This is an easy 4-ingredient white cheddar and red onion dip lots of my midwestern family and friends make. The other ingredients are mayonnaise and raspberry preserves on top… that’s it! It’s deliciously savory and sweet.
Ideal as a no-bake appetizer, this dip is simple to prepare for your next social gathering or casual snack at home. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but the longer it sets, the more the flavors develop and meld.
Use these steps to make white cheddar red onion dip. Be sure to read the tips to make this turn out perfectly every time.
White Cheddar and Red Onion Dip Recipe
This no-bake dip combines the sharp, creamy notes of white cheddar cheese with the tangy bite of red onion. Mayo keeps it together. It’s topped with raspberry preserves. I think raspberry tastes best but you can use strawberry preserves as well. Use whatever you have.
You can use orange cheddar cheese if you don’t have white cheddar. The difference is the color. Food companies dye it orange; that’s the only difference. I like how the white cheese looks with the red preserves but it’s only aesthetics.
If you are using a food processor to shred the cheese and dice the onion, it will only take about 5 minutes to prep. You combine the cheese and onion, add mayo, and refrigerate.
Ingredients for White Cheddar Red Onion Dip
- 8 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 3 – 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Approx ¼ cup of cold raspberry preserves
- Ability to shred cheese if you don’t buy it shredded: grater, food processor, mandoline
- Cutting board
- Mixing spoon
- Measuring spoon or regular spoon
- Medium size bowl
- Serving plate
- Knife to spread preserves
How to Make White Cheddar and Red Onion Dip
- Add shredded white cheddar cheese to medium bowl. Shred if not already shredded.
- Dice onion. Pat dry with paper towel. Add to cheese. Stir to combine.
- Spoon in 2 – 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and combine. Consistency should be thick. Add another spoon of mayo if necessary
- Scoop out dip onto serving plate. Shape into a circle or any shape so it’s at least an inch thick. You can make it thicker or flatter.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If it’s thicker, refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from fridge and top with preserves. Spread so the top of the dip is covered.
- Using a high-quality cheddar that’s been aged will enhance the flavor. I buy aged cheddar from Costco. However, when I buy it from my local grocery store, I mostly use the Lucerne White Cheddar Cheese when it’s on sale.
- Remove excess moisture from the onion with a tea towel or paper towel. Pat to dry before mixing with the cheese.
- Be sure to chill the dip for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.
- I chill the shaped dip on the plate I want to serve it on so that I don’t have to transfer it. However, you can store it in any covered container.
- Add the preserves after the dip has set in the refrigerator.
- Serve it cold.
Tips for Buying White Cheddar Cheese
I buy white cheddar cheese in blocks when it’s on sale. It’s easy to shred cheese in a high-performance food processor or box grater. I have a Vitamix which makes it easy. I think it’s best to use block cheddar cheese and shred it yourself vs buying already-shredded cheese. However, you can use white cheddar that’s pre-shredded.
Using aged white cheddar will be more flavorful than using the store brand cheddar; however, I think it still tastes great.
Tips for Dicing the Onion
Use a fresh red onion instead of a pre-chopped, packaged red onion. I’ve only ever made this dip with red onion. After I blend up the cheese, I take the onion skin off and chop the ends. Then I chop it into several pieces, and put it in the food processor to chop. You can also dice it by hand or use a mandoline.
It’s important to finely chop the onion. After it’s diced, pat it dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture so the dip isn’t watery.
Tips for Using Preserves on Top
You can use marmalade, jelly, jam, or preserves. I think it tastes best with cold raspberry preserves. Strawberry preserves are also good. Use whatever you have. I think the red preserves make an appetizing presentation. It’s best to refrigerate the preserves so they are cold when you put them on the cheddar onion dip.
You can serve this cold white cheddar and onion dip with anything you would scoop dip with. Some ideas:
- Pita bread
- Tortillas, tortilla chips
- Naan bread
- Gluten free crackers
- Sliced cucumbers, peppers
- Sliced apples
- Once I sliced strawberries and used them to scoop it.
You can use vegetables such as celery and carrots as well. I’ve never tried it with broccoli or cauliflower. I do think crackers are best. I like the crunch combined with the savory dip and sweet preserves. Serve this on a colorful plate surrounded by crackers or bread or on its own with the crackers on the side.
If making it for yourself, you may just start digging in with a spoon– it’s that good! It’s meant to be a dip but if you are making this for yourself, you can put it on spring mix for a salad too.
Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing this dip. The cheese and mayo won’t hold their consistency to keep the dip the way it’s meant to be eaten.
How to Shred Cheese for White Cheddar Red Onion Dip
Here are some options for shredding cheese at home. The easiest is a food processor. Regardless of how you do it, it’s easier to shred cheese when it’s cold. Keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to shred it.
I love putting chunks of cheese in my Vitamix. It chops it well. If you have a shredding attachment for your food processor, that would be even better because it would actually come out shredded instead of chopped.
The most traditional method of shredding cheese, a box grater provides different sizes of shredding options. The larger holes typically yield the best results for a dip. I have shredded cheese this way, and it works great. Just like with the food processor, you will have to deal with cleaning the box grater.
Vegetable peeler aka potato peeler
I have a Faberware Euro Peeler. It’s a hand potato peeler that’s sturdy. I think it works well to slice a block of cheese. If I were using a peeler for this red onion white cheddar dip recipe, I would take the slices and then chop them so they are smaller.
While typically used for slicing, a cheese plane can also create nice shreds if you use a bit more force. This method is best for hard cheeses.
