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!


53 thoughts on “My White Bean Dip

    • 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!

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

    • 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.

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

  3. 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!

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

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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…. ;-)

    • 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!

  6. 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.

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