This white bean dip is so perfect for a quick appetizer to serve at home or to take to a party. My family always asks me to triple the recipe when I make it for us- they love it that much. I love how simple it is to make!
There was an Italian restaurant in the town where my husband grew up that served a dip similar to this. I always ordered it and so my husband and I started trying to replicate it at home without knowing the exact ingredients or measurements. I love how it turned out! It was coarsely chopped rather than mixed in a food processor when made at the restaurant. I share the way to adjust to the more authentic Italian way at the end of the post, if you would like to try it that way, too! Here are the ingredients you will need for either way…
I use reduced sodium white beans (you can also use Cannellini beans) and then add salt as I like. Regular beans work just as well- I just use less salt if I am serving with a salty cracker or bagel chip.
The first step to making this lemony white bean dip is to put the can of beans, 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice in a food processor.
Blend on low until beans are coarsely chopped, and then pour in 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and continue to blend until desired consistency- usually just a few seconds.
After the beans, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil are well-blended, remove the mixture from the food processor and transfer to a medium serving bowl. Next, you will add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of minced, fresh rosemary. Stir well.
A side note about using an actual lemon zester…I actually prefer to use a cheese grater to zest the lemon for this recipe. Simply, rub the lemon on the cheese grater over a plate or bowl. The pieces are very tiny and are so good in the dip without being overpowering. The zest gives the extra punch of lemon flavor that I love in this recipe!
I like the citrusy, lemon taste and so I use one teaspoon of lemon zest. If you prefer less, that will work too! Adjust to suit your tastes, but I highly recommend the lemon flavor if you’re a lemon lover!
Season with salt (pepper, too, if you like) and drizzle the dip with 1 extra tablespoon of olive oil to top it all off. I like to swirl it around and then garnish with a sprig of rosemary. You could also add a slice of lemon as a garnish.
Serve immediately with bagel chips, crackers, or a sliced baguette. You can also make this ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. I actually love the way the flavors taste after it has been made for a few hours. I never get a chance to put it in the fridge- the crew at my house eats it all in no time! I hope your family and friends enjoy like mine do!
And, if you prefer the beans to be more coarse rather than pureed, you can achieve that by using a potato masher. I really like the bean dip when it is made with the potato masher- that was the original way that I made it. The food processor just makes it really fast and easy- and with less chopping because you can put the whole cloves in the food processor to be chopped. But, if you don’t have access to a food processor or just like the more authentic, Italian way- give the potato masher a try and see which way you like better! Just remember to mince the garlic. 🙂
Lemony White Bean Dip
- 1 15 ½ oz. can Great Northern White Beans (or Cannellini Beans), drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tsp Grated lemon (also known as lemon zest)
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 small to medium cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for topping the dip when finished)
- 2 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- ¼ tsp (add more or less according to your taste preference)
- Pepper to taste
- Place the rinsed and drained beans, lemon juice, and peeled garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until the beans are coarsely chopped.
- Add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and pulse in food processor until well combined.
- Transfer bean mixture into a small/medium serving dish (this recipe yields about 2 cups).
- Mix in lemon zest and minced rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over top. Garnish with rosemary and/or a lemon slice.
- Serve right away or store in refrigerator (covered) for 2-3 days. Serve with bagel chips, pita chips, crackers, sliced baguette, veggies.
P.S. My friends Lance and David came over for a quick lesson on making this bean dip- you can see our LIVE video here!