This creamy vegan French onion dip is dairy-free, nut-free, and made with sweet caramelized onions and silken tofu. It's perfect as a party appetizer or sandwich spread!
French onion dip is one of my guilty pleasures. It's like the Midwestern analog to the South's pimento cheese: creamy, dippable, and downright addicting.
I grew up eating it on everything: potato chips, sandwiches, hot dogs... I'm not afraid to say that I love French onion dip in all of its forms. Especially this dairy-free version!
- Texture: Made ultra-creamy and dairy-free using silken tofu and vegan mayo
- Flavor: Has the classic French onion flavor from caramelized onions
- Can be made in advance 2-3 days
- Serving: Great as an appetizer at parties, potlucks, or on game-days
As a dietitian, I like making recipes traditionally seen as "unhealthy" a little bit healthier. A few simple swaps make this vegan french onion dip higher in protein and lower in saturated fat than traditional caramelized onion dip without sacrificing flavor.
What you'll need
- Yellow onions to make caramelized onions. Use two large yellow onions or white onions.
- Silken tofu provides creaminess and protein. It replaces sour cream, which is usually used in French onion dip recipes.
- Vegan mayonnaise is used in place of regular mayo.
- Spices like parsley, oregano, and garlic powder add flavor to the blank slate that is silken tofu and vegan mayo.
- Soy sauce adds a punch of saltiness and umami flavor. Tamari can be used to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Apple cider vinegar adds some of the acidity usually found in sour cream. An equal amount of white vinegar can be used as needed.
Step by step instructions
There are two main steps to making vegan french onion dip:
- Caramelized onions: This takes 45 minutes to an hour and can be done 2-3 days in advance.
- Making the dip: This part requires less than 5 minutes in a blender or food processor.
You can't make French onion dip, vegan or not, without caramelized onions. (Okay, technically you could use one of those packets from the store but it's just not as good that way).
Caramelized onions are surprisingly easy to make. All you need is onions, salt, time, and a little bit of patience.
- Slice 2 large white onions into thin strips. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the onions with a bit of salt and saute for 10 minutes, until lightly golden.
- After the onions have browned slightly, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the onions work their magic. Stir the onions only once every 10 minutes to prevent them from sticking.
To speed up the cooking process and add sweetness you can sprinkle the onions with ~½ teaspoon of sugar.
If the onions are drying out, splash them with a teaspoon of water.
Making the dip
Gather the caramelized onions and remaining ingredients. Add ingredients to a blender or food processor. I like to reserve a few caramelized onions for topping the dip.
You do not need a high-powered blender to make this dip. Simply blend on medium speed until mostly smooth.
Serve topped with fresh chopped parsley or chives and reserved caramelized onions.
Expert tips and recipe FAQ
- Make extra caramelized onions! Because onions really shrink down when they're caramelized, I like to make them in bulk. This recipe requires two large yellow onions (yielding about ½ a cup), but you can easily double the recipe. I like to make my vegetarian mushroom Philly cheesesteaks when I make french onion dip because the recipe also uses caramelized onions.
- Silken tofu: Make sure to really drain the liquid off of the silken tofu to prevent the dip from becoming too thin.
- Dip texture: If you prefer a chunkier dip you can dice half of the caramelized onions and fold them in after blending.
I haven't tried freezing caramelized onion dip but I do think it should work. It would need to thaw overnight in the fridge before using. Let us know down below if you try freezing it!
No. This recipe uses silken tofu because it has a silken consistency similar to sour cream or Greek yogurt.
Tofu is an important ingredient in this recipe, so I wouldn't recommend omitting it. Non-vegan French onion dip is usually made with mayo and sour cream. Your best bet would be to use an equal amount of vegan sour cream or mayo for a soy-free option. You would also need to use coconut amino in place of soy sauce.
For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
My go-to is potato chips, but the dip can also be served with pretzels, veggies, or as a spread on chickpea salad sandwiches.
More vegan appetizers
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Creamy Vegan French Onion Dip
- 2 large yellow onions sliced into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces silken tofu ½ of a 14 ounce block; make sure to drain off any liquid
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- fresh chopped parsley and chives for serving
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Saute the sliced onions for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Turn the heat down to medium low and sprinkle with salt. Stir only once every 10 minutes, until the onions are golden brown and tender, about 40 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste for salt and seasonings.
- Enjoy chilled. Serve topped with fresh chopped parsley and sliced chives.
- Texture: Prefer a chunkier onion dip? Dice ½ of the caramelized onions and fold into the blended onion dip.
- Leftovers: For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
- Serving: Enjoy with potato chips, pretzels, or veggies. It's also great as a sandwich spread.
Author's note: This recipe was originally shared in December 2018. It was updated in January 2022 with new photos and a video. The recipe remains the same.