It used to be that if you said the words “bean dip” to me, my mind would immediately go to Mexican-spiced refried beans, all warmed up so that the cheese is perfectly melted and oozy over chips. But now that– as Nelly would so eloquently say– it’s getting hot in here, the idea of keeping dips warm for a party or backyard barbecue seems outrageous. And not in a good way.
But hang on for a second, because I’m about to introduce you to a dip that is outrageous in a good way. A bean dip that’s bright and weather-appropriate, but with the same yummy, creamy, savory appeal.
It’s called Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bean Dip, and for the rest of the summer, when I hear “bean dip”, I’ll dream of nothing else.
This Italian-inspired bean dip features creamy cannellini beans, sun dried tomatoes, cream cheese, lemon juice, plenty of garlic, loads of fresh basil, and a kick of crushed red pepper, which are all simply blended together in the food processor. All hail that time-saving machine. I love that I can decide to whip this up minutes before guests arrive without having to stress or make a mess!
But back to those ingredients we were just talking about. There are a ton of loud flavors in there, from zesty to spicy to tangy, but everything balances out in the dip. It’s got the flavors of a summery sun dried tomato pesto, plus the richness of the cream cheese, but with an almost hummus-like consistency thanks to the buttery cannellini beans. In other words, it’s fantastic. There’s simply no other way to slice it.
Speaking of slices, my favorite thing to serve this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bean Dip with is sliced up crusty bread for either dunking the dip in, or spreading it over. It also would be great scooped up onto vegetables, pita chips, or potato chips, or slathered onto crackers. James even used a bit as a bagel spread, so if some leftovers somehow survive your next party, use it up the next day for breakfast!
Don’t get too excited about the idea though. Odds are, you’re not gonna have any leftovers. We almost didn’t the first time I made it, and James and I were the only two people home…
We killed a whole baguette in one sitting between the two of us, just to scoop the dip up.
So maybe just set a bit aside if you want to spread it on your morning bagel. 😉
Obviously all of the intense flavors make the Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bean Dip impossible for me to resist, and I doubt I’ll be alone.
I’m not saying that you’ll devore a whole bowlful yourself… but baby, there’s a new bean dip in town, and it gives people an outrageous appetite. Or so I’ve heard.
- 12 ounces cannellini beans
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, plus more to garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, divided
- Crushed red pepper, to taste
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cannellini beans, lemon juice, cream cheese, basil, garlic, and half of the sun dried tomatoes. Process until smooth, streaming in the oil from the sun dried tomatoes as needed until smooth and well-combined. Taste and season with crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add additional sun dried tomatoes to the dip, if desired.
- Transfer the dip to a shallow serving bowl and use the back of a spoon to create a swirled indent in the top. Chop the remaining sun dried tomatoes and top the dip with them. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
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