I am incapable of having friends over without feeding them in some way. Even if it’s a last minute hang or my friend has somewhere they need to be and can only swing by for a moment, I have to serve something. It’s just who I am. I love to catch up and talk shit with my friends over a little bite. And while sometimes I like to cook elaborately for my pals, other times, I just want to focus on the gossip and keep it simple in the kitchen.
This summer, I’ve been getting into simple chip and dip situations for casual hangs. You can’t go wrong with chips and dip! The following four only require three ingredients a piece and can be whipped up while you’re already delving into whatever hot gay goss you’re dying to talk about. It’s Leo season; lean into chaos.
Here are four easy, breezy summer dips that’ll take your porch/yard/stoop/patio hang to the next level!
Buffalo Bean Dip
1 can of cannellini beans
1/4 cup of buffalo sauce
2 tablespoons of bleu cheese crumbles, plus more for topping
Add beans, sauce, and cheese to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more cheese on top and serve with corn chips (I’m currently obsessed with the Trader Joe’s ones). If you like a thicker dip, strain the liquid from your can of beans before blending. But I like leaving the liquid in, because while it yields a thinner dip, the texture is really smooth, almost fluffy.
Marinara Goat Cheese Dip
24 oz of marinara
8 oz goat cheese log, sliced into circles
4 basil leaves, cut into strips
You’ll need to turn on your oven for this one, but I promise it’s still very simple. Preheat your oven to 350 the second your pals walk through the door, start gossiping, and then before you know it, your oven will be ready to cook up this cheesy dip that’ll make your kitchen smell amazing. You can use store-bought jarred marinara for this bad boy or any leftover homemade marinara you might have in your freezer or fridge. I somehow always have leftover marinara in my freezer/fridge — can anyone relate? That leftover sauce is great for pasta, lasagna, or eggplant parmesan, but it’s also great for a last minute dip. Pour it into an oven-safe dish (I like to use a mini cast iron for this), throw the goat cheese discs in, and bake for just ten to fifteen minutes. If you want to pop the broiler on for a minute to get some toasty browned bits on your cheese, go for it! You can also sub fresh mozzarella for the goat cheese if that’s more your jam (in which case, I definitely recommend finishing off under the broiler). Add the basil strips after you take it out of the oven and serve with a sliced baguette or a thick cracker like the garlic naan ones from Trader Joe’s. It’s like deconstructed pizza, really.
1 can of Fishwife rainbow trout
1 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, chopped or torn
Where my tinned fish heads at! As a reminder, A+ members get 15% off all Fishwife products, a discount I intend to use ASAP for their new sardine release. But my favorite Fishwife offering of the moment is the smoked rainbow trout, which I like to use for this ultra simple fish dip. Just combine the sour cream and trout (plus its oil) in a bowl and then top with dill, and that’s it! It’s definitely the easiest to whip up of all these dips, and I like to serve it with at least two kinds of potato chips. Here, we’ve got a classic Lay’s salt and vinegar (the best salt and vinegar chip if you ask me; fancy brands can’t compare!) and the Trader Joe’s ghost pepper chips that I like for their little kick but also latticed structural integrity! Also, I promise this post is not sponsored by Trader Joe’s; they just have top-notch snacks!
1 can of minced clams
1 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
This is basically a clam version of the trout dip, but I know fancy tinned fish products can be cost prohibitive, and you can find cans of clams at your regular grocery store for a decent price. While I like chopped clams for clam pasta, minced works best for a dip. For this one, you’re going to want to strain the clams first, because while clam juice is tasty, it’ll make your dip too watery. I like to reserve the juice to use in a pasta sauce or as a secret ingredient in my bloody mary mix. Combine the clams and sour cream in a bowl and then top with parsley (or another soft herb of your choosing). This one also works with a variety of potato chips.