Whether you're planning a party or getting into the whole snack boards for dinner thing, you've got to have some dip. Sure, you could just open a container of store-bought sour cream and onion dip and call it a day, but when you're ready to up your dip game, try one of these seven fresh dip ideas from chefs and food bloggers, including Giada De Laurentiis, Molly Yeh, Martha Stewart and chef Ariel Fox of New York's Dos Caminos.
Their recipes, including an Italian spin on hummus, creamy yogurt queso and bean salads that do double duty as dips, are not only more creative than standard dip — they're healthier too!
"Imagine sitting around a bonfire but instead of a fire in the middle it’s a hot tub of queso — that would be the life," says blogger and TV host Molly Yeh. "Now imagine that the queso is just slightly healthier, almost enough so that you could maybe actually eat a whole hot tub of it by yourself and you don’t actually need to share it with your friends. That’s yogurt queso!" Yeh's yogurt queso creation is featured in her yogurt-themed book, "Short Stack Editions Volume 32: Yogurt", and on her blog, My Name is Yeh. In this recipe, yogurt is used in both the warm queso dip and the cool cilantro cream that's dolloped on top of the queso, offering a nice flavor, temperature and texture contrast — you could also serve the queso or the cilantro cream on their own. "This is really a queso-inspired yogurty cheesy dip, but it's tasty and a little tangy from the yogurt and I love eating it with the extremely thick and salty and sometimes even chewy potato chips," Yeh adds.
"Zippy, fresh and oh so simple — this dip is the Italian version of hummus, and in my opinion it’s even better," says Giada De Laurentiis, who shared this recipe for white bean dip with olive oil, lemon, garlic and parsley from her site Giadzy. "Be sure to make the pita chips to serve alongside it and also cut up veggies to add an easy extra dose of crunch and color to the platter!" The dip would also make a great sandwich spread.
If you are looking for a dip that's satisfying enough to serve for dinner, try this eggplant parmesan dip from "Delish: Eat Like Every Day's the Weekend", by the editors of Delish and Joanna Saltz. “Though it tastes like eggplant parm, this creamy dip always gives us some baba ghanoush vibes," says Lauren Miyashiro, Delish’s senior food editor. "It’s insanely good (even if it’s not very pretty). The roasted garlic makes all the difference — don’t skip it!”
Looking to lighten up your dip game? "Swap the store-bought ranch dressing, which is loaded with saturated fat, with this vegetable crema," suggests Dr. Michael Crupain, co-author with Dr. Michael Roizen of "What to Eat When." Simply add canned artichokes to a high-speed blender with a clove or two of garlic and some lemon juice, trickle in some olive oil and process until smooth and creamy. Then dip away with your favorite vegetables and crusty whole-grain bread. Crupain also likes to use the dip in place of butter on bread, and he adds it to soups and pastas. Try his whipped dip trick with avocados too.
Some call "Texas Caviar" a salad, others call it a dip. Whatever you call it, the zesty black-eyed pea dish is great with tortilla chips! You can use canned black-eyed peas to make it but if you have an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, you can also whip it up starting with dried beans, using this recipe from "Instant Pot Fast and Easy" by Urvashi Pitre. The basic recipe is made with onions, tomatoes and jalapeños, but it's endlessly customizable. "I love that you can basically throw in a variety of veggies, such as cucumbers, grated carrots, cooked corn kernels or diced avocados, to keep a basic recipe fresh each time," says Pitre.
Here's another delectable — and healthy! — salad that doubles as a dip. This black bean, cucumber and feta salad from Martha Stewart calls for a pressure cooker for preparing dried beans, but if you don't have one, you could simply use canned beans. “Beans are inexpensive and yield deep flavor in under an hour — no overnight soak necessary," says Stewart. "Just add water, salt and a drizzle of oil, and hit the switch. To serve, pile on chopped cucumber, sliced scallions and a bold feta, and you have a fully loaded vegetarian dish or the perfect healthy dip for game day.”
Guacamole is wildly popular, super healthy (it's loaded with healthy fats, fiber and vitamins and minerals such as potassium) and also incredibly easy to make from scratch. If you've never made guac, give this classic recipe from the New York restaurant Dos Caminos a try. “My number one tip for anyone making guacamole at home is to scrutinize the avocados you buy just as much as we do [at Dos Caminos]," says the restaurant's executive chef Ariel Fox. "Pull off the little brown stump/knob from which the fruit was hanging. You want to reveal bright green flesh underneath without any gray streaks. The avocado should be firm to the touch and give just slightly with gentle pressure. People tend to make the mistake of using over-ripened avocados, which will give their guacamole a strange aftertaste. And always use freshly squeezed lime juice!”
Make your dip experience healthier by serving whatever dip you make with lots of vegetables for dunking. Then go ahead, have dip for dinner tonight!