Dips: a favorite party food
December 30, 2021
There is a reason dips are a favorite when it comes to party food. More than one reason, actually. And with New Year's gatherings and bowl games on the calendar, this is the time to add a couple of new ideas to your recipe box.
Dips are easy to prepare in advance, leaving the host free to spend time with guests. In fact, most dips (except for ones served hot), benefit from a day in the refrigerator, which gives the flavors time to develop. This is especially true if your dips involve any powdered seasonings.
Dips can be served with cut veggies, chips, sliced bread, crackers, etc., whatever you have on hand. If you want to vary your dippers, try a variety of sliced and toasted flatbread, as well as matzo crackers, bread sticks, or sliced apples and pears (sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning).
If your offerings will include veggies and dips, buy the produce washed and cut, or chop them the day before and refrigerate them separate plastic bags.
The first idea is a favorite from my own recipe box.
This dip was my "go to" for several years whenever we had "food day" at the office. It's easy to assemble in advance and it travels well. And I never took home any leftovers!
7-Layer Fiesta Dip
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese (2 cups)
1 cup prepared guacamole
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced black olives
Spread refried beans in shallow serving dish. Mix sour cream and taco seasoning mix in small bowl until well blended. Spread over refried beans.
Top with layers of cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, onions and olives. Serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe from: McCormick
This recipe was a winning entry in a recipe contest I was part of for many years. It was created by Diane Archer, who lived in Grand Island at the time.
A coworker made it for a family holiday dinner and it was such a hit, that’s all he was ever allowed to bring for any family gathering from then on. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Delicious Mexican Dip
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dip mix
1 (11 ounce) can corn, drained (see note)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (see note)
1 (4-1/2 ounces) can chopped black olives, drained
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 small onion, chopped
Note: If you use an 11-ounce can of Green Giant Mexicorn, you can skip the chopped red pepper.
Combine softened cream cheese with ranch dip mix and mix well. Stir in corn, chopped pepper, black olives, green chilies and chopped onion; blend well. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe from: Diane Archer, Silver Spoon recipe contest
My mom discovered this recipe years ago. While you can buy similar dips already prepared from the grocery store, this one is much better. Don’t skip the Beau Monde seasoning — it’s what gives it an extra kick!
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup Miracle Whip
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon Beau Monde seasoning
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve with chips or vegetables.
I got this recipe while hosting a Tupperware party more than 20 years ago.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 can Hormel chili (no beans)
1 (4-ounce can) chopped green chilies
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a microwave-safe 1-quart casserole dish, soften cream cheese in microwave, about 30 seconds. Spread cream cheese evenly in casserole dish.
Layer chili, green chilies, onion and cheddar cheese over cream cheese.
Cover loosely and microwave on HIGH about four minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.
(Note: Since this recipe is more than 20 years old, I’m guessing it was developed using a lower-wattage microwave than most of today’s models. I’d start at about 2 minutes microwave time and then, if you need more time, check it every 30 seconds or so.)
Recipe from: Tupperware
Another favorite from years ago. Although it’s official name is Nacho Cheese Bean Dip, I’ve also heard it called (with affection) “Dog Food Dip.” Trust me, it’s based on appearance — not taste!
Add a can of Rotel tomatoes for an extra kick if you wish.
The recipe came from a friend who was my roommate right after I got out of college.
Nacho Cheese Bean Dip
1 pound ground beef, browned
1 can Hormel chili (with or without beans)
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
Milk (if needed)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (optional)
Melt cheese in large microwave-safe bowl. Add browned ground beef and chili. Stir well. Add a little milk if needed to thin it out a bit. Microwave 2 to 3 more minutes, just until it’s heated through.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe from: Pam
The following recipes are some I’ve discovered over the years from various food media sources.
This is a rich, decadent take on the traditional warm crabmeat dip. Serve it with slices of warm French bread.
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional to coat the baking dish
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup sliced white mushrooms
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2-1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 7 ounces)
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
Brandy, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 cup cracker crumbs, such as Saltines, crushed with a rolling pin
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 10-inch gratin dish.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute. Add the flour, stir to form a paste, then turn off the heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cream, then add the mixture to the skillet. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking to break up any lumps.
Add the cheese and simmer for 30 seconds, or until it reaches a creamy consistency.
Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the crabmeat, brandy, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, parsley, cayenne, salt and pepper.
Pour the crabmeat mixture into the prepared gratin dish and top with the cracker crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned on top.
Makes 8 to 12 servings.
Recipe from” Kevin Garvin’s “Neiman Marcus Taste,” Clarkson Potter, 2007
This hearty, tangy dip from Diane Phillips’ cookbook, “You’ve Got it Made,” goes well with bread, tortilla chips, pretzels or sturdy crackers. This recipe can be made and refrigerated up to three days ahead.
Cheddar Beer Dip with Smoked Sausage
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon or whole-grain mustard
8-ounce package cream cheese
12-ounce bottle dark beer
4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
6 drops hot pepper sauce
Lightly coat a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the sausage and cook until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain away and discard any fat.
Add the mustard, cream cheese and beer, then stir until the cream cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, a handful at a time, until it is all incorporated.
Stir in the hot sauce, then transfer to the prepared baking dish. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven heats, let the dip sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake the dip for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbling. Serve warm.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
This incredibly rich barbecue bean and cheese dip tastes like it has a million calories. And it’s worth every one (though it actually packs an only slightly more reasonable 567 calories per serving).
The dip combines the best of barbecue-style baked beans with a creamy sauce laced with maple syrup, brown sugar, cream cheese and — just for good measure — cheddar cheese.
It’s best served with tortilla chips for dipping, or spooned over them nacho-style.
Barbecue Baked Bean Cheese Dip
Start to finish: 2-1/2 hours (15 minutes active)
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 strips bacon, finely chopped
4 slices deli ham, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup water
3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1-pound bag corn tortilla chips
In medium saucepan over medium, combine the ketchup, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, bacon, ham, onion, mustard and water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, until very thick, about 2 hours.
Add the beans and simmer another 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Spread the cream cheese in an even layer across the bottom of a deep 8-by-8-inch baking or casserole dish. Spoon the beans and sauce over the cream cheese, then top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and heated through.
Serve with tortilla chips.
Makes 12 servings.
Recipe from: Ryan King, The Associated Press
Terri Hahn of Osceola has worked in food media for more than 30 years and has won numerous state and national awards for her writing. Email her at [email protected]