Recipe: Tuscan Bean Spread With Fresh Herbs

Try it on a sandwich or as a fun party dish
Plate of white bean dip pooled with olive oil and a piece of toasted bread on the side

Add grated carrot, radish sprouts and chopped tomatoes to this spread on whole wheat bread for a delicious sandwich. Or, serve it with a basket of ethnic breads like lavosh, pappadam, small sesame breadsticks or crudités. Make it the day before and store in an air-tight container for long-lasting freshness and flavor!

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6 ounces dried white beans or 2, 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
4 large shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
3 3/4 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice


  1. If using dried beans, put the beans in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the beans and set aside.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a nonstick pot with cooking spray. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the shallots are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, oregano and fennel, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the beans and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are tender. Remove from heat.
  4. When the bean mixture is cool, transfer it to a food processor or blender. Puree, adding lemon juice as needed for desired consistency.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 16 servings (3 tablespoons = 1 serving)

Calories: 55 (0% calories from fat)
Total fat: 0 g
Saturated fat: 0 g
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 11 g
Dietary fiber: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 116 mg
Potassium: 245 mg

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—Recipe from The Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook.

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