Perfect Party Appetizer – White Bean Spread

I love lemons.  Their bright color mimics the sun.  Their sweet and tart taste reminds me of fun and sun.  It makes me think of warmer weather and entertaining friends.  And I love to entertain friends.  Is there anything better than good food, good wine and good friends?  It’s the perfect recipe for fun!  So a couple of weeks ago when putting together an appetizer for a gathering, I thought I would include lemons, that fruit that makes me as happy as my friends do.

Considering that most of us are on a diet too (those Christmas cookies always sneak up on you and you realize Spring break is right around the corner!), I wanted to pack this recipe with protein but not meat.  So what better way to do that than with beans!  White beans are such a Tuscan thing which makes it a great food to serve with wine.  This spread is very easy to make.  All you need is a food processor and a bowl to make this delicious white bean spread.

lemon and white beans make a great spread or dip


2 cans of cannelloni beans, drained

1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest

1/2 C. fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste


First, pour 1 1/2 of the cans of beans into the food processor.  Reserve the other 1/2 can of beans for later.  Then pour in the olive oil, lemon juice and parsley.  Mix it up until smooth.  Give it a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.


white bean dip made with lemon and parsley

Isn’t that the best part about cooking?!  Getting to taste and adjust?  You can’t do that when baking so if its a flop you’re sunk.  But with cooking you can taste and adjust so you always look like a rock star!


Once you have the flavor right, remove the spread from the food processor and put into a bowl.  Mix in the reserved beans and the lemon zest.

white bean dip or spread appetizer

That’s it!  The best part about this spread is that you can also make it a dip.  Just add a little more olive oil to thin it out.

I spread this on sliced baguette.  But I’ve also served it with pita chips.  Both ways are equally as good.

white bean dip spread on a baguette

It is the perfect party appetizer because it is healthy, easy to eat, easy to make and looks elegant.  Don’t you agree?  It was a big hit with my friends.  This white bean dip is very light and refreshing.  It can be served with almost anything and pairs really well with a crisp, white wine.  I hope that you use this next time you entertain.  I promise that your guests will enjoy it!

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