With football season in full swing and the holidays just around the corner, chances are good that you’ll be serving, and eating, plenty of dips in the coming months. Bowls full of salsa, hummus, spinach and artichoke, and all kinds of mayo, sour cream and cream cheese-heavy dips will dot every party food table from now until February. And that’s fine, they’re all classic dips for a reason! But why not kick it up a notch, buck the trends, and create new party classics? Click through to check out some ideas for interesting, unusual and delicious party dips. Have your own favorite? Tell us about it in the comments!
Earlier: 15 Easy Lunch Recipes (Slideshow)
1.Instead of Hummus, Try: Za’atar.
My favorite Lebanese restaurant serves it with fresh-out-of-the-oven pita bread. It’s so good, everyone is practically full before their entrees make it to the table!
You’ll find the best deals on sumac at Middle Eastern markets. Don’t have one in your area? Gourmet grocers often stock it, though at a much heftier price tag. The Internet is a great resource for sumac and other unusual herbs and spices, too.
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 2 Teaspoons ground sumac
- 1/2 Teaspoon coarse salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Warm pita bread
1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
2. To serve, generously drizzle olive oil over spice blend, occasionally adding more oil if the mixture becomes too dry. You can also serve with a bowl of olive oil on the side, dipping pita in oil and then dipping in za’atar.
Recipe Credit: Epicurious.
5. Instead of Onion Dip, Try: Blue Cheese & Caramelized Shallot Dip.
This is the perfect dip to make the day before — the longer it chills the better it tastes! Serve with crackers, crusty bread and/or potato chips. Of course, you can always substitute onions for shallots — try yellow onions.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Cups chopped shallot
- 1 Pinch sugar
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon port
- 2/3 Cup crumbled blue cheese
- 6 Ounces plain nonfat yogurt
- 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
- 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons chopped scallions
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, heat oil. Add shallot, and a pinch of sugar and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well caramelized for 45 minutes-1 hour. Pour port over onions, and, with a spatula, scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat, and let the onions cool for about ten minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add blue cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Stir in onions and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Cover dip and transfer to refrigerator. Let chill for at least 2 hours.
Recipe Adapted From: Noble Pig.
9. Instead of Salsa, Try: Toasted Pumpkin Seed Dip.
Here’s a great way to use all those leftover seeds from your pumpkin carving party! This vegan-friendly dip has its roots in the traditional Mayan cuisine of southern Mexico.
Serve with tortilla chips and vegetables.
- 2 Plus Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 Small green habanero chile
- 1 1/2 Cups raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 Cup minced white onion, rinsed and dried well
- 1/4 Cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 Pinch cinnamon
- Coarse salt
1. Warm a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and chile and roast for about 12 minutes, Stirring occasionally. They’re ready when they have a few charred spots and they’ve softened. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. While the vegetables are cooling, toast pumpkin seeds in a large skillet until lightly browned, tossing regularly. Remove from heat, let cool completely, and then transfer to a food processor. Pulse until the seeds have formed a coarse puree. Transfer to a medium bowl.
3. For a more mild dip, cut the cooled chile in half and remove seeds. Peel cooled garlic. Add tomatoes, chile, garlic and orange juice to the food processor and puree until a smooth mixture forms. Add the mixture to the bowl of ground pumpkin seeds. Add onion, cilantro and a pinch of cinnamon, stirring to combine. Transfer to serving bowl, season with salt to taste
Recipe Credit: Food and Wine.
13. Instead of Red Pizza Dip, Try: White Pizza Dip.
Here's an extravagant dip for your next party! Serve with crusty bread and crackers.
- 1 Pint cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 Teaspoon olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 Ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 Cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 8 Ounces freshly grated mozzarella, divided
- 8 Ounces freshly grated provolone, divided
- 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange halved tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and season with salt. Roast until the tomatoes burst, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside. Do not turn off oven.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, parmesan, and 7 ounces each of provolone of mozzarella. Stir in herbs, garlic and tomatoes. Transfer mixture to a baking dish; top with remaining provolone and mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden, 25-30 minutes. Serve at once.
Recipe & Image Credit: How Sweet It Is.