Hot {and healthy!} White Bean Dip

I’m a snacker. It’s often the downfall of my weight-loss attempts. I’m very active and great at exercising; I also eat a relatively healthy and balanced diet. What kills me is my need to constantly munch! So if you’re like me, then one key to healthy living might be to keep healthy snacks around. I tend to eat what’s in front of me, and in my house that’s usually fishy crackers, fruit snacks, and a constant supply of open chocolate chip bags. And having plastic containers of sliced carrots and celery in the fridge just doesn’t do it for me, I sometimes just need things with a little more substance. So while this dip has quite a few more calories than a celery stick, it’s also a lot more satisfying. When it comes to making healthy choices, a dip like this with a few pita chips might be much healthier than your alternatives (regular chips and ranch dip for example). Plus it’s suuuper tasty. I really love it.

You might be wondering how I am calling this “healthy” when it involves not only bacon, but the drippings too! I think this is a really important aspect of healthy cooking so listen up. It’s often more beneficial to include a little bit of a whole, calorie rich ingredient than to use a greater amount of a low calorie substitution. Using a couple of pieces of bacon and some of the drippings adds a great deal of flavor without a tremendous amount of calories. Likewise, using a few pats of real butter in a recipe will give you much better results (and generally be more satisfying) than substituting some low-calorie margarine. Think about eating a thin slice of rich chocolate cake, or a couple of squares of dark chocolate instead of a few of those packaged low-calorie diet cupcakes. A little bit of a good ingredient goes a long way, so the trick is just to not overdo it.

So now, on to this scrumptious dip!

Start by cooking your bacon. I slice it up into 1″ pieces and pop it right in my pot. Cook until crisp and then drain it on a paper towel. I know I just talked about portion control, but I’m also human. I always do twice as much bacaon as I need because I will eat half of it before it ever goes in the dip.

You’re going to reserve the bacon drippings in the pan. If you’ve got too much, just blot some up with a paper towel. I just leave enough to coat the bottom of the pan, 2-3 teaspoons. Then you’ll throw your garlic in there.

I don’t know if there is any smell so magnificent as fresh garlic sizzling in bacon drippings. I would pay someone to make that into a scented candle.

then your beans go in the pot, after they’ve been rinsed and drained.

Then add chicken broth. I always use low-sodium broth. I think it tastes just the same as the regular kind but which much less sodium.

After that simmers for a few minutes, you pop it in the food processor with some hot sauce, spices, and fresh lemon juice. Oh, and green onions- looks like I forgot that pic!

Process it until smooth. The original recipe calls for stirring in the crumbled bacon at the end (saving a little sprinkle for the top). However I like to toss it in the food processor and pulse it a few times at the end. I think breaking up the bacon distributes the flavor better and I like the smoother texture.

It’s best served with pita chips. You can make your own, basically following the same directions as these baked tortilla chips (but skip the cinnamon sugar!) or buy some at the store like these:

I really like Stacey’s Pita Chips too.

I munched on this while watching the Biggest Loser last night. Why do I always get so hungry watching people sweat their tail’s off?!


woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Wow! This is indeed a delicious dip that is far different from the dips you can buy in grocery stores. I love the bacon in it. Yummy!

  2. Very tasty!! But i wish i would have doubled the recipe! It doesn’t make a lot of dip.. I could probably eat the entire bowl, but i will try to contain myself!!

  3. Ok, so I don’t own a food processor…some day! Will my good ‘ole blender work just as well? I really want to try this dip. It looks and sounds fabulous!

    1. Andrea, you can try it. It really depends on the blender, you’ll probably have to do a blend and scrape kind of thing. But the good thing is that it’s actually okay if it’s not completely smooth so go for it!

  4. Tanya, there's nothing in the dip that would make the color anything but the color of white beans so that makes me think maybe you used the wrong type- or had a bad can. It's just a regular 14 oz can.

  5. Hmm, I had trouble with this one, too. It was MUCH darker than the one in the photo and very thick. What size can of beans did you use?

  6. I think I screwed up, but I don't know how. 🙁 I made this over the weekend and it turned out horrible. The garlic was SO over-powering, and I only used three cloves instead of four. I have made a ton of your recipes and loved every single one of them, so it HAD to have been an error on my part. I'm definitely going to attempt it again and see how it goes.

  7. I made this for Thanksgiving, but I didn't have any bacon, it was still super tasty! I just made it for Christmas, and kind of split the recipes: "Lemon Rosemary Bean Dip" without the bacon, and "Bacon Bean Dip" without the rosemary and lemon. Both are delicious!

  8. ooo, this sounds so yummy and I wonder if I add some of those frozen basil cubes from Trader joe's it might taste like their WHite bean and basil hummus? hmmm….

  9. not only does this look absolutely delicious, but you are also SO RIGHT about the importance of not forfeiting the good ingredients. I find that filling a dish with some low-cal substitute is the quickest way to turn me off and head for the potato chips. Thanks for sharing. Def. going to try!

  10. This looks awesome! Just this past weekend I found a delish chiptole black bean dip. It was fantastic! Do you by chance have a recipe?

    Thanks & Happy Friday!

  11. Hi! I just discovered your site. This dip looks amazing! God bless Cooking Light… thanks so much for sharing!

  12. ooooh this looks yummy-licious !! Just think about all the poor souls who have to eat the bean in a can dip..yechhh! I'll be making this tonight !!! Why wait for the stupor bowl lol.

  13. Wow… this dip looks *fantastic*. I, too, am a snacker. I think this would be so yummy with some endive.

  14. Oh me oh my this looks tasty! I love a good dip and this looks right up my alley. I am getting a little burnt out on hummus and this seems like it will be a good alternative.

  15. I'm thinking of this for the Super Bowl. No one will know I'm eating healthy. Thanks

  16. This taste great, like "want to eat it with a spoon" and "forget dinner, WE HAVE DIP!" great.
    Thanks for the lemon!

  17. Amber- I should have included that in the post. It reheats GREAT. So much so that you can totally make it way ahead of time and just warm it up in the microwave when you want to eat it. You can eat it cold too- but I think it's better warm.

    Wendy- you didn't know I read minds?? I totally do. I can even see you bringing me a plate of cookies today 🙂 haha

  18. Are you reading my mind? I've been wanting a "healthy" dip since the beginning of December.

  19. This looks great! Now, if there are left overs, (I doubt there ould be lol) would you recomend just popping it in the microwave or is it one of those things that doesnt keep well?

  20. This sounds so great and I'm currenlty collecting some tasty recipes for Super Bowl eats. This would be perfect!

  21. This sounds awesome, and you totally described me to a 'T' with the great-at-exercising-but-constantly-snacking part…especially the chocolate chips, I thought I was the only one who did that 🙂