30 Types Of Dips, Explained

It is really hard not to like dips. A dip can be defined, per Delighted Cooking, as the receptacle small pieces of food are dunked into for added flavor. The vehicles for dips can range from salty tortilla chips to crunchy wheat pita chips — and even fresh fruit or cookies. The exact makeup for a dip is flexible. Some dips, like salsa, are made of vegetables, alliums, and herbs, while other creamy dips are made with melted cheese and savory seasonings. When you work into the more sweet dips, common ingredients may include cream cheese, sugar, and chocolate.

We're here to explain the top types of dips you may find at an American tailgate party or on the table at a family dinner, as well as recommend some of our favorite recipes for you to try when you're feeling in the mood to craft your own DIY dip at home.


We're starting off strong with guacamole! Guacamole is made with one key ingredient — mashed avocados — but can be seasoned with other vegetables, alliums, seasonings, and even fruit (like mango). Some of the most common ingredients you'll find in guacamole include cilantro, garlic, red onion, and salt. If you're eating guacamole at a tailgate party, it will likely be served alongside crunchy tortilla chips.

For folks looking to prepare guacamole at home, we recommend adding your seasonings and veggies after the avocado has been mashed. Moreover, the avocados will tend to brown quickly, so adding a bit of extra lime juice to the top of the guacamole can slow the browning process.


Hummus is a type of bean dip originating from the Middle East. Nowadays, the dip has transformed into a staple for crackers, pita, and vegetables. Hummus is one of the more versatile dips on our list; it can be used on sandwiches, with falafels, or eaten as-is.

The chickpea is the cornerstone of hummus, so many eaters prefer leaving the bean alone or adding a bit of garlic, tahini (sesame paste), and herbs. Other folks have elected for different hummus variations to include colorful roasted beets, cooked peas, or for sweet hummus, a bit of melted chocolate and sweetener.

You can use canned chickpeas or rehydrated dried chickpeas for your hummus at home, and either remove the skins from the bean or leave them on.

Spinach-artichoke dip

Spinach-artichoke dip is the most popular appetizer at Olive Garden and a staple for American tailgaters. The dish, which can be served warm or cold, is made from cooked spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, sour cream, and parmesan. Recipe developer Hayley McLaen loves making a spinach-artichoke dip in a slow cooker because it keeps the dip warm, tender, and perfectly smooth for pita chips, potato chips, or just bread squares. For a lighter dish, she recommends substituting Greek yogurt for the more common mayonnaise or sour cream.


Tzatziki is made from a few basic ingredients: yogurt and cucumber. It's the perfect recipe for folks looking for a lighter dip with a fresh taste of garlic and dill. Chef Ina Garten recommends using hothouse cucumbers for tzatziki because they are less watery than other cucumber types.

Tzatziki can be served with sliced vegetables, bread, or on a gyro. For a creamier tzatziki dip, we recommend adding pureed avocados to your blender along with whole milk yogurt, dill, garlic, and, of course — cucumbers. The downside of using avocados in this dip is that you have to eat the dip the same day as it's prepared or face the consequences of a displeasing brown spread.

Baba ganoush

Hummus faces stiff competition in the race for dip supremacy from its Mediterranean cousin: baba ganoush. Baba ganoush is made from some of the same flavorful additions as hummus like garlic and tahini, but there is one clear difference. Baba ganoush is made from smoked or grilled eggplant before being combined with other ingredients. The flavor of the eggplant is much more neutral than beany hummus, so it is an ideal dip to serve with pita chips, vegetables, or alongside cooked meats. You can make your baba ganoush more flavorful, however, by roasting your eggplant with cumin.

Blue cheese dip

Baked buffalo wings are the perfect companion for blue cheese dip. This dip is commonly found at bars, football games, and large events, and is made with sour cream, crumbled blue cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and seasoning.

The key to a perfect blue cheese dip is a lot of mild blue cheese. The cheese has an acquired taste because of two naturally occurring (but safe to eat) molds: Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum. If you're looking for blue cheese with a less pungent aroma, look for soft blue cheese. These soft cheeses are less mature, and thus have less time for the molds to break down the amino acids that create blue cheese's distinct flavor.

Buffalo chicken dip

Buffalo chicken dips have risen in popularity with slow cooker food trends on TikTok. But all of the fuss about this delicious food is well worth it. Buffalo chicken dip combines shredded chicken (typically breast meat), cream cheese, ranch dressing, hot sauce, and a hefty coating of shredded cheese. After a short bake to melt the cheese, the dip is served with tortilla chips, potato chips, or sliced vegetables. The dip will stay fresh for up to four days in a refrigerated, sealed container (but we doubt it will last that long as you'll want to eat it right away).

Beer cheese

Beer cheese and pretzels — there's nothing better. The dip and its name stem from the addition of beer — usually a stout — added to sharp cheddar, blue cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and seasonings. The dip is credited to the state of Kentucky; the county that received credit for the food hosts an annual Beer Cheese Festival and Beer Cheese Trail in which Clark County visitors can travel to eight different restaurants to try different variations on the Kentucky classic (via VinePair).

