Artichoke and White Bean Dip


Ever taste something, love it, and later discover that it contained an ingredient that you were pretty darn sure you didn’t like?

If you’re a parent, you may have intentionally done this to ‘sneak’ in a particular food with your kiddos. But, ever have the experience where it happens naturally? Just serving the food and forgetting… if even for a rare but blissful moment… that one of your kiddos might reject it because it contains ____ or ____ or (go ahead, fill in the blanks)!

Artichoke and White Bean Dip, from Let Them Eat Vegan, by Dreena Burton

Yes, us mommas are well acquainted with picky eaters food preferences. With our own three girls, there are dozens of foods that one likes and the other does not. Our list includes berries (my long-time readers already know this one!), olives, asparagus, mangoes, red peppers, and mushrooms for starters. Sometimes the food preferences shift one year to the next. Unfortunately, artichokes have been on this list for some time.

I love artichokes. So does hubby, and our eldest daughter. Our youngest is in a particularly picky stage (oh joy) and our 9 year old has never taken a liking to artichokes. I don’t use them as often as I’d like in weekly meals for this reason, and yet every time I do use them I think “why am I not using artichokes more often, I love them?“! But I know why, I don’t want to pick them out of servings or see them go to waste.

Well, when I created this Artichoke and White Bean Dip for LTEV, a food miracle occurred. I first simply called it “hummus”, and put it on the table. It’s busy enough with recipe testing and keeping up with this family’s appetite, that the details of food aren’t always important. Just need to get – it – on – the – table. And fast! This was one of those days. As we were eating, our middle girl soon announced how much she looooved this new hummus. Once I realized she was eating artichokes (!!!), I decided not to say anything immediately, but just make the dip again another day.

So I did. So she ate it again, and asked for it again. In fact, the whole family asked for it again, devouring it in a sitting (sigh, must remember to double-batch). Afterwards I casually mentioned to her “oh, I forgot to tell you, that hummus had some artichokes in it… hey, you liked it anyway!” She shrugged her shoulders and said “I guess so”. That was that. No fuss, just a brief puzzled look on her face (and probably some suspicions that mommy pulled a fast one). But, all was fine – and she continues to eat the dip!

She still won’t eat artichokes whole or in noticeable pieces, but I guess the moral of this post is sometimes we just need to serve the food. Not have expectations for what they might like or not like. Not try to explain that they might like it because… or they will like it if we add this to it… or take that out… etc etc. If it tastes great, it tastes great! They may not even notice the artichokes, olives, or berries. Scratch berries. One girl I know will always notice those! :)

I often say the same about vegan food in general. If it tastes fabulous and is satisfying, do we really care about what’s not in there? No, it just tastes wonderful! So enjoy the good food for what it is… deeeelicious!

Now, if you do love artichokes, you’ll really, really love this dip. Somewhat like hummus but with quite a twist. Plus, some of you that asked about a nut-free alternative to my Creamy Artichoke Spinach Dip –  this White Bean Artichoke Dip is a great one to try. It’s not baked, but you could bake it, in fact I enjoy it a little warm. Maybe even top it off with a few olives for the fam! I kid.

Artichoke and White Bean Dip, from Let Them Eat Vegan, by Dreena Burton

Artichoke and White Bean Dip

ReciPage to print/share recipe

Artichoke dip is always one of those more-ish kinds of dips, and I’ve made several recipes over the years. This one borrows creaminess from white beans, and a cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. It is especially delicious gently warmed, and then slathered on pitas or other breads. Makes about 2 ½ cups.

2 cups artichoke hearts (I use frozen, blanched in boiling water for about 8-10 minutes, then drained, see note)

1 can (14 oz) white beans (navy or cannellini), rinsed and drained (about 1 ¾ cups)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 ½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 small-medium clove garlic

1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil  (optional, OMIT for oil-free option and use 1-2 tbsp of water to thin if desired; OR can also sub 1/2 – 1 tbsp tahini and 1 tbsp water — but don’t overdo tahini, flavor will be too pronounced in this dip)

2 tbsp freshly flat-leaf parsley, chopped

½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced (try not to omit, it adds a lovely subtle flavor)

¾ tsp sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

After blanching/draining artichokes, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste, and season to taste with extra lemon juice/salt, etc, as desired. Serve straight away, or transfer to an oven-proof dish and heat until just warm and a little golden on top!

Ingredients 411: Frozen artichokes have a much better flavor than canned, so opt for frozen if possible. Don’t use the artichokes that are jarred and marinated in an oil/vinegar liquid – their flavor is too strong, even if rinsed.

