This 5-Ingredient Fried Pickle Dip Is Taking Over the Internet—and My Snack Menu

Sorry, queso. You’ve got some serious competition.

When I was a kid, I avoided pickles like I avoided landing on the “Go to Jail” spot on the Monopoly board. In other words, I hid from the tangy, briny bites at all costs. Something about the sour, fermented flavor was just too punchy for my pallet that was far more familiar with chicken tenders and cheesy mac.

Sometime around my mid-20s, though, and conveniently just a few years prior to the start of what is now a full-fledged pickle-palooza in America, I finally tried them again. Something about the approachable nature of cornichons on a charcuterie board lured me in. I’m not exactly sure what changed between my cartoon-watching days and after college, but I finally got why pickled everything was such a big dill. Ahem, deal.

On a mission to make up for lost time, I seek out, occasionally make, and sometimes even special order pickles every which way. Pickled peaches, pickled cherries, pickled carrots; sign me up. And why not dress them up, while we’re at it? Brew pub restaurant menus in my home state of Iowa introduced me to the concept of fried pickles, which is a pretty brilliant invention since the brininess cuts through the richness of the breading.

So of course I swooned when I saw a super-easy creamy pickle dip blowing up on social media earlier this year.

Could this be as incredible as it looks? I ran to ask the test kitchen to investigate.

What is Fried Pickle Dip?

This easy dip recipe appears to have originated with food blogger Madeline Tague, and it continued to pick up steam when fellow blogger and food stylist Meg Quinn shared her variation a few weeks later.

It essentially takes all of the qualities that we crave about fried pickles—the tangy sour pickles, the crunchy breading, and the creamy dipping sauce that’s often served on the side—and mashes that all up together in one no-fryer-required masterpiece.

Test kitchen assistant and recipe developer Catherine Jessee nails it with this description: “Crunchy toasted savory seasoned breadcrumbs and chips [used to scoop] are brightened up by fresh dill to emulate a ‘fried pickle’ exterior. The dip itself is thick yet creamy, easily spreadable, with the aroma of dill throughout from the brine.”

Recipe Tip

No need to feel cemented to the concept of cucumbers. Try another pickled vegetable—or mix multiple— for more textures and flavors.

Fried Pickle Dip Ingredients

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  • Cream cheese: One 8-ounce “brick” of cream cheese does the trick here, and you’ll want to start with it softened so it’s easier to combine with the rest of the pickle dip ingredients. To soften cream cheese, simply transfer it from the refrigerator to your counter (at room temperature) 1 to 2 hours before you plan to start this recipe. If you’re crunched for time, place the cream cheese inside a resealable bag, then fully submerge it in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Or unwrap the cream cheese, pop it inside a microwave-safe vessel, and heat it for 15 to 20 seconds.

  • Sour cream: A two-to-one ratio of cream cheese to sour cream yields a silky texture that’s scoopable and spreadable. Mayonnaise would also work.

  • Drained and chopped dill pickles: We prefer dill over sweet due to the other elements of this dip. Keep that brine (aka pickle juice) handy; we’ll use a splash of that, too.

  • Seasoned panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs): These are lighter and flakier than regular breadcrumbs. We suggest toasting the panko to lend even more flavor to the dip. To toast panko, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 teaspoon of butter. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to coat, then spread the breadcrumbs into an even, thin layer. Lower the heat to low, then allow the breadcrumbs to toast, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Stir and allow them to cook for about 2 minutes more, or until golden brown and fragrant.

  • Chopped fresh dill: This adds a welcome fresh element and really drives home the “dilliness” of the recipe.

  • Wavy potato chips: We recommend rounding up a bag of Ruffles—or dill pickle chips if you want to double down on that flavor—for serving. Save a handful to crush and sprinkle on top of the dip as a garnish.

Recipe Tip

We also enjoy using carrot sticks and cucumber coins to scoop up this pickle dip. Or try it as a sandwich or hamburger spread in place of aioli or mayo!

How to Make Fried Pickle Dip

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

After softening the cream cheese and toasting the panko, this recipe comes together in less than 10 minutes. Yes, really! Then the tough part begins: Waiting for it to chill so we can dive in.

In a medium bowl, use a spatula to combine the cream cheese, sour cream, pickle juice, and most of the chopped pickles until smooth. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap or foil or store it in an airtight container, then chill the dip in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 week if you want to make it ahead.

Before serving, bring the pickle dip to room temp for about 30 minutes to allow it to loosen up. Transfer to a serving bowl and crown your dip with the toasted panko, fresh dill, crushed potato chips, and the rest of the pickles. Devour with potato chips.

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Read the original article on All Recipes.