Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Karen Rankin
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
Yield
Serves 10 (serving size: 1/2 cup dip)

 

This ridiculously-good baked cheese dip is one of test kitchen chef Karen Rankin’s all-time favorite dishes to bring to parties and tailgates. It’s the ultimate oozy-gooey cheese appetizer. As Rankin puts it, the way Swiss cheese, savory bacon, and sweet caramelized onions play together is nothing short of divine. Cream cheese and mayo contribute a necessary touch of creaminess, while scallions and fresh thyme offer a added savory flavor intrigue, and a finishing touch of crispy onions on top delivers a pleasant crunch. Serve with pretzel rods, or other dippers of your choosing, and plan on handing the recipe over to anyone who tries it. Trust us, they’re gonna ask. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons drippings in skillet; discard remaining drippings. Add onions to reserved drippings, and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until onions are very tender and caramelized, 15 to 18 minutes.

Step 2

Stir together Swiss cheese, cream cheese, scallions, mayonnaise, thyme, cayenne, and caramelized onions in a medium bowl. Chop bacon, and add to onion mixture; stir gently to combine all ingredients. 

Step 3

Spoon mixture into a lightly sprayed 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven, until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fried onions; garnish with thyme. Serve hot with crackers and pretzels. 

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