Serving Suggestions: Try using this dip as a layer in lasagna, or to stuff pasta shells.

Shout-out to Emma Potts of coconutandberries for assisting with the beautiful dip photos!

Have you had a food experience like this yourself, or with your kiddos? Have you tried this dip? Share your stories! 

Enjoy, and I’ll be back soon!

plant-powered xx’s… Dreena


    • Dreena says

      Hi Marla, there’s a fairly significant amount used here, so removing it affects the overall flavor. You can do so, but just keep that in mind and adjust seasonings to taste.

  1. Jennifer Seamans says

    I’m wondering if you mean to blanch the artichoke hearts for 8-10 seconds. 8-10 minutes seems like it would destroy them.


    • Dreena says

      I blanch them when frozen, so they need several minutes. It does soften them nicely, but you can blanch for less time (3-5 mins) if you prefer!

  2. says

    This dip is so beautiful it looks like a work of art. I might hesitate to eat it. But then I’d get over all that and chow down!

  3. Liz says

    Oh em gee, thank goodness you’re back, Dreena! (I know you’ve been back for a month now, but I just found out now.) Somehow life just isn’t as full without a little Dreena. :) And these are the kind of quick, simple easy recipes I NEED in the summer; I’m in the yard/garden ALL the time in the warmer months and have zero time OR interest to be in the kitchen. Food needs to be in my belly in less than 25 mins. :) so an arsenal of recipes that whip up in no time is a MUST.

    On another note, I’m so pleased the break brought you some much needed clarity, focus and serenity. I secretly hoped that you would return to the blog, though. :) I just missed you SO much!

  4. Jenny Glinka says

    This looks delicious! Is the nutritional yeast necessary, or is there a substitute for it?

    • Dreena says

      The nooch gives a certain cheesy flavor, and because there is a fairly significant amount in the dip I think the flavor may be a little flat without it. But, you can certainly try it without, and then try adding it after if you feel the flavor needs something. Another idea is to add more fresh herbs for flavor boost (extra rosemary but also fresh basil would be nice). Hope that helps!

  5. Kathi Sandler says

    Doesn’t matter what recipe of yours I use, it’s always amazing! I’m eating this dip with a spoon!

  6. Kathi Sandler says

    Doesn’t matter what recipe of yours I use, they’re ALL amazing! I’m eating this dip with a spoon! : )

  7. Vicky says

    Love the idea of putting this mixture in pasta shells or in a lasagna! Will definitely try that, sounds gorgeous! :)

  8. Gabriela says


    Where do you buy frozen artichoke hearts? I didn’t know they existed! I love artichokes but I’m not crazy about the jars full of preservatives and oil.

    Do let me know and I will definitely try this recipe.

    • Dreena says

      I buy them at Trader Joe’s (over the border for us). But, I’ve heard that Costco is now selling jarred artichokes packed in water, couple of readers have mentioned.

  9. Jane says

    Does anyone know if you can get frozen artichoke hearts in Australia? I only know of the (very expensive) ones in oil on the deli counter? I would love to make this!
    And Dreena – my 13yo daughter wants to meet yr daughter who doesn’t like berries to quiz her because she is completely baffled by this aversion!!!! Every time i make the ‘blueberry free’ muffins (not) she exclaims ‘why doesn’t Dreena’s daughter like these!!!’

    • Dreena says

      It baffles me too, Jane! Honestly, I have NO idea where/when/how the aversion started, but it was early on and hasn’t wavered. It think it’s a textural thing with the seeds. Tell your daughter I’d love it if she could convince her otherwise. 😉 Hopefully some readers will answer about artichokes in Australia!

      • Charlen says

        Gotta chime in here. I am in my 60s and have NEVER liked berries! The phrase “berry sweet” has always baffled me because all I taste is super sour, seedy and mushy stuff. I do choke them down most mornings on my oatmeal because of their nutrient properties. Must be taste bud/genetic thing. Take beets,for example: some people react to the chemical properties tasting a strong “dirt” flavor. Others, like me, love them.

        • Dreena says

          Charlen, my daughter will love to hear that. Someone’s on her berry-aversion team! 😉 I’m pretty sure she may never like them as well. (And, interestingly, I am not a huge fan of beets, they do taste a bit like dirt to me.) Thanks for chiming in!

  10. says

    Great post Dreena! You are so right. I spend far too much time worrying when I’m serving something, “what if so and so doesn’t like this or that..?”. Sometimes we just need to let the food speak for itself!
    And you know I LOVED this dip. I ate the whole batch all by myself 😉
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