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Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip with Fresh Za’atar

Vegan caramelized onion dip is super creamy, tangy, and deeply flavoured with caramelized onions and a liberal sprinkle of fresh za'atar.
Cuisine Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword apple cider vinegar, caramelized onions, cashews, fall, game day, holiday entertaining, holidays, lemon, sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, winter, za'atar
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 3 cups

Ingredients

DIP

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium cooking onions, sliced into half moons
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus extra
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon tamari soy sauce
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

FOR SERVING

  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • olive oil or chili-infused olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in medium saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions to the pot. You should hear a moderate sizzle. Sauté the onions, stirring often, until they are just starting to soften on the edges. Then, lower the heat slightly. Keep cooking and stirring the onions occasionally until they are golden brown, jammy, and super sweet. This process will take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Add splashes of water if the onions start to dry up/stick. Transfer the caramelized onions to a cutting board and chop them up nice and fine.
  • Drain the cashews and add them to an upright, high speed blender. To the cashews, add the water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. Blend the mixture on high for a full 2 minutes, stopping the motor to scrape down the sides of the blender if necessary. The resulting “sour cream” should be completely smooth.
  • Scrape the cashew sour cream into a medium bowl. To the sour cream, add the chopped up caramelized onions, onion powder, tamari, lots of salt, and pepper. Stir until the dip is evenly mixed. Taste the dip for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Store the dip in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use (and up to 5 days).
  • Make the fresh za’atar. In a small bowl, combine the minced thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  • To serve the vegan caramelized onion dip: scrape the dip out into a shallow serving bowl. Make swoops and swirls with the back of a spoon. Drizzle the top of the dip with olive oil (or chili-infused olive oil). Sprinkle all of the fresh za’atar on top of the dip. Finish with flaky sea salt if you like. Serve the dip with potato chips, cut vegetables, or crackers.

Notes

  • I would recommend making this dip at least one day ahead of time and storing it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The flavour marinates and strengthens as it sits!
  • My favourite pairing for this dip is super classic, super salty potato chips, but fresh cut vegetables or crackers are also great ;)