At a party, it doesn’t matter if you serve crudités, chips, crackers, or crostini—the real stars are the dips. And while we enjoy (OK, we’re obsessed with) hummus and guacamole, they’re a bit predictable.
No matter how much you love them, an entire table of the same dips is boring. The next time there’s a party (and we're even talking solo dance parties here), try one of these recipes for chip partners made with everything from Greek yogurt to goat cheese to roasted vegetables to nuts. With flavorings like caramelized onions, chili flakes, fire-roasted tomatoes, and even chocolate, they’re so good, you and your guests will be tempted to skip the celery sticks and go in with a spoon instead!
Looking for a way to give avocado a little more edge? This creamy spread adds salty feta for just enough bite while lemon juice, scallions, and parsley keep things light. A few pulses in the food processor whips this tasty dip together in a matter of minutes. Minimum effort and maximum results make this recipe a real winner.
For a guacamole that’s truly memorable, try adding a bit of mango. The combination of the juicy fruit and avocado double team it on the vitamin C and fiber, making this one dip that’s as healthful as it is delicious. It might just be the ultimate sweet and savory snack.
There’s nothing worse than buying a whole mess of herbs at the store for a recipe that only uses a teensy bit. The great thing about this recipe is that it works with whatever herbs are on hand—everything from basil to chervil will taste amazing. This dip goes great with tortilla chips, but raw veggies offer a satisfying crunch for even fewer calories.
Avocados usually find themselves swimming in a sea of spicy chilis, but that can be a problem for people who are sensitive to heat. There’s no reason for them to miss out on the deliciousness, though. A creamy blend of avocado, lime, lemon, and orange is a zesty option that won’t leave your mouth feeling like it’s on fire.
For those who can’t make up their minds between guacamole and salsa, this dip is a total winner. A quick roast of tomatillos, onions, garlic, and jalapeños heads to the blender with the avocado for a dip that’s refreshing and creamy at the same time. Plus the tomatillos keep this dish lower in calories than most avocado-based dips.
Take avocado on a trip to the Mediterranean with a blend of garlic, tahini, and basil. It might seem like a curious flavor combination, but one taste will leave you wondering why you’ve never tried it before. It’s super creamy making it a great salad dressing or sauce.
Ranch dressing tastes good on just about anything, which makes it tempting to put it on everything in sight. Unfortunately, most bottled varieties are not the most nutritionally sound condiments. This super-powered ranch is dairy-free and offers healthy fats and potassium, which may help control blood pressure. Just beware of double-dippers because this stuff is good.
If you think you don’t like garlic, we dare you to give roasted cloves a shot. Cooking turns the garlic sweet and mellow, which blends wonderfully with beans and parmesan. This dip tastes so luxurious, you might even want seconds. Just be sure to pop a breath mint after!
We’ve all been there: Some friends decided to have a last minute get-together and they need someone to help out with appetizers. There isn’t enough time to make something fancy, but no one wants a boring cheese platter from the store. Instead of panicking, whip up this dip in the food processor. Made from canned black beans, salsa, and a few spices, even someone with minimal kitchen skills will look like a pro.
For an easy dip that tastes great hot or cold, simmer up a pot of split yellow peas. The peas, herbs, garlic, and scallions simmer together for about an hour before a quick mash with a wooden spoon. No food processor or blender required (but you can purée it if you want to). Full of protein and fiber, this dip works as well for a snack as it does for a simple dinner.
Everyone’s favorite sushi starter gets a facelift in a creamy dip that’s a fresh take on bean dip. Of course you can shell your own soybeans, but it’s way easier to get a little help from the grocery store’s frozen foods section. Though the vibrant green color screams spring, this crudité partner is good any time of the year.
Making hummus at home is easy, but the chickpeas don’t always seem to get as creamy as the stuff from the store. Whirling cannellini beans with lemon, garlic, and a sprinkle of chili flakes makes a flavorful and exceptionally smooth purée—and you likely have most, if not all, the ingredients in your pantry. In the mood for more spice? A little fresh jalapeño or chipotle adds more kick.
Seven-layer dip has to be one of the most delicious party snacks on the planet, but all that cheese and sour cream can be hard to digest. For a vegan version that’s every bit as tasty, this recipe layers homemade refried black beans, a potato layer that tastes just as decadent as queso (really!), and a bit of guacamole. It takes some time to prepare the separate layers, but each step is incredibly easy and you'll end up with a touchdown of a dip.
Black-eyed peas don’t get nearly enough attention these days (especially the ones not associated with Fergie), and that’s a real shame. Full of protein, fiber, and even a decent amount of calcium for healthy bones, these legumes do the body good. Mixing them with corn, tomatoes, and avocado makes a dip that can double as a salad for tomorrow’s lunch. Leftovers never tasted (or looked) so good.
