I love snacks. And, I love condiments. So clearly, any recipe that doubles as both is a clear winner in my books. Plus, a "cook-free" option that comes together in 5 minutes? Heck, yes. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook (hence the blog), but sometimes we all just need something that makes us feel like kitchen superstars without any effort at all. Literally.
This homemade bean dip makes the perfect snack, whether you're craving something right now, or want to make sure you have a healthy option on standby during the week. It's super portable and travels well, making it an excellent item to bring into work for the day. I can't tell you how many times this dip has saved me from some of the sugary afternoon treats that linger in the office!
I've kept this recipe fairly basic, because it's fabulous with just a handful of ingredients. The recipe included below reflects the version I whip up most often– it makes for both a delicious dip and super versatile spread. And, if bringing this dip to a party, a little sprinkling of extra garnish goes a long way. You can top it with lemon zest, chili flakes and/or chopped parsley. It's super easy but looks amazing – that is before I lose all self-control and inevitably eat about half of it (besides that, I swear I'm a great guest). I didn't include any directions for specific sides because it pairs perfectly with whatever "dipping vessels" you have on hand (like fresh vegetables, crackers, bread, or all three!).
In addition to being a yummy dip, this recipe makes a great spread. A healthy spread is hard to find: so many of the grocery store brands are loaded with less-than-stellar ingredients (like mayo and preservatives). Even harder to find is a healthy, vegan option. Conveniently, this recipe yields a decadent and creamy spread, so it makes a wonderful mayo substitute! I love using it in sandwiches or on toast – it's a whole lot tastier and healthier than mayo or butter, and provides a little boost of protein. My grilled veggie sandwiches have never been the same. But consider yourself warned: once you make this dip, you'll be looking for excuses to use it on everything!
Creamy White Bean Dip
- 1 (15 oz/14 fl oz/398 ml) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (see note 1)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest (extra for garnish)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Red pepper flakes
- Chopped flat leaf parsley
- Make: In a food processor, add beans, garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning (with lemon juice and salt), if needed.
- Serve: Garnish with red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and/or parsley (see note 2).
- Beans: Cannellini beans are recommended, but you can substitute with other white beans (such as navy beans or Great Northern beans). You can use home-cooked beans instead of canned: 1 can (15 oz/14 fl oz/398 ml) = 1.5 cups of cooked beans.
- Serving suggestions: This white bean dip is delicious served with fresh veggies, crackers, and bread. It's also very tasty used as a vegan sandwich spread.
- Storage: Refrigerate extra dip in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Yield: 1x makes about 1 ⅓ cup of dip (assumes 3 to 4 tbsp per serving).