Vegan Onion Dip [MMAZ]

by Sarah on November 19, 2012 · 13 comments

Buried in an e-mail about labels and flavors, my friend-through-blogging–as well as Nutty Butter designer, and occasional life (plus running) coach–Calee dropped this little nugget of culinar-ecration wisdom:

People think that since you’ve got ingredients listed, it’s easy to recreate.

Not the case.

Although she was talking about almond butter, this is a situation I know all too well.

Case in point: White Mountain Foods Tofu Onion Dip, a delicious concoction I was able to sample last summer, but, despite my best attempts, was unable to successfully recreate.

i was, however, able to make quite a mess.

The eventual semi*-success of Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing kept my allium cravings at bay, but when Heather announced that O is for Onion in her Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge,I knew it was time to try once more.
*Wonderful, but not what I really wanted.This time, I would not be stopped. I would make a vegan dip(ity doo dah) that tasted so much like the canned Frito-Lay variety ever present during football season (and, perhaps oddly, my sorority house in college) your Pavlovian response was to break open a bag of Ruffles and go to bad-breath-but-worth-it town.
Touchdown, me.
When using a manufacturer’s list of ingredients–which are all, we hope, items you don’t need to procure from a scientific laboratory–doesn’t quite work, the only thing left to do is make your own playbook.
The first place to start? Using steamed onions instead of powder.
I sliced up a sweet onion–quick and easy, no dicing [slash] crying involved—and put it in a saute pan with water, then let it cook away until soft and fragrant. A bit of draining on paper towels (like you’d do with game-day burger meat), and into the food procesor with 12 oz. of firm tofu it goes.
Process that really well, to truly let the onion flavor take over the field.
Add some minced, roasted garlic, a splash of rice vinegar, salt, and pepper…then round of the Vegan Flavoring All-Star Team for the win: nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, and Bragg’s liquid aminos.
It’s so simple and fast there’s no need for a half-time show. But with about one-third the calories and three times the protein of the canned stuff, the only real question is:
Where are the Ruffles when you need them?

i, of course, always have a wasa.

Vegan Onion Dip

[Makes about 2 cups]

  • 1 medium sweet onion (225 g), sliced
  • 12 oz. firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tsp. minced, roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp (or so) rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. Bragg’s liquid aminos [or tamari or soy sauce]
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. Peel and slice onion into thin half-moons. Put onion in a medium-sized frying pan, adding water (not to cover). Simmer/steam on medium heat, stirring regularly, until onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Drain onions and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Combine onion and tofu in a food processor. Process until most of the onion is well incorporated and there are few ‘chunks.’
  4. Add remaining ingredients.
  5. Process until smooth.

Serve with chips or veggies!

Because I put everything on giant bowls of salad–including the original dip inspiration–I, naturally, tested this out as well. I give it an A for allium.
(And yes, I did have to google ‘type of vegetable onion’ to remind myself it was an allium. Hence, I needed to reference that twice in order to appear smart.)
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz @ iheartvegetables November 19, 2012 at 7:53 am

So I’ve never HAD onion dip. Isn’t that weird? Especially because I actually do like onions a lot. I might just start with the vegan version, since that looks way better anyway 😉


Kristina November 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

DAAAANNNG this is a home run! wait… wrong game?

I love Love LOVE that dip, and although I have not had it in years, it brings back some nostalgia for sure… I cannot wait to try this!


sarah @ sarah learns November 19, 2012 at 10:17 am


that’s all i really have to say. i LOVE dips and this one looks like a winner. i don’t even think i’d de-vegan-ize this version!


Laima @ Women's Endurance Gear November 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

Will have to try it for next weekend’s game! Do you think cashew cream would work instead of tofu?


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 19, 2012 at 10:39 am

I used to looooove French onion dip. Stopped eating it because it was like eating a mouthful of mayo and really, who needs that? But THIS I can get on board with. Pass the Wasa.


Heather @ Better With Veggies November 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

Oh man, party dip made vegan? Yummy Sarah! This also looks a million times healthier than the original version, which is always appreciated! :)


Allie November 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Steamed onion? I’ve never tried that! And I love onion dip. And things full of garlic. And anything that will give me terrible and lingering bad breath. Mmmm…


Debbie (accidently delish) November 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Ugh I totally wanna make this but here’s my problem 2 cups = I
Will never finish it in time. I suppose I could scale it down but that requires math and I’m lazy. Hey, you’re a teacher! 😉


Ashley @ Freckles and Spice November 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

I will be making this in the near, near future. This is exactly what this dip fiend needed. I still love my hummus-es and black bean dips – but this looks like the shake up I need :)


Fran@BCDC November 20, 2012 at 9:09 am

This sounds so good!!


Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli November 22, 2012 at 6:04 am

Seriously?! When I was a teenager (with a raging metabolism), I could literally polish off a whole can of French onion dip in 1-2 sittings…and a handful of Ruffles was the ONLY thing allowed!

Gah, what do I make first…onion dip or pumpkin gravy?! Ahhhh! #foodieproblems


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