Lipton California Dip (also known as Lipton Onion Soup Dip or French Onion Dip) was a mainstay at every cocktail party from the 1950's - 1970's. This simple, two ingredient recipe has a creamy consistency and features an onion-forward flavor with herbal undertones.
I was looking through an old box of family photos and came across some pictures of a 1960's cocktail party. My parents loved to host parties, and a wave of nostalgia came over me as I recalled my dad mixing martinis at his bar while my mom set out the Lipton California Dip.
This popular French onion dip was at virtually every gathering I attended as a child. So imagine my surprise when I recently whipped up a batch for visiting friends, only to have them tell me it was the first time they had ever tried it! (They loved it, by the way.) It made me realize that many people born in the latter half of the 70's and beyond didn't grow up with it like the previous generation had. Perhaps it's time for a renaissance!
The Origins of Lipton California Dip
Lipton's California Dip originated in 1952 when the Lipton company introduced its famous recipe to the world. Combining the convenience of a dry soup mix with the rich taste of sour cream, this appetizer quickly gained popularity. It was on the table at virtually every celebration or family gathering of the era.
So Easy -- Just Two Ingredients
What makes this recipe so wonderful is that it's easy to whip up quickly with only two ingredients:
- Lipton Onion Soup Mix: This mix contains dehydrated onions, beef bouillon, onion powder, and a blend of spices. It forms the core of the dip, providing a burst of savory flavor.
- Sour Cream: The creamy, tangy base comes from sour cream, which perfectly complements the robust taste of the onion soup mix.
I love this original recipe for Lipton California Dip, but if you find it too tangy, adding ¼ cup of real mayonnaise will cut down on the tanginess and make it even creamier.
Easy Variations Make This Recipe Fun!
This recipe has so many possible variations. Here are some of my favorites:
Skinny Dip: Mix 16 oz plain yogurt with 1 envelope Lipton’s onion soup mix for a healthier version of Lipton’s California Dip.
Avocado Dip: Mash a small ripe avocado. Mix 16 oz sour cream with 1 envelope Lipton’s onion soup mix, then stir in the mashed avocado.
Hot Chili Dip: Cook 1 lb. of lean ground beef in a skillet; drain and return to skillet. Mix in 1 cup chili sauce, 1.5 Tbs. chili powder, and 1 cup Lipton California Dip. Stir over low heat until warm and transfer to a serving bowl.
Seafood Dip: Mix 16 oz sour cream with 1 envelope Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix. Add 1 cup finely chopped cooked shrimp, clams, or crabmeat. Stir in ¼ cup chili sauce and 1 Tbs. prepared horseradish.
Vegetable Dip: Combine 16 oz sour cream with 1 envelope Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix and 2 teaspoons of chili powder. Add in 1 cup finely chopped green pepper and 1 cup finely diced tomato.
What To Serve With Lipton Onion Soup Dip
Potato chips are the obvious choice to go with onion dip. Here are some other serving ideas for your party:
- Corn chips
- Tortilla chips
- Pretzel sticks
- Cut vegetables such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, broccoli and cauliflower florets, bell pepper slices
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Lipton California Dip (Lipton Onion Soup Dip)
- 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
- 16 oz sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (optional)
- Mix together 1 envelope of Lipton onion soup mix with 16 oz. sour cream. Stir well.
- If desired, add real mayonnaise to cut the sharpness of the onion flavor and increase the creaminess of the dip.
- Chill for 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with your choice of chips, crackers, cut vegetables, pretzels or shrimp.