This appetizer recipe is one that I keep coming back to, anytime I need to make something for a party. This eggplant dip with white beans is creamy because of the roasted eggplant, and it's herby from the unique combination of fresh oregano, mint, and pine nuts. It's a surprisingly delicious bean appetizer that everyone loves!
I'm sharing this recipe far ahead of summer eggplant season, but I have a purpose. In my area, it's time to start planting the seeds for your summer gardens. While we still have to bring our seedlings in at night because of the cool night air, I am tending my tomato and eggplant seeds with so much love and care.
I hope this recipe for eggplant dip with white beans will make you want you to choose to grow eggplant, too! It's one of those dips that looks plain and simple because it's a boring tan color, but it is lively with flavor.
After roasting the eggplant until it's very soft and basically collapsing in the oven, it's blended with white beans, pine nuts, fresh mint, fresh oregano, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor. This combination of fresh herbs, creamy eggplant and white beans makes this such an amazing appetizer bean dip!
How to Make Eggplant Dip with White Beans
If you think you might not be an eggplant fan, stop right here and make this. Cooking eggplant under the broiler until collapsing in the oven is a whole different type of eggplant than what you might think. To be honest, I never grew up on eggplant, but the first time I had baba ganoush, I was hooked.
Speaking of baba ganoush, that is often the main eggplant dip you think of when you think of Mediterranean dips. That is basically a hummus where roasted eggplant is substituted in place of chickpeas, to put it simply. Both of those dips contain tahini (sesame seed paste), while this recipe below does not. I'm happy to provide an allergy safe eggplant dip recipe that does not contain tahini, because I have friends with sesame allergies. Please note that this eggplant dip contains pine nuts, however!
- Olive Oil. We need 5 total tablespoons of olive oil, half for roasting the eggplant and the rest for the dip. I like to use an extra virgin olive oil, since the dip won't be cooked.
- Eggplant. Today, I'm using one small globe-like Italian eggplant that weighs about 1.5 pounds. If you have a different variety or shape of eggplant, that is fine, but just weigh it. Also know that different shapes of eggplants will have different baking times in order to cook and become soft. Also be sure it's a variety that becomes soft and mushy when cooked.
- Garlic. Just one clove of raw garlic that you mince before adding to the processor bowl.
- White Beans. One cup of any type of white beans that have been drained and rinsed if they are canned. You can use navy beans, Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, or even garbanzo beans here. If you like butter beans, make my butter bean hummus with the rest of the can.
- Lemon Juice. Just two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice is all we need, but I also like to garnish this dip with some lemon zest.
- Fresh Mint. We need two tablespoons of chopped fresh mint leaves. I know you have some in the garden that is taking over the rest of the yard right now!
- Fresh Oregano. While fresh oregano isn't the easiest to find, I really think it's worth it. When oregano is fresh, it has much more of a lemon and mint flavor. Dried oregano is okay, but quite different. That said, you can use ½ teaspoon of dried oregano if you can't find or grow fresh.
- Pine Nuts. Place the two tablespoons of pine nuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat until brown spots form. Keep an eye on it, stir frequently, and be sure to remove them from the pan to let them cool so they don't continue cooking. I also like to serve extra pine nuts on top of this eggplant dip.
- Salt and Pepper.
First, crank you oven to the broil setting, and ensure the oven rack is 4 inches from the broiler. Slice your 1.5 pound eggplant in half, and rub all sides with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper.
Broil the eggplant until the skin is very charred and the actual fresh of the eggplant is starting to collapse. This will take about 20 minutes, but check on it every 5 minutes or so, and use tongs to reposition if any part of it starts to turn too black. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, beans, remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 tablespoon of warm water, the fresh lemon juice, chopped mint, chopped oregano, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Puree the mixture until very smooth. Then, use a spoon to scrape out the soft fresh of the eggplant once its cool, and add it to the food processor. Be careful not to add any of the eggplant skin.
Puree again, and once smooth, stop and taste the dip with a pita chip. Add more salt, lemon juice, or herbs if you think it needs it.
Scrape the eggplant dip into a bowl, and garnish with more olive oil and pine nuts, and then serve with pita triangles.
As for making this recipe ahead of time, this eggplant dip can be made up to 2 days in advance. Simply store in the fridge until you're ready to serve. However, please note that it tastes best at room temperature to slightly warm, not cold.
FAQ: Eggplant Dip
If you make this tasty eggplant dip and have leftovers, you might wonder if you can freeze it for future enjoyment. Personally, I have to say that the answer is no. I know the internet says it's okay, because it's just vegetables, beans and some oil, but the consistency changes so much once frozen and thawed. Just cut the recipe in half if you don't think you can eat a whole batch. Spread it on sandwiches instead of mayo, stuffed chicken with it, or mix it with rice and stuff it into a pepper for baking. It's better to put the eggplant dip leftovers to use than freeze it, in my opinion.
This eggplant dip is entirely vegan and full of plant-based protein with the white beans. I would consider it healthy, but you can always scroll to the recipe card for the full nutrition information.
The most common eggplant dip is baba ganoush, but this recipe here is not the same. This recipe does not contain tahini, and instead, relies on pine nuts, fresh herbs and beans to be unique. Regular baba ganoush doesn't contain beans, so you wouldn't see it on my Bean Recipes site.
Other Dip Recipes:
- If you like lots of additions to your standard dip, this Seven Layer Dip has lots of deliciousness!
- If you're missing tahini, don't miss my classic Easy Hummus Recipe.
- Something to scoop up with tortilla chips is this Black Bean Skillet Dinner recipe.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pound small eggplant
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- First, position a rack 4-inches from the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and heat the broiler to HIGH.
- Cut the eggplant in half, and rub it all over with the 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and place cut-side down on the baking sheet.
- Broil the eggplant until the skin is very charred and the eggplant is starting to collapse, about 20 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven, and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, toast the pinenuts in a dry skillet until brown spots start to appear. Remove from the pan to cool completely.
- Then, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, beans, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon of warm water, lemon juice, mint, oregano, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper. Puree the mixture until very smooth.
- Then, carefully scrape out the flesh from the eggplant to add to the food processor bowl. Do not use the purple skin of the eggplant. Puree the eggplant with the bean and herb mixture until smooth. Serve with pita chips for dipping, and garnish with extra olive oil, pine nuts or lemon zest.
Make-Ahead: This can be made up to 2 days in advance. Simply store in the fridge until you're ready to serve. However, please note that it tastes best at room temperature to slightly warm, not cold.
Storage: Eat the leftovers within 3 days. I don't recommend freezing, because the texture changes too much upon thawing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 357mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g