A good chip-and-dip is practically a requirement for any casual social gathering. And while you could grab a bag of chips, a jar of salsa and call it a day, we’re suggesting you go DIY — with a few homemade ideas, from our archives.

Veggie Buffalo Spread, pictured above. It tastes similar to Buffalo wings, but in a fresh, crunchy way. The base layer has cream cheese, blue cheese dressing, crumbled blue cheese and a generous drizzle of Buffalo sauce; it’s all topped with finely chopped vegetables (use a food processor if you have one!). Celery sticks make a great dip vehicle; crackers and pita chips are great, too.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

George’s Crab Dip. This is creamy, warm and faintly tomato-y, thanks to the use of Old Bay bloody mary mix. If you can’t find the specific brand of mix, use your favorite — but do be sure to add Old Bay seasoning. If we were really trying to up the ante, we’d serve this dip with some good ol’ bloody marys.



(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Warm Chipotle Black Bean Dip. Here, canned black beans are enlivened with onion, cumin and coriander, while a canned chipotle en adobo adds smoky spice. Shredded Monterey Jack cheese goes on top — which gets nice and bubbly in the oven while you bust open a bag of tortilla chips and slice up celery, radishes or jicama for dipping. (Did we mention this was a healthful recipe?)



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Cauliflower and Apples With Thai Almond Butter Sauce. This is such a simple blend of ingredients that we’re a little sad we didn’t think of it first. The almond butter dip gets a kick from Thai red curry paste; a little coconut milk makes it creamy without using dairy. The recipe calls for coconut aminos and monk fruit extract — if you don’t have ’em, feel free to substitute with low-sodium soy sauce plus a drop or two of honey instead. (Also healthful, btw.)



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Kimcheez-Its With Blue Cheese Dip. When you’re up for a little weekend project, make these crackers. The recipe comes from pastry chef Christina Tosi’s cookbook, “Milk Bar Life” — they’re a fairly simple mix of flour, kimchi, sharp cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper and cheddar powder. (For that last ingredient, you can use the stuff that comes in a box of macaroni and cheese!) If homemade crackers are too much of a bother, just make the flavor-packed dip and serve it with store-bought crackers and celery sticks.

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