50 Delicious Dips You Can Make Tonight And What To Pair Them With
When it comes to appetizers, there are two routes you can go. You can, of course, carefully craft individual hors d’oeuvres, but a far easier method is to make up a one-pot (or pan) dip and then simply arrange a platter of chips, crudités, crackers, or other easy dippers. For easy entertaining or simple stay-at-home snacking, we’re big fans of the latter low-effort approach.
Before we get into the recipes, we just want to go over what, exactly, constitutes a dip. Generally, a sauce is thought of as something that goes on top of food while a dip is something served on the side for, well, dipping purposes. There is, however, a certain amount of crossover between the two, so you will find certain recipes on this list that are labeled as sauces. Each one of them, we assure you, can serve double duty as a dip. What’s more, all of these recipes come complete with suggested dippers.
What’s your french fry style? Do you douse or dip? If the latter, what’s your dip of choice? While many will say ketchup and others opt for a Wendy’s Frosty, we’d like to offer yet another suggestion — how about homemade aioli? Aioli is a mayonnaise-like emulsion of olive oil and garlic, and our version is flavored with lemon juice and dijon mustard, as well. This sauce is creamy, tangy, and tasty, but the best part is, it’s also surprisingly easy to make and tastes pretty amazing with fries, chips, or whatever your heart desires.
2. Bean Dip
The bean dip that comes in cans in the snack chip aisle may seem like pretty dubious stuff, but at least it’s convenient since all you need to do to prepare it is to open the pull tab. This upgraded bean dip, however, is not only way more flavorful, but really isn’t too much more difficult to make. You’ll still open a few cans (in this case, refried beans), then you’ll simply mix them with cream cheese and taco seasoning. Bake the dip until it’s hot, then enjoy with the sturdier kind of tortilla chip.
3. Easy Baba Ganoush
The humble eggplant may not be everyone’s favorite vegetable, but as we always say, when life gives you eggplants, make baba ganoush. The Middle Eastern dip really doesn’t taste very eggplant-y at all, but instead takes on the flavors of lemon juice, smoked paprika, and tahini. For a super-healthy appetizer, you can serve this baba ganoush with a side of crudites, or you could use sliced bread or pita triangles for something slightly more filling. Can’t decide? Might as well serve both.
4. Lemon Hummus
Hummus is perhaps the most popular Middle Eastern dip, if supermarket snack aisles are anything to go by. In fact, so Americanized has hummus become that it’s now even available in a wide range of flavors, both savory and sweet. Dessert hummus still tends to be a bit polarizing, though, so for parties and gatherings we recommend sticking with a classic type, like this lemon-flavored dip. It’s tasty, tangy, and goes great with raw vegetables and pita triangles.
5. Easy Homemade Queso
Queso is the Spanish word for cheese, and queso is also the primary ingredient in this southwestern-style dip. In this recipe, American cheese is used as it tends to melt more smoothly than cheeses such as cheddar. For a little extra flavor, however, a small amount of Monterey Jack is blended in. The dip is then flavored with two types of chile pepper as well as shallots, tomatoes, and cilantro. As a dipper, tortilla chips are always a sure bet, although this queso also goes great with soft pretzels.
6. Baked Brie
For a dip that’s really cheesy, you can’t do better than one made entirely out of cheese. How is this possible? By using brie. Brie is a cheese that’s fairly soft even straight out of the fridge, but if you bake it, it becomes gooey enough to dip crackers into or to spread on slices of French or Italian bread. For a sweet and savory combo, top the baked brie with honey or maybe even some fruit jelly when it’s still warm from the oven.
7. Creamy Shrimp Dip
You know that ridiculously tiny kind of shrimp, the ones that often come in cans? They’re way too small to saute, and tend to get lost in any kind of sauce or stir-fry — so what do you do with them? That’s easy: Use them to make shrimp dip. Simply stir the crustaceans together with cream cheese and mayonnaise, maybe add in some chopped chives and celery for color and crunch, then chill the shrimp dip until it’s time to serve up with a side of chips, crackers, or a thin-sliced baguette.