Beer cheese, unlike other cheese dips, is usually not cooked, per VinePair. Our recommendations for serving include rye chips, pretzels, and a cold glass of beer.


Fans of the Chipotle franchise are all too familiar with queso blanco, but how much do you actually know about this cheesey, Tex-Mex dip?

Queso contains three ingredients: cheese, evaporated milk, and cornstarch. The cornstarch keeps the dip thick and clump-free while the evaporated milk is used for a smooth consistency, similar to the Velveeta mac and cheese of your childhood. Once these main ingredients are added, queso can be customized to include everything from lobster to broccoli.

Queso is usually served on tortilla chips, but almost any vehicle can be used for shoving copious amounts of cheese dip into your mouth.

Fruit dip

If you've ever had a last-minute potluck, you might have frantically picked up a fruit platter from the grocery store. The dip in the center of the fruit dip is made from a basic recipe of Greek yogurt (customizable for low-fat or non-dairy options), honey, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Serve this dip with your favorite range of fruit including pineapple, orange slices, strawberries, and cherries. You can also make a chocolate dip by adding cocoa powder and chocolate sauce.

Sour cream and onion dip

What came first, the dip or the chip? Sour cream and onion dip is made from sour cream, prepackaged onion seasonings, and occasionally chopped scallions or garlic. If you're looking to upgrade your sour cream and onion dip, consider adding equal parts crème fraîche and sour cream. The result is a much more fluffy dip. You can also add dill and granulated sugar to your sour cream and onion dip to curb the tang.


Salsa is one of the most versatile dips you can make at home. Add your favorite alliums, veggies, fresh herbs, or even fruit for an idyllic dip experience. If you want to go the canned tomato route, recipe developer Miriam Hahn recommends fire-roasted tomatoes complemented with the flavorful additions of chopped garlic, onions, and cilantro.

If you prefer a more wet salsa, you can add your salsa to a blender or food processor — or blitz the bowl with a hand-held immersion blender. Serve your salsa cold with the classic tortilla chip.

Clam dip

Chef Mike Price's clam dip is a seafood lover's dream dip. He combines chopped, cooked littleneck clam meat with sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and seasonings. The dip is then served alongside kettle chips (which are our choice over regular potato chips because these chips are much stronger and can support a heavier dip). Price recommends using a smaller clam variety as smaller clams tend to be more tender than larger ones.

Cheese fondue

Fondue nights are your next fun date night idea! "Fondue" comes from the border of Switzerland and France. The savory melted cheese sauce is usually served in a designated pot alongside toasted or stale bread. In some regions, it isn't uncommon to see mushrooms, sliced vegetables, or crackers served with fondue, though. If you don't have a fondue pot, which can keep the sauce warm, you can use a heavy saucepan, like stainless steel or copper, to dip your fondue into.

We recommend adding a blend of flavorful cheeses like grated fontina, Jarlsberg, and Gruyère to your fondue. Using white wine and garlic can further sophisticate your fondue flavors.

Ranch dip

We should first draw the line in the sand between ranch dip and ranch dressing. Ranch dressing is a thinner sauce, while ranch dip is made with robust ingredients that make the dip chunky and, well, dippable. The simplest recipe for ranch dip involves first crafting a homemade ranch powder with buttermilk powder, onion powder, dried chives, dried dill, and dried parsley. You can add this powder to Greek yogurt for a high-protein ranch dip, or sprinkle a bit on your popcorn for a savory movie night treat.

Seven layer dip

Why pick one dip when you can have them all? That's probably what the creator of the seven-layer dip probably thought when they crafted the Super Bowl staple. The dip usually contains a layer of refried beans topped with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, lettuce, and black olives on top. Chips are the most popular accompaniment to a seven-layer dip, but with the size of this monstrosity, you may need to consult a burrito.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is similar to salsa in ingredients, but has a more chunky texture and is usually served raw. To make a standard pico de gallo, you'll need five essential ingredients: tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. However, pico de gallo can be upgraded with the addition of jalapeños or other spicy peppers.

Pico de gallo has a soft spot in our hearts when paired with tortillas, but you can sprinkle the diced dip onto tacos or roasted chicken for a pop of freshness and acid.

Caramelized onion dip

It's hard not to love the sweetness of a caramelized onion dip served with potato chips. We recommend elevating the flavors of your caramelized onion dip by starting with a base of crème fraîche and adding umami-rich, dried porcini mushroom powder. The dip is made to be served cold, but the flavors are anything but. The caramelized onions and shallots in this recipe bring a pivotal amount of umami flavor guaranteed to make your heart (and tastebuds) sing.

Crab dip

Crab dip is the perfect pairing for Ritz crackers. This savory dip is made with cream cheese, Kewpie mayonnaise, white cheddar, harissa, hot sauce, and lump crab meat. After whipping the liquid ingredients, the lump crab meat is added and the mixture is baked until golden brown and crispy on top.

