The dips section at Trader Joe’s is an exciting place. Mediterranean Style Hummus, Vegan Tzatziki, Everything and the Elote, Vegan Buffalo Style Dip, and many more—TJ’s is always coming out with fun, new flavors. We’ve tried all of the plant-based ones (we’re vegans) because we cannot resist the pull of a chip-and-dip situation. Through very official testing of buying, trying, and re-trying, we’ve discovered that our favorite dip is so much more than a dip. It is versatile and performs well in many different food preparations. Is this its resume? Perhaps. The job is yours, Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip!
The base of this onion dip is a dairy-free cream cheese, which is thick and subtly tangy. Slowly cooked onions caramelized over three hours with balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, are mixed in and balanced with savory spices like garlic and thyme.
You should know that this vegan dip is not comparable to a classic French onion dip. It has a sweeter undertone and softer flavor notes from the balsamic, brown sugar, and thyme. We think that’s what makes it great for more than just a chip for dipping, so we have it in our fridge at all times.
A Versatile Dip That’s For More Than Dipping
Here are a few tried and true ways we like to use this rich, creamy spread. The sweet onion flavor brings an interesting element to savory dishes and ups them to another level.
1. Smear It On Burgers or Sandwiches
Want a big flavor payout? TJ’s onion dip is delicious smeared on a burger with smoked cheese like gouda or provolone—we promise it’s not too cheesy. Add it to a patty melt (vegan or not) instead of the caramelized onions as both a time-saver and flavor booster. Smear it onto a cold-cut sandwich to take a simple lunch up a notch—it pairs well with peppery greens like arugula.
2. The Most Delicious Crostini
Make crostini by spreading the dip onto toasted slices of bread or a thick cracker. Spoon apricot preserves and sprinkle chopped fresh basil leaves on top. A drizzle of balsamic reduction will make it shine.
3. A Board With Pizzazz
Add some pizzazz to your next charcuterie or cheese board: serve this dip with pita chips, fig jam, olives, and spicy pistachios (these are so good!).
4. Zhuzh Up Smashed or Mashed Potatoes
If you’re doing some sort of semi-violent action to potatoes, like mashing or smashing, this dip should be involved. Add a dollop on top of crispy smashed potatoes or mix it into creamy mashed potatoes.
5. Dip With BBQ or Spicy Chips
If all you’ll do is dip, then pick the right chips for this onion dip. Admittedly, we’re not the biggest BBQ chip fans. (You either are or you aren’t!) However, we can recognize that the savory BBQ flavor is delicious with the creamy sweetness of this dip. Our go-to is kettle-cooked jalapeño or ghost pepper chips to play off the spicy and sweet combo! The dip is thick, so choose sturdy chips to avoid getting irrationally angry when the chip breaks in the dip (speaking from experience). Happy dipping!