roasted garlic balsamic white bean dip

No matter how hard I try, I can’t get excited about the Thanksgiving feast. Turkey, stuffing, cranberries – I don’t know, they’re all just fine, but Thanksgiving isn’t the eat-until-you-pop day for me that it is for a lot of people. I do love the idea of a free for all food day though. I also love football, so the Super Bowl tends to be my big overeating event.

But even a day of unapologetic binging requires some vegetables. Besides the ubiquitous salsa and guacamole, that is. Since I was already treating myself, I suppose I could have made a delicious mayonnaise and sour cream based dip, but I wanted to leave plenty of belly space for the brownies, meatball sliders, and that guacamole, so I stuck to a light bean dip for the vegetables.

The problem with bean dip is that it’s always a battle between how healthy it is and how much flavor it has. If you don’t want to add cream cheese or butter or nut butters, it can be difficult to find ingredients to bump up the flavor.

Three strong flavors help make this white bean dip interesting – roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. The result? A bean dip worth filling up on.

One year ago: Vegetarian Chili
Two years ago: Salmon Pesto Pasta

Printer Friendly Recipe
Roasted Garlic White Bean Balsamic Dip (adapted substantially from Bon Appetit via epicurious)

1 head of garlic, outer papery skin removed
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 (15-ounce) can white beans (cannellini, navy, great northern), drained and rinsed
pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar plus extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon oil from jar of sun-dried tomatoes

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400ºF. Cut ¼-inch off of the top of the bulb of garlic. Place the bulb in an 8-inch square of foil and drizzle with ½ teaspoon of the oil. Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast until soft, about 40 minutes.

2. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves from their peels and put them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the tomatoes and salt; process until smooth. Add the beans and pepper and continue processing. With the machine running, pour in the balsamic vinegar and sun-dried tomato oil. Adjust the seasonings if necessary, and serve, drizzling with more balsamic vinegar.


  1. I think that is a GENIUS way of getting a thick, rich dip without the fat. I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t think of it first, hehe 😉 Thanks so much for this recipe – I’m very slowly losing my USA weight!!

  2. I can see how the roasted garlic does wonders here 🙂

  3. I may be mildly obsessed with bean dips, and this one looks incredible! The balsamic looks like an amazing addition, and honestly you can’t go wrong with roast garlic! One for my next dinner party, I’m sure 🙂

  4. This is a great dip. Healthy and delicious. I love the color it takes on too.

  5. Oooh, this looks delicious! I’m going to give this a try for my next party. Or, you know, TV-watching-fest.

  6. This looks so good – I’m definitely going to try it!

  7. OK, I almost fainted when I saw that first picture. Holy cow! Gorgeous. And a great recipe, to boot.

  8. Linessa says:

    Yum -o, dude. This looks incredible and I’m so going to try it this weekend! The pictures are incredible. Thanks!

  9. Jamie says:

    MMMMMMmmmmmMMMMMMmmmm, I can’t stop eating this one! Mmmmm!

  10. Jackie says:

    Sooooo yummy! I’ve made it for three holiday parties and it’s been a hit at every one! Thanks so much for sharing!