This easy bean dip recipe is just that - super simple and no fuss. Yet, it's still so delicious and full of bold flavors! A food processor does the heavy lifting to pull together this easy vegan bean dip. You just need some canned beans and a few other basic ingredients, many you probably already have in your own pantry.
Note: this post was originally published in 2020 and updated in 2022 with new photos and improved instructions.
I was inspired to make this recipe this week when my husband and I were digging through our pantry at 10 pm on a weeknight, grumbling to each other that we didn't have any good snacks! We did have tortilla chips, but what good is a tortilla chip without something delicious to dip it in? So, I decided I could take matters into my own hands, and I came up with this super fast, super easy bean dip recipe.
Here's why I love this recipe (and why I think you will too!):
- You just need a couple cans of beans and a few other simple ingredients. In fact, there are only 8 total ingredients, and that includes salt and a couple spices!
- This easy bean dip can be made in 10 minutes with no cooking involved. So, if you ever get hungry late at night (like me!), you can whip this bean dip up super quick and get back to your Netflix watching STAT!
- And - there's a secret ingredient that makes this bean dip silky smooth and creamy - oil! I know it sounds weird, but slowly drizzling in some oil while the dip is blending adds a nice softness and extra creamy mouth-feel that takes simple bean dip to new levels!
- You can make this bean dip ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer, so it's perfect for low-stress entertaining.
- This bean dip is also vegan, and can be made gluten free, making it a great option for entertaining with food restrictions. For a gluten free dip, you will need to check that the packaged ingredients are labeled gluten free (avoiding brands that have a risk of gluten cross-contamination). I also found this guide listing the gluten disclosures of various spice brands super helpful!
- Oil: this recipe works best with a neutral flavored oil. I used avocado oil, but grapeseed oil, light olive oil, or sunflower oil would also be good options.
- Onion: any kind you have in the pantry will do, I used yellow onion.
- Cayenne pepper: this is optional, feel free to leave out if you don't like spice (or add even more if you do!).
Step by step photos
1. Add the beans, cilantro, onion, cumin, cayenne and some of the salt and lime to the food processor (see the Tips and tricks section below for an explanation of why not to add all the salt and lime at once!).
2. Pulse in 1 second increments until the bean dip is mostly smooth.
3. Give the bean dip a good stir, scraping down the sides.
4. Switch the food processor to "on" (the continuous setting) and drizzle the oil in slowly through the feed tube.
5. Stir again and taste. (You can see the bean dip has lightened in color a bit from the oil.)
6. Mix in more salt and lime if needed, then enjoy!
Tips and tricks
This bean dip recipe is so easy, you really don't need too many tips! But, here are just a couple small ones I made note of:
Amount of seasoning needed
The amount of salt you need will depend on the type of canned beans you are using and also your personal tastes. For example, if you are using low-sodium beans, you may want to add a little bit more salt.
I would add about ¾ teaspoon of the kosher salt at first, then give the bean dip a taste and add more if needed. I ended up adding a little over 1 teaspoon kosher salt to mine. And if you're using fine grain salt as opposed to kosher salt (which is a coarser grain), you will need less overall so please take that into account!
The same thing goes for the lime juice - your lime may be more or less juicy, or you may like things more or less tart than me. So I would add half the juice, taste, and then add more if you need it.
Measuring the cilantro
This is just a heads-up: you don't need to chop the cilantro or anything before adding it to the food processor. So, to measure it, I just gently rolled it up and nestled it into the measuring cup. No need to pack it in tight or cut it up first. And, you can use the stems too! They taste perfectly good and you won't be able to tell once everything is all blended up.
Yes you can! You can prepare the bean dip and store it, tightly covered, in the fridge for 3 - 4 days before serving. Just wait on garnishing the top with any fresh ingredients, such as chopped onion or cilantro, until right before serving.
And because there are no dairy ingredients, this bean dip freezes well too. For best results, make sure you pack it in an airtight container, and again, leave off any fresh garnishes. This bean dip can be frozen for 2 - 3 months, then defrosted in the fridge for several hours or overnight. And, be sure to give the bean dip a good stir before serving.
This recipe is super versatile and there are many options for substitutions and/or customizations! For example, if you don't have black beans, you can easily swap pinto beans, or even white beans. You can also swap in lemon juice for the lime juice.
There is also a lot of flexibility when it comes to the seasonings. If you like more spice for example, up the cayenne pepper, or add in some fresh or pickled jalapeño! Or, if you don't like cilantro, you can swap in green onion or chives. You can use your imagination and also take inspiration from what you have available in your pantry to customize this easy dip to your own tastes.
I think this bean dip tastes the best paired with tortilla chips (here I used Late July Jalapeño Lime tortilla chips, which are fantastic!). You can also pair this bean dip with pita chips, or just toasted pita bread cut into triangles.
Other options include crackers, toasted bread, or cut raw veggies such as carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, etc.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
This bean dip recipe is ready in only 10 minutes, no cooking involved! Flavored with cumin, lime, cilantro and onion. This quick and easy bean dip also happens to be vegan!
- two 15.5 ounce (439 g) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ medium onion, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup (10 g) cilantro
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- ¾ - 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, to taste (see note 1)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
- juice of ¼ - ½ lime, to taste
- ¼ cup (59 ml) neutral oil (grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, etc.)
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the rinsed and drained beans, roughly chopped onion, cilantro, cumin, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, and the juice of ¼ of a lime.
- Pulse in 1 second increments until the mixture is mostly smooth (about 10 pulses).
- Remove the lid and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Replace the lid and switch the food processor on so it is running continuously.
- Slowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube. When all the oil has been added, turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides again. Taste the bean dip. If needed, add more salt and lime juice; pulse again a few times to combine.
- Serve immediately or keep, tightly covered, in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. (Can be served straight from the fridge, but I like to let it warm up on the counter for about 10 minutes before enjoying.)
Kosher salt is coarse grained; if you want to substitute fine grain salt, start with only ½ teaspoon and add more as needed.
You can also freeze the bean dip in an airtight container for 2 - 3 months. Thaw the bean dip in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving.
If you would like to garnish the bean dip, I suggest chopped cilantro, chopped onion, extra lime wedges, and/or a sprinkle of cayenne over the top. If making the bean dip ahead of time and storing in either the fridge or freezer, leave off any fresh garnishes until right before serving.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅙ recipe
- Calories: 208
- Sugar: 0.5 g
- Sodium: 584 mg
- Fat: 9.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 22.2 g
- Fiber: 6.4 g
- Protein: 7.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: black bean dip, easy bean dip, vegan bean dip