Ultra creamy, lemony, and just enough garlicy white bean hummus! Serve it plain with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, or dress it up with some nutty dukkah (highly recommended). The perfect bean dip!
So let me clarify right away that this white bean dip is not the traditional Middle Eastern hummus I grew up with. But, I am often asked about chickpea alternatives when it comes to making hummus. Today's recipe is the answer!
Can you use white beans instead of chickpeas in hummus?
The short answer is yes. Chickpeas are the ideal, traditional option for making hummus, but white beans are a good alternative if you need one.
There is a variety of white bean choices out there: cannellini, navy, Great Northern, and butter beans. So, which kind of white bean should you use to make this white bean dip?
Even though any canned white beans you choose will likely work just fine in this recipe, I am going to recommend butter beans. Butter beans, also known as baby lima beans, have the softest texture. They are starchy and buttery and perfect for making an ultra creamy dip.
White bean hummus you'll love!
This white bean dip is a slight digression from classic hummus, since I use white beans instead of chickpeas. But it carries pretty much the same characteristics we love about classic hummus:
- Extra smooth
- Just enough garlic
- Perfect as a dip for veggies and pita chips or spread on your sandwiches
What's in this white bean hummus recipe?
If you've made my classic hummus before, the list of ingredients here will look familiar but slightly different. Here is what you need to make this white bean hummus recipe (the full recipe with measurements below):
- White beans. I used 1 can of butter beans, drained and rinsed.
- Tahini paste. Just like classic hummus, a core ingredient here is tahini paste. The kind of tahini will make a difference in flavor and texture (I use this Organic Soom Tahini from pressed organic Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds offering a creamy texture and a nutty flavor).
- Spices. I used a trio of warm Middle Eastern spices to add flavor: cumin, coriander, and Aleppo-style pepper (it is not a very spicy pepper, but does have a little bit of a kick and balanced with some sweet undertones). Check out the Mediterranean spices I use.
- Lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Top it with Dukkah!
Now, this is optional, but if you want to take this bean dip to next level delicious, add a big sprinkle of Egyptian dukkah on top just before you serve it!
Dukkah is a wonderful blend of nuts like hazelnuts and pistachios, seeds, and warm spices and flavors including cumin, coriander, and fennel. You can make dukkah ahead of time and store it in a tight-lid mason jar for up to 2 weeks! It adds crunch and loads of flavor to something like this white bean dip, and you'll find many more uses for it (on your salads, soups and more). Here is my dukkah recipe to try.
How to make white bean hummus
- Blend the beans and garlic in the food processor until a smooth mixture forms
- While the processor is running, from the top opening of the lid, add an ice cube, ¼ cup tahini, juice of ½ lemon, a big dash of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, and Aleppo-style pepper. Blend until you reach an ultra smooth, creamy white bean hummus. If it is too thick, run the processor again and drizzle a very small amount of hot water and keep blending.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice to your liking. And if you like your hummus even more nutty, add more tahini (if you add anything, you need to blitz the hummus some more to make sure everything is well blended).
- Serve or chill! You can enjoy the dip right away or, if you're not in a hurry, I recommend you chill the dip, covered in the fridge so it thickens a bit more.
When ready, spread the dip in a bowl and add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and, if you've made my dukkah, add a couple of tablespoons on top (optional but so highly recommended).
Serve it with
Now, it is only logical to add some veggies and pita chips (or pita bread) to serve with this white bean hummus! You can also pile your white bean dip with some hummus toppings like charred shallots and blistered shishito peppers for a light vegan meal!
You can also serve this dip next to other Mediterranean entrees like:
- Lemony baked cod or shrimp kabobs
- Harissa Chicken or Chicken Kabobs
- Rack of lamb or grilled Kofta Skewers
- Grilled vegetables
White Bean Hummus
- 1 15- ounce can white beans, (I recommend butter beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 ice cube
- ¼ cup tahini, I used Soom Tahini, well-stirred
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to your liking
- Kosher salt
- Juice of ½ lemon, more to your liking
- Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Homemade Dukkah, optional, to serve (use this homemade dukkah recipe)
- Add the beans and minced garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until a smooth mixture forms.
- While the processor is running, add an ice cube, tahini, lemon juice, spices and a big dash of kosher salt. Blend for about 4 minutes or so. Check, and if the consistency is too thick, run processor and slowly add a drizzle of hot water. Blend until you reach your desired silky smooth consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon juice to your liking. If you need more garlic, add another minced clove. And if you like the dip to be even more nutty, add a little more tahini. Make sure to run the processor again until everything is well combined.
- Serve or chill the dip for a later time (chilling will thicken the white bean hummus some, which is recommended). When ready to serve, spread the hummus in a serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Top with 2 to 3 teaspoons of dukkah, if using.
- If using dukkah, which I highly recommend, you can make it in advance. Use this homemade dukkah recipe and store in a tight-lid mason jar (it will last for up to 2 weeks).
- Leftovers: White bean hummus will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. I like to store the white bean hummus plain, adding olive oil or dukkah later when ready to serve.
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