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The best kind of dinner is dip for dinner. A lazy, graze-y, satisfyingly snacky dinner that can be all that and a bag of chips. A little of this, a little of that, and little-to-no cooking is required — unless you’re making chicken nuggets to dip in ranch (and you absolutely should).
I’m someone who really knows the dip lifestyle. I’ve been a Dip Queen for decades and quite literally wrote the book on dip — Big Dip Energy, my cookbook out in April 2024 — and always have at least two dips in the fridge at all times, some homemade and some store-bought.
For me, store-bought is more than fine, but not all packaged dips are created equal. I’ve tried at least a few dozen ready-made dips in my lifetime, and reacquainted myself with even more before coming up with this dipfinitive guide to the best dips you can buy on DoorDash for diplivery on dipmand.
What makes a great dip? First off, it has to have the right dipscocity. You should be able to tip your spoon of dip upside-down without it dribbling or dripping; if it does, then it’s a dipping sauce or condiment. A dip should be thicker and creamier, and it should coat whatever you’re dipping into it. It should almost pile on top of a chip as you dip in, and there should be a divot on the just-dipped surface. It should be both good enough to eat on its own (spoon? finger? whatever!) and with a dipper like a chip, veggie, or even a chicken nugget.
I tried 15 different dips for this test — plus my universal dip knowledge from many trials and errors in store-bought dips — and ended up dipscovering seven fantastic dips. Now I present them to you in no particular order, but with clearly defined categories. Let’s dip in, shall we?
Best French Onion Dip: Heluva Good! French Onion Dip
This was my gateway dip when I was a kid. It was the first dip I fell in love with because it is incredibly creamy with a pleasant tang from sour cream that’s mixed with the universally beloved French onion flavor.
It’s great with ridged potato chips (Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream in particular) or veggies. (I like to shave my carrots into veggie ribbons instead of opting for baby carrots, which are so thick that they don’t provide a great dip-to-dipper ratio.)
Best Cheesy Dip: Opaa! Feisty Feta Dip
When you think “cheesy dip,” you may think of queso. But my favorite store-bought cheesy dip is feisty feta! I bought it for the name and judged a dip by its cover — and I’m so glad I did.
It has a burnt orange color that hints at the heat, but I wasn’t prepared for it to be so spicy. This dip kicks you with its feistiness — then the heat lingers on the back of your tongue like the fizz of Pop Rocks. The little bits of feta inside add texture, momentary relief from the heat, and an extra salty pop — like cheese caviar.
The dipscocity here is on the thicker side, so consider using it as a sandwich spread or bagel schmear as well as a dip. You could even add a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley or cilantro and pass it off as homemade. It’s great with naan (especially the Stonefire Original Naan Dippers), veggies, pita (fresh or chips), or pretzels (soft or hard).
Best Queso: Tostitos Salsa con Queso, Medium
Tostitos Salsa con Queso is the easiest-to-find dip on this list. It’s everywhere, and it’s been in my life for decades, thanks to my dad’s love for it. It’s comforting and consistent, with a light pepper-flavored heat. It contains a smattering of vegetables inside that make it more substantial than just melted orange cheese. Tostitos Scoops always scoop up the most queso, so that’s my only pairing suggestion here. Don’t try to stick a carrot stick in here; it will just be sad.
Best Vegan Dip: Bitchin' Sauce Caramelized Onion Dip
The name of this product is confusing (is it a dip or a sauce?!), but its dipscocity, though slightly thinner than average, is thick enough to qualify it as a dip — promise! This caramelized onion vegan wonder is super satisfying and gets its umami richness from almonds. It has a well-rounded depth of flavor that complements raw or cooked veggies and any style of carb dipper. Though it doesn’t taste exactly like slow-cooked caramelized onions, it is flavorful enough to satisfy a French onion soup craving, stat.
Best Guacamole: Yo Quiero Original Guacamole
Yo Quiero Original Guacamole presents a simple and customizable base that has a clean flavor and actual chunks of avocado. It really just tastes like avocado, without any heavy spices. It’s a blank slate that invites creativity: I added minced garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice to zhuzh it up, and admired its fabulous dipscocity that clings and piles on top of a dipper for a great dip-to-dipper ratio. Tostitos Scoops are the best dipper option for guac, but tortilla chips, fresh veggies like bell peppers, and other crispy chips (like Terra Chips, sweet potato chips, or plantain chips) also pair well.
Best Ranch: Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Classic Thick & Creamy Dip
This dip is thick, creamy, and luscious. It has a nice tanginess of buttermilk, gentle garlic-and-herb flavor infused throughout and a hint of sweetness to balance everything out. Any vegetable tastes better dipped in ranch (this kind in particular), and chips, crispy potatoes (french fries or however you like ’em), and potato chips are all fantastic, too.
Best Hot Dip: TGI Friday's Spinach & Artichoke Cheese Dip
I love chain restaurants, and this dip — the only frozen one on the list — tastes exactly like Friday’s in-house version. It’s creamy but not too rich, with a slight elastic cheese pull that isn’t, perhaps, impressive enough to post on your Instagram stories, but satisfying enough to feel like it’s properly cheesy.
It’s spinach-forward in texture and taste, and it’s seasoned so that it complements a chip without being overpoweringly salty. The dipscocity is lovely, piling right onto a chip and staying in place without falling off en route to your mouth. You can either microwave it for a few minutes or slide it into a baking dish and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. The latter will get you a crispy, bubbly top. Naan or pita is great for this dip, but tortilla chips or veggies work just as well, and if you happen to have Wheat Thins around…sleeper dipper hit.
Photographer: Paul Quitoriano
Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros