(Family Features) Whether you’re hosting a houseful of guests or simply keeping your family’s hunger at bay before dinner, appetizers can be a home chef’s best friend. Simple options like dips allow for personalization while keeping cook time to a minimum.

The next time you’re looking for a quick fix, consider this Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus recipe that’s ideal for pairing with pita bread, veggies or crackers. With the layered flavor, color and texture of onions serving as a key ingredient, it’s a nutritious substitute for less health-conscious appetizers and snacks.

In fact, onions can be called nature’s ninja because of their many “skills.” Onions add abundant flavor to a wide variety of foods with just 45 calories per serving as a source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and other key nutrients such as folate, calcium and iron. They are also rich in heart-healthy nutrients and have been shown to help prevent some cancers.

Find more recipe ideas at onions-usa.org.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Caramelized Sweet Onion Hummus

Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association

  • 1          whole garlic head
  • 4          tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2       cup tahini (toasted ground sesame seeds)
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Cut top of garlic head off and place cut-side down on pan; drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until garlic is soft. Once cool, squeeze garlic from each clove.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir onion frequently until slices begin to brown. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until onions are soft and reach medium brown color.
  4. Rinse and drain chickpeas; reserve 3 tablespoons liquid.
  5. In food processor, blend chickpeas, reserved liquid, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, remaining olive oil and onions until combined and smooth. Serve with pita bread, veggies or crackers.
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