While staying at Aulani (our time share) in Hawaii this year, I discovered a great new appetizer in their ‘Ōlelo Room. It’s so yummy and can easily be made with the left overs from my Kalua Pig recipe! Hot Caramelized Onion Kalua Pig Dip! Yes, it’s a mouthful, I think I’m calling it, “Pig Dip,” or even,”Pig Out Dip,” for short. They call theirs, Kālua Pork Gratin which is a great name, I just think it needs some explanation because it is to die for! I actually had it twice while we were there!
Here I am at the ‘Ōlelo Room waiting for my appetizer enjoying a Skinny Margarita!
Kalua Pork Au gratin at ‘Ōlelo Room at Aulani. Their appetizer has diced tomatoes on the top and they serve it with Taro bread. So yummy!
Of course the ‘Ōlelo Room version is probably not healthy at all, but hey! I was on vacation! Still tracking mind you (not necessarily staying within my points) but still keeping track of my points, and hiking every day in addition to my 2 mile morning walks.
How I’ve Lightened Up This Appetizer
I wouldn’t necessarily call this Hot Caramelized Onion Kalua Pig Dip aka “Pig Dip,” super healthy but I’ve definitely lightened it up using light sour cream, light mayo and a small amount of oil instead of lots of butter to caramelize the onions. I’m not a big fan of light mayonnaise but the Kalua pork definitely takes that “light” taste away along with the liquid smoke so has a rich taste. This dip is still somewhat of a splurge but at 1 point per tablespoon at least you can track it. It’s great with naan, pita bread (cut into triangles), pita chips, or the Mission street taco tortillas (cut into triangles). For a lower carb option, try apple slices, or the thin pita chips.
Great party dip! Serve it hot or cold!
This recipe makes about 3 cups. It’s a huge hit at a party and no one even suspects you brought a healthier lighter dip. You can make it ahead of time and serve it chilled or make it and bring it hot. Either way it’s great! If you aren’t going to a party, then maybe cut the recipe in half, especially if you are watching calories. It’s so good, you might want to eat the whole pan!
It’s super easy to caramelize onions, but the secret is to take your time and use a stainless steel ( I use a big All Clad pan) or a cast iron pan. Don’t use a non-stick pan as the onions won’t brown as well. Keep reading and check out further down in this post for directions on “How to Caramelize Onions and Make the Dip.”
Do you have to use the Kalua Pork or can you omit it?
No, you don’t have to use the Kalua Pork, if you don’t add it, then it will just be the best caramelized onion dip from scratch recipe ever! But if you can add the pork, it takes the recipe to a whole new level!
How long does homemade onion dip last?
It will keep it up to 4-5 days as long as your pork is freshly cooked and you use fresh light sour cream. I wouldn’t keep it longer because of the pork. Without the pork, maybe a week.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes, you can make it ahead of time. I would probably just make it the day before. You can serve it hot or cold.
How to caramelize onions and make the dip:
It’s easy to caramelize onions and make this Hot Caramelized Onion Kalua Pork recipe.
Add onions, sprinkle with salt and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add a little wine, let it sizzle and cook some more. Scrape the bottom of pan with wooden spoon to get the brown bits. Add a little more wine, let it sizzle and cook some more, then scrape. This should take you about 30 minutes and the onions should turn a deep golden brown. Don’t rush the process, be patient. The onions will caramelize and sweeten. If you run out of wine, you can use a little water to keep the onions from burning.
Mix together sour cream and mayonnaise.
Add in pork, onion mixture, cheese and liquid smoke if desired.
Place mixture in an ungreased 8×8 pan or small baking dishes.
Inspired by my trip to Hawaii, this hot Caramelized Onion Kalua Pig Dip is the best party dip ever! If you love homemade onion dip, you’re going to love this healthier appetizer. It takes onion dip to a new level. Serve it with pita chips, naan and apple slices.
Spray a pan (don’t use non-stick for this one, you want the onions to brown and caramelize) with oil from an olive oil mister and heat on medium high heat.
Add onions. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 15 min.
Add a little wine, let it sizzle. Stir. Keep doing this until the onions are a deep golden brown. This will take about 30 minutes. I always like to taste them, if they are starting to taste sweet, you’re almost there. Take your time, for this recipe depends on the onion caramelization. If the onions start to burn too much, then add a little water. Be sure and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the browned bits. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together sour cream and mayonnaise. Add in pork, onion mixture, and cheese.
Place mixture in an ungreased 8×8 pan or small baking dishes. It’s about 3 cups.
Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes until bubbly.
Enjoy with pita chips, naan, and apple slices. Serve hot or cold.