8. Tzatziki Sauce
While you may know tzatziki best as a condiment for gyros, the yogurt-based sauce made with our recipe is actually thick enough to use as a dip, too. Our secret is using Greek yogurt, although if you have the plain kind, this can also work as long as you strain the liquid out first. Blend the yogurt with chopped cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, and dill, then use your tzatziki as a dipping sauce for pita bread or souvlaki skewers.
9. Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeño Dip
Chuy’s is a Tex-Mex chain with a pretty standard menu, but one real stand-out is something the restaurant gives away for free: a creamy jalapeño dip with complimentary chips. Still, Chuy’s is no Chipotle, so not everyone has the opportunity to try its specialty. Luckily, this copycat dip is not too tricky to make at home. It’s basically a thick ranch dressing jazzed up with pickled jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice. In the true Chuy’s spirit, this dip should be served with a never-ending basket of tortilla chips.
10. 7-Layer Dip
Most recipes for 7-layer dip tend to be made with typical Tex-Mex ingredients, and this one is no exception. It starts with a mixture of refried beans, cream cheese, sour cream, and spices -– and that’s just layer #1. Layer #2 is another combo: guacamole and chopped tomatoes. More sour cream, then salsa, then shredded cheese and lettuce make up layers 3 through 6, while the 7th layer is sliced black olives (swap these out for pickled jalapeños if you wish). This dip is meant to be served with tortilla chips, but they’ll need to be the extra-sturdy kind if you want to get all 7 layers at once.
11. Easy Salsa
While salsa is a sauce (that’s literally what the word means), it can also serve as a dip. What’s the first thing you get when you sit down at a Mexican restaurant? A basket of chips and salsa. For dipping. Sure, you can replicate this at home with salsa from a jar, it’s even better if you make the dip yourself. While this recipe takes a little more time and effort than some salsas, the extra step of roasting the chiles, garlic, onions, and tomatoes adds extra depth and complexity that you won’t find in the store-bought sauce.
12. Quick And Easy Guacamole
When most produce gets soft and mushy, you generally want to reluctantly dump it in the compost bin. Not so with avocados — softness is cause for rejoicing, since you can now turn them into guacamole! While this dip can be made simply from mashed avocados plus a little lemon or lime juice and salt, this recipe ups the ante with diced tomatoes and onions and chopped cilantro. If you want more spice, you could also add some diced jalapeños (fresh or pickled) or hot sauce. As for what to dip in the guacamole, do you even have to ask? Tortilla chips, of course!
13. Meaty Rotel Queso Dip
Who doesn’t love a good three-ingredient recipe? It’s even better, of course, when the ingredients are the quick and convenient kind, as is the case with the cheese and canned tomatoes in this dip. The former is the easy-melting Velveeta, while the latter are the pre-seasoned Ro-Tel brand that comes complete with diced chiles for a little mild heat. These ingredients are combined with fried, crumbled chorizo (the Mexican kind, not the Spanish variety) to make a meaty, cheesy dip that pairs perfectly with tortilla chips.
14. Vanilla Fruit Dip
While all of the dips we’ve covered so far are savory ones, there’s such a thing as dessert dip, too. This vanilla-flavored dip is made with a yogurt base sweetened with honey and flavored with cinnamon, orange zest, and vanilla extract. If you serve it with fresh fruit, it makes for a very light and healthy meal ender. For something a bit more indulgent, however, you could also use it as a dip for vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, or shortbread cookies.
15. Classic Pico De Gallo
There are many different types of salsas, but one that’s particularly popular is pico de gallo, a blend of raw tomatoes, onions, and chile peppers flavored with lime juice, salt, and cilantro. This recipe sticks pretty precisely to that formula, delivering a traditional version of the salsa that can be used as a sauce for burritos, tacos, and similar Mexican entrees. The chunky texture of this pico de gallo, however, makes it particularly well-suited for dipping tortilla chips.
16. Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo wings are famed as a football-watching food, so much so that they’re often hailed as the official snack of Super Bowl Sunday. They can be kind of a hassle to make, though, and ordering takeout can cost big bucks if you’re feeding a crowd. An easier way to get all of those great Buffalo wing flavors? Making Buffalo chicken dip. The chicken, blue cheese, and hot sauce are all there, plus some mayonnaise and cream cheese to make them dippable. Add some celery sticks for dunking, and you’ll be all set for game day.
