White Bean and Pesto Dip

White Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.com

Is it weird to have a favorite color to photograph? Because mine is definitely green.

Cilantro on guacamole and scallions on tofu,
Asparagus with kale and avocado gazpacho,
Eggs that use herbs instead of mayonnaise, these are a few of my favorite things!

…to see through a lens.

Greens always look so fresh, the way nothing else can. I try to add at least a touch of green to every recipe I photograph (the savory ones at least!) to give that vibrant feeling to the dish. I guess that’s not so hard – what’s a vegetarian blog without greens?! – but it’s crazy to me how much more appetizing I find my own photos when they have a sprinkle of herbs.

Orrrr when they’ve got green all over!

White Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.com

Now that I think about it, my love for green might have something to do with easing white balance pains. Whether a touch too yellow or a touch too blue, greens don’t look too funky. Not like I struggle with white balance or anything… hah! #foodbloggerproblems

In other news, I’m deeming this the unofficial Week of Pesto on Coffee & Quinoa. Because when life gives you friends with a bountiful basil harvest, you basically have no other choice.

White Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.comWhite Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.com

That’s right, if you can believe such a thing, I didn’t use leftovers from Monday’s cilantro pesto to make this dip… no sir! I made several batches of basil pesto over the weekend, and some of it found its way into this bean dip.

Best decision everrr. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy taking some extra-green pictures, but it tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself. The more pesto in my life, the merrier.

White Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.com

This dip is so simple it’s almost embarrassing – a few cans of beans, a scoop of pesto, and some extra lemon and garlic thrown in for good measure. It’s a light, fresh version of pesto in dip form, and I’d venture to say you could pair it with almost any chip, cracker or veggie you please. I’ve eaten it with these sweet potato chips (Food Should Taste Good brand), carrot sticks, and even with roasted broccoli.

Yep… unless you plan on breathing in close proximity to a stranger in the hours after eating it, it’s pretty much perfect.

You know, the usual pesto dilemma.

White Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.com

I also love that this dip is as infinitely adaptable as it is simple. Think it would be good with a sun dried tomato pesto? I bet you’re right! Want to use up leftover cilantro pesto? Just use lime instead of lemon! It’s all deadly. (Bonus points if you know which movie that’s from.)

I’ve been eating this dip for dinner all week as I try to clean out the fridge before heading out of town on Friday. Because guess who has a bachelorette party this weekend?! I think it’s safe to say I should load up on the greenery while I can.

Pesto for everyone!

White Bean and Pesto Dip | coffeeandquinoa.com

5.0 from 2 reviews
White Bean and Pesto Dip
Hands-on time
Total time
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto (basil, cilantro, etc.)
  • up to 1/4 cup water
For serving:
  • olive oil
  • pine nuts
  • chips
  1. Process garlic cloves in a food processor until finely minced. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth, adding water as necessary.
  2. Transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with pine nuts. Serve with chips or your favorite dippers. Enjoy!
  3. This dip keeps well in the refrigerator up to 5 days.


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  1. says

    Green is by far my favorite color to photograph, too!! We should get together and photograph alllll of the green things forever and ever, amen! And since we’re on the topic, do you also loooooath photographing red? Cause I do. Maybe I just haven’t figured out a way of getting red to not be all blown out and over-exposed. One of these days I’ll figure red out.

    This dip! YUM! Nothing embarrassing about a simple yet genius recipe! I never would have thought to add pesto to white bean dip and now that you’ve intro-ed me to the concept, I’m pretty psyched to give it a go!

    • Erica says

      Ah, so this is why you wrote a kale cookbook :) And now that you mention it, what is up with the color red?! I have so much trouble photographing red, orange and pink – they always end up blown out for me, too. Something to work on I guess!

  2. says

    This sounds so good! I’m with you on photographing green… everything looks so fresh and lovely with a sprinkle of herbs :)

  3. says

    Not weird at all. Mine’s orange. I love love love photographing pumpkins + persimmons. This looks delicious. I <3 the creaminess of white beans!

  4. says

    Oh man, this would be ridiculous on pizza!! With some fresh tomato and mozzarella…yep, that’s happening.

    I have noticed your affinity for green with food styling. You always do such a beautiful job.

    I don’t really have a favorite color to shoot but dark brown is definitely my least favorite. I’m used to shooting bright images so when you give me brown, I get confused. I still need to figure out the “moody” vibe when it comes to photography.

  5. says

    I just smacked my hand to my forehead. Thanks for reminding me that pesto requires basil. I only have a 3-foot bush growing wild in my garden that desperately cries for attention every time I walk by. This dip looks amazing!

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