I’m a sucker for a good dip, and this Lemony White Bean Dip is a new household favorite. It’s so garlicky, buttery, lemony all at once with hints of warm spice and subtle heat. There’s so much flavor packed into this little dip thanks to a few easy techniques, like toasting pine nuts and frying lemon, whole spices and garlic in olive oil.
If you love my Classic Hummus recipe, you’ll go crazy for this dip! It uses just 10 ingredients, takes 15-20 minutes to make, and is singing with gourmet flavors.
This white bean dip is also super versatile. You can serve it with pita or crackers as a sharing plate as an afternoon snack or pre-dinner appetizer, or double the recipe and serve it as a party appetizer alongside crudités. It’s also a great sandwich or wrap spread (lately, I’ve having it as an open-faced sandwich with arugula + baked tofu—so yum!).
Watch! How to make Lemony White Bean Dip
Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the toasted pine nuts and cannellini beans to a food processor, along with the lemon juice, miso, salt and pepper.
Blend until the dip comes together. Add a few tablespoons of ice water and blend until smooth and creamy.
Make the garlic-lemon topping. Using a vegetable peeler, shave several strips of lemon peel. Thinly slice the garlic cloves. Lightly crush the cumin and coriander seeds. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until warm. Add the garlic and cumin and coriander.
Gently fry for 2 to 2.5 minutes, until garlic is turning golden (but not brown). Add the lemon peel and chili flakes and fry for another 30 seconds. Take off the heat and strain.
Transfer the dip to a shallow plate or a bowl with a lip. Add the white bean dip and use the back of a spoon to create waves. Pour the infused oil on top and add the crisp garlic-lemon peel mixture.
Sprinkle on chopped parsley if desired, reserved pine nuts, and serve with pita/crackers/crudités.
Tips for making this white bean dip
If you’re making this for a party, feel free to double the recipe. Just use a large frying pan to toast to make the garlic-lemon topping and to fry the pine nuts (or toast them in the oven; 350ºF for 6-7 minutes).
When slicing the garlic, try to slice into rounds as evenly as possible for even cooking. *If you have a mandoline and a cut-proof glove, you can use that to slice the garlic. I have this handheld mandoline and safety glove and they work great (affiliate links).
When making the garlic-lemon topping, don’t let the oil get hot. You want it to be just warm; otherwise the garlic will burn.
When serving this dip, I like to keep the lemon peels in because I enjoy them. But some folks won’t want to eat them, so you can leave them off if you want.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use the back of a cast iron skillet or heavy chef’s knife to crush down on the spices. You don’t need them to be ground, just lightly crushed to help release some aroma.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure. If you are serving it for a party where presentation is important, you can make the dip ahead of time but wait until the day of to make the garlic-lemon topping and assemble it.
In an airtight container or lidded jar in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.
Yes, you can easily freeze this dip. To freeze, transfer the dip to an airtight container but don’t fill it all the way up to allow for expansion. Thaw it in the fridge the day before consuming.
Whether refrigerated or thawed, this dip is best if it comes to room temperature.
Yes, though you won’t get the same amazing buttery flavor. I think walnuts would be the best option.
Pita bread or some sort of crusty bread is perfect, as are crackers or crudités for something lighter.
If you want to serve this an appetizer, a few main meals that would work nicely include:
– Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
– Creamy Lentil Stuffed Squash
– Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
– 10-Ingredient Roasted Eggplant Pasta
If you love this white bean dip, be sure to rate and review with your feedback below and tag me on Instagram with your recreations :)
Lemony White Bean Dip
- ⅓ cup (54g) pine nuts
- 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (try to slice as evenly as possible for even cooking)*
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 heaping teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or ½ to ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes**
- 1 small handful of parsley (optional) chopped
Toast the pine nuts***. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Allow the pan to heat up for a few minutes to get hot. Add the pine nuts and shake the pan frequently until toasty and golden but not dark brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Scoop out 1 teaspoon of the nuts and set aside for the topping.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave off 4 to 6 strips of lemon peel, about 2 inches in length. If you only get shorter strips, just use more. Try to not peel too deeply to avoid the white pith; set aside.
Juice the lemon.
In a food processor bowl, add the toasted pine nuts, cannellini beans, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon miso paste, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper. Blend until the dip comes together and is relatively smooth, scraping down sides as you go.
Stream in 2 tablespoons of ice water and blend again until creamy but spoonable; add one more tablespoon if you want a looser consistency.
Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt as needed (I usually add an extra ¼ teaspoon kosher salt).
Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and make ridges with the back of a spoon.
Make the topping. Lightly crush the cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, or use the back of a heavy chef’s knife or sturdy mug to lightly crush them. Fit a small or medium bowl with a fine-mesh sieve.
Heat the olive oil in the same frying pan used in step 1 over medium heat. Once the oil is warm (but not too hot), add the garlic and crushed spices. Cook, swirling the pan or stirring frequently, for 2 to 2 ½ minutes, until the garlic just turns golden (don’t wait until it browns). Add the lemon peel and chili flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Pour the oil and aromatics over the sieve, so that the aromatics sit in the sieve and the oil sits in the bowl.
Pour the infused oil over the dip. Top with the garlic-lemon topping, along with the reserved pine nuts and chopped parsley.
**If using red pepper flakes, use 1/2 teaspoon for a subtle background heat; a bit more for a noticeable spiciness.
***You can also toast the pine nuts in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC and spread the pine nuts out on a sheet pan. Roast for 6-7 minutes until golden brown.