17. Hot Maryland Crab Dip
Maryland is one of just a handful of states that have their own official crustacean, with theirs being the blue crab. You don’t need to use this type of crab meat to make hot Maryland crab dip, though, as any kind of crab meat should work here. You can even use frozen or canned crab, as the real flavor of the Old Line state comes from the Old Bay seasoning added to the creamy, cheesy crabmeat mixture. This dip can be used with tortilla chips, crackers, crudites, or sliced bread, but our top pick is soft pretzel sticks.
18. Cold Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach and artichokes are two vegetables that you may not think to pair up, but they work surprisingly well together in this cold, creamy dip. The mild, sweet canned artichoke hearts help to temper any bitterness from the frozen spinach, while the mixture of cream cheese, mozzarella, and sour cream add richness to the blend. This dip goes nicely with pita chips, thin-sliced bread, and the buttery sort of crackers (Ritz, Town House, or similar).
19. Dill Onion Dip
In the beginning, there was a simple onion dip made from nothing more than sour cream and packaged onion soup mix. While this was a staple of mid-century cocktail parties, it fell out of favor over time. This onion dip is not a retread of that retro classic as it swaps that soup mix for onion powder, garlic, and dried parsley. The sour cream is mixed with mayonnaise for a richer texture, while snipped fresh dill brings a whole new flavor to the snack table. In a nod to onion dips of yore, however, we’d still serve this one with ridged potato chips.
20. Caramelized Onion Hummus
One of the things we love about hummus is how well it serves as a backdrop for other flavors. Okay, we may still be a bit skeptical about sweet hummus flavors like chocolate mint or pina colada (neither seems to go well with tahini and chickpeas), but when it comes to savory hummus flavors, we’ve seldom met one we didn’t like. In this recipe, the basic hummus formula is enhanced with sauteed onions for an extra-delicious dip. While this hummus goes well with crackers and vegetables, it’s at its best when scooped up with triangles of warm, soft pita bread.
21. Spicy Salsa Roja
This salsa roja is a red sauce (that’s what the name means, after all) that’s actually cooked twice. On the first go-round, chopped tomatoes are simmered with onions, garlic, and serrano peppers. Then, they’re pureed in a blender with some fresh cilantro. The sauce then returns to the pan for a second simmer to deepen the flavor. While this salsa can be used as a taco topper or a condiment for carnitas, it’s also a perfect dip for the thinner, more delicate type of tortilla chips that may not stand up to a chunky pico de gallo.
22. Guacamole Without Cilantro
Cilantro is one of the most polarizing herbs, although interestingly enough, there may be a scientific reason why some people hate the stuff. According to research studies, if you have a certain genetic marker, cilantro may taste like soap. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, but you should still be able to enjoy some guacamole goodness.
The only green in this recipe comes from avocado and lime juice, with the guacamole getting plenty of non-soapy flavor from onions, tomatoes, garlic, and chipotle powder. You can use this guacamole on burgers or toast if you wish, or go classic and eat it with chips.
23. Everything Bagel Dip
Everything bagels have been around for a few decades, but in recent years, the "everything" seasoning has jumped off the bagels and onto all manner of other foods. In this instance, everything seasoning mix is blended with cream cheese and yogurt to make a super-simple 3-ingredient dip. Sure, you could use it to dunk celery sticks and baby carrots, but to bring things full circle, it seems only fitting that it be used as a dip for bagel chips.
24. 15-Minute Pico De Gallo
Making pico de gallo is quick, simple, and requires no cooking. In this 15-minute recipe, a food processor is used to chop onions, garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes, although you can chop them by hand if you prefer. If you’re going the time-saving appliance route, though, be careful not to over-process the vegetables into a watery mush. If you manage to achieve the proper chunky pico de gallo texture, this salsa makes a great dip for sturdy tortilla chips. Should you make the mistake of over-blending the sauce, though, at least it’ll work with thinner chips, as well.
