Hummus with a twist! Here’s a cannellini bean dip that gives you everything you want from a good bowl of hummus. It’s smooth and creamy, luxuriously rich and full of flavour - but this hummus is made from beans!
Hummus from beans
Hummus, of course, is typically made from chickpeas. But the flavour, and most of its creamy, rich texture comes from the other ingredients - the garlic and lemon, the tahini and the olive oil.
In this cannellini bean dip recipe, the small white beans give you all the creaminess you will ever get from chickpeas, and you won’t spot any difference in flavour. Chances are that once you’ve tried it, you’ll like this cannellini bean hummus even more than classic hummus!
Beans are pulses, just like chickpeas, and both are high-protein staples in vegetarian and vegan cooking. They might not look the same, have a different basic flavour, and are usually used in recipes of different cuisines. But we don’t see why they shouldn’t be used in the same way!
In fact, this is not the first time that we’ve made hummus from beans. Back in late 2018 during our Food Waste Challenge we made hummus from adzuki beans that a friend was going to throw in the bin. We also used them to make The Infamous Apple Curry, and it was better than any chickpea curry we've had before!
So next time you try to add some protein to your diet or get tired of chickpeas, why not try beans?
Here’s what you need to make this cannellini bean dip:
- Cannellini beans, a small white type of bean - any white (and probably any other colour) beans will do!
- Tahini - the sesame paste is the other main component of hummus.
- Olive oil - brings a lot of richness and smoothness to the dip!
- Lemon juice and vinegar - for a slight tang and acidic note.
- Salt, ground coriander and garlic powder - for flavour. You can use one or two cloves of garlic in place of 1 tsp of powder.
- Water - just enough to achieve the right texture.
Step by step
STEP 1 - Put all ingredients except for oil in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.
STEP 2 - While the blender is running, slowly pour in the oil, and continue blending until it is incorporated.
STEP 3 - Check the texture. Add a small amount of water if it seems too thick.
STEP 4 - Transfer to a bowl and garnish with beans, olive oil, spices or herbs to your taste!
Cooking cannellini beans
You can use canned cannellini beans for this recipe, but we get ours dry and have to cook them first. Here’s how we do it to get soft and creamy beans for making hummus:
- Soak beans in plenty of water overnight (they will double up in volume).
- Drain and rinse the beans. In a saucepan, cover them with lightly salted water.
- Simmer them for 2 hours until soft, or pressure cook for 45 minutes.
- Let them cool down in their liquid or rinse with cold water before using.
- Cook a large batch of beans at once. Refrigerate leftovers for up to a few days before using in a variety of dishes. We like to freeze them in small batches, so we always have some beans handy when we need them!
Cooking dried beans might take a bit of planning, time and getting used to, but it’s cheaper and leaves more space in your pantry!
Canned vs dried beans
A standard 400g (15 oz.) can is approximately equivalent to:
- 1 ½ cups of cooked beans or
- ¾ cup of dried beans (make sure to cook them before using in this recipe)
Like mentioned, you can use other types of beans. Though you wouldn’t get the typical color of hummus, even dark beans like kidney or adzuki beans make a perfect dip!
If you don’t want to use vinegar, just add an extra bit of lemon juice. If you don’t have lemons however, we advise you to be careful when adding more vinegar because of its dominant flavour.
There are no rules to what’s possible when flavouring hummus. Add fresh herbs like coriander (cilantro), or vary the spices. Ground cumin and curry powder are common flavourings in hummus. Garam masala or smoked paprika are worth trying, too.
Why not add other flavours like caramelised onion to your cannellini bean hummus?
A classic way of serving hummus is in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of paprika and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. We also love how nigella seeds add their unique powerful flavour!
This white bean hummus goes great with anything you can dip in it: crackers, bread sticks, pita or any type of bread. Or simply use it as a spread.
Use it when filling tortillas to add some moisture and flavour to burritos! Serve it alongside falafel or burgers, or just eat it by the spoonful!
We hope you like this white bean dip! You might also enjoy our other hummus and bean recipes:
Cannellini Bean Hummus
- olive oil
- nigella seeds
- Add all the ingredients, except the oil, into the blender: Beans, tahini, lemon juice, vinegar, water, salt, ground coriander and garlic powder.
- Blend until very smooth. Depending on the power of your blender this can take 3-5 minutes - no need to hurry!
- While the blender is running, slowly pour in the oil, and continue blending until it is incorporated.
- Turn off the blender and check the texture. Add a bit more water if it seems a bit too thick.
- To serve the bean hummus as a dip, transfer to a bowl and garnish with a few whole cooked beans, a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of paprika and some nigella seeds.
SubstitutionsBeans: Any type of beans will make a smooth and creamy dip, as long as they are well cooked and soft. The color might vary, of course. Vinegar: Just use extra lemon juice. Garlic powder: Use 2 cloves of fresh garlic in place of 1 tsp garlic powder. Coriander: Simply omit or add any flavourings you want, like cumin, curry powder, garam masala, etc. Olive oil: Other oils can also give a smooth and rich texture, but olive oil powers the best flavour.
Drizzling in the olive oilOpinions on this vary. When olive oil gets blended for a while at high speed, some of its bitter components might be exposed, resulting in a more bitter flavour. But if you are in a hurry or just can't be bothered, blending the oil with the rest of the ingredients from the beginning is fine.
Canned vs Cooked BeansYou can either use canned beans, or you can start with dry beans and cook them from scratch. Whatever you choose, here's how to know how many to use: 1 (15 oz. / 400 g) can of beans equals approximately:
- 9 oz. / 250 g drained or cooked beans
- ¾ cups or 125 g dry beans