Fast, fresh, and flavorful! This Tuscan white bean dip is simple to make (canned beans ftw!), great for parties or to have on hand for snacks, and crowd pleasing. If that’s not enough, it is also vegan and gluten-free! Yes, this dip has it all going on.
How is your year starting out?
So far I’ve made a few resolutions, or rather hopes for the year since I’m not going to go so far as to think I am going to totally change my life just because the calendar changed. 😉 But at least I can put the wine and treats away for a bit to reset the end of the year indulgences, dig through my office to start out organized, and set up my fitbit to count those steps.
Also, I’ve talked about the car accident we were in just after Christmas. So fun. But at least it was just the car that broke! (Hopefully. I did hit my knees, so I’m having them checked out. *fingers crossed*)
Right now we’re getting used to our new car (Subaru Outback!), which is going to be our trip taking, bicycle holding, dog car for many years to come.
Shall we dive into my latest recipe? Yes, we should! And it’s a dip, so you totally can dive into it!
I made this white bean dip for my in-laws over Christmas, and then I made it again, and then again (for photos…and noshing), and it is completely awesome. My daughter keeps asking for it since she loves it for after school snacks, my mother-in-law was wondering when I was going to post it (Hi! Here it is! 🙂 ), and I love it to keep away the before dinner hangries when I’m hungry and I still have to cook.
What do you need?
- Cannellini Beans – Two cans of white beans – keep the liquid since you’ll use that in the recipe.
- Lemon – Both zest and juice to make it REALLY lemony!
- Garlic and Herbs – Garlic, thyme, and parsley.
- Olive Oil – Use a fruity, flavorful oil since that is going to be an important part of the final product.
How to make this
To make Tuscan white bean dip, saute garlic until soft and combine with white beans, herbs, and lemon zest. Puree until smooth, then top with more olive oil and chopped herbs.
- Saute garlic in olive oil until softened.
- Add beans, herbs, and lemon zest. Saute a few minutes longer.
- Puree in a food processor along with enough olive oil and bean liquid to make a smooth dip.
- Top with fresh parsley and olive oil. Serve with crudites, crackers and/or bread.
This is one of those recipe which seems too simple to be so good, but it really is both easy and full of flavor.
The first secret here is to saute the garlic. This gives the garlic a softer and rounder flavor than raw garlic in a dip. You can add in a little raw garlic too if you want that assertive flavor, but I really love how harmonious that sauteed garlic and beans are together.
The second secret is to use the lemon zest. You need the lemon juice anyway, so zest it first and let it warm in the saute pan. This gives you a couple of layers of lemon flavor. The bright zing of the juice and the mellower flavor of the zest.
Combine these flavors with fresh herbs and a fruity, deep flavored olive oil and you’ll have a dip everyone will keep noshing on and asking for your recipe.
How long does it keep?
Beans last about 4 days in the refrigerator.
You can make the dip a day or two ahead of serving, but I wouldn’t make it any farther ahead than that. Also, make sure you wait to top the dip with the olive oil and fresh herbs until just before serving.
Can I use dried beans?
Yes, you can.
Use whatever method you prefer to cook beans: stovetop, pressure cooker, or oven, and then use them as directed in the recipe. You will need one rounded cup of dried beans to have the same amount as 2 cans of canned beans. (Basically a cup and then add a few more beans.)
Tip: Add salt when cooking the beans. Ignore the advice which tells you not to add salt. Adding salt DOES NOT toughen the beans, but does make them more flavorful.
If you try my recipe for creamy Tuscan White Bean Dip, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Tuscan White Bean Dip
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided, 1 tbsp for the pan and 3 tbsp for finishing
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
- zest of one lemon
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, liquid reserved
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- Gently heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan. Add garlic and saute on low heat until softened but not brown, 2-3 minutes.
- Add thyme, lemon zest, and most of the beans. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the beans.
- Continue to saute on low for another 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is very soft.
- Puree sauteed beans with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, remaining olive oil, and about 1/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid until smooth. Add more bean liquid if needed until you are happy with the consistency.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the dip isn't lemony enough, add a second tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Transfer bean dip to a serving bowl. Top with parsley, reserved beans, and a little more olive oil. Serve with crackers, crudites, and/or bread.
- Serving: You can serve the dip warm right after pureeing or cold, up 2 days after making the recipe.
- Texture: If you like a chunkier texture, use a potato masher to mash the beans.
- Herbs: If you have fresh herbs on hand, feel free to mix it up and add other herbs to the dip. Basil, rosemary, mint, and dill are some of the herbs which would work here. Start with a few leaves if you're not sure how much to add.