Creamy White Bean Dip

A delicious and versatile dip that comes together in a pinch! Made from creamy white beans, garlic and lemon. It also doubles as a creamy spread for sandwiches, pizza, you name it! Vegan & Gluten Free. <jump to recipe>

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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. But, if you want to get fancy, there's plenty of room to further customize with fresh herbs and spices. I imagine rosemary or parsley would taste great in this. And, if bringing this dip to a party, a little sprinkling of extra garnish goes a long way. I like to drizzle a bit of extra olive oil and sprinkle some flaky salt over top. 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 // Natural Girl Modern World // Vegan & Gluten Free
Creamy White Bean Dip // Natural Girl Modern World // Vegan & Gluten Free

CREAMY WHITE BEAN DIP

MAKES 1 1/2 CUPS (VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE)

Ingredients

  • 1 can of cannellini beans (19 oz / 540 g), strained and rinsed*
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Chili flakes, to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine beans, garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, olive oil and lemon zest. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Taste and season as desired. Add extra lemon juice (if required) and salt to taste. Re-pulse mixture to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated. 
  2. Top with chili flakes and serve alongside you favorite fresh vegetables, crackers and / or bread. Store extra dip in an airtight container.

Notes:
-*Cannellini beans recommended, but feel free to substitute for your favorite white beans. You can also substitute ~2 cups freshly cooked beans instead of 1 can (19 oz / 540 g).
-If you choose to experiment with extra herbs or spices, be aware that they may change the color of the dip. For this reason, you may opt to add these at the end, stirring by hand rather than using the food processor.