Cream Cheese Onion Dip is a simple dip that comes together in an effortless fashion whilst maintaining sophistication. Quick, easy and a great way to start the party, you will find yourself making it again and again. Simply serve your onion cheese dip with crunchy crackers.
Everything you will come to know and love about this recipe has been summarised in the points below. Think of anything else? Give me a shout and let me know!
- Easy: I can't say this enough. This dip is super easy and you will love that, despite the fact that it also delivers on taste and texture.
- No bake: not having to use the oven or stove for this recipe means the time involved is fast. From start to ready to eat all up will be less than 5 minutes!
- Sweet and savory: the cream cheese has a pretty mild flavour compared to some cheeses. I worked on the flavour combination with the intention to provide sweetness from the onion relish and savory yum from the crispy onion and bacon. Combined it is like a powerhouse of all the right deliciousness.
- Super quick to make: there is 5 steps in this recipe and its a case of blink and you have turned a block of cream cheese into a work of (edible) art!
- Minimal work entertaining: serving dips is a great way to kick things off, but if you have to bake a dip for an hour or 2 to start with, it really consumes all of your time. This dip is the opposite of time, energy and effort, also known as super easy!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific measurements.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Onion relish: we need a sweet onion relish of which there will be a number of different brands you can try. Avoid chutney as it is savory and would not deliver the sweet and savory flavour combination we are seeking. Have a look on the jar and read what it says, but most often it will say 'sweet onion relish' and be brown in colour.
- Cream cheese: a block of this is budget friendly and easy to spruce up to look fab. You will find low and full fat versions. You will also find a range from home brand to more premium products. One difference I see across the range is that some of the cheaper ones end up with more cheese sticking to the inner foil so one of your edges can be rounder as opposed to straight. It is not a big deal by any means but if you are standing at the shops staring at the cheese wondering if you should pay the extra $1, that is the main difference that can influence your decision.
- Crispy onion: onion is such a great ingredient to use in so many recipes! But it can be tricky to use it for easy recipes where you don't want to cook it but also don't want to be serving raw onion. Hence crispy onion is the solution! It is a product that you can buy which is sometimes sold as an addition for salads or in the Asian foods section. It is cooked and crunchy. This ingredient brings fantastic texture to the dip as well as contrasting the smoothness of the cream cheese.
- Crispy bacon: salt, crunchy and tasty, this is a great ingredient that can be used in salads, dips, nachos and more. I recommend using store bought crispy bacon that you will see in the same area as where they have the croutons. If you like you can purchase diced bacon and fry then top the relish with this, however, due to the extra effort involved, I think store bought crispy ticks the box of what we want for an effortless recipe.
- Crackers: you can use your favourite type of crackers for this recipe. Thick round ones work well, but the dip also lends itself to being served with thin water crackers if you want as it is perfectly spreadable.
Top Tip: this dip is intended to be served with a cheese knife and cut into with the dip being spread more so than dipped into. Even the thickest of crackers will break off mid dunk in a block of cream cheese, however, providing the knife and spreading that dip will alleviate any cracker catastrophes!
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by grabbing the cream cheese out of the fridge, removing the cardboard and unravelling the foil.
- Place cream cheese on serving board (Photo 1)
- Top with onion relish (Photo 2)
- Add crispy onion (Photo 3)
- Sprinkle crispy bacon on top (Photo 4)
How to Make Cream Cheese Onion Dip
To make the dip, starting by removing the cream cheese from the fridge, taking the outer cardboard layer off, followed by the foil and placing on a serving board.
Use a spoon to help pour the onion relish over the top of the cream cheese. Ensure the full surface is covered and if any flows down the sides, that is no worries.
Then pinch the crispy onion pieces and spread them out in a layer over the top of the relish. Top the crispy onion pieces with the crispy bacon pieces and then provide crackers on the serving board along with a cheese knife.
The best way to serve the dip is on a flat board or tray as oppossed to a bowl with sides. You want people to be able to cut from the top down into the dip and then spread from the cheese knife onto the cracker.
As for crackers.....it is really your choice. Whilst I am using round thick crackers, square crackers or cheese crackers might be your preference.
Thin crackers are ok too and chips work, however, spreading and chips don't go together as well as spreading and crackers do.
There is the crunchy cracker, the smooth soft cheese, the sweet sticky relish, the crispy onion, crispy bacon and serious yum involved in a mouthful of this and you are going to love it!
Substitutions and Variations
My favourite part of writing to you is this section as I think you and I get each other but if you don't like my wine that is ok, we can still have a glass together and you drink yours and I drink mine (and by wine I mean dip of course as I am ok if you pop some fried shallots on my dip instead of crispy onions 😁).
- If you search far and wide, high and low for crispy onion and you cannot find it. Try searching for fried shallot. This is popular in the Asian foods section of the supermarket.
- You can get a vegan product called coconut bacon. So if you want to make the dip vegetarian then a product like this would enable you to do that, yet still have the crispy texture and taste that the recipe calls for.
- If you have searched far and wide, high and low for crispy bacon and can't find it (try the salad dressing section). Then as an alternative, you could purchase bacon flavoured chips (like the ones you eat at the footy), crush them and sprinkle them on top of the dip. The effect (texture) and taste (bacon) will be very similar.
