Creamy White Bean Dip with Harissa
Take your best white bean dip recipe to the next level with harissa, a hugely flavorful roasted pepper paste filled with wonderful seasonings. Don’t forget the chips!
Have you ever had a last minute gathering and needed to whip together a quick party snack? It’s tough sometimes to come up with something quick and easy that’s also tasty and satisfying and can please a small crowd.
I have a lot of ideas for this, but one of my go-to recipes is a simple spicy white bean dip. Bean dips are smooth and creamy and you don’t need to have a lot of ingredients on hand to whip one together. You really just need the RIGHT ingredients. Aside from beans, of course.
For me, one of those amazingly flavorful ingredients is harissa.
I usually have a small batch of homemade harissa in my fridge to swirl into soups or stews, or to whip together quick sauces or quick dips and spreads like this white bean dip.
You only need a couple tablespoons usually, and that small amount delivers big flavor. Fast.
Harissa Makes White Bean Dip Awesome
Harissa is a spicy chili paste popular in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. Recipes vary from region to region, but it is primarily made from roasted fresh or dried peppers blended with oil and a variety of seasonings, like caraway, cumin and coriander.
You can purchase your favorite brand from the store and keep it in the refrigerator for recipes like this, but I like to make my own. Check out my Homemade Harissa Recipe to try it for yourself. So good!
Looking to Buy Harissa? Buy Harissa at Amazon (affiliate link, my friends!). There are many different brands to choose from.
Let’s talk about how we make the recipe, shall we? It’s so easy! Only 3 ingredients required: White Beans, Harissa and Crema or Sour Cream.
Let’s do this!
Creamy White Bean Dip with Harissa Recipe Steps
Step One. Gather up your ingredients, including a 12 ounce can of white beans, 3 tablespoons harissa, a 1/4 cup crema or sour cream, and salt. If you’d like a bit of garnish and spice factor, also grab some olive oil and spicy chili flakes.
Step Two. Drain the can of white beans and add them to a food processor along with the harissa and crema or sour cream. I’m using crema.
Step Three. Process Until Smooth. It only takes a minute or so. Taste and adjust for salt as needed.
Step Four. Scoop it into a bowl and serve it up!
Boom! No cooking needed for this awesome bean dip. It’s done in less than 5 minutes, as long as you have the ingredients on hand.
It’s so smooth and creamy, and just the right amount of spicy, depending on the harissa you’re using.
- Corn tortilla chips – get a nice crunch factor.
- Pita chips, either fresh or lightly toasted – Serve with pita chips and everyone will love you.
- Carrot sticks or celery sticks – a healthier, low calorie option.
- Sliced bell peppers – also healthy, low calorie, and a party favorite.
- The White Beans. You can use any type of cooked white beans for this recipe, though I recommend either cannellini beans or white northern beans. They have great flavor and help to achieve a smooth and creamy dip.
- The Spice and Heat Factor. If you feel the white bean dip is too spicy, add in another 1/4 cup of crema or sour cream, which will counteract some of the heat. If you’d like to up the heat and spiciness, add in spicy red chili flakes, spicy chili powder, or a chopped fresh or roasted hot peppers.
- Roasted Garlic. Take a head of garlic, wrap it in aluminum foil with a drizzle of olive oil, then bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove, peel, then add the roasted garlic to the food processor along with the other ingredients. For garlic lovers. Or just toss in a few extra fresh garlic cloves.
- Fresh Herbs. You can toss in a few fresh herbs, like parsley, cilantro or basil for a fresh green pop of flavor. Use a combination of fresh herbs.
- Extra Seasonings. Harissa is made with a good portion of spices and seasonings, but if you’d like to add to it, feel free! Add in a tablespoon of your favorite complimentary blend, or your favorite spicy chili powder, or even a touch of black pepper.
- Touch of Citrus. Harissa typically incorporates lemon juice, but if you’d like an additional pop of citrus flavor, add a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or lime juice.
That’s it, my friends! Easy enough! I hope you enjoy your spicy white bean dip! Party on!
Try Some of My Other Popular Dip Recipes
- Black Bean Dip
- Mexican Corn Dip
- Southwest Style Cheese Dip
- One-Pan Hatch Chili Cheese Dip
- Meaty Chili Cheese Dip
- Queso Fundido
- Zesty Layered Taco Dip
- Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip
We have a lot of impromptu gatherings at our house with friends on weekends and Mike’s bean dips are often requested. I love this white bean dip because he can whip it up without even having to leave the party. Who wants to work when you’re having fun? Harissa makes it nice and spicy, just the way I like it.
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
- 12 ounce can white beans drained (cannellini beans are good, as are white northern beans)
- 3 tablespoons harissa see my homemade harissa recipe, or use store bought
- 1/4 cup crema or sour cream use a 1/2 cup for a creamier version
- Salt to taste
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth.
Taste and adjust for salt.
Scoop into a bowl and serve.
Makes about 1.5 cups.
Heat Factor: If you feel the white bean dip is too spicy, add in another 1/4 cup of crema our sour cream, which will counteract some of the heat. If you'd like to up the heat and spiciness, add in spicy red chili flakes, spicy chili powder, or a chopped fresh or roasted hot pepper.