25. Air Fryer Baba Ganoush
The eggplant used to make baba ganoush is typically baked in an oven, but if you prefer not to heat up the whole kitchen, you can cook it in the air fryer. The air-fried eggplant works just the same as the baked kind — it softens up sufficiently to blend with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. Whirr whirr in the food processor, maybe sprinkle on some feta cheese, red pepper, or other garnish, then your dip is all ready for dunking pita bread or crackers.
26. Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Tomatillos may look like little green tomatoes, but they’re actually a different type of fruit with a tart flavor and extra-firm flesh. They make for a great green salsa, though — or salsa verde, en español. Here they’re combined with cilantro, garlic, lime, and onion to make a spicy, tangy chip dip. The kind of chips you use will depend on how enthusiastically you employ your blender. If you leave the sauce fairly chunky, you should probably use a more robust chip.
27. Easy Roasted Pumpkin Hummus
In fall or even late summer, grocery store produce aisles are filled with all sorts of fresh pumpkins. Are they all meant to be jack-o-lanterns? Not necessarily. Most pumpkins can be quite tasty when cooked, but the smaller varieties like sugar pumpkins are particularly well-suited for culinary purposes. Sure, you can use them for pumpkin pies and pumpkin soup, but if you want to try something a little bit different, try making roasted pumpkin hummus. Its cheerful orange hue contrasts particularly well with sliced bell peppers and other vivid vegetables.
28. Unique Guacamole
We’re all familiar with basic guacamole: mashed avocados, lime or lemon juice, and salt, maybe jazzed up with some chiles, cilantro, onions, and/or chopped tomatoes. It’s good stuff, all right, but even a classic can stand for a few tweaks now and then. This guacamole recipe keeps all the standard components, including onions, tomatoes, and cilantro, but changes things up by cooking the tomatoes and limes and stirring in some dried oregano and fresh corn. Just like the more typical type of guacamole, this dip still pairs perfectly with tortilla chips.
29. Easy Layered Taco Dip
If you’re making this layered taco dip, you may want to use the kind of see-through glass bowl used for trifle. If you assemble it correctly, you’ll be able to see seven distinct layers: refried beans topped with guacamole, sour cream, cheese, black olives, green onions, and tomatoes. As for what you dip in there, we’d suggest a long-handled spoon. That way you can avoid making an unsightly mess while you safely transfer all these layers to your plate. There you can scoop up this smaller, more manageable portion of taco dip with a few tortilla chips.
30. Creamy Eggplant Dip
Baba ganoush by any other name would still taste as great -– and that’s exactly what you’re getting here with this creamy eggplant dip that’s made with the exact same ingredients as that classic Middle Eastern dish. It, too, combines roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and also partners beautifully with triangles of pita bread. What, then, differentiates it from baba ganoush? Perhaps just the fact that for some, the name is easier to spell.
31. Avocado Hummus
Can’t decide what to dip your chips in? With this avocado hummus recipe, you can have the best of both worlds. It starts with the standard hummus base of tahini, chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, but blends in a few ripe avocados to add an extra layer of flavor. If you wish, you could even add some cilantro, chopped chiles, and/or tomatoes. This double-duty dip works just as well with pita as it does with chips, or you could opt for fresh vegetables if you prefer a healthier snack.
32. Roasted Corn Salsa
While this corn salsa is technically more of a salad, it can definitely work as a dip, as well. The bulk of the dish comes from fresh or frozen corn, although this vegetable is supplemented by smaller amounts of chopped tomatoes and onions and flavored by lime juice, jalapeños, and cilantro. While you can eat this corn salsa on its own by the spoonful or bowlful, you can scoop it up with thick tortilla chips, too.
33. Blue Cheese Dip
What is the difference between blue cheese dip and blue cheese dressing? Mainly, the former is thick enough to serve as a dip for potato chips, celery sticks, or chicken wings. (As any true Buffalo wing aficionado knows, blue cheese makes a far better wing sauce than ranch.) You could, however, easily turn this dip into salad dressing if you wish by simply adding a little liquid to thin it out -– additional lemon juice or vinegar would make for a tangier dressing, while oil would give you one that’s smooth and mild.
34. Spider Web Taco Dip
If you’re reading this in January or June, your first thought might be "Yuck, spiders!" If the calendar reads October, though, you probably know what we’re getting at here. Yep, this Halloween recipe is just perfect for spooky get-togethers. The base is a typical layered taco dip of refried beans, guacamole, salsa, and cheese, but its name comes from a tangy "web" of sour cream on top. While this dip goes well with tortilla chips of any kind, ones in Halloweeny shades of black, orange, or even green would add the perfect touch.
35. 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Hummus
We’ve already listed a recipe for hummus made with roasted pumpkin, but this is a fairly labor-intensive procedure that involves cooking and seeding a fresh pumpkin. If you want something with a similar flavor and less effort, you’ll be glad to know that this recipe makes use of canned pumpkin, instead. Combine it with some prepared hummus and a little pumpkin pie spice and you’ll have a dip that works well with crackers and crudites. If you’re a fan of dessert hummus, you could always stir in some sugar and eat it with graham crackers or cookies instead.
36. Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
Peanut butter is an interesting ingredient as it works just as well in savory recipes as it does in sweet ones. In this particular recipe, we’re leaning into its sweeter side by adding some maple syrup to a dip made from peanut butter blended with plain yogurt. This maple-flavored peanut butter dip works well with fruit as a healthy dessert alternative, but if you omit the maple syrup you could use it for dunking sliced vegetables and celery sticks, instead.
37. Baked Feta With Olives
When baked, feta cheese, like brie, softens to a creamy consistency that works well for a dip. Here, however, we’re adding some chunkiness with whole olives for a different texture and some briny flavor. In order to tone down on the saltiness from the cheese and olives, though, this dip also includes a drizzle of honey and a splash of lemon. Crackers, pita chips, and raw vegetables all make great dipping partners, although whatever dippers you use will need to be sturdy enough to support a few olives.
38. Caramelized Onion Dip
Caramelizing onions is no easy thing, it’s true -– it can require 45 minutes or more of standing over a pan and stirring, stirring, stirring. Still, there’s nothing like the flavor you get from onions that have been cooked so long that they release their natural sugar. Here caramelized onions are being put to good use in a creamy onion dip that’s a more sophisticated take on the midcentury classic made with soup mix. One thing this dip has in common with its predecessor, though, is that it’s the perfect partner for potato chips, particularly the kind with ridges.
39. Copycat Chili’s Salsa
Chili’s may not be a Mexican restaurant, but they do feature a number of Tex-Mex-ish dishes and plenty of chips and salsa. If you’re a fan of Chili’s salsa, you can still enjoy this appetizer at home with this copycat version. Our recipe calls for both canned and fresh tomatoes as well as pickled jalapeños, minced garlic, and several spices, so apart from those fresh tomatoes, there’s minimal prep work involved. Blend everything up, open a bag of chips (pour them in a bowl if you want to get fancy), and within minutes you’ve got the perfect snack.
40. Easy Black Bean Dip
Want a quick and easy dip that’s packed with protein and full of flavor? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Step 1: Open some cans of black beans. Step 2: Chop up a few fresh jalapeños. Step 3: Throw both in the blender with some lime juice, garlic, and seasonings and press play. (Okay, we admit, if you need to peel and chop the garlic yourself, that’s a fourth step, but our recipe was made with the kind from a jar.) Break out the tortilla chips and get set to enjoy this delicious black bean dip.
41. Copycat Chipotle Guacamole
There’s a lot to like about Chipotle, the fast-casual chain with the great big burritos, but one thing we’re not so wild about is the fact that guacamole is always extra. If you don’t want to pay the upcharge, our copycat recipe makes for a pretty good substitute. This not-too-spicy dip is flavored with onions, cilantro, and a combination of lime and lemon juice, but if you want a bit more zing, feel free to add some chopped chiles or hot sauce. Slather this stuff on your burritos, tacos, and rice bowls, or eat it with tortilla chips.
