French onion dip

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French onion dip
French onion dip topped with caramelized onion.jpg
Homemade French onion dip topped with caramelized onion
Alternative namesCalifornian and dog
Place of originUnited States
Main ingredientsSour cream, minced onion

French onion dip or California dip[1][2][3] is an American dip typically made with a base of sour cream and flavored with minced onion, and usually served with potato chips as chips and dip.[4][5]


French onion dip, made of sour cream and instant onion soup, was created by an unknown French cook in Los Angeles in 1954. The recipe spread quickly and was printed in a local newspaper.[6][5] The Lipton company promoted this mixture on the television show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1955, and early on, it was known as "Lipton California Dip", but soon simply as "California Dip".[1] A Lipton advertising campaign promoted it on television and in supermarkets.[7][8] The recipe was added to the Lipton instant onion soup package in 1958.[9]

About the same time, a similar recipe, but made with reduced cream, was created in New Zealand and became very popular.[10][11]

The name "French onion dip" began to be used in the 1960s, and became more popular than "California dip" in the 1990s.[12]


The original recipe consisted of sour cream and dehydrated onion soup mix.[6]

There are now many mass-produced, pre-mixed versions, such as Ruffles French Onion Dip and Frito-Lay French Onion Dip.[13][14] Commercially prepared products include additional ingredients to thicken, stabilize, and preserve the mixture.[15][2]

Home-made versions may use caramelized onions.[16][15]


French onion dip is often served at parties[17][18] and as a "classic holiday party offering".[19] It has also been described as "an American classic".[2]

It may also be used on other foods, such as hamburgers,[20] sandwiches[21] and tacos.[22]


Alternative bases include mayonnaise[17][23] and cream cheese.[5] Common flavorings are salt,[18] pepper,[4] onion powder,[18][16] garlic,[17][18] garlic powder,[16] parsley,[18] chives,[16] Worcestershire sauce[17][16] and others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Potato Chip Institute International, Potato Chipper, 14-15:passim "As you know, this dip is ordinarily called the Lipton California Dip."
  2. ^ a b c Is Homemade French Onion Dip Worth the Effort? - Bon Appétit
  3. ^ Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World - Ben-Erik van Wyk. p. 36.
  4. ^ a b Vegetarian Times Everything Vegan - Vegetarian Times. p. 10.
  5. ^ a b c The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. p. 145.
  6. ^ a b Sherri Machlin, ed., American Food by the Decades, p. 136
  7. ^ McWilliams, M. (2012). The Story Behind the Dish: Classic American Foods. Greenwood. pp. 188–189. ISBN 978-0-313-38509-4.
  8. ^ Adamson, M.W.; Segan, F. (2008). Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl: An Encyclopedia: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 303. ISBN 978-0-313-08689-2.
  9. ^ Holly Ebel, "Thinking on the back side of the box", Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minnesota), May 12, 2015
  10. ^ "In search of a Kiwi hero: The woman behind Kiwi Onion Dip". 21 February 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  11. ^ CheekyKiwi (9 December 2013). "Classic Kiwi Onion Soup Dip". (Australia). Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Google Ngram Viewer comparing "California Dip" vs. "French Onion Dip" in books over the years". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ Hold That Hidden Salt!: Recipes for Delicious Alternatives to Processed, Salt-heavy Supermarket Favourites - Maureen Tilley. p. 54.
  14. ^ "Snacks". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  15. ^ a b How to Make French Onion Dip From Scratch - Huffington Post
  16. ^ a b c d e Classic Negroni and French Onion Dip with Chips - Herald-Standard
  17. ^ a b c d Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-name Treats - Casey Barber. p. 176.
  18. ^ a b c d e Susan M. Otsuki, Kitchenless Cooking: Unique Techniques for Cooking Large and Thrifty in a Small Space, p.31.
  19. ^ "Homemade onion dip easily outshines store-bought". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  20. ^ French Onion Dip Burgers. EveryDay magazine.
  21. ^ ABC News. "Roast Beef Sandwiches with French Onion Dip and Crispy Shallots Recipe - Emeril Lagasse - Recipe - ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Hot Taco Dip". 5 June 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  23. ^ Fix it quick comfort food cookbook - Publications International, Ltd. p. 16.

Further reading[edit]