For a little bit of Indian flair, a purée of lentils, tomato paste, and curry powder delivers massive flavor. A food processor does most of the work, so it comes together in a snap. This dip goes great with veggies or crackers, but a little bit of toasted naan keeps the theme going.
Most artichoke dips are loaded with cheese and mayo, making them heavy and not super healthy. A smart swap of white beans keeps things lighter while rosemary and a little pecorino pump up the flavor. It’s one of the tastiest ways to work antioxidant-rich artichokes into your diet.
If there’s a better way to impress guests than by presenting them with a bowl of dip topped with homemade dukkah, then we’d like to hear it. This exotic spice and nut blend comes together in a mortar and pestle (or food processor), which makes it easy—and even fun—to prepare. It also makes a simple yogurt dip simply amazing. Save leftovers of the spice blend to sprinkle on fish, meat, and even steamed veggies.
Crudité platters can be boring, especially with a side of watery dip. Wake up those tired veggies with this yogurt and herb concoction that adds in blended walnuts for additional earthy richness. This recipe is even better when it has time to chill and thicken up, so it’s the perfect make-ahead snack.
Sour cream and onion dip tastes amazing. While it’s easy to make this dip from a boxed mix, those packages often contain lots of added sugars and colors, and naturally a long list of unpronounceable preservatives. We prefer to eat real food. Homemade caramelized onions takes some time, but the flavor cannot be reproduced in a packet. Add Greek yogurt, sour cream, and as much garlic salt as you like, then grab the ridged chips!
No gyro or mezze platter is complete without a little bit of tzatziki, that delicious cucumber and yogurt dressing. Making it at home is as simple as mixing some strained yogurt with diced cucumbers, dill, lemon, and garlic. It goes great with fish and lamb, but it also makes a perfect dip for raw vegetables and some pita.
Creamy spinach dip from a restaurant might taste heavenly, but it usually has just a few flecks of green. Not this jazzed up version. This dip gets a hefty dose of vitamins and fiber from a combo of kale, spinach, carrots, and bell pepper. For even more veggie goodness, serve this dip with celery sticks.
Three ingredients is all it takes to whip up the perfect accompaniment for chicken fingers. Play with different mustards to mix up the flavor, and adjust the honey to your liking. Bonus: Making your own works out to be cheaper than most bottled versions (and this is likely creamier too).
Sour cream dips satisfy the craving for something thick and indulgent, but using Greek yogurt instead provides more protein and makes it even richer. This simple recipe swirls bright cilantro and lime juice into the yogurt for a dip that’s tangy, creamy, and a little bit exotic.
For an easy afternoon snack that’s a delicious departure from the standard hummus, give this ricotta spread a try. A trio of basil, parsley, and oregano tastes even better with a little bit of lemon in this creamy dip. Your veggies won’t know what hit them.
In the world of Mexican dips, there are so many choices. Queso, black bean dip, pico de gallo, and guac are all excellent choices. This recipe is sort basically the ultimate mash-up of all of them in one delicious dip (minus the food coma). And because this dip is so high in protein and fiber, it’s also super satisfying.
Ricotta works its creamy magic in lots of savory dishes like lasagna and pizza, but it also makes a perfect partner for fruit. Blending it with Neufchâtel, pistachios, and a little bit of sugar makes a dip that’s slightly salty, slightly nutty, and similar to cheesecake batter. Go right ahead and lick the bowl.
This tangy, sweet, and savory dip takes vitamin-A-packed pumpkin out of the world of desserts and beverages by combining it with caramelized onions, yogurt, rosemary, and some goat cheese. It goes great with crunchy crackers, but it tastes pretty great all by itself too.
Cottage cheese is the classic, bland diet food—but it doesn’t need to be. Give it a makeover with just grated onion, dill, salt, and pepper, and it might just become your new favorite snack.
Cheesy green chile dip is usually a greasy gut-bomb, but this recipe switches things up to make it healthier. Goat cheese is lower in fat than most other cheeses and packs a ton of flavor. Mix it up with part-skim ricotta and green chiles before sending it on a quick trip to the oven for a snack that’s bubbly, cheesy, and a little bit spicy.
Mint and peas are the dream team of the food world. This recipe blends peas, lemon, mint, and a little tahini for a pretty green purée that tastes like freshness in dip form. Peas out of season? No worries, this works just as well with frozen ones. It should keep for about four days, but we doubt it’ll last that long.
Antioxidant-rich carrots taste great dunked into a bit of creamy blue cheese, but this recipe switches things around by turning carrots into the star of the show. Roasting the carrots brings out the sweetness and blending them with harissa adds some exotic, spicy flair. Who knew humble carrots could be so exciting?
