White Bean Dip with Jalapeño & Cilantro makes a creamy, zesty party appetizer when served with tortilla chips…but it’s also a healthy, flavor-packed dip for enjoying raw veggies!
Today’s recipe is like the perfect January mash-up! So as not to botch any New Year’s resolutions, it’s a health-conscious dip that can be served with raw veggies for a fantastic alternative to calorie-laden dip or dressing. But this White Bean Dip with Jalapeño & Cilantro also happens to be tasty enough to serve at parties or gatherings, alongside a big bowl of tortilla chips…think upcoming Super Bowl. Nobody will ever guess that it’s light and practically guilt-free!
Several times per year, when there’s a big sporting event to watch on TV, my family has a tradition of making a bunch of different appetizers for dinner and sitting around the coffee table to eat. Whether it’s a college bowl game or the Final Four, the World Series or the Olympics, the Tour de France or the Super Bowl, each family member gets to pick a recipe that they’d like to have included in the spread that night.
For the recent College Football National Championship game, my 9-year-old requested a Zesty Black Bean Dip that I shared on the blog several years back. Problem was, I didn’t have any canned black beans in the pantry. So I asked him if he’d be okay with me changing things up a bit and attempting a similar dip with white beans instead. Lucky for us, my boy was game and the happy result is this White Bean Dip with Jalapeño & Cilantro!
This recipe couldn’t be any easier to make – it’s as simple as whipping everything together in the food processor. And despite its base of mild white cannellini beans, it’s oh-so-flavorful thanks to fresh garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, a splash of lime juice, and a few Tex-Mex seasonings, including cumin and a touch of chipotle chile pepper powder for a slightly smoky undertone.
You can easily control the heat of this dip by adjusting your fresh jalapeño usage. Most of the heat in a jalapeño is retained in its seeds and membranes. So completely remove them for flavor and only mild heat, or leave ‘em intact for a spicy dip. You can also up the dip’s heat and smokiness by adding a bit more chipotle chile pepper powder, but do so gradually because a little bit goes a loooooong way. And for smokiness without the heat, you can always swap out smoked paprika instead.
When I made this recipe, I tossed in two jalapeños with seeds and membranes removed and my dip was spicy but not overly so. My hot-salsa-eating kiddos had no problem with the heat…but do keep in mind that they’re hot-salsa-eating kiddos. 😉 In fact, my boys loved this white bean dip so much that they asked if I could start making it as a dip for the raw veggies that we eat with dinner several nights a week. And of course I agreed, because anything that encourages them to eat more vegetables (especially when that anything also happens to be healthy!) is A-OK in my book. As a bonus, one batch of dip lasts all week.
I’m a huge fan of drool-worthy dips, but many of my favorites are loaded with cream cheese or cheddar or sour cream. So it’s nice to have a few recipes in my repertoire that are on the lighter side while still being packed with flavor. After all, one bite of White Bean Dip with Jalapeño & Cilantro means that I can eat three bites of queso, right? Because I’m all about balance. 😉
More football-friendly dips…