My White Bean Dip

Hummus is wonderful. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. But when one makes hummus, one is limited to garbanzo beans, tahini, and lemon. With white bean dips, you can add anything and everything because there’s not one recipe!

You can add herbs like rosemary, or seasoning mixtures like harissa, paprika creme, pumpkin or carrots, pesto or sun-dried tomatoes. There are limitless options.

I also prefer white beans for their texture. I’ve ordered many a hummus, even at Middle Eastern restaurants, and it’s often dry and mealy. To me, a soft creamy texture is preferable, which is what you get when you use canned white beans.

Don’t buy Italian Canellini beans because they’re twice as expensive as Great Northern.

Today I’m posting on a dip I created ages ago, using cumin, coriander and cayenne. It is the most popular with my family, and was actually published in Gourmet magazine.

It was on my blog quite a few years ago, but the photos were terrible. These are somewhat improved although, not being good at styling, I can’t seem to make an attractive swirl.

Mimi’s White Bean Dip
printable recipe below

1 – 16 ounce can Great Northern beans
1 clove garlic, germ removed if necessary
Good extra-virgin olive oil, about 1/4 cup, plus more
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Pinch of salt
Flatbreads, pita crisps, crackers

Drain the beans in a colander and lightly rinse.

Place the beans in a food processor jar and add the garlic and seasoning.

Begin processing the beans, adding olive oil until the beans are smooth and the garlic is fully processed.

Scrape out the bean dip into a serving bowl. The mixture should be fluffy.

Add a little drizzle of good olive oil.

Serve with bread, crackers, pita chips, or whatever. I used baked Terra chips because they’re pretty.

The dip recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. One can of beans is enough to make a dip for two people.

Not only does this dip take a few minutes to make and is easy, it’s also extremely inexpensive to make, which is why during our lean years I often made it for company. But, it was always enjoyed and appreciated, especially by people who’d never heard of a bean dip.

No dips are really beautiful. If you want to make a prettier presentation, spread some dip on crostini to make canapés of sorts. Sprinkle with a little paprika for color, some chives, or a little basil leaf.

Years ago, my husband and I used to enjoy sandwiches on road trips with this dip as the sandwich spread. Our car always smelled like garlic!


By Published On: May 31st, 201853 Comments on My White Bean Dip

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet May 31, 2018 at 6:43 AM - Reply

    I like using beans like this too for dips. As you say the dip is so lovely and creamy :)

    • chef mimi May 31, 2018 at 7:30 AM - Reply

      I just prefer that texture. One can still make hummus with white beans!

  2. I really like this dip Mimi and have made it many times. Thanks for reposting. Your swirl is just fine.

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Thank you Gerlinde!

  3. 2pots2cook May 31, 2018 at 9:51 AM - Reply

    Love the smell of garlic :-) Thank you !

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Garlic breath doesn’t bother me, either!

  4. Elaine @ foodbod May 31, 2018 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    Looks great! I’m horrified that you’ve had so much poor homous though :(

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      Just texture wise. But that could be what it’s supposed to be like, I just prefer soft and creamy!

      • Elaine @ foodbod June 2, 2018 at 12:01 AM

        Homous should be soft and creamy too!!!

  5. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso May 31, 2018 at 10:30 AM - Reply

    This looks so very delicious! :)

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:19 AM - Reply

      Thank you Ronit! I really do remember making this 25+ years ago and people had never heard of a bean dip and were quite reluctant. Once they tried it they were hooked!

  6. Rini May 31, 2018 at 10:46 AM - Reply

    Beautiful photos to complement your dish. It looks great and I like your choice of veggie chips to accompany the dip. :)

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:20 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Rini! I really love Stacy’s pita chips as well. Or my finger.

  7. okiewinegirl2015 May 31, 2018 at 10:55 AM - Reply

    Mimi, what brand of olive oil do you prefer? Asking for a friend ;)

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      I’m not at home now so I can’t look, and I obviously don’t remember, but I’ve changed what I order from Amazon once I saw a list of companies that blend inferior oils, add green food coloring, i forget all of the crazy stuff. You think you’re getting quality and true flavor but you’re not. And of course, the one I liked previously was on that list.

  8. Our Growing Paynes May 31, 2018 at 11:08 AM - Reply

    You are being hard on yourself about the styling. I love how you do your photos! And a great recipe to boot. :)

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:22 AM - Reply

      Thank you. But seriously, I could have stood there for one minute and made a swirl with a spoon or something, but it’s just not in me! Until I see the photos and I wonder why I’m so lazy!

      • Our Growing Paynes June 1, 2018 at 9:44 AM

        I wouldn’t stress! Promise, it looks good. :)

  9. Kelly, RD May 31, 2018 at 12:54 PM - Reply

    Oh my goodness! That looks so good and I think the veggie chips are the perfect chip for dipping!

