This white bean dip is bursting with bright lemon and rosemary flavor. It's the perfect party appetizer because it takes just 5 minutes to make and uses less than 10 ingredients!
Appetizer season is on the horizon (I'm looking at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and football season!) which means we all need a good dip recipe up our sleeves.
This white bean dip has been my go-to for a few years now because it is beyond simple to make. I'm talking about a white bean dip that is:
- Ready in 5 minutes with just a handful of inexpensive pantry staples
- Filled with bright, herby flavors and a hint of garlic
- Smooth and creamy
- Perfect as a dip or sandwich spread
- Can be enjoyed hot or cold
This is a great appetizer option if you're serving anyone with a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet.
White bean dip is similar to hummus, just without the tahini. This dip is a crowd-pleaser and it is a healthy choice, providing both plant-based protein and fiber alongside your favorite dipping vehicles.
What you'll need
- Great northern beans are my go-to white bean for dips, but you can also use navy or cannellini if that's what you have on hand.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic brings a pop of flavor. Adjust this one to taste. I don't recommend using garlic powder here.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice adds zest and thins the dip.
- Rosemary: Blooming fresh rosemary in olive oil enhances its taste and adds a punch of herby flavor. I use lightly flavored extra virgin olive oil. While I prefer fresh rosemary, you can also use dry rosemary. Use 1 teaspoon of dry rosemary for 1 tablespoon fresh.
Step by step instructions
Making white bean dip requires minimal prep:
- Roughly chop the garlic so that it breaks up more easily in the food processor.
- Drain and rinse the white beans
Step 1. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle in olive oil. Add the rosemary and bloom for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 2. Add all ingredients to a food processor. I have not tested this recipe in a blender but it should work if you have a very strong blender.
Step 3. Blend until the white beans are very smooth. Add a teaspoon of water as needed to thin.
Step 4. Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes for heat, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
White beans actually come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For this recipe, we'll use great northern beans, a medium-sized bean. There are also cannellini beans, a large kind of white bean, and navy beans, which are slightly smaller. You can use these beans if that's what you have on hand.
For a snack or appetizer option, dip with crusty bread, carrots, celery, or your favorite raw veggie just like you would with hummus. It also makes a great sandwich or toast spread.
For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
You don't have to bloom the herbs but it really enhances their flavor and takes the dip to the next level.
- For a hot white bean dip: Place bean dip in a 1 and ½ quart slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Alternatively, heat in a microwave-safe bowl until warmed through or heat on the stove over medium low.
- Roasted garlic bean dip: To make roasted garlic: Chop the top ½ inch off of the garlic head and remove the outermost layers of garlic paper. Sprinkle the exposed garlic with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and lightly browned. To use, gently squeeze the garlic out of the cloves. I recommend doubling the recipe if you plan to use an entire bulb of roasted garlic.
- Try different herbs like thyme or basil for a different flavor profile.
- Make a double batch and freeze half for later. You can freeze this dip for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to eat it as a quick snack or appetizer.
Looking for more appetizers?
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Rosemary White Bean Dip
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary needles
- 15 ounce can great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon water to thin, as needed
- freshly ground black pepper for serving
- red pepper flakes for serving
- Heat a small pan over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle in olive oil. Add the rosemary and bloom for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the beans, rosemary with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt, to a food processor with a standard blade attachment. Process until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of water at a time, as needed to thin to desired consistency. Scrape down the food processor sides as needed.
- Taste for salt. Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Best enjoyed within 3-4 days.
- White beans: Cannelini or other white beans can be used in place of great northern beans.
- Rosemary: Fresh herbs work best, but 1 teaspoon dry rosemary can be used in place of fresh as needed.
- Serving: Serve with veggies, crusty bread, or crackers as an appetizer or snack. It also works well as a sandwich or toast spread.
- Crock-pot option: Add prepared white bean dip to a 1 and ½ quart slow cooker. Heat on low for 3-4 hours, until warmed through. Keep warm in slow-cooker if serving as an appetizer.
Did you make this recipe?
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This is delicious. I bloomed the rosemary and garlic in the hot oil for a few minutes before adding to the beans. Hummus, move over!
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
What a great idea! Thanks for the comment.