Caramelize Onions For An Elevated, Umami-Packed Dip

Caramelized onions are the secret ingredient for a dip packed with so much umami that you'll never buy a tub of the store-bought version ever again. The key is to let the sliced onions cook slowly, which allows the sugars to break down, giving them a sweet flavor and a softer texture. For our recipe, we use a combination of shallots and yellow onions for the perfect blend of flavors.

"Sweet onions like Vidalia or red onions can also work well, but they might change the flavor profile," says Tasting Table recipe developer Chanel Murphy-Lowe, who we have to thank for this delicious caramelized onion dip. "It's the perfect appetizer to share. It's so much better than the recipes using seasoning packets for flavoring."

You'll mix those mouth-watering, caramelized yellow onions and shallots with a few other ingredients, including crème fraîche, mascarpone cheese, Worcestershire sauce, fresh chives, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Instead of the sour cream and cream cheese that you might expect in an onion dip, a mix of crème fraîche and mascarpone cheese "creates a luxurious and creamy base," says Murphy-Lowe.

Caramelized onions promise an umami-packed punch

The reason those caramelized onions take this dip to the next level is that most other recipes use seasoning packets made using dehydrated onions and artificial flavors or preservatives. Those dips might be delicious, but the ingredients simply mimic the taste of fresh onions. With this recipe, the fresh medium yellow onion and two shallots are caramelized in butter, for maximum flavor. It might seem like a lot of onion, but they cook down considerably during the caramelization process.

You'll need to be a bit patient when cooking this recipe because it takes at least 30 minutes to caramelize the onions. Slow and steady is key because you'll sauté the onions over a medium-low heat until they are soft and golden brown. And don't forget to keep an eye on them and stir occasionally so they don't burn and stick to your pan. Once the onions are perfectly caramelized, you'll mix them with freshly chopped chives, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and those creamy ingredients we mentioned earlier.

When it's time to serve this luxe caramelized onion dip, ridged potato chips are a supreme idea because their salty crunch pairs well with the creaminess of the dip. And those ridges help the onions cling on for a perfect portion in every bite. Murphy-Lowe recommends vegetable sticks like carrots or celery, toasted baguette slices, pita chips, and pretzels as delicious alternatives.