Classic Onion Sour Cream Dip Recipe

Classic Onion Sour Cream Dip Recipe

Here’s a made-from-scratch revamp of the classic onion sour cream dip that I remember being made from packets of onion soup mix in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a childhood favorite my mother would present when we had guests.

I can’t imagine what’s actually in those packets of grocery store onion soup mix, but in this version, there’s only onions, a bit of residual oil, sour cream and seasonings.  This dip turns out pretty thick, so if you like it somewhat thinner add a bit of buttermilk.

Classic Onion Sour Cream Dip Recipe

Onion Sour Cream Dip

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American


  • cup canola oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1 cup natural sour cream
  • ¼ cup buttermilk optional


  • Heat the oil in an 8-inch size skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, a pinch of salt, and the sugar and sauté until the onion turns golden -- about 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the heat down if things are browning too fast.
  • Drain the onion and oil mixture in a fine wire mesh strainer until cool. Discard the oil or save it for another purpose.
  • Mix the drained, fried onion with the sour cream and buttermilk (if desired for a thinner dip) and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate covered for at least 3 hours before serving; however, 6 to 24 hours is even better for flavor development.


It the dip is still too thick after refrigeration, just stir in a bit more buttermilk to get the desired consistency.

Adapted from a NYT Cooking recipe by Mark Bittman.

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