June 13, 2013

Homemade French Onion Dip, Copycat Heluva Good (with Dairy Free Option)

 Homemade French Onion Dip, Copycat Heluva Good (with Dairy Free Option)
without gelatin (It does get a little thicker than this after refrigeration)

My sister has been slowly transitioning her family to real food. While she has been eating real food and following a mostly paleo diet for awhile now, her husband has been reluctant to give up certain foods that he loves. One of these things -- Heluva Good® French Onion Dip. I mean, I get it. It's good stuff. It is helluva good. Once I discovered the stuff (through my brother-in-law actually), I ate tubs of it.

But once you learn about real food, you realize just how much non-food ingredients are in our food. Like what's in Heluva Good French Onion Dip (MSGsoybean oil):

Heluva Good dip ingredients (Plus a recipe for a homemade version)
Yes I bought that. And yes, I ate it.

So, my sister asked me if I could recreate her husband's beloved dip. This is my best attempt to do just that. I've eaten lots of chips and dip for the past several weeks. So while I could probably keep making adjustments to this recipe, in my attempt at perfection, this is it. This is good. Really good. Even with veggies. And most importantly, my brother-in-law tested it and approved. He was then seen eating it later, without prompting. Success. Now I'm not saying he will never eat Heluva Good dip again, but if it means he won't eat it as often, then I'm happy (and whether you eat it or not, no judgment here).

I'm including a dairy-free option, but I have to admit that it wasn't my favorite. I don't have a great blender though, so that might be why. I am generally dairy-free, but I don't seem to have issues with grass-fed butter, so I tried this out with a grass-fed sour cream. Use the option that works for you.

 Homemade French Onion Dip, Copycat Heluva Good (with Dairy Free Option)
You don't have to eat this dip with chips...but you can.

One note before I get to the recipe: You don't absolutely need the gelatin (read more about my experience with gelatin here). It doesn't affect the taste of the dip. I used the gelatin to replicate the thicker consistency of some store-bought dips. If you don't mind a thinner dip (depending on your sour cream and mayo consistency) or you just don't consume gelatin, leave it out. And one more thing...don't do this when you are tired. Or at the very least, set a timer while caramelizing your onions. Not that I burned my onions or anything...

If you are new to paleo, this dip is not paleo approved. Primal, yes. But not paleo (unless you make it dairy-free, which you can do). If you are following paleo and not have to be strict for health reasons, choosing to eat dairy occasionally is not a big deal, in my opinion. I choose to use grass-fed sour cream because my skin is significantly affected by conventional dairy products.

Heavenly Good French Onion Dip
(optional dairy free) 

What you need:

1 1/2 cups diced Vidalia or yellow onions (about 1 large or 2 medium onions)
2 tbsp butter or coconut or olive oil
pinch sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 1/4 cups full-fat sour cream *see notes for dairy-free option*
1/4 cup mayonnaise, or more sour cream (how to make your own)
1/4 tsp celery salt (or 1/8 salt and 1/8 celery seed) (DIY celery salt)
1/8 tsp white pepper (black pepper is fine), more to taste
1/8 tsp cumin (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp coconut aminos (or gluten free tamari but you want want to use less salt)

Optional 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin plus 2 tbsp coconut milk

How to make:

Heat butter in a large saute pan over med heat. Add diced onions and pinch of sea salt and stir. Saute for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat lower if needed to prevent onions from burning (I cook mine over low heat). Add a little water to pan if needed to prevent onions from sticking. Cook  for up to an hour if needed to caramelize. Add garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Put sour cream in food processor. Add about a tbsp of the caramelized onions and the parsley to the food processor. Process until smooth. Mix in mayo, coconut aminos, and spices, then stir in the remaining caramelized onions. (See below for adding optional gelatin.) Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate dip for at least 6 hours or overnight for best taste (if you're in a hurry, a few hours is good enough). Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Optional gelatin: This gives the dip a similar thickness to Heluva Good dip. It is not necessary for taste. Without it the dip will be thinner but still tasty. Put coconut milk or water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp gelatin over the top and mix. Put on very low heat until gelatin dissolves completely. Turn off and let sit until just cool to the touch. Add to prepared dip and mix well. Dip should thicken after several hours in the refrigerator. See my post about gelatin HERE.

  • For dairy free: Replace sour cream with cashew sour cream. You can also replace mayo with more cashew sour cream. This wasn't my favorite version, but it did turn out well for when avoiding dairy. For cashew sour cream recipe, go HERE. I suggest using a high speed blender, like a Vitamix. Like me and don't have one of those? Use the best blender or food processor you have. Both of my are cheap so my cashew sour cream was slightly grainy. I'm not an expert on cashew creams, so check out that link.
  • *If you like less chunky dip, add more or all of onions to food processor. If you'd prefer not to or don't have a food processor, you don't have to process the onions. Just mix caramelized onions together with the rest of the ingredients.
  • I get my coconut aminos (and other pantry items) from Vitacost. If you're a new customer, you can save $10 off your first order through my link here.
 Homemade French Onion Dip, Copycat Heluva Good (with Dairy Free Option)
Yes I ate those chips...

If you try this out, let me know what you think!

More recipes that can include gelatin:

Ingredients you might need:

****This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, Livin' the Crunchy Life will receive a very small commission, but your cost will not change. Thank you for supporting my blog!****

1 comment:

  1. Are You Having Problems FOLLOWING with the Paleo Diet?

    Do you want to eat some delicious recipes TONIGHT?

    Get your awesome Paleo Hacks Cookbook.


Search This Blog

To Find Them Any Fresher You Would Have To Grow


ALL content is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your healthcare professional before making any dietary, health, or lifestyle changes.
I receive a very small commission from sales made through affiliate links. I only post links to products/companies I use or would use. Thank you for supporting Livin' the Crunchy Life if you choose to make a purchase through one of these links.

Livin' the Crunchy Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.