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I'm having a bit of a gala for my mother's 80th birthday. I'd like to make a spread of dips with tortilla chips, cracker and raw veggies to dunk. Any suggestions? There will be a lot of vegetarians present.

I'm making this:

I've always had great luck with it.


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  1. here is an easy and really tasty one:
    some good yoghurt
    feta cheese
    chopped fresh dill
    that's it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: howchow

      I like this vingear-based dip:


      It's so thin that it's almost more like a dressing, but the honey and Dijon give it some bulk. A nice companion to go with creamier dips. Excellent w/belgian endive.

    2. One of my favorites is smoked trout dip. Every time I make it, it's the one dip bowl that's almost licked clean. I never have any left over.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Andiereid

        I was going to say smoked salmon! I just made it for a brunch this past weekend and people just love it.
        I've also had incredible response from a romesco type dip made with roasted peppers, almonds, toasted bread, sherry vinegar and a touch of olive oil. Goes great with pita chips and chilled shrimp. I made it for a Chanukah party and it was requested by four family members.
        Yeah, I love dips. :)

        1. re: ScarletB

          The Barefoot Contessa's smoked salmon dip is superb.

          1. re: Megiac

            That's actually the recipe I used! It really was fantastic, and better a day after so perfect for make-ahead parties.

      2. Hey there, ChowHappy...a simple yet tasty dip that goes great with tortilla chips is this:

        1 part cream cheese
        1 part salsa (thin/cooked/blended type, nothing chunky, more like taco sauce)

        Just blend them together so they are smooth and mixed well, and dig in. I was exposed to this in Tucson, AZ, where this is a house salsa at a few of the older Mexican restaurants in town on south 4th Avenue.

        1. Not sure if you want to buy a book, but there is an excellent book called Delicious Dips by Diane Morgan. It really takes dips out of the humdrum and up to a higher level. Many of the dips are vegetarian. I've made the Feta dip, shrimp dip with crisp fried wontons, a mixed mushroom spread, homemade onion dip (Lipton's move over) and several others and they've all turned out fabulous. There's a curried cauliflower dip that sounds interesting, but haven't made it yet. There's also a section on dessert dips and on making your own dippers, like bagel chips and wonton crisps.

          Here's a link to the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Delicious-Dips-...

          1. Wow, I love dip. Hahaha. It's one of my favorite things to make and eat for a night in front of the TV, and for parties I usually make 2 or 3. I'm always experimenting and recipe tweaking.

            One of my recent favorites is an oven roasted tomato dip with feta. The night before your party (or several nights before your party) roast a couple of pounds of halved plum tomatoes, (tossed with wedges of onions and a handful of whole garlic cloves, lots of olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme) at 450-500 for about 30-40 minutes, but check them frequently so they don't get too charred. Some char is good though. Allow it to cool, and transfer to a container making sure you get as much of the tomato-ey oil from the baking sheet into the container) and at this point you could refrigerate and put away for a few days.

            When you're ready, put the roasted tomato mixture into a food processor, add a nice hunk of feta broken into pieces and pulse until the mixture is combined and the tomatoes not so large. Serve with crostini or toasted French bread rounds or endive leaves.

            I sometimes add pitted kalamata olives to the processor, or serrano chilies to the roasting mix.

            I like Tuscan white beans with roasted garlic, lots of olive oil, some fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh rosemary. I like this one rough mashed so there are still some whole beans left.

            1. Guacamole verde - no tomatoes, no raw onions

              3 ripe Hass avocados, peeled and cubed
              Juice of one lime (before juicing, put lime in microwave for 10 seconds or so to maximize extraction) - don't bother with anything other than fresh
              Fire-roasted salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) (I love Whole Foods), to taste
              Salt and freshly ground black pepper

              Optional: creme fraiche
              Very optional: chiffonade of cilantro, only if you know most of your guests love cilantro (assume 25% of people detest it)

              Not more than a couple of hours ahead of time, mash the avocado, lime juice and salsa together to your preferred texture (coarser is more "authentic", for what that is worth). Add creme fraiche if you want a smoother, dippier, consistency. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap until serving time.

