This kidney bean dip is a delicious way to turn a simple can of beans into something special. Featuring chilli, ground cumin, fresh coriander, and lime, it's a Mexican-inspired hummus alternative that's both vegan and gluten-free.
The recipe below will provide roughly four servings, but you can easily scale up the amounts for a larger quantity. In terms of the flavours and heat, it's best to start small and add more to suit your taste (see recipe notes).
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Can you make dip with kidney beans?
You sure can. This dip is kind of like a spicy kidney bean hummus, using the red-skinned legumes instead of the traditional chickpeas. Technically speaking, you can create a creamy dip from most bean varieties.
Where do kidney beans come from?
Kidney beans are native to Central America and Mexico, but these days are grown all over the world in regions including India, Brazil, and the USA.
When you buy kidney beans in a can or tin, they've already been pressure-cooked and are ready to use in any recipe that calls for them. If using dried kidney beans, these will need to be thoroughly pre-cooked before using in a dish like this.
For more information about beans and other legumes, see my beginner's guide to pulses.
Are kidney beans healthy?
Kidney beans are a great source of nutrients including vitamins, fibre, and plant-based protein, making them popular in diets the world over.
What you'll need
This kidney bean dip uses simple ingredients with a few extra flavours to give it a Mexican-inspired twist:
- Kidney beans for the base
- Lime zest and juice for fragrance and zing
- Chilli, cumin, and garlic to pack a flavourful punch
- Fresh coriander to bring it all to life
How to make kidney bean dip
Optional step: To reduce the intensity of the raw garlic, you can chop it and add to a bowl with the lime juice for a few minutes (1). Otherwise, continue with the next step.
To a food processor, add the drained kidney beans, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, chilli, cumin, and fresh coriander (2). Season with salt and pepper and blend for a minute or two until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.
Add two tablespoons of cold water and blend again until smooth (3). The cold water helps to make the dip lighter and creamier, so keep adding small amounts until you have the desired consistency.
Adjust the seasoning, adding extra lime, chilli, salt, or pepper, and serve.
This recipe should work well with most beans, provided these are canned or thoroughly pre-cooked (if starting with dried beans). See my beginner's guide to pulses for more info.
Yes, this recipe is 100% gluten-free. If necessary, you'll want to make sure that any sides are also gluten-free.
To make this dip oil-free, simply replace with a few extra tablespoons of water until you have the desired consistency.
Refrigerate this dip in an airtight container for up to four days.
You can freeze this kidney bean dip for 4-6 months. Defrost thoroughly before serving and don't re-freeze.
Variations and tips for kidney bean hummus
- Chilli: Heat levels can vary greatly from one variety to another, so start small and you can always add more to taste. If you prefer more of a kick, leave the seeds in.
- Lime & garlic: Limes and garlic cloves will vary in size, so start small and add more if necessary.
- Lime zest: Remember to grate the lime before juicing!
- Olive oil: For homemade dips, I'd always suggest using a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil.
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More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:
Kidney Bean Dip with Chilli, Cumin and Coriander
- 1x 14 oz (400 g) tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 lime, zest and juice (plus more to taste)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Small handful fresh coriander (approx. 0.5 oz / 15 g)
- 2 tablespoons cold water (plus more if necessary)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional step: To reduce the intensity of the raw garlic, you can chop it and add to a bowl with the lime juice for a few minutes. Otherwise, continue with the next step.
- To a food processor, add the drained kidney beans, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, chilli, cumin, and fresh coriander (saving some to serve). Season with salt and pepper and blend for a minute or two until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Add two tablespoons of cold water and blend again until smooth. The cold water helps to make the dip lighter and creamier, so keep adding small amounts until you have the desired consistency.
- Adjust the seasoning, adding extra lime, chilli, salt, or pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or use as a spread in wraps (see post above for more serving suggestions).
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