17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal

17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal

The best dip recipes to serve at a party, or to serve yourself on the couch.

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Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Dennis Lee

Dip is a great contribution to any gathering, but it’s also a great snack to unwind with if you plan on spending the weekend alone with your TV. You don’t need a party invitation as an excuse to make dip—it brings all the party vibes to you, with just a handful of ingredients. Here are some of The Takeout’s favorite dips and spreads. Use them however you see fit this winter, and beyond.

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Smoked Onion Dip

Smoked Onion Dip

Smoked onion dip
Smoked Onion Dip
Photo: Dennis Lee

This Smoked Onion Dip is for the grill masters out there who have been playing around with a smoker—and it’s good enough to convince everyone else on earth to buy a smoker, too. The smoke infused into this dip’s cream cheese base adds a complexity that you can’t achieve by any other cooking method, and it’s a flavor profile that grows more complex after a night in the fridge. Get the recipe for Smoked Onion Dip here. 

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Bulgogi Queso Dip

Bulgogi Queso Dip

Bulgogi Queso Dip
Bulgogi Queso Dip
Photo: Dennis Lee

Our Bulgogi Queso recipe brings all the sweet soy flavors of hearty Korean bulgogi to a slightly mellowed bowl of classic queso, one that is a little less tangy so as to complement the beef and let it shine through the dip. With some sliced green onions on top, it’s a beautifully composed appetizer that will impress your guests, or your hosts, or just yourself, if you choose to dine solo. Get the recipe for Bulgogi Queso here.

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buckeye Dip

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buckeye Dip

Graham cracker scooping Buckeye Dip
Buckeye Dip
Photo: Dennis Lee

Ohio’s most famous treat, and the state’s finest export overall, is undeniably Buckeyes, those little chocolate-coated peanut butter fudge truffles that taste like they rolled right out of your dreams and onto a plate. To cater to the Ohioan in all of us, there’s this sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Buckeye Dip, which incorporates all the rich dessert flavors of Buckeyes and adds a whipped, cloud-like texture that’s fun to dig a graham cracker into. Get the recipe for Buckeye Dip here.

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Clam Chowder Dip

Clam Chowder Dip

Clam Chowder Dip
Clam Chowder Dip
Photo: Dennis Lee

When you think of San Francisco, which foods do you think of? Tourists might have fond memories of visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, chowing down on some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. If you want to recapture those inimitable flavors at your next gathering, try this Clam Chowder Dip, which is served in a sourdough boule in homage to its inspiration. You’ll be surprised by how well the flavors all meld and translate into a dippable snack, and your guests will be, too. Get the recipe for Clam Chowder Dip here.

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Twice-Cooked Eggplant Dip

Twice-Cooked Eggplant Dip

Overhead shot of Twice-Cooked Eggplant Dip in glass bowl next to a sliced lemon on wood surface
Twice-Cooked Eggplant Dip
Photo: Mike Persico

Michael Solomonov, chef at the modern Israeli restaurant Zahav in Philadelphia, understands that some people simply can’t get past eggplant’s fibrous, mushy texture. If you want to have your eyes opened to all the beautiful possibilities of eggplant, Solomonov’s recipe for Twice-Cooked Eggplant Dip is a great place to start. The salting and cooking process drains the aubergines of much of their liquid, leaving you with more concentrated flavors and earthy sweetness. You’ll want to bring this dip everywhere, to enlighten other skeptics. Get the recipe for Twice-Cooked Eggplant Dip here.

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Double Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip

Double Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip

Double Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip
Double Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip
Photo: Dennis Lee

This recipe for Easy Double Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip is an ode to Wisconsin’s culinary contributions. In order to create a spreadable homage to our neighbors up north, we’ve come up with an easy recipe that celebrates ingredients from The Dairy State. It’s a riff on a classic Hidden Valley Ranch beer cheese dip, but supplements it with a secret ingredient: cold pack cheddar cheese spread. Make it yourself and see what the Midwest magic is all about. Get the recipe for Easy Double Cheddar Beer Cheese Dip here.

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Austin Diner-Style Queso

Austin Diner-Style Queso

Austin diner-style queso
Austin Diner-Style Queso
Photo: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times (Getty Images)

Food writer and blogger Lisa Fain is an authority on Texas queso. She wrote a whole book about it, after all. So we’re happy to share Fain’s recipe for Austin Diner-Style Queso, which kicks things up a notch from the classic Velveeta-and-Rotel concoction and adds an array of fresh spices and American cheese for a stronger set of flavors. The result is thick and luscious, and you’ll have a party hit on your hands that opens guests’ eyes to the variability of cheese dip. Get the recipe for Austin Diner-Style Queso here.

