There is absolutely nothing wrong with hummus, guacamole, or even a good store-bought dip (looking at you, Trader Joe’s vegan ranch)—but if you want to step it up a notch, these are some of the best dip recipes to make for any get-together, including your Labor Day party (even if it is just you and your lockdown housemates this year).
It’s still summer, so the menu can lean heavily on burgers and hot dogs, but you probably want an appetizer or two to nosh on while everything else cooks, right? Dips are the obvious but always welcome choice, and classics like queso and spinach artichoke dip never go out of style. Still, if you want to try something new, we’ve rounded up 13 delectable—and different—dips that will steal the show. (For plenty more options, just browse all our dip recipes.)
Handmade Swirling Chip and Dip, $85 from Uncommon Goods
This pretty pottery piece is also practical for holding a variety of different dippers.
Put out a plate of raw veggies and chips and a pitcher of sangria and anyone will be happy to wait while you fire up the grill—but don’t take too long, because it’s pretty easy to make a meal out of these delicious, hearty dips all on their own. And heads-up: dessert dips can be a great way to bookend the meal.
Actual mashed potato, crisp bacon, sharp cheese, and chives make this Greek yogurt and sour cream dip eat like a meal. Choose sturdy potato chips for dipping and try not to think about the double whammy of carbs—clearly not approved for your keto BBQ. And lest you think mashed potatoes sound weird in dip, the Greeks have been doing it for a long time with skordalia. Get the Loaded Baked Potato Dip recipe.
Creamy, cheesy, and spicy thanks to three kinds of chiles, this taco-inspired dip is packed so full of shredded chicken and black beans you could almost eat it with a fork. Scatter diced tomatoes and avocado and chopped cilantro over top for a fresh, colorful contrast, and feel free to omit the chicken for a vegetarian version. Get our Spicy Chicken Taco Dip recipe.
Mayo, cilantro, chili powder, and cotija cheese slathered on grilled corn is a classic Mexican street snack (elote), and it translates ingeniously to a dip. Feel free to add a squirt of lime, and even grill the corn and jalapeño before folding them in. Corn tortilla chips are a natural partner, but bell peppers’ sweetness would be brilliant too. Get the Mexican Street Corn Dip recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Ways to Eat More Elote
If you’re looking for a meatier appetizer, this dip blends shredded barbecue pork with plenty of cheese. This is no time for carrot sticks, but smoky sweet potato chips would work (and hey, they’re technically a vegetable). Get the Cheesy Barbecue Dip recipe.
Love Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning? Then this is the one for you. A blend of minced onions and garlic, sesame and poppy seeds, and caraway mixed into cream cheese (naturally) and sour cream makes a perfect dip for bagel chips, but it’s light enough to work well with raw veggies too. Consider folding some chopped smoked salmon into the dip if you’re a lox lover. Get the Everything Bagel Dip recipe.
Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning, $7.90 from Amazon
If you don't live near a TJ's, you can pay a premium to get your EBTBSS online.
6. Pizza Dip
Loaded pizza dip with pepperoni, sausage, and olives is like a supreme pie with extra-extra cheese. The crust comes in the form of whatever carbs you dip. Or you could go with cauliflower. Get the Pizza Dip recipe.
While the word queso immediately brings to mind a molten pool of cheesy golden goo, it really just means cheese, so this unexpected take totally counts. It’s fairly healthy too, based on cottage cheese with silky avocado and delicious spices. Get the Chilled Chile con Queso recipe.
Your favorite Chinese-American delivery app makes a brilliant dip (and is a nice update on the classic hot crab dip). Unlike what you find in the takeout container, this contains real crab, not krab-with-a-k. And the warm cream cheese is joined by white cheddar and parmesan, with homemade wonton chips for scooping it up. Get the Crab Rangoon Dip recipe.
If shrimp is more your speed, this garlicky cheese dip with white wine and lemon juice is a thing of beauty. Slices of toasted baguette are probably best for dipping, but even celery will taste amazing as a vehicle for this. Get the Shrimp Scampi Dip recipe.
10. Reuben Dip
Your favorite sandwich (the Reuben, of course) gets deconstructed into a warm, gooey dip full of corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing. Serve with rye crackers and carrot sticks. Get the Reuben Dip recipe.
Buffalo sauce, chicken, and blue cheese are perfect in pretty much any form, including this wings-inspired dip. It’s definitely too good to reserve just for football season. Carrot sticks and celery are the obvious choice on the side, but try lightly roasted broccoli too. Get our Buffalo Chicken Dip recipe.
Do dill pickle dip one better and add ground beef, bits of bacon, and plenty of cheese, then warm it up until it’s gorgeously gooey. Any standard dipper would work here, but it does seem like the perfect time to break out some crisp French fries… Get the Creamy Skillet Cheeseburger Dip recipe.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter, try this fresh spinach dip, a healthier, make-ahead version of the classic baked spinach dip. It’s served chilled instead of warm and in addition to lots of leaves, it has sauteed shredded carrots and onions—but the mayo and sour cream save it from being spa food. Get our Fresh Spinach Dip recipe.
Everything Else You Need to Know
Header image by Chowhound