Cold Dips Every Southerner Should Know for Their Entertaining Repertoire

Smoked-Fish Dip
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

When it comes to hosting a party, every hostess knows that the appetizer course is just as important as the main course. From sausage balls to sliders, there are innumerable appetizer recipes to choose from, but our tried-and-true appetizer is a savory dip. While we're big fans of a warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip, we'd like to make a case for classic cold dip recipes. You truly can't go wrong whipping up any of these dips. They take only a few minutes to make, and some of them can even be made a few days in advance. Whether you're hosting a ladies luncheon and want to have crudités or hosting a tailgate party and need a dip that will keep until you reach your tailgate location, these easy cold dip recipes are sure to impress. We've included a cold crab dip recipe, for all the seafood lovers out there, and a cold spinach dip that's just as good, if not better than, the warm version. What are you waiting for? Dip into one of these recipes and unlock even more hostess potential.

01 of 12

Sweet Pea-Parmesan Dip

Sweet Pea-Parmesan Dip
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Sweet Pea-Parmesan Dip

If there's one thing that Southerners have mastered, it's knowing that cheese makes anything taste better. Transform a frozen bag of peas into a green dip that even the kids will love. Serve with crackers, a toasty baguette, or carrots for a delicious and healthy snack or appetizer.

02 of 12

Smoked-Fish Dip

Smoked-Fish Dip
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

Recipe: Smoked-Fish Dip

This well-rounded dip comes together in just 20 minutes, and like most of the South's favorite dips, it starts with a packet of cream cheese.

03 of 12

Cranberry-Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Recipe: Cranberry-Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

The seasonal flavor of cranberries is always a welcome addition to a holiday appetizer spread. The heat from the jalapeños helps balance the tartness of the berries.

04 of 12

Sweet Onion and Bacon Dip

Sweet Onion and Bacon Dip
Micah A. Leal

Recipe: Sweet Onion and Bacon Dip

Once you make this dip, your guests will request it every time you host an event.

05 of 12

Beet-Goat Cheese Dip

Beet-Goat Cheese Dip
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Beet-Goat Cheese Dip

The earthiness of the beets meets the tang of the cheese to create a dynamic flavor palette in this dip.

06 of 12

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips

Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Creamy Shrimp Dip with Crispy Wonton Chips

Would it truly be an appetizer spread in the south if there wasn't some form of seafood in the mix?

07 of 12

Black-eyed Pea-and-Ham Dip

Black-Eyed Pea-and-Ham Dip
Beth Dreiling

Recipe: Black-eyed Pea-and-Ham Dip

Black-eyed peas and ham are an ingredient match made in heaven. Put both in a dip and you've got an appetizer that will be scooped up in minutes.

08 of 12

Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Homemade ricotta will rock all opinions you had of the store-bought kind.

09 of 12

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Orange-Basil Yogurt Dip

With the way Southerners love congealed salads, this savory, sweet, and tangy dip should be no surprise when included in an appetizer spread. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

10 of 12

Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

Spinach and Vidalia Dip
Greg Dupree Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Spinach-and-Vidalia Dip

This dip can be made up to two days in advance, so you can focus on all your hot foods the day of the tailgate.

11 of 12

Bacon-Cheese Dip

Bacon-Cheese Dip
Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Recipe: Bacon-Cheese Dip

Blue cheese and bacon make for an epic combination in this creamy dip.

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Creamy Crab Dip

Creamy Crab Dip Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Creamy Crab Dip

A nostalgic recipe that's just like the way Mama makes it.

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