This white bean hummus pairs creamy cannellini beans with toasted California walnuts and thyme for a twist on the traditional. Serve with crudités, pita, or crusty bread for an easy and satisfying snack or appetizer.
Disclosure: I received free samples of California Walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Walnuts and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Are you more of a savory or sweet snacker? I actually am both. In the morning I tend to reach for sweeter snacks like yogurt with fruit or trail mix, whereas in the afternoon I’m more likely to crave something savory like hummus with crackers and veggies. We go through a LOT of hummus in our house. It’s always on our grocery list.
Whether I’m going for sweet or savory, I always look to create snacks that will fill me up and keep me energized until my next meal.
How to build a satisfying snack
The key to a satisfying snack is to eat a mix of protein, carbs, and healthy fat, just like you do at meals. I find that many of my clients do a great job balancing their meals, but when it comes to snacks, they tend to forget these guidelines and skimp on one or two of the macronutrients. For example, they’ll reach for a small handful of pretzels (only carbs) or a hard boiled egg (only protein with a little fat). I find that this habit comes from the beliefs that snacks should only be 100 calories (false!) or that protein is king (also false).
The combo of protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and fat gives you consistent energy and keeps you from showing up completely hangry at your next meal.
But here’s the thing: your snacks shouldn’t just be good-for-you. They should be satisfying too, meaning you actually enjoy eating them and they meet whatever you were craving.
For all my savory snackers, this dip is just that. It’s filled with nutrient-dense ingredients like beans, walnuts, garlic, and olive oil and it’s so creamy and delicious, you’re going to find yourself making a batch every week. I know I have.
Why California Walnuts?
A handful of California walnuts is a versatile snack and can satisfy any taste preference, from savory to sweet. Regardless of your flavor preference, walnuts are the only nut to provide an excellent source of the plant-based omega-3, ALA (2.5g/oz). Eating foods rich in omega-3’s has been linked to a healthy heart and brain, and most people don’t eat enough of them.
California walnuts also contain protein (4g per ounce) and fiber (2g per ounce), making them the perfect snack. Read more about the health benefits of walnuts.
This hummus is made (almost) entirely from pantry staples
When I developed this recipe, we were (and still are) in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and #socialdistancing, so trips to the grocery store are extremely limited. Everything I put in this hummus was already in my pantry and fridge. If you follow my guide to stocking your kitchen for success, you probably have everything you need, too.
While I haven’t tried it, I suspect chickpeas would work well in place of the white beans if that’s what you have on hand.
And if you don’t have fresh thyme, you can skip it. Fresh rosemary, sage, or oregano would also work.
How to serve white bean hummus with walnuts
We’ve mostly been eating it as a snack, dipping everything from veggies and crackers to pita and crusty bread. But it’s extremely versatile and good for all ages. It’s the perfect appetizer for your date-night-in while you cook dinner, and my toddler has given it two thumbs up (he prefers to eat it by the spoonful). It makes a great spread to upgrade your sandwich and would be delicious on my hummus and pita pizza!
If you’re serving as an appetizer for a party (remember those?), impress your guests by using swirling a little olive oil onto the top of the dip as shown here. Use the back of a small spoon to make a swirl, then drizzle in the olive oil. Top with more chopped walnuts and fresh thyme. I learned this trick from a chef friend of mine and it seriously makes it feel like you’re at a fancy party or restaurant with little effort.
Did you make this white bean hummus with walnuts?
Leave a comment letting me know what you thought about it and rate it in the recipe card below! Save it to your Pinterest board so you can find it later, and don’t forget to share a picture of your creation on instagram and tag me (@sarahgoldnutrition). I love seeing what you’re up to!
- 1 cup California walnuts
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini or great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 garlic glove, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp warm water
- Toast the walnuts: Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dip: Add the cooled walnuts, cannellini beans, and garlic to a food processor and blend until you have a thick paste, approximately 60 seconds. Scrape down the sides, then add the thyme, salt, and lemon juice and replace the lid. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil and then the warm water, blending until creamy and slightly fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Add more water as needed until you reach your desired consistency.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Toasting the walnuts brings more depth of flavor to the dip, but if you're short on time, you don't have to toast the walnuts. I've made it both ways and it's equally delicious!