Thundering Longhorn Dip with Bacon and Caramelized Onion

Paula: I’m a fair weather sports fan (a couple broad questions about quarterback stats or draft picks would make this painfully clear). But on Sunday, I’ll do couch time with much of America because I love the commercials, the Puppy and Kitten bowl, and especially “game time” snacks. A televised competition (THE BIG GAME!) is a magnificent gateway to spicy wings, nachos for dinner, and rich, creamy dips awaiting crunchy snacks, right?

Scott: We are similar on this point. I am only here for fellowship and snacks and since I am usually the cook, I find myself in and out of the main action all day anyway. I need delicious finger foods to keep my blood sugar and energy levels up until the 4th quarter. Onion dip is definitely my go-to for the Big Game (is it true if you say “SuperBowl” out loud, a man in a suit will appear, steal your party snacks and leave a cease and desist letter in their place?)

Paula: Thundering Longhorn is my go-to for brisket and burgers. But here’s a pre-game tip: the same robust spices that bring out the best in beef, also make the world’s best onion dip. The following recipe is a family favorite (the bowl where friends and relatives inevitably hover), and it’s a snap to prepare. Crisp strips of thick-but bacon, caramelize thinly sliced onions, and stir. For the best flavor and texture, you’ll want to make this at least an hour (or up to three days) in advance. A nice bonus: at kick-off, all you need to do is crack open a beer and a bag of your favorite potato chips.

Thundering Longhorn Dip with Bacon and Caramelized Onion

Makes about 2 ¼ Cups

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Thundering Longhorn beef rub
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Fresh Chives, for garnish
  • Potato chips, crackers or toasted bread, for serving

Cook bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium-low heat until brown and crisp, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. cool. Chop the bacon into small pieces. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat.

Heat the butter, oil, and bacon fat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Thinly slice onions and add them to the skillet, along with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, dark, and sweet. Cool the onions completely (pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process).

In a medium bowl, whisk the mayo, sour cream, Thundering Longhorn, and lemon juice until combined. Fold in the bacon and caramelized onions, transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (or up to 3 days in advance).

Serve with potato chips, crackers, or thin slices of toasted bread.


Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe, and infamous grill nerd and co-owner of PK Grills, Scott Moody.

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