French Onion Dip Effortlessly Adds An Explosion Of Flavor To Pasta Salad

pasta salad with peppers served in white bowl
pasta salad with peppers served in white bowl - Svetlana Monyakova/Shutterstock

By itself, pasta doesn't have a strong flavor, and that means pasta salad can sometimes turn out bland depending on your seasonings. Incorporating lots of different herbs and spices or mix-ins like vegetables, cheese, and even throwing in some shrimp, can help give pasta salad some depth of flavor, but the truth is all you really need is French onion dip.

French onion dip is typically served with chips and crackers, and it pairs just as well with raw vegetables as part of a crudite platter. The reason it's so versatile stems from its rich, savory taste, which easily elevates bland, one-dimensional flavors.

Salad dressing is definitely capable of adding a good amount of flavor to a pasta salad, but French onion dip is arguably more effective. Unlike a vinaigrette, for example, which relies on ingredients like oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard, French onion dip often features cooked elements such as roasted garlic and caramelized onions which add a rich, sweet layer of flavor.

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How French Onion Dip Can Transform Pasta Salad

bowl of french onion dip surrounded by green onions
bowl of french onion dip surrounded by green onions - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

French onion dip's ability to transform pasta salad has a lot to do with how much flavor it can add, but it also affects the consistency. French onion dip typically contains ingredients like sour cream, mayonnaise, or yogurt, so it contributes a creamy and rich texture to pasta salad. Some versions, like creamy Italian pasta salad, use mayo to add creaminess but too much mayo tends to have an overpowering flavor. French onion dip however adds creaminess without making everything taste like mayonnaise.

French onion dip's thicker, creamier consistency also allows it to better adhere to the cooked pasta. An oily dressing can easily slip off if you rinse the starches off your pasta beforehand, or even if you dress the pasta after it has already cooled down. French onion dip, however, isn't nearly as slippery as an oil-based dressing is, so it'll cling to the pasta and other ingredients more effectively, ensuring that every bite is flavorful and well-coated.

How Much French Onion Dip Should You Add To Pasta Salad

creamy pasta salad mixed together
creamy pasta salad mixed together - Maren Winter/Shutterstock

Adding French onion dip to pasta salad is a lot like adding dressing. You can realistically eyeball the amount and add more as needed. If you prefer to be precise with it, dip brand Dean's Dips in a TikTok recommended using 16 ounces of French onion dip per pound of pasta. Depending on how thick or thin of a consistency you prefer, you can also thin out your dip with vinegar or leftover pasta water. This technique applies whether you use powdered mix or make your own French onion dip from scratch.

If you opt for the powdered kind, you also have the option of using it like a seasoning, which will impart flavor without adding creaminess. However, since it's a concentrated mix, without the sour cream or mayo it can easily make your pasta salad salty if you add too much. The caramelized onion flavor may not come through as much in your pasta either, but powdered or homemade, it'll still be a tasty upgrade to a traditional pasta salad.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.