Photo: wiktory/iStock

The Best Thing to Happen to Potato Chips
Sour cream and onion are such a classic combination, we're hesitant to toy with the duo—but a couple of tiny upgrades can take the pairing from good to great. This recipe calls for scallions instead of onions; the nice thing about scallions is that they don't have to cook as long as onions do, so just 15 minutes of roasting renders them sweet. The other transformative ingredients here: sherry vinegar, which lends a subtle zip, and chives, for one more gentle layer of oniony flavor.

Get the recipe: Roasted Scallion and Chive Dip

Photo: Christopher Hawkins

The Southern Seafood Specialty
Don't be scared off by impressive-sounding crab dip: It's actually one of the easiest apps you can make. All you do is stir together lump crabmeat (pick through it first to remove any shells) with mayonnaise and minced onion, green pepper and hard-boiled egg. Serve this old-fashioned dish with crackers, or spoon it into lettuce cups.

Get the recipe: Crab Dip

Photo: Johnny Miller

The Hummus Alternative
Easy and crowd-friendly bean dips are classic appetizers—but you may not have tried making one from cannellini beans. Compared to chickpeas (the main ingredient in hummus), they make for a creamier, less grainy dip, which not only tastes silky smooth but looks lovely, too. The other players in this simple Mediterranean spread are garlic, lemon juice and rosemary, which gives it just a hint of woodsiness. Letting it chill before serving helps the flavors meld and intensify.

Get the recipe: Tuscan White Bean and Rosemary Dip

Photo: Iamthatiam/iStock

The Cheesy Treat Everyone Loves
If you're going to serve a queso dip, we have one word for you: Velveeta. The iconic food's melting capabilities are unparalleled. Combined with sautéed onions, jalapeños, a can of Mexican lager and heavy cream, it's perfection. Just be sure to have plenty of tortilla chips handy for dipping.

Get the recipe: Velveeta Cheese Dip

Photo: Linda Xiao

The Most Refined Way to Snack
Crème fraîche can work wonders on so many dishes, from pasta to crepes—and then there's this rich and savory seafood spread. The soured cream (which is less sour than traditional sour cream) gives the dip a luxurious richness that's an ideal counterpoint to salty smoked trout, tart lemon and lightly sharp shallot. Sprinkle some chives on top for garnish and serve with toast points or crackers.

Get the recipe: Smoked Trout Spread