Gherkin Dip (sometimes misspelt as Gerkin Dip) is quick and easy to prepare delivering a snazzy party starter that will take 5 mins from start to spreading. Combining sweet and savory flavours with a focus on textures to delight, this cream cheese and gherkin dip recipe will take your party planning to easy breezy street!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
Here are the reasons why I think that you will come to know and love this dip (and want to make it again and again).
- Unique and interesting combination of ingredients: gherkin relish is sweet, textured and tasty. If you haven't tried it, I encourage you too. This dip takes you away from a basic savory onion and cheese combination towards new flavours and textures.
- Simple and fast: this recipe takes 5 minutes to bring together! It is no bake, no fuss and looks effortlessly impressive.
- A little different: I think it is important to try new things, experiment, use texture and flavour and be suprised at how good change and something different can be. This dip is not common, or boring. It is original and unique, that is one of the reasons why I think you will love it!
- Time saver: let's keep things simple and easy, saving time, energy and effort!
- No specialty store trip needed: whilst I wouldn't describe gherkin relish or gherkins as everyday ingredients (are they for you?). They are available all year round and easy to get your hands on. Plus they each have a decent shelf life so won't perish too quickly which saves running out for that 1 fresh ingredient!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for exact measurements.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Crispy bacon: again this is a store bought ready to eat product. It is small, like crumbs and has both great bacon flavour and crispness. If you cannot find it, look for bacon flavoured chips (think footy match) and use some of those chips crushed up on top instead.
- Gherkins: these are great as they can be kept in a jar in the fridge and pulled out as needed. As much as we are using gherkin relish for the dip, I also like to incorporate gherkins chopped into pieces for texture (and they taste really good).
- Crispy onion: this is store bought, ready to eat crispy onion. It is not the dried onion that I regularly use. You will find this in the salad dressings section of the store or in the Asian foods section. You can use fried shallots (also dried, store bought and ready to eat) if you want.
- Gherkin relish: this is a fantastic ingredient as it has so much taste and texture. Sweet with small bits of chunkiness, it is great to spread on sandwiches or burgers. You will find it with the mustards and sauces at the supermarket.
- Cream cheese: we need an 8 oz, 250 gram block of this. Thick and creamy, it lends itself to sweet and savory recipes. You can use a tub if you really want or if it is just the 2 of you for date night. However, for parties, I think the block presents better and you have more surface area for the toppings.
- Crackers: you can use your favorite. Choose a robust one so that they don't break off mid dip (oh no!!!! 😂).
Top Tip: Both the crispy onion and bacon loose their texture in the fridge due to the chill factor. I am telling you this now to avoid disappointment in you prepping the dip, popping it in the fridge and pulling it out only to realise 'opps, not so crispy anymore! Make and serve straightaway my friend (❤).
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. Grab the cream cheese out of the fridge to begin with, undo the cardboard outer layer, then peel off and discard the foil.
- Place cream cheese block on cheese board (Photo 1)
- Top with gherkin relish (Photo 2)
- Add crispy onion (Photo 3)
- Sprinkle crispy bacon over the top (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Gherkin Dip
To make the dip, start by preparing the cream cheese. You want this to go directly onto the serving platter so that you don't have to move it after you have created the dip.
Layer the gherkin relish by using a spoon to dollop and then the back of that spoon to spread into a layer.
Then sprinkle the dried onion on top of the gherkin relish. Once that is done spread the gherkin pieces over the top of the crispy onion.
- Sprinkle gherkin pieces onto crispy onion (Photo 5)
Once you have placed the gherkin pieces on top of the crispy onion, take your finger and thumb and pinch together the crispy bacon crumb.
Sprinkle that over the top of the gherkin pieces. The next step is then to put some crackers on the platter for serving the dip.
It is also important to provide a small cheese knife or butter knife. This is so that the eaters can cut into the dip and then spread the dip onto their cracker. This dip is very much about the 'spread' not the dunk.
- Place crackers around the dip for serving (Photo 6)
🍴 Serving Suggestions
I mention this below in my substitutions and variations, however, the crackers are really your choice. Don't feel limited to using the 'exact same' as me. As whilst this dip is about a cheese and cracker combo, it is more about the texture combination of dip and cracker than the specific brand, size or colour of the cracker you use.
And the thing that I can't say enough is cheese knife (or butter knife) but you need one. Spreading the dip is the best way to get into it and if you try and dip your cracker into it, it is just going to break.
So 'spread' the dip, top your cracker with all the stuffs, and think of me when you are experiencing the flavour combo, cause it is really nice isn't it!! (😁).
But if you do want to use the same crackers as me, they are simple plain round ones. Nothing fancy. The yum of this combo is because of the selection of the ingredients and the textures that each deliver. Not so much the brand of cracker.
👍 How to Guide
This is a no bake dip that needs no stove or oven.
If you have left overs, you can place them on a plate and put cling wrap on top. Or you can put them into a sealed, air tight container.
