Who doesn't love a good dip? Speedy to prepare and easy to eat, you could wow guests with a kaleidoscopic platter of crudites, serve a spicy salsa with an overflowing bowl of tortilla chips, or simply whip up a foolproof batch of homemade houmous.
Whether you're hankering for a pre-dinner snack, packing the kids' lunchboxes or throwing a summer party, we've got a dip for the occasion. Here are our favourite recipes to pair with veggies, pitta, crisps, breadsticks or crackers...
baba ganoush dip
This delicious Middle Eastern dip is deceptively simple to make – roasted aubergine is scooped into a food processor along with tahini, olive oil, lemon, mint and parsley, and seasoned with cumin and black pepper. Take it to the next level by scattering gleaming pomegranate seeds over the top.
Pre-cooked beetroot is a brilliant ingredient to have up your sleeve. Not only does it add some sophisticated and earthy sweetness to this classic houmous recipe, but it also turns it a brilliant, vivid pink! Great for fussy eaters, this magenta wonder is sure to capture kids' attention.
zingy peach salsa
This juicy salsa is the perfect seasonal summer dip – not to mention a fantastic way to use up overripe peaches! Mixed with fiery chilly, fresh coriander, mint and lime juice, it would work brilliantly as a BBQ relish too.
Crushed pea & feta dip
This super herby dip is packed with fresh mint, basil and dill, and garden peas. Feta adds bold flavour, while flaked almonds bring some extra texture that makes this green wonder feel seriously grown up. Pair with breadsticks or toasted batons of sourdough loaf for a glorious, green appetiser that pays homage to British summertime flavours.
roasted red pepper houmous
That's right, another houmous recipe! This one calls for grilled red peppers, which add a smoky flavour to chickpeas and tahini. Seasoned with a spicy mix of cumin, ground coriander and cumin, this roast red pepper houmous is extra-tasty garnished with crumbled feta and fresh, chopped parsley.
Roasted carrot & yogurt dip
Middle-Eastern spices and carrots work surprisingly well together. We love experimenting with earthy flavours like cumin and sumac and sweet, orange carrots. In this roasted carrot and yogurt dip, the veg is roasted with garlic, cumin, coriander and sweet and spicy harissa before it's blended down with Greek-style yogurt and pine nuts for a super silky dip that goes brilliantly with celery and red pepper sticks.
You can't go wrong with a big bowl of creamy tzatziki. The main trick with this recipe is to deseed the cucumber and remove as much moisture as possible before adding it to the yogurt – then simply season with as much mint, garlic and black pepper as you prefer, and you're good to go! We like to serve this with warm, crisp pitta, flatbreads or crunchy veg.
Garlic & herb white bean dip
Garlic mayo makes a brilliant accompaniment for dipping pizza crusts or chips. This version made with butterbeans is not only lower in fat than its mayo version (ours has only 0.1g of saturated fat per serving!) but it's also much more filling. Partner with everything from handcut chips to crisps or carrot sticks for an ultra-luxe nibbles option that feels a little bit naughty.