This rosemary 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, which means we all need a good dip recipe up our sleeves. I serve this rosemary white bean dip recipe every Christmas Eve alongside vegetarian tortellini soup and chili cream cheese dip.
This white bean dip has been my go-to for a few years now because it is beyond simple to make. It's a great appetizer option if you're serving anyone with a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diet, or if you just want a healthier option to serve alongside air fryer cauliflower wings and puff pastry bites.
Why this recipe works
- Quick & easy to make: This dip is truly ready to make in under 10 minutes using pantry staples like great northern beans and olive oil.
- Simple but flavorful: Despite the simple ingredient list, this white bean dip is filled with brightness from lemon juice, herbiness from rosemary, and a hint of garlic.
- Smooth texture: Using a food processor gives white beans a smooth and creamy texture similar to hummus. This makes it a great sandwich spread, in addition to being a great dip.
- Can be enjoyed hot or cold: Keep the dip in a mini slow cooker to keep it warm for holiday parties, or serve it chilled.
- 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.
Making this 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 to a smooth consistency.
Serve rosemary white bean dip 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.
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 bean dip: Place bean dip in a 1 ½ quart slow cooker and cook on low for 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, heat the dip in a microwave-safe bowl until warmed through or heat on the stove over medium-low.
- Roasted garlic bean dip: I recommend doubling the recipe if you plan to use an entire bulb of roasted garlic.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.
- 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.
Storage: For best quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
To keep warm: Transfer the white bean dip to a mini slow cooker (1 ½ quarts). Heat over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, then adjust to "keep warm" to keep the dip warm for an extended period of time.
Freezing: This recipe freezes well. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
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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 ½ quart slow cooker. Heat on low for 1 to 2 hours, until warmed through. Keep warm in slow-cooker if serving as an appetizer.