Charred Onion Dip


I seem to either make desserts or party food. I just reviewed my recipe index and find that I offer you guys very few recipes for entrees. I think I gravitate towards things like side dishes, appetizers and spreads because fairly often we piece together a meal using these foods. Some delicious artichoke-olive spread on a baguette with a nice robust salad or a serving of Mac & Cheese and some fresh fruit and I am happy. It is the way we eat. I also find that many people will only cook new recipes for special occasions and like many of you I find myself most excited by special spreads, appetizers and sweets. Little treats. And so, to continue the recipe tradition, I present: Charred Onion Dip.


This recipe features delicious charred onions which you make by slicing a red onion into 1/2-inch-3/4inch slices and placing on a very hot grill, or grill pan. Let the onion slices cook on one side for 5-6 minutes until black char lines have formed and the onion is melting and caramelized. Flip it over and let the same thing happen to the other side. You then have a charred onion slice. You could put them on top of a burger or salad or use them in this amazing dip. By combining the charred onion with sour cream and a host of other flavors you create the ultimate dip for potato chips. It will remind you of the stuff people served in your youth, or at least it did me. Don’t limit yourself to chips though, this would also be good with vegetables or even as a sandwich topping. It is robust, complicated and extremely satisfying. It gets even better the next day and is definitely something that can be made in advance. This could be the perfect thing to bring to summer cook-outs with friends or picnics in the park. It may not be dinner, but it sure is good.


Charred Onion Dip (adapted from Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorita)

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Mascarpone I am sure you could use cream cheese)
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 6 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Two 1/2-inch-thick slices charred red onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine sour cream, Mascarpone, mustard, Tabasco, chives, lemon juice, and Worcestershire in a medium bowl. Fold in chopped onions, taste the mixture and season with salt, pepper and additional Tabasco if needed.


15 comments to “Charred Onion Dip”

  1. Sides, snacks and desserts… all good for sharing. I love someone is willing to share a dish or two :)

  2. Oooh, this looks really tasty! I don’t have any ‘go to’ dip recipes unless you count guacamole, so we’ll try this one out!

  3. I’m with you – bring on the good stuff. Why can’t snacks and desserts make a meal? : )
    I made the baked french fries from your recipe stash again last night. They are by far my favorite go-to recipe for fries now. Thanks for all these great ideas.

  4. Ooh, I love the flavor of grilled and charred onions. We’ve been grilling scallions lately. I’ll definitely give this one a try.

  5. No no no. I cannot have this in my house, especially if there are chips around. Nope.

  6. Crackers definitely…or even crusty baguette. This would be great on anything.

  7. Yum! I may even add more marscapone- Yum-O!!

  8. Yes, I tend to post about desserts and side dishes as well. I think it’s because we eat our large meal at night and the lighting is horrible. Also, with seven hungry people just chomping at the bit to dig in, it’d be hard to convince them to wait while photograph the dish.

    This dip sounds (and looks) wonderful. I never thought of grilling onions. I may have to convince Dad to through a few on the grill next time we have burgers.

  9. I have tried a similar recipe of Ina Gartens that was delish, but I am definitely going to try yours for the 4th of July. Looks yummy and I love good potatoe chips. If you can find a brand called Dirtys…buy bags of them! They taste like REAL potatoes! And they are low in sodium. I live in Chicago too, so you should be able to find them in specialty food stores in the city.

  10. Ooo, I like the idea of using beet slices for dipping.

  11. I love onion dip, and charred onions sound like a great improvement. Thanks for sharing! Oh and I forgot to mention, I asked my sister about Grizzly Bear, and she loves them. Her and her friends went and saw them the night after you posted about them!

  12. Made this yesterday for a family gathering. Everyone loved it! Served it with toasted baguette slices- Yum!

  13. I grill thick slices of onions all the time but usually just eat them plain or dipped in organic ketchup alongside whatever meat we’re grilling – sort of like a healthier version of onion rings, if that makes sense. They’re so good, but I never thought to put them in a dip – and I LOVE dip. I’m half afraid to try this recipe – and am not sure if I should kiss you or curse you. ; )

  14. made this tonight! delicious. i ended up wanting more of the onion to caramelize, so after the first run of grilling i chopped it up and tossed it back in my grill pan (wouldn’t work if i was actually using a grill, of course). looking forward to eating more tomorrow after a rest in the fridge.

  15. I just had to come back and share my love for this dip. But first… I used to live in Chicago and just recently moved to San Francisco. I discovered your blog right when I moved to Chi-town and used your site as a starting point to learn about the great food options the city offers. I love coming back to your site and following your instagram because it makes me feel so nostalgic for Chicago. Okay… now the real reason I came back and posted is because this dip has become my number one go to recipe for any gathering I host or attend- no matter the venue, type of event, crowd, season, this dip works perfectly and is always devoured by all. I have tried a number of other onion dips out there (all reviewed very positively), but none of them even stand a chance next to this dip. I used to love going to Hopleaf Tavern and just getting the chips and dip. Theirs is the only restaurant dip I have ever liked. Once I started making your dip, though, I didn’t feel the need to go to Hopleaf anymore. I don’t know if they have a similar flavor, but my craving is eternally satisfied. Just finished a batch to take to a new year’s eve party tomorrow night. The hosts said just to bring a bottle of wine, but I know they will not be upset if I bring this dip :)

    I noticed on your instagram that you were doing a Cali road trip. Please share details about your trip or any restaurant recommendations in a future blog post! Cheers and happy new year!

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