Whether you are hosting a full BBQ or just lounging in the summer sun, it’s nice to have snacks on hand when friends and family come to visit. All you really need to do is arrange a spread of cool dips, provide an assortment of chips, crackers, and bite sized veggies, and everyone is happy.
Here are 5 cool and creamy dips for summer snacking. Forget the regular bowl of guacamole, salsa, or ranch dressing out of a jar. These dips are simple, delicious and just as easy to serve. Each recipe makes about 2 cups of dip, and all ingredients can be found at any grocery store or produce market. Feel free to substitute low-fat or nonfat ingredients where desired.
Cucumber Dill Dip
The epitome of a cool summertime dip. This goes great with pita chips, or as a spread for gyros.
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
6 green onions, white parts only, chopped
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
fresh dill sprigs
salt and pepper to taste
Start by lightly salting and tossing the cucumber in a small bowl, and then refrigerate for one hour. Once chilled, place cucumber on paper towels to dry excess moisture. Return cucumber to bowl, add the onions and set aside.
Blend cream cheese, yogurt and dill in food processor (or blender) until smooth. Transfer blended ingredients to cucumber mixture, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs (if desired) and serve.
Chutney Cheese Spread
This Indian-inspired, spicy cheese spread is great with melba toast or as a dip for sweet bell peppers.
2 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
½ cup mango chutney
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions with tops
3 tablespoons dark raisins, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Blend cream cheese and Cheddar cheese in a food processor (or blender) until smooth. Stir in chutney, green onions, raisins, garlic, curry powder, coriander and ginger. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Once chilled, top spread with peanuts and serve.
Cool Blue Cheese Dip
This cool and creamy cheese spread is a dipping classic. Great with sticks of celery, carrots and snap peas, and is a must for spicy BBQ hot wings.
1-1/2 cups cottage cheese
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese
1 large clove garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 green onions with tops, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
Blend cottage cheese, blue cheese, garlic and lemon juice in food processor (or blender) until smooth. Next, add the green onions, oregano and almonds, and pulse until blended but still chunky. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until chilled and serve.
Creamy Strawberry Dip
This smooth fruit dip is tart and tangy. Serve with an assortment of fresh fruit.
Tip: Chilled and stored in the refrigerator, this dip makes an excellent spread for breakfast bagels and English muffins.
8 ounces fresh or thawed frozen unsweetened strawberries
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh fruit, such as apples, strawberries, pineapple and oranges
Blend strawberries in food processor (or blender) until smooth. Beat cream cheese in separate bowl until smooth, and then stir in sour cream, strawberry purée and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until chilled and serve.
Party Cheese Spread
The life of the party spread. This traditional recipe can be used as a dip for pretty much anything. Tip: The flavor of this dip really comes together when allowed to chill for at least overnight, so plan in advance.
1 cup ricotta cheese
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon hot sauce
Place ricotta cheese and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with mixer until well blended. Stir in all other ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with an assortment of crackers and veggies.
These creamy dip recipes will keep you cool and satisfied all summer long.