Dunking veggies into dip can transform bitter or bland vegetables into a deliciously satisfying snack or appetizer. Although most grocery stores have plenty of ready-made dips for sale, making your own can be simple, cheap, and far less time-consuming than you might think. And as a bonus, your homemade dips will taste fresher and more flavorful than any store-bought ones.
This classic Greek yogurt sauce makes a refreshing veggie dip, perfect for hot summer days. Mix your favorite Greek yogurt with olive oil, chopped cucumber, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you want to get crazy, add some dill, mint, smoked paprika, or white wine vinegar.
2. SRIRACHA GREEK YOGURT
For a spicy twist on a classic yogurt-based dip, mix Sriracha (or any hot sauce of your choosing) with Greek yogurt. If you’re a purist, you can stop there, or you can add herbs and spices to achieve a more complex flavor profile. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground cumin, and lime work particularly well with this hot sauce and yogurt combo.
3. BABA GHANOUSH
This Middle Eastern dip is often eaten with pita, but dipping veggies into it tastes just as sumptuous. Mix a well-roasted or broiled eggplant (don’t use the skin) with tahini, salt, pepper, chopped parsley, and lemon juice. You can also mix in minced garlic, mayo, cumin, pine nuts, or olives for variety.
4. BLACK BEAN DIP
In your food processor, purée a can of black beans with minced garlic cloves and cilantro. Then mix salt, onion powder, and cumin to the pureed beans by hand. Depending on how thick you like your dips, you might want to add a splash of water for a thinner consistency. Sprinkle the juice of a lime on top for extra flavor, or add cotija cheese for an extra garnish.
5. MISO TAHINI
Even if you don’t like the taste of miso or tahini individually, you should definitely give miso tahini dip a try. Blending the two yields a dip that’s insanely delicious and magically tastes uniquely different than either of its two ingredients. Purée miso with roughly three times as much tahini (with water), and experiment with adding various extras (like lemon juice and black pepper or tamari and red pepper) based on what your taste buds respond to.
6. CLASSIC RANCH
Ranch is the classic crudité dip for good reason. The creamy, tart consistency pairs well with carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and raw broccoli florets (as well as pizza, chicken wings, and other less healthy options). In a bowl, mix sour cream and mayo with plenty of herbs and spices—salt, pepper, onion powder, chives, and ground parsley work particularly well in ranch. To get more creative, consider adding buttermilk or Worcestershire sauce.
7. BLUE CHEESE DIP
If you’re a fan of smelly, salty cheeses, whip up a blue cheese dip. Mash blue cheese with a mixture of sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, and garlic. Asparagus, cauliflower florets, celery, and bell peppers are good veggies to use as scoopers for blue cheese dip.
8. HONEY MUSTARD
For a sweet and savory dip, look no further than honey mustard. It’s super simple: Combine your favorite mustard with honey and mayo, and try dipping slices of zucchini, radishes, or jicama in it.
9. WHITE BEAN HUMMUS
White bean hummus uses cannellini beans, rather than chickpeas, to provide a creamy consistency and extra dose of protein. In a food processor, purée a can of cannellini beans with tahini, olive oil, a couple of garlic cloves, cumin, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add more or less oil depending on your optimal hummus consistency, and enjoy the dip with crudités. You can also try adding basil or mustard.
10. LEMON PARMESAN
Lemon Parmesan dip can be served warm or at room temperature. For the warm variety, heat up butter and lemon juice in a pan on the stove, and then add grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. For a room temperature dip, mix mayo and mustard (instead of butter), then add grated Parmesan, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.
11. RICOTTA GUACAMOLE
For an extra rich and creamy guacamole, try mixing fresh ricotta cheese into your preferred guac recipe. The interplay between the creamy avocado and slightly sweet, nutty ricotta makes for a pleasing dip for cucumber wedges, carrot sticks, and celery stalks.
All images via iStock.