              1. I could swear that I found this on the nigella website, but I can't seem to find it anymore. ANd neither do I know the name, but it is a roasted carrot dip. Roasted carrots, pureed, with yogurt cheese, garlic and herbs and spices of your choice. It is very mellow, sweet and nice texture. I love it with potato chips.

                1. Ina Garten has a recipe for a Pan Fried Onion dip that so good, it's almost sinful.

                  Here's the recipe:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: QueenB

                    I have made this onion dip myself and it is terrific AND easy

                  2. I love that blue cheese and shallot dip you're making. In fact, its my dad's favorite - he is always requesting it.

                    Another one frequently requested, and very easy is Barefoot Contessa's sun-dried tomato dip:


                    Then there are the classic Middle Eastern dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, and here's a report of my recent cacik/tzatziki (there's lots of good ideas on this thread).


                    1. I like to serve an Asiago Cheese Dip that I got from Cooking Light. You can find the recipe on their website. www.cookinglight.com

                      1. I've made a basil artichoke pesto that I found on the food network website. It would work well as a dip.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rds246

                          Baba Ganoush with pita. Really roast two eggplants until they are blackened and soft, on the grill is best, you really want to bring up that smoky flavor. Peel when cool enough to handle. Plop it in the food processor add 3 tbs. Tahini, juice of 2 lemons, 3/4 C. Fage or greek style yoghurt, 2 smashed and peeled cloves garlic and let it whipp until perfectly smooth. Chill well and serve with a drizzle of EVOO and chopped flat leaf parsley. It seems to make carnivores and vegetarians alike happy.

                          I also posted that old American cheese melted with heavy cream and a drained can of Ro-Tel lst week. Serve it warm like a fondue on in a chafing dish, something to keep it warm. Love it with corn chips and chunks or ripe avacado for dunking.

                          1. Muhammara! One of my all-time favourite dips. I serve it with lavash, crackers, whatever.

                            Here's a simple version:

                            And a more "authentic" version:

                            1. really roast two whole beetroots. Allow to cool, peel and dice. Whiz in food processor with a tub of sour cream, a squeeze of lemon and the barest pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon.

                              It should be the most amazing lush purple colour you've ever seen.

                              1. I do love the copycat for CPK's Spinach and Artichoke dip... rich and decadent.

                                Also simple, Lipton's Onion Soup Mix, drained chopped spinach, water chestnuts, and sundried tomatoes and sour cream.

                                1. I really like the artichoke-olive dip on Epicurious. It's easy and tastes great with sliced veggies (zucchini spears, carrot sticks, red or yellow peppers, and the suggested fennel).



                                  1. My sister loves to make the basic spinach dip recipe and serve it in a hollowed out sourdough bread bowl. Nice presentation.

                                      1. re: valerie

                                        I make a baked artichoke and garlic dip which is delicious. Also a great clam dip, traditionally made and it goes like crazy. And I have one dip called "Dog Team Tavern Dip" that I am sure I got from Gourmet or Bon Apetitie years ago. Made with Cottage cheese, sour cream, coarsley ground smoked ham, and wasabi powder put into a crock, and you use chips or raw veggies for dipping

                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                          I make this wonderful black bean salsa dip that is so fresh and always get's people digging in by the spoon full if we run out of tortila chips!
                                          Mix one can black beans (drained and rinsed) with chopped plum tomatos, finely diced red onion, minced garlic, minced jalepeno, salt, black pepper lots of lime juice and chopped cilantro. It is sooo yummy and easy!!!
                                          Also Giada's white bean dip is really good
                                          I make a really yummy version of artichoke dip that always gets great review
                                          I know its gross but oh so good buffalo chicken dip from fellow chowhounder.

                                      2. I love tzatziki, it is a little different than the usual dips and goes great with homemade pita chips or vegetables.