresh onions to get a sweet and caramelized flavor.


What one cook called a secret ingredient is adding a bit of beef bouillon paste. The reasoning behind the bouillon is that French Onion Soup is created around a beef broth base. Even if you don’t have beef bouillon paste, you can use bouillon granules or part of a bouillon cube.

This small amount of beef flavor helps to give a richness to the dip.

Either method makes a rich, full-bodied dip that is easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. Cooking the onions does take a bit more time, but also helps to give the dip a bit more sweetness. Also, by making your own dip, you can add additional ingredients - such as cayenne pepper - to give your dip a dash of heat.

One more advantage to making dip from scratch as opposed to a soup mix is you can easily downsize or double the recipe. No matter which method you use, be sure to refrigerate the dip for at least 30 minutes before serving so the flavors can meld together.

French Onion Dip made from scratch has a fresher and more intense flavor than you get if you make the dip with a dried soup mix. This year, kick up your holiday appetizers by using fresh ingredients in your otherwise ordinary dip. The taste will amaze everyone at your holiday parties.

You’ll be surprised how fast this dip disappears. Happy Eating!

French Onion Dip


Make French Onion Dip from scratch instead of a boxed soup mix and serve it with potato chips and carrots for a holiday party. Contributed / Donna Evans

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (fresh if you have them)
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon paste or ½ teaspoon beef bouillon granules (or smash up a bouillon cube)
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (if desired to add a touch of heat)
  • Wavy potato chips
  • Celery and carrots sticks, for serving

Place the sour cream in a small bowl. Add the dried onion flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, chives, beef bouillon and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix well.
Taste. If necessary, add additional seasonings. Go light on the seasonings because when the dip is refrigerated, the seasonings will be more intense.

Place the dip in the refrigerator and let it chill for 30 minutes to an hour. Serve with chips and assorted vegetables.

French Onion Dip with Fresh Onions

French Onion Dip with Fresh Onions. Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 medium onion diced (you want about ½ cup of onions)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon paste or ½ teaspoon beef bouillon granules (or smash up a bouillon cube)
  • Wavy potato chips
  • Carrot and celery sticks

Place an 8-inch skillet on the stove and add the oil. Bring the heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the onions. Cook, shaking the pan or using a spatula to turn the onions once every minute. Cook onions for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and salt. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the onions are browned. Make sure to stir often so the onions do not stick.
Pour the onions into a fine strainer to remove the oil. Discard the oil.

Place the sour cream in a medium-sized bowl. Add the onions and stir. Add the onion powder, chives and beef bouillon. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed. Taste, and if needed add additional seasonings. Go light on the seasonings because they will intensify when refrigerated.


Cover the dip and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove and serve with chips or vegetables.

Donna Evans is a correspondent for the Echo Journal.

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