This butter bean dip recipe is packed with flavor from sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, herbs and other fresh ingredients. It’s vegan and gluten free, making it an ideal appetizer or snack for a wide variety of people!
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What are Butter Beans?
Butter beans are a type of legume that are commonly eaten in many parts of the world. There’s sometimes confusion about the difference between butter beans and lima beans but they’re the same bean!
Depending where you live, this delicious bean may either be called a butter bean (sometimes spelled butterbean) or lima bean. Both terms refer to the same legume, but most products don’t list both terms on the package, so be on the lookout for one or the other!
Where I live, these beans are always called lima beans and you wouldn’t find a package of butter beans anywhere.
How to Make Vegan Butter Bean Dip
Making butter bean dip is simple. For this recipe, most of the ingredients are cooked together before blending the dip. This allows for plenty of flavor from sautéing onions, garlic and sun dried tomatoes together.
The butter beans and herbs are cooked in next, allowing them to heat through. This provides additional time for the flavors to come together.
You can use a high-speed blender or food processor for this dip. This recipe creates a very thick dip so a high-speed blender is necessary to allow the dip to blend. Even with a high-speed blender, you’ll likely need extra liquid from vegetable broth to get things going.
If you don’t have a blender, a food processor works well; just scrape down the sides of the processor as you go.
In either case, I like to keep some texture in this dip rather than puree it completely smooth. Blend to whatever texture you prefer. If you want a smooth hummus-like texture, you can certainly do so!
How to Serve Butter Bean Dip
This butter bean dip can be served warm or cold. Both options are tasty, but the temperature makes a difference in how the dip tastes.
When cold, the flavor of the sun dried tomatoes is slightly muted, whereas the other flavors from the butter beans and herbs seems to be more prominent. I also find that each bite tastes different, depending on what you pick up (since I keep the dip chunky, some bites have larger pieces of onion, beans or tomato which changes up the flavor as you go!). To serve cold, the dip needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When this dip is warm, the overall flavor seems to be more uniform but there’s still variation in each bite if you keep some texture in the dip. According to my husband, the warm dip has a rich, somewhat cheesy flavor (despite none of the ingredients directly providing that type of flavor).
Use crackers, veggies, pita bread or chips to scoop up this tasty dip. You can also spread it into a sandwich or wrap for a boost of flavor and nutrition! I find rosemary crackers to be particularly delicious with this herby butter bean dip.
Butter Bean Dip with Sun Dried Tomatoes (Vegan)
- 1 ½ cups butter beans (14 oz/ 398 mL can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes , sliced
- ½ cup tomato , diced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of about ¼ of a lemon)
- ½ teaspoon dry basil
- ½ teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable broth (no salt added/ low sodium)
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- Drain and rinse a can of butter beans. Prepare the chopped onion, minced garlic, sliced sun-dried tomatoes and diced fresh tomatoes.1 ½ cups butter beans, ½ cup onion, 2 cloves garlic, ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes, ½ cup tomato
- In a medium pan, over medium heat, add olive oil along with the onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the onions start to appear translucent and softened.1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, ½ cup onion, 2 cloves garlic, ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes
- Add the butter beans, fresh tomato, lemon juice, dry basil, dry oregano, salt and black pepper. Cook until the fresh tomato starts to soften and release some of its juices.1 ½ cups butter beans, ½ cup tomato, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon dry basil, ½ teaspoon dry oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring into a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Add tahini, vegetable broth and agave syrup to the blender or food processor.2 tablespoons tahini, 2-3 tablespoons vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- Blend until the dip is combined. You can leave a few larger pieces for texture if you like, or blend completely smooth (like hummus). You may need to add vegetable broth to help the dip blend (add 1 tablespoon at a time to get the desired texture).
- Serve warm or chill to serve cold!
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a long-time vegan with a Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes.