previous next

9 Hot and Cold Dips for Every Occasion

posted in Appetizers and Snacks by Kathy Maister

Dips are a party delight that everyone seems to love. There are all kinds of dip options to match your taste or diet, and many can be made in advance.

Of course, dip needs something to stick to or sit on, and the choices here are also numerous – chips, crackers, veggies, bread sticks, or toasted pita bread, to give just some of the possibilities.’s Vegetable and Dip Platter video, is a great starting point to learn how to cut vegetables for a party dip platter.

Cold Dips Recipes and Ideas

  1. Shrimp: If you’re looking to keep things healthy and tasty, this recipe can’t be beat. Low-fat cottage cheese substitutes for sour cream, which is usually used in most dips. You can indulge and be kind to your heart.
  2. Onion Dip and Spinach Dip: These classic dips are fabulous for reasons beyond the fact that they are just delicious. They can be made 2 or 3 days in advance of your festivities, and will just get better as they sit in your fridge. On party day they just need to be spooned into serving dishes and enjoyed!
  3. Black Bean: It’s healthy and it’s scrumptious! On a pita or a tortilla chip, this dip is guaranteed to get your party started. Don’t be afraid to spice this one up with a good dose of cayenne pepper.
  4. Guacamole: Be sure to use fresh ripe avocados. If your avocados are really firm, put them in a paper bag with a Granny Smith apple and in just a day or two they should be perfect!
  5. 7 Layer Dip: This dip includes layers of bean dip, avocado, seasoned sour cream, olives, tomatoes, green onions and cheese. Plan to have lots of tortilla chips on hand because guests will want to get to the bottom of it!

Hot Dips Recipes and Ideas

  1. Artichoke: This hot dip could easily be the BIG hit at your next party! It’s rich, creamy and smooth with just the right amount of tangy zip from the canned artichokes. Even people who say they don’t like artichokes, LOVE this dip!
  2. The Best Hot Spinach Dip Ever! Ramona Woo and my sister Marie Woolf, both of Greenville, South Carolina, have figured out the perfect balance of ingredients to make this version of spinach dip a real winner!
  3. Easy Cheesy Salsa Dip: Microwave 16 ounces of shredded Nacho-style cheese and 8 ounces of your favorite salsa together in a microwave-safe bowl on High for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir, and return to High for 3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve corn chips—of course!
  4. Crab Rangoon Bites are easy, delicious and very elegant.  If you are using canned crab meat, be sure to pick through it with your fingers to make sure there are no shells!

Sweet Dips Recipes and Ideas

Keep in mind that dips can be sweet as well as savory.  Fruit Dip made with macaroons can be served in a bowl.

Or—for a really spectacular presentation—cut a whole pineapple in half lengthwise, scoop out the fruit and use the shell for your fruit dip!

Another sweet dip option is my Nutella Dip.

Quick Tip:

If you simply have zero time to make a dip, you still have options. These days, your supermarket has interesting choices that can work in a pinch and still delight your guests. Hummus is popular and comes in interesting flavors — my favorites are red pepper or roasted garlic. You’ll typically find it in the veggie section of the store. Some companies are also making fresh onion dips . But at the end of the day, a simple Mexican salsa with tortilla chips works well, too.

Just be sure to take store-bought dips out of their original packaging and put them in an attractive bowl. Sometimes, presentation is the key to making store-bought taste a bit better.

Heck, you might even fool a few guests, too!

If you are new to startcooking, or are a regular visitor here, please consider subscribing for free.


slackermommy said:

Yum! I love dips. I have an easy olive dip that’s to die for.

Paula from Only Cookware said:

This is a great list for the upcoming holidays. Dips are really an easy way to feed guests.

Kathy Maister said:

Slackermommy-I couldn’t find the olive dip but I did read your saga. Peace be with you.

Paula-I love your site! (Yes, I realize you do sell cookware but…) You provide a TON of excellent information on buying every pot and pan imaginable!

Paula from Only Cookware said:

Thanks so much Kathy! We appreciate the positive feedback. Love your blog by the way – I have been here a few times now and you have some great info.

Ginger baker said:

How to keep fruits such as apples and Bannas from turning dark on fruit tray

startcooking said:

Hi Ginger,
Cut the apples and put them in a bowl of water with the juice on one lemon. Just before serving, drain the apples on a paper towel and them put them on your serving tray. This will help them from turning brown.
They do sell products that you can spray on fruit to keep them from turning brown but I have never used any of them.

Ella said:

I can’t wait to try making these. We always have people over for movies at home and I’ve always wanted to learn how to make guacamole and salsa. Thanks for making it easier.

More content