- As long as the jar indicates it will be sweet (you might have to rotate and read the side of it), you can also use caramelised onion relish (in place of the sweet onion relish if you choose.
Top Tips and Tricks
Here are my top tips and tricks so that you become a master chef easy dip maker:
- I recommend not trying to fry onion and add that on top. This is because we want the texture to be dry, firm and crispy. Homemade cooked onions is not want we want for flavour or texture. Just buy the crispy onions my friend.
- If however, re my point above you find a flavoured packet of crispy onion (say garlic pepper flavour), then yes, this will work.
- This one is both a substitution and variation as well as being a top tip - you can get vegan or vegetarian products such as 'coconut bacon'. So if you want to make this non vegetarian dip into a vegetarian one but stick to the flavour combination, you can do that.
- A cheese knife is essential for serving as we are 'spreading' the dip, not dunking our cracker into it.
- Then we are 'topping' our cracker with the good stuff, so use leftover ingredients that didn't make it to the top of the dip and place them in small bowls near the dip so as people spread, then can sprinkle and garnish their cracker at the same time.
- If you have leftover dip and place it in the fridge (understandably to keep the cheese cold), please be aware that the fridge chill will soften the crispy bacon and crispy onion. This is also good to know for if you want to make the dip in advance, don't think you can do that and then refrigerate till people come as you will loose the texture on top (crunchy bacon and onion). So think of this as your 1 to 5 min dip recipe, not your make ahead dip recipe my friend (xo).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is cream cheese dip made of?
Cream cheese dip is made with a block of cream cheese, topped with a layer of onion relish, which is then sprinkled with crispy onion and crispy bacon. It doesn't need to have extra cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise or yogurt with it. However, depending on the complexity of the recipe, some cream cheese dips will include all of these.
Is cream cheese a healthy fat?
Cream cheese is not as healthy a fat than some cheeses such as cottage cheese.
The fat content is best considered portion and serving wise. For if you serve your cream cheese dip with crudités (celery and carrot sticks as an example) it will be healthier than if you pair it with a bag of chips.
What is in cream cheese?
Cream cheese combines milk and cream and is a soft, mild cheese. Bright white in colour, it is versatile and works in many sweet and savory recipes. It is higher in fat than some cheeses, although this also depends on what ingredients it is paired with.
More Tasty Dip Recipes
Getting your dip and dunk on with creative ideas that take the hassle out of entertaining and allow you to chill with your favourite humans is what life is all about. Here are some more ways to do that:
- Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
- Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Dip
- Halloween Dip
- Chili Cream Cheese Dip
- Black Olive Dip
- Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip
- Labneh Dip
- Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip
- Avocado Sweet Chilli Dip
You can also find all of my dips and spreads recipes in the one spot!
P.S A quick note from me about this one - if you are a long time reader (thank-you), you will know I use dried onion a fair (huge) amount. Dried onion and crispy onion are different. Crispy onion is ready to eat as is, dried onion needs to be cooked in something to make it sing. So whilst it may have crossed your mind, it is not the same product or one that should be used for this recipe (❤).
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Cream Cheese Onion Dip
- 1 Serving platter
- 1 Spoon
- 1 Cheese knife
- 250 gram / 8 oz block cream cheese Note 1
- ¼ cup onion relish Note 2
- 2 tablespoon crispy onion Note 3
- 1 tablespoon crispy bacon Note 4
- crackers to serve
- Cream cheese: grab the cream cheese from the fridge, tear open the cardboard, cut open the foil, unfold and place the cheese onto the serving board.
- Onion relish: use a spoon and scoop the onion relish onto the top of the cheese. Spread it so that it covers the top of the block, yet don't force it down the sides, it will naturally flow down.
- Crispy onion: sprinkle the crispy onion over the sweet onion relish.
- Crispy bacon: sprinkle the crispy bacon over the top of the crispy onion.
- Serve: place crackers around the outside of the dip, a little spread away so that they don't get caught up in the jam (ha!) and soggy. Provide a cheese knife for people to cut into the dip and spread it onto their cracker.
- Note 1 - Cream cheese: I recommend using a block of cream cheese for this recipe as a tub of it (round) is smaller and not as effective presentation wise. It won't matter if you get a 225 gram block or 250 gram (8 oz). Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, Woolworths, Coles, IGA, they will all sell it with a couple of brands being across those sizes. You can also purchase a 2 packet of it, which can be handy in the entertaining season, as you can have this ready to go and whip it up in minutes if someone 'drops in'.
- Note 2 - Onion relish: it doesn't matter which brand you choose for the onion relish, however it does matter that you choose a sweet one. It will say on the jar 'sweet onion relish'. This has a noticeable different flavour to an onion chutney which is savory. As we use the crispy onion and crispy bacon for savory flavours in the dip, we need the relish to provide the balance which is 'sweetness'.
- Note 3 - Crispy onion: is a product that is ready to eat as is. It doesn't need cooking. You will find it most likely in the salad topping section of the supermarket. Or you can find crispy shallots in the Asian foods section of the supermarket. This is different to dried onion which I use a lot but that needs to be cooked before using and can't be eaten 'as is'.
- Note 4 - Crispy bacon: this is a cooked product that is also ready to eat. Often in the salad dressing (croutons etc) aisle, it is something that can be thrown into recipes. Crispy and delicious, it brings bacon flavour with no preparation needed.