The Best Dairy Free French Onion Dip (Vegan)

Our recipe for dairy free French Onion dip is not only dairy free, gluten free, allergy-friendly and vegan, it just tastes so much better than store bought. The key to the perfect onion flavour is including delicious caramelised onions in the mix. Perfect for sharing with friends with food allergies, intolerances and dietary preferences.

Dairy free French onion dip in white bowl with pita crackers with text overlay "allergy-friendly and vegan"

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French onion dip ingredients

You’ve probably heard of French onion dip made by simply mixing a packet of dry French Onion soup mix with cream cheese and/or sour cream. It may be easy, but it’s definitely not allergy-friendly! Making a dairy free French Onion dip from scratch takes a little bit more effort, but it definitely makes up for it in the taste department.

It’s still an easy recipe, but the extra time comes from slowly caramelising fresh onions to give a real burst of flavour.

To make our allergy-friendly version, you’ll need:

  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegan butter or dairy free spread (eg Nuttelex, Earth Balance) or olive oil
  • pinch each of sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 255g (9 oz) dairy free cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup dairy free sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • chopped fresh chives or garlic chives to garnish

Dairy free spread, cream cheese and sour cream

With the increase in dairy free and vegan diet, there are a lot of more dairy food substitutes available. When choosing your dairy free substitutes, just be aware that just because something is labelled “vegan”, doesn’t guarantee that it is dairy free. You can read more in our post Is vegan food always dairy and egg free?

If you have nut allergy, also make sure to check that your dairy substitute doesn’t contain nuts. Cashew nuts and almonds are often used to make a creamy vegan dairy substitutes. And if you need to avoid soy, you may find it harder to find suitable products at the store. Common brands like Tofutti and Sheese contain soy.

For this recipes we used:

  • Nuttelex for our dairy free spread to mimic butter, but you could also use oil;
  • Sheese Original Spread instead of cream cheese. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese is another option. Please note that both of these contain soy; and
  • LoCo Sour Creamy, a dairy and soy free sour cream replacement. This is an Australian plant based sour cream substitute made with coconut cream. Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream is also dairy free, but this contains soy.

These products are all dairy free, gluten free and vegan and don’t contain nuts.

Sheese diary free cream cheese spread and LoCo dairy free Sour Creamy
Dairy free cream cheese and sour cream alternatives

Method

Remove your dairy free cream cheese from the fridge to allow it to soften at room temperature.

How to make dairy free caramelised onions

Most of the time caramelised onions are made by slowly cooking finely sliced onions in butter, sometimes with the addition of oil. Some people add a little sugar to help the process, and some add balsamic vinegar at the end.

For this dip recipe, you’ll need to do things a little differently. Firstly, the onion needs to be diced rather than sliced. No one wants stringy pieces of onion in a dip! Secondly, to make dairy free caramelised onions, you’ll need to used vegan butter or dairy free spread (we use Nuttelex). Or you can use just a good quality olive oil instead.

Peel and dice the onion (medium dice, not too fine). Heat the dairy free spread in a non-stick pan over medium heat and spread to coat the pan evenly. We used our trusty T-fal 8 inch frying pan, which is just the right size.

Add the diced onions to the pan and stir to coat. Spread the onions evenly over the pan to cook, stirring occasionally. You may need to adjust the heat down slightly. The idea is to cook the onions slowly and allow them to brown, but not burn. This process will take a good 30 to 40 minutes, and it is important that you don’t hurry.

After about 15 minutes, add a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper to the onions and mix. Continue to stir occasionally while the onions caramelise. If you find that the onions are drying out or sticking too much, add a very small amount of water to the pan. You can do this at any time while the onions are cooking.

After another 15 minutes – when the onions are nicely browned – add the balsamic vinegar and stir for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Mixing diary free caramelised onions in a non stick saucepan with a  wooden spatula
Diary-free caramelised onions

Putting all the dip ingredients together

Scoop the dairy free cream cheese into a small mixing bowl. Add the sour cream to the bowl and stir to combine. Then add the gluten free soy sauce and stir well again.

Sprinkle the onion and garlic powders over the mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.

Finally, add the cooled caramelised onions and stir through.

Spoon your finished dip into your favourite serving dish and sprinkle with freshly cut chives (or garlic chives) to garnish.

Serve with your choice of gluten free crackers, crisps/chips or carrot and celery sticks to dip.

This dairy free French onion dip will keep in an air tight container for 5 days.

#Tip: For even better flavour, prepare ahead and leave the dip overnight in the fridge before serving

Dairy free French onion dip in white bowl with pita crackers

More allergy-friendly recipes

Making a dips platter to share with friends or family? You might also like to make our sesame free hummus without tahini.

You’ll also find lots more dairy free and allergy-friendly recipes on our recipe page.

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diary free fench onion dip in white bowl with crackers

The Best Dairy Free French Onion Dip (Vegan)

Allergy Spot
Creamy dairy, egg, nut and gluten free French Onion Dip made with caramelised onions.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Australian
Servings 8
Calories 142 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 Sharp knife
  • 1 Small (9 inch) non stick fry pan
  • 1 wooden spoon or spatula
  • 1 small mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium brown or yellow onion
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan butter or dairy free spread (eg Nuttelex) or olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 255 g (9 oz) dairy free cream cheese spread (eg Tofutti or Sheese)
  • 1/2 cup dairy free sour cream (eg Tofutti or LoCo)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce (or coconut amines)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly chopped chives or garlic chives to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Remove the dairy free cream cheese from the fridge to allow it to soften at room temperature.
  • Peel and dice the onion (medium dice, not too fine).
  • Heat the dairy free spread in a small (9 inch) non-stick pan over medium heat and spread to coat the pan evenly.
  • Add the diced onions to the pan and stir to coat. Spread the onions evenly over the pan to cook, stirring occasionally. You may need to adjust the heat down slightly. The idea is to slowly cook the onions and allow them to brown, but not burn. This process will take a good 30 to 40 minutes, and it is important that you don't hurry.
  • After about 15 minutes, add a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper to the onions and mix. Continue to stir occasionally while the onions caramelise. If you find that the onions are drying out or sticking too much, add a very small amount of water to the pan. You can do this at any time while the onions are cooking.
  • After another 15 minutes – when the onions are nicely browned – add the balsamic vinegar and stir for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Scoop the dairy free cream cheese into a small mixing bowl. Add the sour cream to the bowl and stir to combine. Then add the gluten free soy sauce and stir well again.
  • Sprinkle the onion and garlic powders over the mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Add the cooled caramelised onions and stir through.
  • Transfer the finished dip into your favourite serving dish and sprinkle with freshly cut chives (or garlic chives) to garnish.
  • Serve with your choice of gluten free crackers, crisps/chips or carrot and celery sticks to dip.

Notes

This dairy free French onion dip will keep in an air tight container for 5 days.
For even better flavour, prepare ahead and leave the dip overnight in the fridge before serving.
Keyword allergy-friendly, dairy free, dip, easy, egg free, gluten free, nut free, sesame free, vegan

This Post Has One Comment

  1. leena

    5 stars
    This looks incredible! This would go brilliantly with nachos too as a dip or even a pizza dip!

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