Smoky, tangy, and sweet—it has everything.

By Micah A Leal
January 01, 2020
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Micah A. Leal

Food at a Super Bowl party is just as important as the game. Most likely, you’ve got football enthusiasts sitting next to people who are watching their only game of the year, and the one thing that unites everyone (besides the commercials) is the plates sitting in front of them. This party is the gathering of the year where finger foods and snacks have their moment to shine—and for those of us at Southern Living, we’re convinced that a host is only as good as their snack repertoire. While the genre of food expected at your Super Bowl party is actually pretty diverse, there is one type of food that is a non-negotiable: dips.

Everything from a slow cooker with meaty melted cheese to a simple ranch dressing for veggies, a range of dips for crackers, chips, and other munching things is a downright necessity. And for us, there is one dip that rises above the rest: our Sweet Onion and Bacon Dip. Equal parts smoky, sweet, and tangy—it is the king of all party dips and is the grown-up Southern answer to French Onion Dip. And frankly, if it’s not at your Super Bowl party, we have to inform you that you’re missing something.

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We cook bacon in the oven until it is crisp and browned, remove the bacon to cool, and caramelize onions over low heat in the rendered bacon fat until they’re jammy and incredibly sweet. We use thick-cut, Wright Brand bacon packed with incredible flavor. The fat rendered from this bacon imparts a perfect smoky and rich quality to the sweet caramelized onions. A little garlic and balsamic vinegar are stirred in to further enhance the richness and sweetness of the onions, and all of this is combined with the rest of the ingredients to make a Super Bowl party dip that is just as extravagant as the event itself. The recipe calls for smoked paprika (which is easy to find at your local grocery store), lending a deep smoke flavor that highlights the qualities of the bacon. Chewy pieces of salty bacon are strewn throughout the dip, and after your guests get a few mouthfuls, you might find yourself scrambling to make more at halftime.