3 Easy, Protein-Packed Dips to Add to Your Meal Prep Routine
My love for homemade dips knows no bounds. If I have a can of beans, some citrus, and some extra-virgin olive oil on hand, a creamy dip is just a whizz of the food processor away.
Why do I love homemade dips so much? First off, I personally find them tastier than whatever I can buy in a plastic tub at the store. They’re obviously fresher, but they also don’t contain any hard-to-pronounce chemicals or preservatives — a win-win. They’re also super simple to make since there’s no actual cooking involved. Just toss the ingredients in a food processor and hit the purée button.
But my very favorite thing about homemade dips has to be how easy it is to infuse them with flavor. For instance, I pair black beans with cilantro, cumin, and lime for Mexican flair, go the Italian route with white beans using garlic and rosemary, and call for southeast Asian flavor with a combo of nut butter, red curry paste, and miso.
Homemade bean dips are packed with protein, easy to make ahead, easy to pack, and will last for several days in the fridge, which makes them perfect for meal prep. Here are three simple dips, plus some ways to use them.
Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Dip
Drain and rinse one (15-ounce) can black beans. Transfer to a food processor and add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1 chopped garlic clove, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Purée until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Garnish with red pepper flakes, extra cilantro, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. (This one goes great with plantain chips.)
Garlic-Rosemary White Bean Dip
In a small skillet, combine 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1 minced rosemary sprig, and 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Warm over medium heat until mixture is gently sizzling and garlic is lightly golden, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes to infuse.
Meanwhile, drain and rinse one (15-ounce) can white beans. Transfer to a food processor and add infused oil mixture and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Purée until smooth; season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and more rosemary, if desired. (This one goes great with whole-grain crackers.)
Thai Red Curry Chickpea Dip
Drain and rinse one (15-ounce) can chickpeas. Transfer to a food processor and add 1/4 cup natural almond butter, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), 2 teaspoons red curry paste, and 1 teaspoon white miso. Purée until smooth; season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. (This one goes great with crunchy veggies, like carrots, cucumbers, and radishes.)
You can also get creative with these dips and use them as components of other dishes. For instance, you can spread a few tablespoons of the black bean dip on bread to add heft and creaminess to a veggie sandwich, use a dollop of the chickpea dip to complete a grain bowl, or spread the white bean dip on a platter as a bed for roasted veggies and grilled bread.