Giada’s Onion Dip Will Save Your Sanity on Thanksgiving

Make it ahead so you can feed hungry guests as soon as they walk in the door.

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Appetizers are tricky on Thanksgiving. Of course, you want to have something for your guests to munch on when they arrive, but you don’t want them to get too full for the feast you’ve spent days prepping. Plus, anything that’s not the main event — the turkey and the sides — needs to be unquestionably simple, because let’s be honest: You have no spare time for anything else.

Giada De Laurentiis’ answer to this Turkey Day dilemma is simple: Bacon and Onion Dip, which she prepped in a on-demand class on the Food Network Kitchen app from the set of Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge. "You can make it in advance, leave it out, and then while everybody is sampling and tasting, you can finish up your Thanksgiving dinner," she says. "Plus, it keeps them happy." This is what’s known as a Thanksgiving win-win, because not only will your guests love it — hello, it’s onion dip! With bacon! And chips and veggies for dipping! Yes! — but you’ll be happy too.

The key to Giada’s recipe is fully rendering the bacon and caramelizing the onions. You want the bacon to be nice and crispy — not chewy — and the onions to be soft and golden brown. Giada recommends cooking down the onions with plenty of salt, which she says helps "all of the moisture in the onions come out." This will "tenderize the onion and bring out the sweetness,"she adds. That sweetness pairs perfectly with the smoky-salty flavor of the bacon and creates a deeply savory bite your guests will love.

When it comes to serving the dip, Giada opts for an array of crunchy fixings on the side — she likes pita chips best — but only after it’s chilled for an hour. That time in the fridge lets the flavors marry so the dip becomes cohesive. And it also means you can finish this up well before your guests arrive, giving you time to focus on the rest of your Thanksgiving prep.

If you want to make Giada’s Bacon and Onion Dip — or any of her other go-to recipe for holidays and weeknights alike — you can find it on the all-new Food Network Kitchen app. Sign up and right now you'll get a 90-day free trial. You’ll be able to drop in to Giada’s classes and learn all about cooking quick dishes with big flavors and so much more.

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