42. Bagna Cauda
Bagna cauda is an Italian dip with a name that The New York Times Magazine tells us translates to "hot bath." While this may sound comfortable, it doesn’t sound very tasty, but rest assured, this dish belies its not-so-appetizing name. It’s made of butter, cream, anchovies, and garlic and, as per the name, is served warm. Bagna cauda makes a delightful dip for thin-sliced bread (break out the fondue forks if you’re feeling fancy), but you might also wish to serve it with crudites to help offset some of the richness.
43. Quick Pumpkin Pie Dip
While August through November is officially pumpkin pie season, it’s also a busy time of year. For a kind of "pumpkin pie lite" experience that can be assembled in under 5 minutes, try this no-cook pumpkin pie dip, instead. All you need to do is blend some canned pumpkin with you-know-what spice, then add in a carton of whipped topping, a box of pudding mix, and some caramel sauce as a sweetener. Serve this pumpkin dip with a side of graham crackers or combine two fall favorites by dunking sliced apples.
44. Fresh Mango Salsa
This mango salsa recipe only calls for six ingredients and yet it manages to combine a wide range of taste sensations. You have the sweetness of the mango contrasting with tart lime juice and rich, ripe avocados, while tomatoes, onions, and cilantro add some familiar southwestern flavor. You may wish to sprinkle in a little salt, too, or even up the ante with some chopped chiles to make it an even eight ingredients. While his sweet-and-sour salsa makes a nice sauce for fish or chicken, it can also be used as a dip for tortilla chips.
45. Healthy Guacamole With Pomegranate Seeds
Guacamole on its own is usually pretty healthy, at least if you don’t add fatty ingredients like mayonnaise or sour cream. Avocados themselves are already high in fat, but at least it’s the good kind. What makes this guacamole recipe extra-healthy, then? While it has the same base as most guacamole recipes, it also includes chopped onions and pomegranate seeds to provide some extra nutrients, plus some queso fresco for a little extra calcium and protein. While you can serve this guacamole with tortilla chips, you could also go even healthier with sliced vegetables.
46. Pesto Hummus
What can’t you mix into hummus? These days, it seems that just about anything goes with this ultra-versatile condiment. Even if you’re not a fan of some of the more out-there types of dessert hummus, though (cake batter, really?), surely you’ll agree that fresh basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese pair nicely with chickpeas, tahini, and lemon. This pesto hummus, a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern crossover, works equally well with crostini or pita, or you can simply open a box of crackers instead.
47. Smoky Remoulade Sauce
Remoulade sauce is quite similar to tartar sauce in that it is generally made from mayonnaise mixed with chopped pickles. This particular recipe contains both of these all-important ingredients, but also adds some lemon juice, dijon mustard, Creole seasoning, and horseradish. There’s one more ingredient that really makes this remoulade stand out: a spoonful of smoked paprika. While this smoky sauce makes a fine dip for raw vegetables, it’s even better when served alongside french fries.
48. Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa
If you order chips and salsa from Chipotle, you’ll get a choice of several different types, but one is so hearty it’s practically a side or an appetizer even without the chips — yes, we’re talking about the corn salsa. Our super-easy copycat recipe is made with canned corn, so all you’ll need to do is open a few cans, do some chopping, and squeeze some limes. Mix them all together and you’ll have a corn salsa that tastes just like Chipotle’s and can be eaten either as a dip for chips or as a salad.
49. Zesty Cocktail Sauce
This cocktail sauce, a zingy blend of ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and Worcestershire, is that same condiment that typically accompanies shrimp cocktail and also goes well with other types of seafood such as crab claws or oysters on the half shell. While this condiment can be dolloped on top, thus serving as a sauce, you can also dunk your seafood straight into a little bowl of the stuff. In the latter case, it is a dip, so we stand by its inclusion on this list for semantic reasons. And also because it’s pretty darn tasty.
50. Zucchini Tzatziki Sauce
What to do with an excess of zucchini? This is a dilemma that many gardeners (and their neighbors) face each summer as this prolific produce comes into season. Sure, zucchini bread is a tried-and-true solution to the surplus problem, but there’s only so much of the stuff you can eat. May we suggest that you try using zucchini in place of cucumber in your next batch of tzatziki? It makes for quite a satisfactory substitute, and the resulting dip can be enjoyed with pita triangles, sliced vegetables, or shish kebab.