Dip. Dunk. Scoop. Crunch. While we're all about diving into a big bowl of salsa—armed with a family-size bag of chips and a handful of friends—but sometimes we like to change things up. You can follow our advice for which of these 11 dips pairs best with which chip or choose your own adventurous chip-and-dip experience. Just pick your preferred dipper (tortilla, pita, graham, even a cracker) and desired flavor of smear (creamy, chocolaty, bean-y), and take a big bite.

Crackers

Better Dips: Carrot and Harissa

Carrots aren’t just for dipping. When roasted and blended, they become a sweet and vibrant dip that would make any cracker want to take the plunge. If you have harissa, a hot chili pepper paste, you need to throw in a spoonful or two. Add chickpeas to mellow out the sweet and spicy (and add a good dose of protein). Garnish with pomegranate seeds and accept that it’s unlikely you’ll ever go back to regular hummus.

Better Dips: Tapenade

Olives are typically served alongside cheese and crackers, but why not use the olives as the spread? Roughly chop pimento-stuffed olives—the fat ones, not the teeny guys from the jar—and mix with salty capers, grainy mustard, thyme, and basil. A good glug of olive oil and you’re ready to bring out the crackers… and maybe a good, creamy cheese too.

Better Dips: Red Pepper Pesto

Not all pestos are alike. In fact, “pesto” is a general term for a paste made from pounding ingredients—no basil required. Blend sweet roasted red peppers (make your own or from the jar) with toasted pine nuts and olive oil into a vibrant dip fit for any cracker. Pro tip: Make a huge batch on a free afternoon and freeze it to dole out when you’re in the mood for a snack.

Tortilla Chips

Better Dips: corn, avocado, black bean salsa

Chips and jarred salsa are as classic a pair as PB and J, but it’s OK to dare to be different. Gather all the cherry tomatoes you can find and pair with sweet corn, zingy red onion, avocado, and cilantro. The addition of black beans essentially means this dip is dinner. So if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to open another bag of chips.

Better Dips: Onion Dip

Onion dip is the spread everyone hates to love. It’s creamy yet slightly salty—and oh so rich. With the help of Greek yogurt and caramelized onions, you can dip with no second-guessing about mysterious ingredients that come in the packaged version. Just don't forget a breath mint.

Better Dips: Pineapple Salsa

Wake up your taste buds with this tart and sweet pineapple-based riff on classic salsa. Chop Roma tomatoes, cilantro, and bell peppers; mix with juicy pineapple; and get dipping. Serve out of a hollowed-out pineapple half if you’re really trying to impress people, but also bowls are fine.

Pita Chips

Better Dips: Coconut Curry Hummus

Basic hummus with pita chips is fine for school lunch, but you’re a grown-up now, you deserve to get a little fancy with your dip. Blend red curry paste and coconut milk into a standard chickpea-lemon-tahini hummus recipe and just see what happens.

Better Dips: Lemon Cauliflower

You swap cauliflower for white potatoes when you mash; you turn the veg into rice twice a week. We get it, you’re a pro. But do you make cauliflower dip? Roast lemons and cauliflower florets, then blend until smooth with tahini, garlic, and olive oil. It’s a bright and tasty new way to dunk your pita chips—you best get on it.

Better Dips: Bean

Bean dip is super similar to hummus, but with a slightly milder flavor. Smear the garlicky mix of white beans, cumin, lemon, and parsley over a pita chip (or even on a sandwich!) for a snacking experience you’ll want to repeat over and over.

Graham Crackers (or Your Finger... )

Better Dips: Cheesecake

If you thought cheesecake couldn’t get any better, you’ve clearly never used it as a dip. This better-for-you dessert option is a mixture of cream cheese and Greek yogurt, with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder for good luck. The powdered sugar is a tasteless way to bring sweetness to the snack, but feel free to swap in maple syrup, agave, or honey.

Better Dips: Cookie Dough

Cookie dough eaters, you know who you are. Ready your spoons, because there’s finally a cookie dough that even your mother would say is OK to eat. This chickpea-based (oh, yeah, that’s right!) dip manages to taste just like chocolate chip cookie dough with the addition of sunflower butter, maple syrup, and a few large handfuls of chocolate. While we love to spread this on graham crackers, we fully understand if you eat it straight out of the bowl.

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