This dip is the perfect upscale addition to your game day event because of its savoriness and upscale flavors thanks to the harissa and the Kewpie mayonnaise.

Street corn dip

Street corn dip is inspired by the flavors of Mexican elote. You'll find bits of charred jalapeños, shucked corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, and cojita-cheese in this dip, served alongside tortilla chips. Although street corn dip might strike you as chunky, this dip is kept together with copious amounts of sour cream. It's thick, creamy, and will stick to veggies and your chip of choice. You may find underlying heat from paprika, cayenne pepper, and chopped tarragon.

Pizza dip

Pizza dip may not have been a dish straight out of Italy, but it does utilize the flavors of your favorite pizza. According to Spend with Pennies, the base of pizza dip is usually made by whipping softened cream cheese with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Then, the mixture is topped with a thick tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and pizza toppings like pepperoni. While tortilla chips might seem like a prime option for scooping, we recommend sticking to hard bread chips or bread cubes; these vehicles are less likely to snap under the heaviness of the dip.

Smoked trout dip

Smoked trout dip is an upscale dip that will change the way you think about sliced fish on a bagel. The dip is essentially the main components of a lox bagel — capers, smoked trout, and dill — along with sour cream, chives, and mayonnaise for an added layer of creaminess. The ingredients are combined together in a mixing bowl before being baked and served with sourdough bread points or bagel chips. Serve this dip with your next breakfast board or gathering.

Tapenade dip

Tapenade is one of those dips that require a refined palate to appreciate. Olives (pitted black and green — but you can substitute any type of olives you prefer), olive oil, horseradish, thyme, and oregano are combined in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Tapenade is usually left chunky and served with sliced bread or chips. You can also use tapenade as a spread for your next sandwich; recipe developer Kristin Carli recommends adding a swipe of tapenade to a turkey and provolone sandwich for a zingy flavor.

Cowboy caviar

If you're looking for a more hearty dip than salsa or pico de gallo, meet your new best friend: cowboy caviar! You can serve this tasty dip — flavored with black beans, fresh cilantro, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, chopped bell peppers, garlic, and corn — with sturdy tortilla chips or as a stand-alone salad. The vegetables are usually tossed with a quick vinaigrette made with olive oil, honey, and seasoning. It's perfectly fresh, crisp, and the perfect addition to your dinner table.

Bean dip

Refried beans are a taco-night must-have, so it's no surprise that someone tried to make a dip using this canned legume. Bean dip is the perfect tortilla chip dip because it only requires five ingredients and comes together in a baking dish in under 30 minutes. Simply mix cream cheese, canned refried beans, and taco seasoning together into a baking dish. Top with shredded cheese (we recommend a Mexican blend) and bake until the cheese is melty.

Cheeseburger dip

Cheeseburger dip is just what you would expect: ground beef layered with common burger toppings like pickle, cheese, thousand island dressing, and tomatoes. It's the perfect game-day dip served with potato chips (or alongside tater tots) and is easily adaptable to animal-product-free adaptations with the help of meatless crumbles or ground vegan burgers. You can also add your favorite burger toppings to make this dip all your own. Try layering caramelized onion, bacon, or blue cheese on yours.

Whipped feta dip

Feeling fancy? Whipped feta dip is the one for you. The dip gets its creaminess from a hefty portion of cream cheese but a hint of lightness from feta crumbles, lemon juice, and freshly chopped parsley. You can step up the spices in this dip with the addition of minced garlic, everything bagel seasoning, cilantro, or another one of your favorites from the spice cabinet. Serve your whipped feta dip with your favorite cracker, crudités, or a freshly sliced baguette.

Creamy spinach dip

Creamy spinach dip is the perfect accompaniment for fall. You can enjoy the combination of frozen spinach, cream cheese, sour cream, parmesan, and mozzarella at any time of day or night. Simply mix the ingredients together, bake in a dish, and enjoy! The density of this dip lends well to firm French bread or crackers, but crudités can provide a welcomed fresh flavor to the density of the cheese. Serve the dip warm, or leave it in a crock pot on game day.


Skordalia is made with a base of potatoes and garlic. The dip gets its smooth flavor and texture from the addition of a ton of olive oil and lemon juice. The dish can also be flavored with parsnips instead of potatoes or by replacing bread with potatoes. Skordalia is served around the Greek holidays with a side of cod and garlic dip (called "bakaliaros skordalia") or as a small plate (mezzé) with pita bread.

Pumpkin pie dip

Pumpkin pie dip is made with a few autumnal ingredients like pumpkin puree, whipped topping, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla instant pudding mix. This dip is combined in a dish before being served with graham crackers and apple slices. You can also upgrade this dip into a pie by cooling it in a graham cracker pie crust or layer it in a parfait with crushed graham crackers or granola. It's seasonal, delicious, and will make you feel like fall.