Here’s a favorite vegan appetizer that never fails to please — a tasty white bean dip that you can embellish as suggested in the recipe, or keep smooth and simple. Using cannellini or great northern beans, this delicious bean dip recipe makes a great appetizer. Serve with bruschetta, fresh breads, pita, olives, and/or raw vegetables of your choice.
What sets this apart from hummus is that there’s no tahini, but there’s lots of onion that’s well sautéed and added to the mix before it’s smoothly processed — it adds plenty of flavor!
For the white beans, use cannellini or Great Northern. Both have a lovely creamy texture when pureed. This recipe makes about 2 cups, or roughly 8 servings as an appetizer.
How to make bruschetta
Bruschetta, is basically fresh baguette or Italian bread, sliced and oven toasted until crisp. It’s a classic accompaniment for spreads like this one. Use whole-grain bread for added goodness. You’ll need:
- 1 long fresh baguette or Italian bread (not too skinny)
- Olive oil cooking spray or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
1 Preheat the oven to 350º F.
2 Cut the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spray the tops lightly with cooking oil spray or brush lightly with olive oil.
3 Bake the bread slices for 7 minutes, then turn them over, spray or brush lightly again, and continue to bake for 5 to 7 minutes longer, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
4 When cool enough to handle, rub one side of each toast with the cut side of the garlic. Serve in a napkin-lined bowl or basket with a spread of choice.
Caramelized Onion White Bean Dip or Spread
Here’s an appetizer that never fails to please — a tasty white bean dip that you can embellish as suggested in the recipe, or keep smooth and simple.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 15-ounce can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 lemon, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional (use any 2 or 3)
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup pitted cured black olives
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Extra virgin olive oil for garnish
- Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is just beginning to brown.
- Combine the onion mixture with the beans (set aside about 1/4 cup, if you’d like), and lemon juice in a food processor and process until completely smooth. Drizzle in 2 to 4 tablespoons of water, as needed to loosen the consistency. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
- If you’d like, add any of the optional ingredients: sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, olives, and/or tahini to the food processor and pulse on and off until well mixed into the pureed beans. Don’t over-process! Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pat into an attractive shallow crock to serve. If you’d like, make a swirl over the top of the dip and drizzle in some olive oil. Top with reserved beans, if you set some aside.
- Serve at once with accompaniments suggested in the headnote.
If you like this white bean dip, you might also enjoy …
Sweet Potato Hummus with Artichoke Hearts
See lots more tasty vegan appetizers and snacks.
Yummy – so much flavor!
I never even got it into a bowl – we ate all of it straight from the food processor!
Doubling the recipe, I used the sun-dried tomatoes and black olives. Two adults and four kids loved it.
Thank you for a nearly oil-free bean dip that is delicious.
Thank you so much, Eric! I’m glad your family loved it so much that it never made it from the food processor to a bowl; great story, and thanks for sharing.