Similar to a cheese plane, a mandoline slicer can be used to shred cheese. Be sure to use the safety guard to protect your fingers.
This tool will create very fine shreds of cheese. While not the first choice for this particular dip, it could be used in a pinch.
You can also use a sharp knife to finely chop the cheese into small pieces. This method requires more effort and the result won’t be exactly like shreds, but it will work for the dip.
Advantages of Shredding Your Own Cheese
While it may seem convenient to reach for a bag of pre-shredded cheese at the grocery store, there are some significant benefits to purchasing block cheese and shredding it yourself at home. I am using the term “shredding” loosely here as my food processor processes it into crumbles. Whether shredded, in crumbles, or grated, all work well for this cheese dip recipe.
Better flavor and texture: Block cheese tends to have a fresher and more pronounced flavor. It’s ideal for recipes like this white cheddar and red onion dip.
No additives: Pre-shredded cheese often contains additives like potato starch and cellulose to prevent the shreds from clumping together in the bag.
Cost effective: Ounce for ounce, block cheese is often cheaper than pre-shredded cheese. If you’re on a budget, shredding your own cheese can help save a few pennies.
Versatility: When you have a block of cheese, you can shred it, slice it, or cube it, making it more versatile in the kitchen.
Substitutions for White Cheddar Cheese
If you don’t have white cheddar cheese, you can substitute with other options. Some substitutes for white cheddar cheese are: yellow cheddar, Cantal cheese, edam, gouda, Gruyére, colby, and brick cheese.
Why I Think This is the Best White Cheddar and Red Onion Dip
- It’s delicious.
- This dip only uses 4 ingredients.
- It’s a great way to use up a red onion.
- You can use already-shredded cheese or shred it yourself.
- It’s very easy to make.
- It is a quick dip that doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time.
- You don’t need to cook or bake it.
What type of white cheddar should I use for this dip?
For the best flavor, use a good-quality, mature white cheddar. This will give your dip a rich and creamy taste. I usually use whatever is on sale at my grocery store. When I go to Costco, I’ll often buy their block white cheddar.
Can you use orange cheddar cheese in this recipe instead of white cheddar cheese?
Yes, you can use orange cheddar cheese instead of white cheddar to make this cheddar and red onion dip. The main difference between the two is the color, which comes from a dye added to the orange cheddar.
The flavor will be very similar, especially if you choose an orange cheddar of similar maturity to the white cheddar suggested in the recipe. However, using orange cheddar will slightly alter the final color of your dip.
Can I use a different type of onion?
Yes, you can, but a red onion will provide a unique flavor that works well with the white cheddar. If you prefer a milder onion flavor, you could use a sweet or yellow onion.
How long should I chill white cheddar and red onion dip before serving?
Chill the dip for at least one hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together. If you can chill it longer or overnight, do so.
Can I make this dip ahead of time?
Yes, this dip tastes even better when made a day in advance. Just cover and refrigerate it. You can top it with preserves just before serving.
How long does this dip last in the refrigerator?
Eat the dip within 3 days for the best flavor and freshness.
Can I freeze the dip?
No, I do not recommend freezing white cheddar and red onion dip because the mayonnaise and cheese will likely separate when thawed. It will become watery.
Can I use low-fat mayonnaise in this recipe?
Yes, you can use low-fat mayonnaise. However, it may alter the richness and creaminess of the dip.
Can I add other ingredients to white cheddar and red onion dip?
Yes, this recipe is very versatile. You can add other ingredients like chopped bacon, diced jalapenos, or chopped fresh herbs for added flavor.
What can I serve with cheese onion dip?
This dip pairs well with a variety of dippables such as crackers, tortilla chips, sliced baguette, and raw vegetables like carrots, celery, or bell peppers.
Can I use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe?
Pre-shredded cheese can save time, and you can use it, but I don’t recommend it for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese often has additives to prevent clumping which can affect the texture and flavor of the dip. Shredding the cheese from a block will provide the best results.
No-Cook Cheddar Red Onion Dip
Even though this recipe calls for a whole red onion, it’s not overpowering at all. Your family and guests may not even know they are eating onions. Once, at a family party, many of the guests thought they were eating a crab dip. It’s creamy and delicious. You won’t taste the onion when it’s chopped finely.
I hope you enjoy making this 4-ingredient dip. It’s so simple. I like that I can make it the day before I have company over. Making foods from scratch gets easier the more you do it. Please check out some of my other recipes.
White cheddar and red onion dip recipe’s featured image: My own
White Cheddar and Red Onion Dip
- Grater, food processor, etc. to shred cheese
- Cutting board
- Mixing spoon
- Measuring spoon or regular spoon
- Medium size bowl
- Serving plate
- Knife to spread preserves
- 8 oz white cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 3 - 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Approx ¼ cup of cold raspberry preserves or strawberry preserves
- Shred white cheddar cheese, and pour in medium bowl.
- Dice onion. Pat dry with paper towel. Add to cheese, and combine.
- Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and combine. Consistency should be thick. Add another spoon of mayo if necessary.
- Scoop dip onto plate or container. Shape so it's at least an inch thick. You can make it thicker or flatter.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If it's thicker, refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from fridge. Spread preserves on top.
- Serve with crackers, sliced bread, sliced vegetables, etc.
- Pat onion with paper towel to remove moisture before adding with the cheese.
- The dip must be chilled for a minimum of one hour. Chilling it for several hours or overnight is best.
- Use cold raspberry preserves. Add the preserves after the dip has set in the refrigerator.
- Serve this cheddar onion dip cold.