Ah, summer. BBQs, potlucks, graduations, birthdays, weddings, long weekends, and always more people to feed than expected. Summer is the perfect time to show off your vegan foodie skills, but it’s also a time for relaxing and enjoying the longer days. You don’t want to be in the kitchen thickening or chilling homemade dip. Chances are you also don’t want to be leaving a party to buy more dip. This 3-step cheat-sheet keeps it simple. As long as you have a couple of basic ingredients, you’ve got yourself vegan dip bliss in seconds — literally. I am asked where I “buy” vegan dip all the time. Truth is, I don’t. These three steps will show you why:

1. Vegan Mayo

This is literally the hardest step: find your favorite vegan mayo. If you’re anything like me, this was probably one of the first things you did after going vegan. If you haven’t found your favorite yet or would rather make your own, check out this guide to homemade vegan mayo. Making your own may seem like a hassle better left to the professionals, but the process is easy and budget-friendly. If you have a few extra minutes to spare, making your own is definitely the best way to go. Now that you have your mayo, you’re ready to make dip. Take 1/2 cup and place it into a bowl.

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2. Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar

Most kitchens have a few lemons or a concentrate hanging around. Don’t bother going out to buy apple cider vinegar if you already have lemons — they work great and are much less expensive. Just know that you can substitute the two for a different flavor profile. You’ll find which you prefer with the spice blends, but I recommend lemon juice for Caesar and apple cider vinegar for the spicy option. Whatever you choose though, all you need here is 2 tablespoons of acidic liquid to put directly into the bowl with the vegan mayo. Stir.

3. Spices

Here’s the fun part! The advantage of making your own dip, besides cutting out additives, dyes, and other suspicious ingredients you don’t want or need, is that you get to tailor it to your event. The simplest dip option is to just add a few tablespoons of dill or blue poppy seeds to your bowl and stir. To get more creative, try these easy spice combinations:

Ranch: onion powder, paprika, celery seed, pepper, dill

Spicy: red chilli flakes, paprika

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Tzatziki: cucumber, dill

Caesar: garlic, onion powder, pepper, nutritional yeast

Once you know what spice combinations you prefer, this process is as quick as grabbing some ingredients, a bowl, a spoon, and then stirring. This dip blend works great for veggies and pitas because it is thick from the mayo. It’s even thick enough to handle dipping a deep dish pizza into, trust me. However, if you’re looking for a salad dressing rather than dip, just simply add more lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to thin it out. As a last tip, try this as a sandwich or veggie burger spread.

Image source: Vegan Spinach Dip

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