Tired of the same boring dips? This exciting bacon dip is loaded with the smoky flavor of crisp bacon mingling with the sweetness of preserves penetrating each creamy bite. This appetizer is inspired by my bacon jam recipe but adds cream cheese to transform it into a worthy party dip.
What is bacon dip?
Most bacon dips are a fairly simple cream cheese-based dip that combines crumbled bacon with sour cream and melted cheddar cheese. This bacon dip recipe takes a completely different direction, creating a lively flavor I promise you have never experienced in a traditional dip before.
Like the more common dips, my recipe calls for cream cheese and bacon, but what really wakes up the flavor is the sweetness of apricot preserves balanced with the acidity of apple cider vinegar! Admittedly, I am confident some of you question whether the flavor of apricots will taste downright "weird"... However, I beg you not to knock it until you try it!
Bacon - I recommend regular cut bacon, rather than thick-cut, but either will work.
Cream cheese - This adds creaminess to the dip.
Apricot Preserves - You will find this by the other jellies and jams in the grocery store.
Apple Cider Vinegar - The acidity add balance to the sweetness of the preserves.
Shallot - This adds flavor and texture to the dip.
How to make it
Begin by crisping your bacon in a large skillet. I prefer to cut my bacon into one inch, or smaller pieces prior to crisping, it helps everything cook more evenly.
Once the bacon is cooked, drain out the fat, reserving one tablespoon in the pan, and add the chopped shallot. Cook the shallot until tender, then deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar. Loosen up any burnt on fond from the bottom of the pan then add apricot preserves, and reserved bacon back into the pan. Stir to combine.
Everything now just needs to be combined with the cream cheese. However, rather than just dumping it all together, I recommend tempering the cream cheese to ensure no curdling takes place. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave until soft, then ladle the bacon mixture into it a couple of spoon fulls at a time. Mix together to fully incorporate before adding more and repeat.
How to serve it
This dip needs to be served warm. When it is warm it is creamier and easier to dip. You can serve it immediately after making.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes! This is actually a great dip to save you time by making in advance. Not only does it store well for days in your refrigerator, but the flavor will also continue to improve as it melds. It needs to be stored in an airtight container though to avoid picking up off-flavors from the fridge.
What to serve with the dip?
Bagel chips or hearty crackers are my top choices to serve with this dip. Alternatively, you could also serve this on a toasted baguette as well.
Want to customize this recipe?
Here are some ways you can customize this recipe to fit your preferences.
- Hot sauce - Add some heat to this dip with a fruity flavored hot sauce, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Substitute preserves - If apricot is not your flavor of choice, experiment with others such as orange.
- Substitute onions - Replace the shallots with a sweet onion. Alternatively, add caramelized onion for additional flavor.
- Sour cream - If you want the dip to have a lighter texture, add ¼ - ½ cup of sour cream.
Sweet and Smoky Bacon Dip
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease
- ½ cup finely chopped Shallots (approximately 1 shallot)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- bagel chips or crackers.
- Cut bacon into one inch, or smaller, pieces and cook in a large skillet until crisp.
- Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and pour out the bacon grease, reserving 1 tablespoon of grease in the skillet.
- Add the shallots to the pan and cook in the reserved bacon grease over medium heat until tender.
- Add apple cider vinegar to the pan and deglaze any burnt on fond from the bottom of the pan by scraping it with a wooden spoon.
- Remove the pan from heat, add apricot preserves to the pan along with the cooked bacon and mix together.
- Heat cream cheese in the microwave until softened (30-60 seconds).
- Ladle a couple spoonfuls of the bacon mixture into the cream cheese and stir to combine. Repeat until all of the bacon mixture has been added. Doing it in steps like this prevents curdling.
- Serve warm with bagel chips or crackers.