The Vanilla Bean Blog's Pan-Fried Onion Dip Recipe

Every week, we’re spotlighting a different food blogger who’s shaking up the Internet with tempting recipes and knockout photography. Below, Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog shares her recipe for pan-fried onion dip, perfect for family and friend gatherings this holiday.


Photo: Sarah Kieffer

Pan-Fried Onion Dip
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 6 to 8

The first time I ever tried this onion dip was at a goodbye party. For me. I was leaving the Blue Heron Coffeehouse, the place that had inspired my love of baking, [and] I was moving from Winona, Minnesota, my first home away from home. My car was packed. I was sad, I was tired, and I was trying not to think about it all as it stared me in the face.

It was a picnic dinner; we were gathered at a park on a lake. There was lots of laughing and lots of eating. I remember the cake—a beautiful German chocolate cake that [my friend] Colleen had made for me earlier that day. And I remember this dip. [Blue Heron Coffeehouse owner] Larry set it on the picnic table before anything else. There were homemade pita chips to eat with it. I took a bite, and then another. It was addictive. It was amazing.

Larry had caramelized the onions, letting the bulbs cook until nothing but sweetness was left. He mixed the onions with comforting things—cream cheese and sour creamthen a bit of cayenne at the end, to add a nice kick. And I ate too much, enjoying the cool and the hot and the sweet, letting my tears mellow in the background until later, when I stood beside my car waving goodbye to such lovely people. Such a lovely time.

2 large yellow onions
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Cut onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch half rounds. Heat butter and oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until onions are browned and caramelized. Allow onions to cool.

Place cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a food processor and beat until smooth. Add onions and mix well. Taste for seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Get ready for the holidays:

Make your own candy canes

A citrus butter loaf cake recipe for the ages

Potato pancakes, straight from a Jewish grandmother

What are you cooking up for the holidays? Tell us below!