Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip

September 19, 2022

Dips Spreads & Sauces

By: Chris Petrellese 

This Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip is the perfect sweet and savory vegan dip to serve for any special occasion. It’s also naturally gluten-free and can be made oil-free to suit any dietary needs. Serve chilled with your favorite crackers, chips, or vegetables. 

horizontal image of onion dip in bowl with crackers

If you’ve been around for a while, you know we are fans of dips! From our Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip7-Layer DipEasy Black Bean Dipand Cashew Mustard Cheese Dip, it’s hard to choose a favorite.

We’ve got two other vegan onion dips you’ve got to try: the absolute classic French Onion Dip and a hot and creamy Baked Onion Dip. So we’ve got you covered for football season, the holiday season, and any other scenario where a delicious vegan dip would come in handy. 

overhead image of onion dip ingredients

Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip Ingredients

  • Vegan Butter – Vegan butter is used to deeply caramelize the onions. We like to use Country Crock Plant Butter, but other brands like Flora, Miyoko’s Creamery, and Earth Balance work well too. 
  • Sweet Onions – To make the best caramelized onions, we recommend using sweet onions over yellow ones. Don’t skimp here! 
  • Aromatics – Fresh garlic, fresh rosemary, black pepper, and salt help round out the flavors in this dish. 
  • Cannellini Beans – Using beans to make creamy sauces and dips is one of our favorite tricks. Cannellini beans will not only make this onion dip thick and creamy, but they’re rich in protein and fiber too. Rinse the beans well under cool water before using them to aid in digestion. 
  • Vegan Cream Cheese – We use and recommend Kite Hill Plain Vegan Cream Cheese. It’s made from nuts and makes this vegan onion dip extra rich and creamy, yet completely free from dairy. 
  • Lemon – Freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest will give the richness of this dip a pop of brightness. We highly recommend fresh lemon juice over bottled. 
  • Nutritional Yeast – A classic vegan ingredient to help add a cheesiness to the dip without dairy cheese. As a bonus, it’s packed with B vitamins, especially B12. We like to use Bragg Nutritional Yeast. When purchasing in stores, buy nutritional yeast, not brewer’s yeast. The two are often confused but very different! 
  • Oil – We like to use olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil. Melted coconut oil can also be used, but it will give the dip a slight coconut undertone.
  • Ice Water – Just like when making our creamy pesto hummus, ice water will help make the base of this vegan caramelized onion dip extra light and smooth tasting.
dip shot of caramelized onion dip with crackers

Equipment Needed

How to Make Vegan Onion Dip

  1. Caramelize the onions. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the sliced onions, rosemary, garlic, and salt. Stir to combine. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, occasionally stirring, until the onions are deep in color and significantly reduced in size, about 30-35 minutes. 
  2. Blend the remaining ingredients. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, scraping down the sides as needed, until the onion dip base is smooth. 
  3. Add the caramelized onions. Pulse a few times to distribute the onions in the dip. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Chill. Set the vegan onion dip in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
overhead macro image of dip in a bowl

Oil-Free Caramelized Onions Option

If you’re looking for an oil-free vegan caramelized onion dip, omit the additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil and follow the instructions for how to caramelize onions without oil in this separate blog post.

You can use either the sweet onions called for in this recipe or white onions. 

Can I Make This Dip in Advance?

Absolutely! If you plan on bringing this caramelized onion dip to a potluck, holiday gathering, or are making it for hosting, prep it 1-2 days in advance. Then, store it in the fridge, tightly covered, and remove it before serving. 

Storage Tips

This dip will store well in the fridge for up to 4 days. For best, prolonged freshness, store in a tightly covered container or airtight glass jar. 

We do not recommend freezing the dip.

Serving Suggestions 

The best part of homemade dips is there are many ways to serve them! Here are a couple of our favorite dippers to serve with:

  • Crackers
  • Potato chips 
  • Tortilla Chips 
  • Carrot sticks 
  • Celery sticks 
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower florets 
overhead image of caramelized onion dip in bowl with spoon on styled background.

Additional Party-Friendly Appetizers to Serve

If you’re hosting or simply preparing a spread to enjoy on game days, check out these easy vegan snacks and finger foods your crowd may love: 

Or check out this ultimate list of 30 Vegan Game Day Recipes

If you liked this caramelized onion dip, you might also enjoy: 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

Print
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Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-24 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip is the perfect sweet and savory vegan dip to serve for any special occasion. It’s also naturally gluten-free and can be made oil-free to suit any dietary needs. Serve chilled with your favorite crackers, chips, or vegetables.


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) cannellini beans
  • 4 oz. vegan cream cheese
  • Zest of half a lemon, about 1 tsp.
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tbsp.
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 24 tbsp ice water, as needed
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, rosemary, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt and combine. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, occasionally stirring, until the onions are deeply caramelized, about 30-35 minutes. If the onions begin to burn or stick, add a splash of water as necessary. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the cannellini beans, vegan cream cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and the remaining salt to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and adding ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, as needed.
  3. Add the caramelized onions and pulse a few times. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill before serving!
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Stovetop / Blender

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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