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Hot Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon & Gruyere

This Hot Caramelized Onion Dip is loaded with sweet onions, bits of bacon and cheesy gruyere and is perfect for an easy, make-ahead holiday or game day appetizer.

I’m such a huge fan of caramelized onions – I could eat a bowlful with nothing else – adding a little bacon and cheese just makes it even better. A very sophisticated flavor for a simple dip recipe!

Best Hot Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

Caramelized Onion Dip Ingredients

  • Sweet onions: Sweet onions over a low heat slowly bring out a deep, rich, sweet flavor as the natural sugars in the onions caramelize.
  • Bacon: The bacon crumbles add a salty crunch to this dip while the bacon fat caramelizes the onions for a wonderful salty bacon and sweet onion flavor.
  • Brown sugar: A little bit of brown sugar enhances the flavor and speeds up the caramelization process.
  • Kosher Salt: A flavor boost.
  • Sherry: The sherry is to deglaze, release onion bits from the bottom of the skillet. The alcohol and liquid will burn off and leave a more flavorful base. Red wine (or balsamic), vermouth, marsala, and brandy will work too.
  • Sour cream: Adds creaminess to the dip. Use full fat, low fat, or fat free sour cream. Plain Greek yogurt can also be substituted.
  • Mayonnaise: Another creamy ingredient to this dip.
  • Gruyere cheese: Le Gruyere cheese, or simply Gruyere. Substitute with Jarlsberg. Edom, Gouda, Asiago, or Swiss cheese, in a pinch,

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)

How to Make Caramelized Onion Dip

  1. Prepare the Bacon: Cook the bacon until crispy and then crumble on a paper towel.
  2. Caramelize: At a low heat caramelize the onions until soft and golden brown.
  3. Deglaze: Use the Sherry to release the tasty bits from the pan for added flavor.
  4. Mix & Combine: Mix mayo, sour cream and gruyere cheese, combine with the onion mixture and add bacon crumbles.
  5. Bake: Until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Serve hot.

Caramelized Onion Dip Tips

  • Don’t overcrowd the onions or they will not caramelize and cook unevenly.
  • The key to caramelizing onions is low and slow until soft and golden. Onions cooked at a high are simply grilled onions as caramelization only happens at a low heat.
  • Stir every 10 minutes so they cook evenly and come out a deep golden brown.
  • Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce, if you prefer.
  • To thinly slice onions:
    • Cut off the stem ends.
    • Cut the onion in half lengthwise, tip to root.
    • Remove the onion skin.
    • Lay each onion half on the flat side and thinly slice each half radially.
Best Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe with Bacon & Gruyere

Dippers & Serving Suggestions

Caramelized onion dip is the perfect addition to a charcuterie board or crudités platter or use these dippers at your next holiday event or game day watch party. I like to slice soft French bread into thin slices then toasted them, a bit like large crostini. It’s delicious but heavy, so some grapes or sliced apples on the side would be a nice complement.

  • Potato chips (ruffle or crinkle cut are better for dipping)
  • Crunchy Bread (crostini, melba toast, or toasted baguette, French bread)
  • Vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, celery, cucumbers, endive leaves or bok choy)
  • Crackers (saltines, Ritz, Triscuits, Wheat thins, or your favorite cracker)
  • Pretzel crisps or soft pretzels
  • Bagel chips
  • Pita chips
  • Tortilla chips

Make Ahead

Caramelized onion dip can be made ahead 1 to 2 days in advance. Simply prepare the dip and prior to baking store in the fridge in an airtight container or cover the skillet in plastic.

When ready to serve bake in the oven until the dip is bubbling and lightly browned on top.

Best Hot Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

Hot Caramelized Onion Dip

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Hot Caramelized Onion Dip is loaded with sweet onions, bits of bacon and cheesy gruyere and is perfect for an easy, make-ahead holiday or game day appetizer.


  • 5 slices bacon
  • 2 sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon sherry
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, divided


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Cook bacon in an oven-safe large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat and until crispy. Remove bacon and place on paper towels; crumble
    3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add thinly sliced onions in bacon fat in skillet; sprinkle with salt and brown sugar and stir until onions are coated. Cook until very soft and golden brown; about 20-30 minutes, stir every 10 minutes.
    4. Add sherry and scrape up any bits stuck to pan (deglaze). Turn heat to high and cook for 2 minutes, or until liquid has mostly evaporated.
    5. Mix mayo, sour cream and 1 cup cheese in a small bowl. Add to onion mixture and stir well. Add bacon crumbles, stir well and spread into even layer in skillet. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.
    6. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Serve hot with crostini or crackers.

If you like this dip you’ll love these dip recipes!

Kristy Bernardo
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Anne Boyd

Thursday 10th of December 2020

Absolutely delicious. This will be my go to dip. Reheats well, unless you eat it all when you make it.

Kristy Bernardo

Saturday 12th of December 2020

Thanks, Anne! I love this one because it's different from most other dips. So glad you loved it and thank you for taking the time to let me know. Cheers :)

Buffalo Chicken Dip with Skillet Bread -

Thursday 6th of November 2014

[…] Caramelized Onion Dip with Bacon & Gruyere […]


Saturday 4th of October 2014

Hi, I know I'm late to this post, but this looks so delicious! My question is, how crucial is the sherry to the recipe, and could I skip it or use something in place of it. I hate to buy a whole bottle and not use it. I know though that sometimes, that even a small amount can be crucial to the taste. What are your thoughts?

Kristy Bernardo

Sunday 5th of October 2014

I would say that sherry is pretty crucial. It's subtle yet important. Do they sell sherry in those little one-serving bottles? Or can you borrow a little from a friend or neighbor? If you live in Northern VA you can swing by my place, I have a huge bottle!


Monday 31st of December 2012

I want to steal your whole decorating tradition, drinks dip & all! This looks amazing. Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday! Happy new year to you!

the wicked noodle

Friday 4th of January 2013

Thanks so much, Aggie! Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year!


Tuesday 11th of December 2012

This dip sounds like heaven in a bowl! Perfect for holiday entertaining!

the wicked noodle

Tuesday 11th of December 2012

Thanks Katie!

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