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 Elle Draper

White bean and cheese dip

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During the summer, we struggle with large meals so this white bean and cheese dip is perfect for grazing with. Dollop it on bread or chop up some veggies to dip. Lovely!

Because this recipe only requires five ingredients (four if you omit the lemon juice) and most people will have everything to hand except the cheese maybe, it’s a great dip to whip up for unexpected visitors. We’ve always got some Manchego or similar hard cheese in the fridge (I eat more cheese than chocolate), so that’s easy for us. But those bags of grated parmesan that are available in most places make a half-decent substitute.

Imagine a cheesy hummus (which it would be if you used chickpeas) and you’re about there in terms of texture and flavour.

Ingredients – enough for a cereal sized bowl.

  • 1 400g jar of white beans. Pick your favourite!
  • 100g Manchego cheese – grated
  • 2 or 3 medium sized cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • a healthy glug of extra virgin olive oil.
  • A squirt of lemon juice (optional)


  • Drain the beans and rinse well under cold running water
  • Put the beans and all the other ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  • If it won’t blitz because it’s too thick… keep adding more extra virgin olive oil until it does – but slowly does it

The dip will stay fine in the fridge for a couple of days (cover with clingfilm or use a lid… but it usually gets wolfed within a short time of being made because it’s so tasty! I made some on Monday lunchtime this week and waded through it very quickly.

Spain Buddy tips

  • We usually use the big fat white butter beans – but choose your favourite. You can even use kidney beans if you like pink/purple food.
  • If you can’t get Manchego, parmesan is an adequate substitute or your favourite alternative. Just make sure that you use a hard cheese, and one that has a bit of “oomph” of flavour.
  • I like to serve it as part of a spread. Cold meats, cheeses, breads, tostadas, crackers, veggies and any other cold lovelinesses that I can raid from the fridge or larder.
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