French onion dip is a popular appetizer or snack food made with sour cream or cream cheese and onion soup mix. It has a rich, tangy flavor and creamy texture that pair well with chips, crackers, and raw vegetables. However, traditional French onion dip contains wheat-based ingredients that are not suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Thankfully, there are many delicious gluten-free options for French onion dip so everyone can enjoy this classic party food.
What is French Onion Dip?
French onion dip consists of sour cream or cream cheese combined with French onion soup mix, which provides concentrated onion flavor. The onion soup mix contains dried onions, beef bouillon or stock, salt, sugar, onion powder, and often wheat flour or wheat starch. The wheat-containing ingredients act as thickeners to give the onion soup mix a smooth consistency.
When blended into sour cream or cream cheese, the onion soup mix creates a rich, oniony dip or spread. French onion dip has a tangy, sour cream taste combined with sweet caramelized onion flavors. It has a smooth, creamy texture for dipping chips, pretzels, vegetables, and other snacks.
Why Check for Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and experience digestive symptoms or other health problems after eating it. Even small amounts of gluten from cross-contact can cause issues for those with gluten intolerance.
Many savory packaged foods, such as soup and gravy mixes, contain wheat as a thickening agent. Onion soup and dip mixes commonly include wheat flour, wheat starch, or barley malt extract as ingredients. These wheat-derived additives can make traditional French onion dips unsuitable for people avoiding gluten.
Thankfully, there are many gluten-free alternatives to traditional onion soup and dip mixes. Choosing gluten-free brands or homemade recipes allows everyone to enjoy French onion dip safely.
Gluten-Free Substitutes in Onion Soup Mix
To make gluten-free French onion dip, you need to use an onion soup mix without wheat, barley, or rye ingredients. Here are some common gluten-free substitutes found in packaged gluten-free onion soup mixes:
Rice flour naturally works as a thickener and replaces wheat flour in gluten-free onion soup mixes. Rice flour has a neutral flavor that lets the onion and seasoning flavors shine.
Cornstarch derived from corn acts as a thickening agent instead of wheat flour. It dissolves smoothly into liquids like broth.
Potato starch gives excellent thickness and stability without gluten. It helps make the dipping consistency smooth and creamy.
Xanthan gum is a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking and cooking. This plant-based gum helps replicate the viscosity and thickness of gluten to create an appealing texture.
Like xanthan gum, guar gum serves as a gluten-free thickener and stabilizer in foods. It helps make gluten-free onion dip nicely creamy.
Sorghum is a naturally gluten-free ancient grain. Sorghum flour works well in gluten-free mixes to add body and texture.
Using these alternatives creates gluten-free onion soup mixes with the same satisfying flavors. When combined with sour cream or cream cheese, you can make homemade style French onion dip without gluten.
Gluten-Free Brands of Onion Soup Mix
Many brands now offer gluten-free onion soup mixes that can be used to make French onion dip. Here are some top gluten-free brands to look for:
Edward & Sons
Edward & Sons Gluten Free Onion Soup and Dip Mix is made with potato starch instead of wheat. It contains dried onion, chicken broth powder, sea salt, onion powder, sugar, turmeric, and dehydrated chives.
Hamburger Helper offers a line of gluten-free flavors including their Original Onion French Onion Dip mix. It is thickened with cornstarch and contains whey protein concentrate.
Hormel’s onion dip mix is labeled gluten-free. It is made with corn syrup solids, modified food starch, onion powder, sugar, and natural flavors.
McCormick’s Gluten-Free Onion Dip Mix uses rice flour and potato starch with onion, salt, and natural flavors. Their dip recipes suggest dairy-free alternatives like almond milk yogurt.
Shore Lunch Soup and Dip Mixes include a gluten-free Onion recipe. The dip mix is thickened with cornstarch and potato starch.
The Simply Organic French Onion Dip mix includes organic ingredients like onion, garlic, rice flour, and xanthan gum. It is certified gluten-free.
TruRoots Organic Soup and Dip Mixes feature a gluten-free Onion Dip recipe. It is made with lentil flour and organic spices.
Wyler’s gluten-free Onion Soup & Dip Mix uses cornstarch instead of wheat flour for thickness. It is made with onion, whey, salt, and natural flavors.
These brands offer easy pre-made gluten-free mixes to whip up French onion dip at home. Be sure to check labels since formulations can change. Homemade mixes are another great option.
Homemade Gluten-Free Onion Soup Mixes
Making homemade onion soup mix only takes 5 minutes. You can customize the ingredients to be gluten-free. Here is a basic recipe:
Onion Soup Mix
– 1/4 cup dried minced onion
– 2 tablespoons dried parsley
– 1 tablespoon onion powder
– 1 tablespoon dried chives
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon seasoning salt or celery salt
– 1/2 teaspoon sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
– 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of the homemade mix to make your onion dip. Store extra homemade mixes in an airtight container.
This easy recipe avoids wheat flour and uses potato starch as the thickener instead. You can adjust the flavorings to your tastes by adding extra onion powder, garlic, or herbs.
Gluten-Free French Onion Dip Recipes
Once you have a gluten-free onion soup mix, use it to make delicious French onion dip options. Here are some recipes to try:
Classic French Onion Dip
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1 to 2 tablespoons gluten-free onion soup mix
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt (optional)
– Chopped chives for garnish (optional)
Mix the sour cream and onion soup mix together until smooth and uniform in color. Add garlic powder or salt if desired. Refrigerate dip for at least 30 minutes for flavors to blend. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve with your favorite dippers.
Vegan French Onion Dip
– 1 cup plain vegan yogurt
– 2 to 3 tablespoons gluten-free onion soup mix
– 2 teaspoons lemon juice
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– Finely chopped chives or green onion
Whisk together the yogurt, onion soup mix, lemon juice and salt. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving for best flavor. Garnish with chopped chives or green onion. Enjoy with crackers, chips or fresh vegetables.
Greek Yogurt French Onion Dip
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 3 tablespoons gluten-free onion soup mix
– 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
– 1 small garlic clove, minced
– 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
In a bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, onion soup mix, minced onion, garlic, and chives until fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to let flavors blend. Serve chilled.
Tips for Making Gluten-Free French Onion Dip
Here are some helpful tips for preparing delicious gluten-free French onion dip at home:
– Read labels carefully and look for a “gluten-free” certification on packaged onion soup mixes.
– Double check for any wheat-containing thickeners like flour, starch or maltodextrin in the ingredients list.
– For homemade mixes, use potato starch, rice flour, guar gum or xanthan gum as replacements for wheat flour.
– Allow homemade gluten-free dip mixes to sit for 10 minutes so the starches and gums can fully hydrate and thicken.
– Chill the finished dip well before serving for the best flavor and texture. Overnight is ideal.
– Garnish with extras like chives, parsley, chopped onion, crumbled bacon or shredded cheese.
– Serve with sturdy chips, pretzels or crackers that can scoop up the creamy dip well. Raw veggies also pair nicely.
– For a tangy, Greek yogurt-inspired twist, use plain nonfat Greek yogurt as the base instead of sour cream.
– Vegan and dairy-free dips can be made using plain vegan yogurt, softened cream cheese, bean dip or avocado.
With so many store-bought and homemade gluten-free options for onion soup and dip mixes, anyone can enjoy this classic appetizer regardless of dietary needs. Whip up a batch of gluten-free French onion dip to enjoy at your next game day party or event.
Nutrition Facts for French Onion Dip
French onion dip is traditionally high in calories, fat, and sodium since sour cream and full-fat cream cheese are used as the base along with packaged soup mixes full of salt and flavor enhancers.
However, you can lighten it up by using reduced fat Greek yogurt and lower sodium soup mixes. Here are the nutrition facts for a 2 tablespoon serving of lighter French onion dip:
As you can see, a 2 tablespoon serving provides 60 calories and 3g of protein. Making substitutions with lower fat and lower sodium ingredients reduces the fat, saturated fat, and sodium compared to full-fat sour cream dips.
Homemade gluten-free onion soup mixes allow you to control the amount of added sugar and salt. You can also increase fiber by adding chia seeds or garbanzo bean flour to your own custom mix.
Should You Make Your Own or Buy Gluten-Free Onion Dip Mix?
When preparing gluten-free French onion dip, you have the choice to purchase a pre-made gluten-free onion soup mix or make your own homemade version. There are pros and cons to each option:
Buying Gluten-Free Onion Dip Mix
– Convenient, ready-to-use mixes. Just add sour cream.
– Uniform flavor and consistency.
– Saves time compared to making a homemade mix.
– More expensive than homemade mixes.
– Contains preservatives and anti-caking ingredients.
– Higher sodium content.
– Limited control over ingredients and quality.
Making Homemade Gluten-Free Onion Dip Mix
– Customize ingredients to your dietary needs.
– Avoid preservatives, anti-caking agents and artificial colors.
– Adjust flavor profile and salt content to your taste.
– Cost effective per batch.
– Make in bulk and store extras for later.
– Requires time to assemble ingredients and mix.
– Need right ingredients on hand like onion powder, potato starch, etc.
– Trial and error to perfect flavors and thickness.
– Shorter shelf life than commercial mixes with preservatives.
Overall, homemade gluten-free onion soup mixes provide the most flexibility for special diets and personal preferences. However, pre-made mixes can save time and effort for quick convenience. Evaluate your needs and decide whether a packaged mix or homemade version suits your lifestyle better. Either option can produce delicious gluten-free French onion dip to enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is all French onion dip gluten-free?
No, traditional French onion dip made with regular onion soup mix contains gluten from wheat-based thickeners. You need to use a gluten-free onion soup mix to make sure your dip is gluten-free and safe for those avoiding gluten.
What can I use if I don’t have onion soup mix?
You can make a gluten-free substitute by combining 1/4 cup dried minced onion, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch. Add 2-3 tablespoons of this mix per 1 cup dairy ingredient.
Can I use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream?
Yes, plain Greek yogurt makes an excellent high-protein base for gluten-free French onion dip. The tangy, creamy yogurt pairs well with the onion soup mix flavor.
Is French onion dip healthy?
Traditional French onion dip made with full-fat dairy and packaged soup mixes can be high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. However, you can lighten it up by using reduced fat Greek yogurt and lower sodium homemade soup mixes. Added veggies also boost nutrition.
How long does homemade French onion dip last?
Homemade gluten-free French onion dip will last 3-5 days refrigerated. The high acidity of ingredients like sour cream and yogurt help prevent bacterial growth. Discard any dip that smells odd or develops mold.
French onion dip is a beloved snack food that everyone should be able to enjoy. By selecting gluten-free brands or making your own homemade onion soup mix, you can easily create gluten-free versions of this classic dip. With so many dairy-free alternatives available too, gluten-free French onion dip can be prepared to suit any diet or food preference. Whip up a batch using the recipes and tips in this article to serve at your next party or game day gathering so no one has to miss out on this tasty appetizer. With a few simple substitutions, you can feel confident your homemade gluten-free French onion dip will be a crowd-pleasing hit.