California Dip

I remember how gloriously sophisticated me and my friends felt lapping this California dip up as kids. It was the height of ’60s ease and convenience to rip open a bag of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix, stir it into some sour cream, and dip into it while dancing the Watusi or the Shag. My parents weren’t big party givers—in fact, I don’t remember one party they ever threw, with the exception of my birthday parties—so I made do with throwing a party in the basement for myself, sometimes with friends, always with our dogs, Duke and Rusty. As long as there was California dip, it was a party.–David Leite

LC Entertaining With Ease Note

Want to be the host(ess) with the mostest? We’re all for entertaining with ease, because we believe if the host(ess) is at ease, the guests will feel the same. And so in our minds all occasions are equally worthy of California dip—just be certain to hold your head high and make no apologies. It is, after all, a classic.

California Dip Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes 1 pint

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • Variety of raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, celery, bell peppers, steamed asparagus spears or green beans, and so forth)

Directions

  • 1. In a small serving dish, mix together the dried onion soup mix and the sour cream and let stand for an hour or cover and refrigerate the California dip for several hours before serving with a variety of raw vegetables.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Susan says:

    It’s time to up the ante on this dip! Instead, sautee thinly sliced onions in your choice of oil (mine, organic coconut oil) until caramelized over medium low heat, then when almost done, add three smashed cloves of garlic, a hit or two or three of Worchestershire Sauce, a dash of Rooster Sauce, a pinch of salt and take off the heat to sit until cooled. To a blender or food processor, add the onion mix and equal parts of sour cream and plain Greek yogurt. Puree. Let sit in the fridge to meld the flavors for at least an hour. Serve with potato chips. Enjoy.

    • David Leite says:

      Susan, thanks for that wake-up call. The recipe is from an article I wrote: Dining Through the Decades: 100 Years of American Food. It was supposed to be emblematic of the kind of foods American went for in the ’50s. Somehow I never linked the recipe to the article. But I love your amped-up version.

      • carol says:

        Dont you know that the good ole California Dip only gets better with a little garlic and Worcestershire sauce??? It’s the BEST. Add a hint of cayenne or red pepper sauce, too, to make it a real hit. Mix, chill, and serve with chips, crackers, or any kind of goodie tray of your choice, and enjoy.

  2. SandyToes says:

    David, thanks for posting this. I grew up eating this dip in SoCal, but now when I call it “California Dip” people look at me like I’ve grown another head. It’s nice to know I wasn’t imagining it. I’m absolutely going to try Susan’s version.

  3. Carol Anne Grady Carol Anne Grady says:

    I remember discovering this dip in the 90s, when we visited my aunt in Toronto. Powdered soup wasn’t a thing here in Scotland, and it was an absolute revelation to us, 40 years late. We brought back many packets.

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