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Easy Homemade Hummus

Easy Homemade Hummus

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Photo: Sara Tane

If you’ve only ever had store-bought hummus, then you might not realize just how silky the homemade stuff can be. The key here is to blend the chickpeas for longer than you think is necessary; this will not only incorporate more air for a light, aerated consistency, but it will make for an extra creamy texture. Add in garlic, beets, and any number of spices for an endlessly customizable dish. Get the recipe for Homemade Hummus here.

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Rotisserie Buffalo Chicken Dip

Rotisserie Buffalo Chicken Dip

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Photo: Danny Palumbo

Instead of using canned chicken like so many recipes dictate, this buffalo chicken dip makes use of poultry that’s already perfectly juicy and seasoned: Just pull it straight from your store-bought rotisserie chicken and you’ll guarantee an end result that’s leagues ahead of what you’re used to. Adding Boursin cheese to the mix will infuse this dip with even more flavor. Get the recipe for Rotisserie Buffalo Chicken Dip here.

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Smoked Trout Dip

Smoked Trout Dip

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: John Carruthers

This recipe takes its cues from the wildly popular trout dip at Hagen’s Fish Market on the Northwest side of Chicago, but also draws inspiration from midcentury church cookbooks—a wonderful resource for anything that starts with a brick of cream cheese. Mixed with caper brine, horseradish, lemon juice, and spices, smoky trout becomes the Platonic ideal of Third Coast seafood, and you’ll want to make it part of your regular rotation. Get the recipe for Smoked Trout Dip here.

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Chili Cheese Dip

Chili Cheese Dip

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Marnie Shure

This is a recipe so easy you could make it by accident. You might already have the ingredients on hand, too, because there’s only three of them: cream cheese, a can of chili, and a bag of shredded cheddar (or shredded off a block). Simply layer in a baking dish, heat in the microwave or oven until bubbling, and enjoy. It’s not fancy, it’s not pretty, and it’s definitely not tidy—but sometimes, it’s exactly what you need. Get the recipe for Chili Cheese Dip here.

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S’mores Dip

S’mores Dip

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Aimee Levitt

You don’t need a campfire for this one—it can be made in your cast iron skillet all year long, without ever venturing into the wilderness beyond your kitchen. S’mores Dip has been dominating internet baking blogs for the past decade, and rightfully so: it offers all the appeal of the quintessential summertime treat without having to worry about getting your toasted marshmallow off the stick and into your sandwich, a process that can often send graham crackers or pieces of chocolate flying into the dirt. Get the recipe for S’mores Dip here. 

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Skordalia

Skordalia

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Gwen Ihnat

You have to be more than a mere fan of garlic to take on this recipe—it’s best if you’re devoted to it. This creamy Greek potato-garlic spread offers a delicious yet aggressive garlic assault that pairs well with crusty bread. Skordalia only takes five basic ingredients and a few minutes of prep time, and it’ll leave quite an impression on your guests (and, yes, on their breath, but who cares?). Get the recipe for Skordalia here.

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Whipped Nutella Fun-do

Whipped Nutella Fun-do

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Kevin Pang

The reason to make this dip is already included in its name: Nutella. But it’s also worth making because it only has six ingredients, it’s an excuse to pair fruit with chocolate, and you’re probably going to be the only one who thought to bring a dessert dip to the party. Plus, if you don’t want to whip heavy cream, you can make it even easier on yourself by using Cool Whip. Get the recipe for Whipped Nutella Fun-do here.

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Joan Crawford Party Dip

Joan Crawford Party Dip

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Photo: Kevin Pang

This recipe is a modern adaptation of one credited to Joan Crawford that appeared in a Frito-Lay cookbook of yore. It originally called for some store-bought dip mixes that no longer appear to be on the market, so we developed a version with some fresh produce and a little extra heat. And of course, being a midcentury recipe, it starts with a brick of cream cheese. Get the recipe for Joan Crawford Party Dip here.

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Mediterranean Seven-Layer Dip

Mediterranean Seven-Layer Dip

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Stacey Ballis

Everyone knows seven-layer dip. This stack of refried beans, cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and taco meat is an easier way to serve a crowd than nachos—but as an appetizer, it’s also heavy, and occasionally a bit boring. This Mediterranean-inspired version is lighter and fresher, with hummus as a base that’s layered with vegetables and whipped feta. Served with sumac-dusted pita chips, it’s a new take on an old favorite that just might become your signature dish. Get the recipe for Mediterranean Seven-Layer Dip here.

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Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese

Image for article titled 17 Snack Dips That Can Be the Whole Damn Meal
Photo: Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post (Getty Images)

This recipe is doubly useful because you can serve it as a spread with crackers or slather it on bread to make a sandwich. No matter what you use it for, though, make sure you’re incorporating sharp cheddar (not mild), good mayo (Duke’s!), and lots of black pepper. Pimento cheese, a tradition in the American South, is only as good as its component parts, and if you take care to source the ingredients in our recipe, you’ll enjoy the best batch of your life. Get the recipe for Pimento Cheese here.

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