Adopting a Paleo lifestyle means having to give up legumes. That’s not so bad, except it also knocks hummus out of the picture. Not anymore. Blending roasted parsnips with some garlic, cider vinegar, and a little veggie stock makes a spread that looks remarkably like the chickpea dip with a flavor that’s every bit as tasty.
With loads of calcium and vitamin K to support bone health, Swiss chard packs as much flavor as it does nutrition. This recipe combines the wilted greens with cashews, roasted garlic, and a bit of oil for a deeply satisfying and creamy snack. Though it takes a bit of time to prep, the steps are all really easy.
Roasted vegetables are a great side dish any time of the year, but they get completely transformed into a creamy spread with this recipe. The onion, bell pepper, and eggplant (or whatever you have in the fridge) get sweet and toasty in the oven, then blend up with nutty tahini. It’s like mashed cauliflower on crack.
Most dips get their body from sour cream or other dairy products, but there’s no reason vegans should miss out on all of the fun. This dish gets its hearty texture from artichokes and steamed kale, which adds up to lots of good-for-you fiber. Nutritional yeast lends a cheesy bite similar to Parmesan, and roasted garlic gives even more flavor.
For a sweet and savory snack that offers omega-3s from walnuts and antioxidants from beets, pick this purée that's both delicious and healthy. Beets and garlic are roasted and joined by onion and later walnuts in the oven to enhance the flavors of each ingredient. A quick trip to the food processor afterward brings everything together into a beautiful dip.
Roasted red peppers are easy to find in the grocery store, but they’re just as easy to make at home. Loaded with vitamin C, this is good to eat with anything that has beans since the vitamin helps your body absorb iron.
Cilantro plays a crucial role in guacamole and fresh salsa, but it rarely gets its time in the sun. This dip lets the bright flavor of the herb pop by blending it with almonds, green chiles, and some spices. It’s creamy, fresh, and delicious. It might not be a standard Mexican recipe, but maybe it should be.
Cashews are a good source of copper, a trace mineral that keeps our bones, nerves, and immune systems healthy. So whip up this body-boosting dip that’s reminiscent of hummus. It’s great with veggies, whether they’re also raw or cooked.
For the true garlic lover, this purée is the ultimate snack. Whole-wheat bread and walnuts give a hearty texture, while the garlic and lemon juice punch up the flavor. Need more reason to give this pungent dip a try? Garlic may help reduce cholesterol.
Soaked almonds and chipotle chiles make a surprisingly luxurious spread. And the nuts bring vitamin E, magnesium, and iron in addition to protein and fiber. Just like almond butter, you can make this chunky or creamy. Play with the flavor by adding some herbs or roasted vegetables.
Even those who stick to raw foods should get to enjoy a good dip, and this one is packed with good fats and protein to make it really substantial. A combination of almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pine nuts meet up with herbs and a little bit of bell pepper for a quick whizz in the food processor. The slightly cheesy spread also works in filled raw pastas.
Cashews are a go-to to create creamy sauces and dips for those who avoid dairy. Combined with fire-roasted tomatoes, the dip becomes deeply savory and pairs great with veggies, crackers, or pretzels. For even more fire, add in a few fresh chiles or a pinch of cayenne.
Nutella tastes great on everything, but with so much sugar, we’re always looking for alternatives. This mix of cashew butter, dates, and cocoa powder is just as tasty—and it’s naturally sweetened. Other nut butters also work—we think PB is a natural: The dip would be like a peanut butter cup!
Everyone knows that the best part about making chocolate chip cookies is snacking on the dough, but it’s not exactly health food. This genius recipe purées chickpeas with nut butter, oats, and a little bit of brown sugar before folding in the chocolate chips. The finished product looks and tastes just like cookie dough, but offers up more nutrients.
Calm a craving for cheesecake or apple pie with this easy dessert. The sweet purée of applesauce, cottage cheese, and cinnamon comes together in just minutes. Strawberries and apples make great dippers, but try graham crackers to up the cheesecake factor even more.
Nothing showcases the spicy sweetness of cinnamon sugar better than snickerdoodles. Instead of turning on the oven, whip up this dip. Chickpeas and oats replace the usual flour and butter for a base that’s filled with protein and fiber to keep you from getting the munchies later on. You don’t have to tell anyone it’s made out of beans, but you might want to just to see their jaws drop.
One of the most fun desserts of all time is chocolate fondue. Sadly, it’s pretty finicky if you don’t have a fondue pot lying around. For a dessert that’s just as satisfying and a lot less fussy, try this yogurt version. Cayenne is optional, but it adds a hint of spice that goes so well with chocolate. (Why do you think Mexican hot chocolate is so popular?)