6 Savoury Dips that Make the Best Side Dishes

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Updated on February 4, 2024

Reviewed by AFAD Team

Almost no meal now can go without at least one condiment besides the main course, whether this happens to be a drink, an appetiser, a side dish or a dip.

Speaking of dips, in particular, they generally come in two types. The first is the not-very-thick, few-ingredient and super-quick-to-make sauces in which finger foods, such as French fries, chicken nuggets or tenders or raw vegetables, are usually dipped. The other type is the quite-thick, multiple-ingredient dips that take up to an hour to make and are typically served with chips or bread.

In a previous article, we demonstrated 10 tasty dip sauces you can make in under five minutes. Today, we are demonstrating six thick dip recipes that serve as delicious filling snacks to have on a busy day or side dishes to take to your next family gathering. So let’s hop into it.

1. Cheesy Spinach Dip


The first recipe we have here is the richest and cheesiest spinach dip you can ever have, for it uses three different types of cheese. It takes between 30 and 45 minutes to make and can be eaten with fresh vegetables, toasted bread, such as the famous Middle Eastern pita bread, Mexican homemade tortillas, or India‘s naan or chips.

So here is what you need to make it.


  • 200 grams of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 grams of shredded mozzarella
  • 180 grams of cream cheese
  • 30 grams of grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil


Place a cooking pot on medium-high heat then add the olive oil and butter. Stir until the butter melts and add the chopped garlic and onions. Stir fry them until they turn translucent. Add the fresh spinach leaves, then cover the pot and leave it until the leaves wilt and their volume decreases—you can steam the spinach instead of cooking it with oil and butter.

Uncover the pot, stir and mix wilted leaves with the onions and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and a little bit of ground black pepper, then the cream cheese. Mix the ingredients well until the cheese melts. Add some shredded mozzarella cheese and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Add the spinach and cheese mixture to a medium-sized casserole. Add the grated Parmesan and the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top and sprinkle a little bit of chilli. Place the casserole on the middle rack of a preheated oven at 200°C.

Bake the casserole for 25 minutes or until the cheese melts and the top turns golden. Take the cheesy spinach casserole out of the oven and let it cool for five to 10 minutes before serving with bread.

2. Baba Ganoush Dip 


Baba ganoush is the proper name for the famous Middle Eastern eggplant dip, which actually translates to “the spoiled dad”. No one knows where this name precisely came from, but this dip is very popular in all Arab countries. It might not be as smooth or thick as hummus, but it has a unique, rich and smoky taste.

Like all the recipes we have in this article, baba ganoush can be eaten as a side dish with bread or with fried or grilled chicken or meat. In Egypt, this dip is often eaten for breakfast as well.

Given that it is a Middle Eastern dish, this baba ganoush dip uses tahini sauce, or sesame paste, which we hope you can find in your local supermarket. But apart from that, the rest of the ingredients are quite available. The recipe takes around an hour to make, so here it is.


  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 4 tablespoons of tahini sauce
  • 1/4 cup of virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • a little bit of chopped parsley


Preheat your oven to 200°C for around 15 minutes.

Place a sheet of foil on an oven tray. Put the two medium-sized eggplants and poke them with a fork before you place the tray on the middle rack of the oven. Let the eggplants roast for around an hour, then take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Cut each eggplant open and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a strain placed on a bowl and smash it well to squeeze any excess water.

In the food processor, combine the eggplant flesh with olive oil, tahini sauce, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin. Blend all the ingredients well until the mixture becomes smooth.

Place the mixture in a bowl, add around a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle some cumin and some chopped parsley for decoration, and your dip is ready.

Although it is not included in the original recipe, you can blend some regular or Greek yoghurt with your baba ganoush dip to make it more creamy.

3. Rotel Sausage Dip


This is a fantastic, savoury and cheesy American dip recipe that is named after the brand of green chilli and tomatoes used to make it, Rotel. It also uses a special American cheese product called Velveeta. So if you are in the US or can somehow get these ingredients, you will be able to make the original recipe.