For your info the crispy products won't stay crispy due to the chilled temperature in the fridge, so be aware of this beforehand.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my ins and outs that you might like to consider to match your personal preferences when you make the recipe:
- There are products out there that sell ranges of crispy bacon (coconut bacon) which is a vegan product. This is an option if you don't want to eat the real bacon crumb.
- Some countries won't have the same products as I am using. For example Walmart sells sweet pickle relish instead of 'gherkin relish'. So you can still make this if not the exact same as the flavour and texture will be 'same, same, similar'.
- You can also use a substitute for the gherkin relish which is 'gherkin and dill relish' at stores like Tesco in the UK.
- For the crackers, you have many options. Square crackers, round crackers, thick crackers, thin crackers. What do you want to use? Ok, use them my friend (❤).
🛎 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks so that you can master the recipe from the 1st attempt:
- There is not a lot that can go wrong with the recipe so don't stress, I've got you covered.
- A cheese knife or butter knife is pretty essential for serving.
- You don't have to use the same crackers as me, you can use your favourite. See above for my substitutions and variations.
- Plate the cream cheese on the platter that you will serve it on, so that you don't have to move it after you have topped it (risky business!).
- Provide the leftover toppings (or additional quantities) on small bowls near the dip, it can be like a 'dip station'. So the eaters cut the dip, spread it onto the cracker and then fully load it with all the extra bits of stuff you provide for them.
- If baking some cheese in a bread bowl is more your thing than a no bake dip you might like to try the Baked Brie Bread Bowl 😉👍.
🧐 Frequently Asked Questions
What is gherkin relish?
Gherkin relish is a condiment that is sold in a jar. It combines mustard seeds with gherkins and has a sweet flavour and jelly like consistency with chunky texture. It works perfectly as a spread for hamburgers, sandwiches and hot dogs.
What goes good with cream cheese?
Crackers and chips are good to serve with cream cheese. The cheese is soft and spreadable, yet firm, so a cheese knife is a good idea.
What can I put in dip?
There are so many combinations that you can put in dip or on dips to get the party started. Many recipes combine more than one type of cheese. Having ingredients that have their own texture, like crispy bacon and crispy onion work to provide textural contrast to the smooth thickness of the cheese. Yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise and spices like French onion or caramelised onion are hugely popular dip ingredients or additions.
😍 More Easy Dip Recipes
Get your party off to a great start without tearing your hair out by choosing recipes that take the fuss out of the equation. Here are some more of the same that I know you will love:
- Bacon And Cheese Cob Loaf
- Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip
- Spinach Cob Loaf Dip
- Cottage Cheese Dip
- Honey Pecan Cream Cheese
- Kalamata Olive Dip
- Honey Walnut Cream Cheese
- Labneh Dip
- Black Olive Dip
- Green Olive Dip
- 1 Serving platter
- 1 Small spoon
- 1 Cheese knife or butter knife
- 250 grams/8 oz cream cheese Note 1
- ⅓ cup gherkin relish Note 2
- 2 gherkins dried with paper towel, ends trimmed and chopped into small chunky pieces
- 2 tbs crispy onion Note 3
- 1 tbs crispy bacon Note 4
- Cream cheese: grab the cream cheese out of the fridge, undo the cardboard box, tear off the foil and place the cheese in the centre of a serving platter.
- Gherkin relish: use a spoon to dollop this onto the top of the cheese. Flip the spoon over and use the back of it to spread the relish into a thick layer. Don't stress if it falls down the sides somewhat.
- Crispy onion: sprinkle the crispy onion over the top of the gherkin relish.
- Gherkins: sprinkle the gherkin pieces over the top of the crispy onion in a haphazard fashion.
- Crispy bacon: sprinkle the crispy bacon crumb over the top of the gherkin pieces to finish the toppings.
- Serve: provide crackers for serving and a cheese knife so that the dip can be cut into and spread onto the crackers.
- Note 1 - Cream cheese: you will easily be able to get this at Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, Coles or Woolies etc. The blocks range from 225 grams to 250 grams which is really 'same, same'. So grab one and the one you get will be perfect. The block has more surface are for the toppings than the small tubs do, so avoid those and seek out the rectangle.
- Note 2 - Gherkin relish: this is a sweet, store bought product, that will be found with the jarred onions and olives etc. It has gherkins and mustard seeds and is a condiment (spread) that works for hot dogs, burger, sandwiches and roll ups.
- Note 3 - Crispy onion: you can use crispy onion or fried shallots, they will have a very similar effect and taste and are both sold packaged, ready to eat in the salad toppings section of the shop or the Asian foods section. This is different to dried onion, a product I do use a lot, but that is soft and needs to be cooked before being eaten. Whereas this product is 'ready to eat'.
- Note 4 - Crispy bacon: similar to the above, this is a ready to eat product. It is also known as bacon crumb or dried bacon bits.
- Note 5 - Serving: if you have additional toppings from when you make the dip, these can go in small bowls alongside the dip. This way as it gets eaten, they are there and people can 'spread' the dip onto their chip and then fully load it with these leftover bits.