Tuna & White Bean Dip ♥ A Quick & Easy Recipe! | A Veggie Venture: Tuna & White Bean Dip ♥ A Quick & Easy Recipe!

Tuna & White Bean Dip ♥ A Quick & Easy Recipe!

An easy bean dip, with a touch of umami from a simple can of tuna. Easy to make with a few quick pantry and refrigerator ingredients. Fresh tasting and endlessly variable. Positively addictive. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.

Okay so you might think that this is just one more bean dip, nothing special about that. But I beg, think again.

For one thing, it's one of those pass-along recipes. It started with Ilda, neighbor to Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups who made it, along with my Pickled Beet Dip, for a meal of Little Bites. Then I made it for an impromptu sangria party on my patio and passed it along to two people. Two days later, I made it again for a birthday celebration -- passing the recipe along again -- and then snacked leftovers all week. Already, in just two weeks, this has become a staple summer recipe, for an easy party appetizer, for a small bite before supper, for quick lunches.

For another, what raises the bean dip several notches is the addition of tuna, which adds a certain savory meatiness that, when pressed, I'd identify as 'umami', the fifth taste sense.

OH and before I forget, see those cool crackers? You'll love these Herbed Saltines too. Yum.

This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes being published all summer long in 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


Hands-on time: 10-15 minutes
Time to table: excellent after resting a couple of hours, even better after 24 hours
Makes 2 cups

5 ounces canned tuna, drained
15 ounces canned white beans (see NOTES), drained
a good splash of apple cider or another vinegar (anything other than harsh plain white vinegar) or the juice of a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped (or several green onions, chopped)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped - Tanna says to use a 'happy' amount!
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil - just enough to bind a bit, about 1 tablespoon

With a fork, gently mash the tuna and beans together (see NOTES). Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors meld for a couple of hours or better yet, 24 hours. Serve with crackers.

Variations: Add chopped kalamata olives or chopped radish or bits of fresh peach. Substitute dill or cilantro for the basil.

I like people to be able to 'recognize' what's in a dish so when I made this the second time, I mashed half the beans with the tuna, then stirred in the remaining whole beans with the rest. This worked quite well with beans from the 'Mexican aisle' at the grocery, they were quite small. It might not work as well with larger cannellini beans.
Note to Vegetarians

~ Guacamole with Tomatillos ~
~ Baba Ganoush ~
~ Caponata ~

~ more recipes for dips & spreads ~

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You've really polished it up with all your variations! I do believe variation of this is endless.
Seldom has a "dip" been easier or healthier!
Delighted you enjoyed and made it your own.

i almost thought this was vegan and i started FLIPPING out. but it's amazin nonetheless.

Are you using Italian tuna (packed in oil), which is usually quite flavorful, or regular tuna packed in oil or water? The combination of Italian tuna and white beans is a classic antipasto dish, and quite delicious.

Tana ~ Your inspiration is much appreciated!

VeggieVixen ~ Sorry, dear. Is there anything that people substitute for tuna? I'd love to try it.

Lydia ~ No, just plain ol' Chicken of the Sea in water or whatever was in the pantry, wait no, it was a Trader Joe's brand. I once ordered a whole case of Italian tuna (about $6 a can six or seven years ago) and didn't understand all the fuss. Maybe I need to try again?

I've tasted something similar made with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) instead of the white beans; and with some preserved lemon added - hard to get, I know, unless you make your own, but this gives it a fantastic depth of flavor. Maybe some lemon zest would be a good second best....

I love this dip, and I don't know why, at first glance I thought it was a veggie recipe too! But the white beans are gorgeous- maybe us veggies can make scrambled egg whites instead of the tuna, and still maintain the low carb count :)

Mmm... I love these flavors, Alanna. I agree with Lydia. The Italian tuna in the olive oil is amazing. Try it from an Italian market, and you might taste the diff.

Perfect for the next cookout! I wonder how it would be with mashed black beans? Might try it both ways...thanks for the inspiration!

Wow just made something really similar with goat cheese rather then tuna. This sounds healthier and more like a meal.

For small white beans, look for navy beans. My dad grows them. Or grew them. I think the farmers all grow mostly soys now. Navys can be hard to find canned though. :(

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna