Zesty Roasted Tomato Ranch Dip

Every year, in the aftermath of my defeat in the Tomato Art Festival recipe contest, I vow I will never enter again. And every year, I enter again.

This year, though, I couldn’t resist. The theme was “dips” (not salsa!), which is something I could easily bring along with me and keep in a cooler while enjoying the festival and not have to worry too much about with plating. But a dip with tomatoes? I don’t really make many dips and when I mentioned it to my husband, he said, “so you’re going to make Ro-Tel and call it a day, right?” Brilliant idea! Except Ro-Tel needs to be warm. Next.

I thought about favorite dips–mine and those of others and there were some recurring ingredients: cream cheese, sour cream, and ranch dressing mix. Those three alone are pretty good, but how to take them to the next level? And be sure that the dip features tomatoes?

I thought about previous years and how I thought I’d just toss in some pork belly just to win and I realized I didn’t have to do that; I could just get the flavor I wanted from roasting the tomatoes and adding smoked paprika. So that’s basically all this dip is. Those first three ranch dip ingredients with roasted tomatoes and paprika. But it’s damn good.

zestytomatoranchdip

I wanted to use fresh tomatoes in this recipe to keep the spirit of the contest, but truth be told, I think you could use a can of already fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Hunt’s and Muir Glen both make them) or even just a can of Ro-Tel and get a great dip that is even easier and quicker than this one is to make. Serve it with tortilla chips as a dip or use as a topping for nachos or enchiladas! But don’t skimp on the smoked paprika. I used a hot version for a great kick. If you don’t have any, add a tiny bit of Liquid Smoke instead (to taste).

Zesty Roasted Tomato Ranch Dip

Ingredients:
4 medium tomatoes (see note for substitution)
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1-ounce package of Hidden Valley “Original Ranch” dip mix
Hot smoked paprika (see note for substitution)

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Chop the tomatoes into one-inch cubes and place onto a lined baking dish or jelly roll pan. Roast until the juice has mostly dried and the tomatoes have some char, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and dip mix in a medium bowl and mix together until smooth. Add about a tablespoon of smoked paprika and stir until combined. Test and add more to taste. Stir in the cooled tomatoes and serve with tortilla chips.

Notes: for an easier and quicker dip, substitute one can (~15 ounces) of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well-drained for the roasted fresh tomatoes. If you don’t have smoked paprika, you can substitute a small (one or two squirts) amount of Liquid Smoke and some chili powder.

By the way, I was once again a…let’s say, “non-winner.” But (also, once again) the competition was fierce from some folks who really brought in some unique flavor combinations and really interesting dips. It’s still a winner as far as Mr. Eats is concerned. :)

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15 Responses to Zesty Roasted Tomato Ranch Dip

  1. alexandra says:

    Bahah. Pork belly. -insert crazy cry-laugh emoji here-

    I’d say sorry you’re a non-winner again, but with a recipe like this I’d rather say “Congrats on your non-winning streak!”. This looks like something I could eat with a spoon. YUM.

  2. Bianca says:

    Tomato Art Festival! That sounds awesome, and that dip sounds like my kind of dip. I could easily veganize it. I even have ranch dressing/dip powder mix at home!

    • Lesley says:

      Yes! I thought about doing a vegan version since the Tofutti products are so good (and with Veganaise instead of sour cream), but I cheaped out. :)

  3. Glenna Gonzales says:

    This sounds wonderful! I have an abundance of tomatoes now, but am seeing signs that I’ll have a week or 2 with none. Think I’ll roast some and save them for when I have none!

  4. great minds think alike! i also entered the competition and made a similar recipe — with a few changes (greek yogurt, no paprika — you can see it on my blog today actually). i also thought of liquid smoke and tried adding a teeny bit to my first test round of dip, but then decided it was too much. i wonder what the winning recipe was like?!

    • Lesley says:

      Ha! Awesome! I added the smoked paprika in hopes that it would make up for the lack of bacon, but then I got judges’ notes that said, “would benefit from bacon.” Yeah, no. :/

      I actually just finished writing up the winners, which should be on the Bites blog (nashvillescene.com/bites) tomorrow.

  5. This one sounds like a winner in my book! I mean you’ve got my core requirements of making delicious eats: cream cheese, sour cream, ranch! I like that you added smoked paprika for something different. I’d love to devour these over some cheese enchiladas!

  6. This sounds fantastic to me, and even though I like bacon, I think this actually sounds better vegetarian than it does with bacon. I bet it’s an awesome dip, or would also be great as a spread on a sandwich. Mmmmm.

    • Lesley says:

      Oooh, what a great idea! Like Leah, I just thought about it for enchiladas, but as a sandwich spread, wow. Though mine would really just have a slice of fresh tomato and some arugula as the only other sandwich elements. :)

  7. amanda says:

    i maintain that any recipe that includes cream cheese = good. and though i love bacon (and could easily make a bacon sandwich with this as a spread), this sounds good as is. maybe we can have a tomato dip get together; my entry was veg*n!

  8. Your dip was delicious! So glad you posted the recipe…and I don’t need bacon with it!

  9. This dip sounds (and looks) pretty awesome and I’m slightly picky when it comes to dips. You can never go wrong with cream cheese and ranch dressing mix! :)

  10. I have a bunch of tomatoes that I need to use up. Definately going to try this out this week. I’m one of -those- ranch people!

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