If you are anywhere else in the world and cannot get Rotel or the Velveeta cheese, we are going to give you some alternatives which will still produce a pretty distinct dip. Either way, this Rotel sausage dip only takes 15 minutes to make.


  • 500 grams of beef sausage
  • 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green cheese
  • 1 16-ounce block of Velveeta cheese
  • Salt and ground black pepper


Place a large pan on medium-high heat and add the beef sausage. Smash the sausage and stir until it cooks and turns brown.

Add the Rotel can to the sausage. Mix the ingredients well. Cut the Velveeta cheese into small cubes and add them to the mixture in the pan. Stir and mix all the ingredients until the cheese melts and blends with the sausage and tomatoes. Add salt and ground black pepper to your desire. Stir the mixture and bring it to a boil. Then turn off the heat, place the mixture in a bowl, and your tasty American Rotel sausage dip is ready.

You can replace the Velveeta cheese with the same amount of any kind of good-quality cream cheese. The same goes for Rotel. If you cannot find it, 250 grams of tomato cubes and 50 grams of chopped green chilli will do. 

While the easiest and quickest way is to cook this Rotel sausage dip in a pan, the original American recipe uses a crock-pot to simmer the dip over an hour or more to get a more profound taste and let the beef sausage fully cook. So if you have a crock pot and plenty of time, use it when making this recipe.

4. Hormel Chili Cheese Dip


This is another amazing, cheesy and spicy dip recipe from the US that also uses Velveeta cheese and specially produced chilli known as Hormel. This is by far the quickest dip recipe we have today, for it only takes five minutes and is made in the microwave.

Here is what you need to make it.


  • 2 16-ounce blocks of Velveeta cheese
  • 1 can of Hormel Chilli with No Beans
  • Some shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • Some shredded mozzarella cheese


Cut the Velveeta cheese into small cubes, then add them to a large microwave-safe bowl, as well as the Hormel Chilli with No Beans. Microwave the bowl for two minutes, then stir and mix the ingredients and add some shredded cheddar and mozzarella. Microwave the bowl again for three more minutes or until the cheese completely melts, and there you have it, a cheesy Hormel chilli dip to snack on with Doritos.

5. Avocado Jalapeno Dip


This avocado jalapeno is a no-ordinary, extremely delicious and easy-to-make dip that makes a perfect side dish. It is also quite healthy, for it does not use any oils. However, you are going to need a food processor to make it, so here are the ingredients and recipe.


  • 2 fresh avocados
  • 500 grams or two blocks of cream cheese
  • 250 grams of sour cream
  • 400 grams of pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 3 limes 
  • Salt and ground black pepper


Cut the avocados open, scoop out the flesh and place it in the food processor. Cut the cream cheese blocks into small cubes and combine them with the avocados. Add the following to the food processor: the jalapeno peppers, sour cream, two teaspoons of ground black pepper, a pinch of salt, one tablespoon of garlic powder and the cilantro bunch. Finally, squeeze in the three limes.

Blend all the ingredients well until the mixture is smooth. Pour the dip into a bowl, decorate it with tiny cilantro leaves and serve it with pita bread or chips.

6. French Onion Dip


Our last recipe is the famous cheesy French onion dip, which is, in fact, a Californian recipe, unlike what the name suggests. It has a rich taste given by the cream cheese and a sour taste from the mayonnaise and sour cream. It takes only a few minutes to make.


  • Three medium-sized white onions, sliced
  • 120 grams of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder


Place a pan on medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir until it melts, then add the sliced onions, paprika and onion powder. Stir frequently until the onions turn golden and translucent. Move the onions to a bowl and let them cool.

In a larger bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise and mix them either using a spatula or a hand mixer until well blended. Then add the onions and salt to your preference. Mix all together and your dip is ready to go. 

With just a few ingredients, you can easily make any of these incredibly delicious dips that make the best snacks to consume with bread or chips or great side dishes for the next time you invite your friends for dinner at home.

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