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Dairy-Free Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

By Beth Lipton
Reviewed by Ahna Crum, R.D.N.
April 08, 2024

Creamy, tangy-sweet onion dip is typically an indulgent treat. Now you can enjoy this comfort food favorite as a healthier alternative, thanks to a secret ingredient: canned hearts of palm. Blended up, they lend a rich, creamy texture, without dairy. (The protein casein found in milk may be linked to inflammation for people who are sensitive to it.) Beans add protein and fiber, and the onion, which contains the powerful inflammation fighter quercetin, brings sweetness.

This recipe is: gluten free, dairy free, heart healthy

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) hearts of palm, drained
  • ½ cup drained, rinsed cannellini beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • Black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt, optional
  • Sliced vegetables, for serving

Directions

In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, a pinch of salt, and ¼ teaspoon honey or maple syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and deep golden in color, 30 to 35 minutes. A few times during cooking, add a tablespoon or two of water and stir to pull up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. You can adjust the heat if needed to keep the onions from browning unevenly.

onions caramelizing in a skillet

Transfer the cooked onions to a cutting board and let cool.

To a food processor, add the hearts of palm, beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, parsley, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a bowl.

Ingredients in the food processor

Roughly chop the caramelized onions, then fold them into the blended hearts of palm mixture. You’ll have about 1 ½ cups of dip.

Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with fresh cut vegetables for dipping.

Dip served with veggies

Note: Some brands of Worcestershire sauce contain soy sauce and/or barley malt vinegar, which are not typically gluten free. There are several brands that are free of gluten, however, so check your labels carefully if you’re following a gluten-free diet. Worcestershire sauce brands that are gluten free include French’s and Lea & Perrins Original (in the U.S. only). The Wizard’s brand is gluten free and vegan (traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies).

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