This white bean dip recipe is huge on flavor and so easy to make with white beans pureed with spicy harissa and seasonings. My favorite white bean dip!
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 Creamy 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.
Let's talk about how to make white bean dip, shall we? It's so easy!
White Bean Dip Ingredients
- White Beans. Use a 12 ounce can, drained.
- Harissa. I use my homemade harissa recipe, but you can use store bought if you prefer.
- Sour Cream. Or use Mexican crema, my favorite.
- Olive Oil. Use your favorite brand.
- Lemon. Use lemon juice and zest for a citrus pop.
- Salt. To taste. Black pepper is good, too.
Creamy White Bean Dip - the Recipe Method
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, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 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 the bowl of a food processor along with the harissa and crema or sour cream, olive oil and lemon juice + lemon zest, and salt.
Step Three. Process Until Smooth. It only takes a minute or so. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper as needed.
Step Four. Scoop it into a bowl and serve it up! Drizzle on a tablespoon of olive oil or more, and sprinkle with chili flakes.
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.
White Bean Dip Serving Suggestions
- 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.
White Bean Dip Recipe Variations
- 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 fresh rosemary, 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.
That's it, my friends! Easy enough! I hope you enjoy your spicy white bean dip! Party on!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- The White Beans. You can use any type of cooked white beans for this recipe, though I recommend either cannellini beans or great northern beans. Navy beans can work. 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.
Storage & Leftovers
Storing your Creamy White Bean Dip in an airtight container in the fridge may allow you to store the leftovers for up to 3-4 days. To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate the dip promptly.
Looking to Buy Harissa? Buy Harissa at Amazon (affiliate link, my friends!). There are many different brands to choose from.
Try Some of My Other Popular Dip Recipes
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.
Creamy White Bean Dip Recipe
- 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
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Salt to taste
FOR GARNISH: Olive oil, spicy chili flakes
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Taste and adjust for salt.
- Scoop into a bowl and serve.