I Tried All the Dips at Costco — Here’s How They Ranked
Come mid-winter we humans seem to have this innate urge to dip carby products into bowls of creamy, salty, cheesy, or otherwise tasty goodness. Of course this combination is good any time of year, but it does seem that in the weeks around the spectacle that is the Super Bowl, when the nights are long and the days are gray, it becomes especially key. Also, dips just lend themselves to extended grazing and are well-suited to coffee table or kitchen island spreads, whatever the occasion. (You don’t really need us to tell you how great dips are, do you?)
Conveniently right now Costco is ramping up its dip options from the paltry couple or so I saw around the holidays to a solid, varied selection. Enough in fact, that you may have trouble deciding which dip to bring to a party (or to stock your own fridge with for a few days of comfort dipping).
So, always ready to help out Kitchn readers, I signed on to try them all and crown one The Dip.
These shopping trips are always fun, especially when they involve heated discussion like What, exactly, constitutes a dip? A friend tagged along, and helpfully pointed out some goat cheese logs. As much as I would like to taste test these logs, they can’t be dipped with a chip or other vessel, so it failed the Dippable test. Salsa gave me pause, but on reflection, I decided that salsa is its own thing. It may be mixed with other ingredients to make a dip, but is not in and of itself a dip. Whereas both guacamole and the avocado smash I felt met the standards for dip: that they could stand alone and I would scoop them up on a carb (or vegetable, but who are we kidding here?) to convey to my mouth.
These are, of course, purely arbitrary decisions, and you might not agree.
Here, then, are the Costco dips that I evaluated along with my husband (a longtime and fervent fan of dips, with much experience in the realm of foods related to sports-viewing occasions) and a willing neighbor, listed from least to most favorite.
First, a word on the dipping vehicle: I picked up some individual naans at Costco because that seemed the most neutral, yet delicious, carrier. But we also had tortilla chips in the house and made those available too.
Sabra Classic Hummus, $8 for six on-the-go packs
As basic as it gets, poor hummus didn’t stand a chance against the bolder flavors and contrasting textures of the other dips. It’s totally fine, so far as hummus goes, but was nothing special, and certainly not as creamy-silky good as what’s found at any Middle Eastern restaurant I’ve ever had hummus at. (It’s also available in a Costco-sized portion.)
Wholly Guacamole, organic, $14 for 16 single packs
You gotta love a good pun. This is another totally fine, but nothing-to-write-home-about dip. It’s the sort of thing you could just mindlessly eat, which, I guess is kind of the point of party food? I do like that, if you were having a party, you could just put these out and let people take their own (no double-dipping or gross half-broken chip floaters!).
Oasis Naturals Paleo Organic Cashew Dip, $10 for 32 ounces
You know a trend has gone mainstream when it shows up in a tub’o dip at Costco. Paleo fans, rejoice: You can dip to your heart’s content with this gluten-free, vegan, organic container of smoky, heat-laced puréed cashews. This is definitely not your basic dip. All tasters agreed it was yummy – but it might be better as a sauce for cooking. I added a little Greek yogurt (bye bye, Paleo) and the creaminess made it more dip-able, and tamed the heat.
Rojo’s Black Bean & Cotija Cheese 6 Layer Dip, $9 for 44 ounces
This is your dipping classic; nothing to blow anyone away, but nothing to stop you from plowing through it. You’ve got your standard black beans, avocado, salsa, (seasoned) sour cream, cheddar, and cotija cheeses in a nearly three-pound tub. “Best as hangover food,” declared my neighbor.
La Terra Fina Artichoke & Jalapeño Dip, $9 for 31 ounces
This is a jalapeño dip for non-jalapeño fans. Really, it’s a dip for cream cheese fans. That’s the main ingredient in all the La Terra dips, and it sort of overwhelmed the slivers of jalapeño in this tub. To be fair, the package does say mild. It was just a bit too bland for the tasters, although it did carry through with a, well, mild jalapeño aftertaste.
Good Foods Organic Avocado Mash, $13 for 16 singles
Okay, this is the least actual dip-like contender, but when I saw it I had to pit it (haha) against the guac. It’s just what it sounds like: mashed avocado, with just sea salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice. Not everybody likes guacamole (at least they don’t like all versions of it) so this is a nice alternative — just creamy, yummy avocado you don’t have to mash yourself. I think it’s pretty brilliant, and would offer it as a dip, or spread it on (obviously) toast.
La Terra Fina Queso Cheese Dip, $8 for 31 ounces
Umm, note that this is meant to be served warm. I didn’t notice the, like, eight-point-font that said so on top of the tub until I sat down to write this, so we were all sort of like, It’s not really like queso? when we snacked on it right out of the fridge. Even served cold it was quite enjoyable, but obviously it was much nicer warm. Lusciously creamy, but with a nice after-burn, and we all liked the zing. Solid dip choice.
The Winner: La Terra Fina Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip, $8 for 31 ounces
Now we’re talking. You’ve got your creamy, your chunky, your savory, your umami combination of spinach, artichoke, and Parmesan. This is a dip I can get behind. This is what I would hit if I were standing by the dip table at a party, forsaking all other dips. So yes, this is the winner, the only dip you should buy at Costco.
This combination — as with other eternal pairings like chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese — is just an irresistible match. The only thing that would make it better would be to serve it warm with — or better still, heaped in a well carved out of — a loaf of sweet Hawaiian bread. I have, in fact, a Pavlovian response to this idea; at the thought of the combination of sweet, fluffy bread loaded with salty, creamy dip I feel my salivary glands prepare for bliss. (I know from experience that if I start with this combo, it’s not over until every last bit is gone.)
Honestly, any of the three from La Terra would make dippers perfectly happy. And the six-layer one is a classic. But if you want to win at the dip game, definitely make it the spinach-artichoke.
Do you have a favorite dip from Costco? Is it one of these? Discuss in the comments below!