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      They add a good sweetness, too, but I really love Stacy’s pita chips.

  10. franflint61 May 31, 2018 at 5:49 PM - Reply

    It’s breakfast time now as I’m viewing your post. I could go for some of this dip now on crostini!

    • chef mimi May 31, 2018 at 6:06 PM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Happens to me as well!

  11. David May 31, 2018 at 6:14 PM - Reply

    both Mark and I love white bean dip. As you said, the flavors can be changed to suit your mood. I love how creamy and smooth yours looks… I bet it’s fantastic!

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      I think it’s fantastic – especially that zing from the cayenne – so it can be changed up so many ways.

  12. Jodi May 31, 2018 at 6:36 PM - Reply


    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:24 AM - Reply


  13. Ariasmith June 1, 2018 at 12:08 AM - Reply

    Really great, such a simple recipe with healthy ingredients!! Thanks for all of your hard work & please keep them coming…

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:24 AM - Reply

      I certainly will! Thank you.

  14. Lisa @ cheergerm June 1, 2018 at 7:46 AM - Reply

    Lovely Mimi, I make a similar white bean dip. It’s a great change from other dips.

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 7:47 AM - Reply

      It really is. So many options.

  15. Ron June 1, 2018 at 9:53 AM - Reply

    Bush beans, haven’t those since moving abroad. Does the dog still appear in theirs commercials?
    I also love white bean dip and have intoduced it to my Swedish friends with success. I make is similarly to yours, but usally add fresh herbs. It’s great with Swedish crisp bread.

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 12:03 PM - Reply

      The beautiful Irish setter? Yes!!! Herbs are wonderful in white bean dip – sometimes I’ve used pesto without the Parmesan. It’s just so versatile.

  16. Frank June 1, 2018 at 10:40 AM - Reply

    Yum! This is the kind of thing I could live off of. I love hummus, too, but a white bean purée makes for a nice change. And as far as food styling is concerned, as a fellow blogger, I can certainly relate! Anyway, at the end of the day, it’s the taste that counts. If only there were some way of uploading that to the internets…. ;-)

    • chef mimi June 1, 2018 at 12:04 PM - Reply

      Right, they’re different. Well it’s good I don’t claim to be a professional food stylist, like a lot of people do. It’s just not in my brain to work that hard!

  17. Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 2, 2018 at 12:43 AM - Reply

    I think the swirl looks perfect. I make variations of this quite often.

    • chef mimi June 2, 2018 at 7:38 AM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Thank you kindly!

  18. Jeff the Chef June 2, 2018 at 5:31 PM - Reply

    Thank you for this recipe. I love bean dips!

    • chef mimi June 3, 2018 at 9:58 AM - Reply

      Oh, me, too!

  19. Michelle June 3, 2018 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    Get out of here! Gourmet Magazine… oh how I miss it. That’s so cool.

    • chef mimi June 3, 2018 at 9:57 AM - Reply

      It was just in that front part, but it was exciting talking to an editor, and then she called to tell me what a hit it was when it was made and served to staff!

      • Michelle June 3, 2018 at 10:28 AM

        Love that!

  20. Anonymous June 4, 2018 at 7:27 AM - Reply

    Looking forward to trying this recipe. I’ve never spiced it this way.

    • chef mimi June 4, 2018 at 8:40 AM - Reply

      Thanks – we love zing ! but you don’t have to add cayenne.

  21. Emma June 4, 2018 at 3:21 PM - Reply

    Mmmm this dip looks amazing Mimi, perfect for dipping a multitude of things in!

    • chef mimi June 4, 2018 at 7:38 PM - Reply

      Exactly! Thanks!

  22. The Hungry Mum June 6, 2018 at 7:02 AM - Reply

    Love how simple this dip is – and how creamy and delish it looks! Thanks for sharing.

    • chef mimi June 6, 2018 at 9:14 AM - Reply

      Thank you. It’s very very good!

  23. Culinary Flavors June 7, 2018 at 2:40 AM - Reply

    I agree, white beans are the perfect base to add anything! That looks delicious!

    • chef mimi June 7, 2018 at 8:22 AM - Reply

      Thank you!

  24. Liz June 10, 2018 at 11:51 AM - Reply

    I do love hummus, too, but I’d love to shake things up with this creamy bean dip!

    • chef mimi June 10, 2018 at 12:13 PM - Reply

      So many options!

  25. Loretta June 10, 2018 at 1:50 PM - Reply

    Ahh now I know what I’ll be serving for my barbecue this coming Friday with drinks. This white bean dip sounds great with cumin and coriander. I’ll serve it with some veggies, thanks for the inspiration.

    • chef mimi June 11, 2018 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      You’re so welcome. I’m not trying to eradicate hummus, there are just other options!

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