Cannellini Beans Recipe – Easy Hummus using 3 simple ingredients

This hummus-style cannellini beans recipe is a really tasty dip that can be served alongside vegetable crudities and pitta bread as a healthy snack or as an alternative to boring sandwiches as a lunchbox filler.  This is a delicious alternative to a traditional hummus made with chickpeas. Using cannellini beans gives the hummus a creamier texture than its counter-part I think. 

Quick And Easy Hummus-Style Cannellini Beans Recipe Ingredients

The star of the show in this recipe is cannellini beans.  Recognisable by their cream colour and oval shape.  They are smaller and more rounded than butterbeans and are part of the haricot bean family.  They are a nutritious source of vegetable protein that can be added to slow-cooked stews but also a delicious addition to salads. 

They make a really great flavour partner for leeks, pork and thyme in warming stews and hearty winter dishes.  They also carry flavour really well and can withstand strong flavour partnering such as garlic and chilli.  Cannellini beans are high up when it comes to nutrition too as they are an excellent source of protein, fibre, folate, iron and magnesium. What’s more, they are fat free.  Not only can they help control blood sugar levels, they can also be incorporated into your diet to help with weight loss. 

Cannellini beans are available to buy as dried beans that need a little preparation and soaking before they are tender enough to use as an ingredient in recipes.  Alternatively, they are available and ready to use in tins. 

There are pros and cons to soaking dried beans as there often is with all methods of cooking.  Dried beans must first be rinsed, soaked and then boiled.  I’ve tried both dried beans and canned beans   and for me there is not much difference in taste and overall result.  For me personally, time is precious and in short supply and so I usually opt for a good quality tinned variety.  They are always tender, flavourful and most importantly ready to use and quick to cook straight from the tin.  Yes, they are a little more expensive than the dried variety but I’m happy to make the trade-off.

If you prefer to use dried beans, please feel free and always read the label on how to prepare them for use. 

Another star of this recipe is tahini.  Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds (tree nut allergens beware!).  It is widely used in eastern Mediterranean cooking and can be served by itself or as a key ingredient in hummus recipes. 

Tahini has a high mineral count and is a rich source of B vitamins which are known to boost energy levels and support brain function.  Tahini does have a high fat and calorie content and is best consumed in small amounts for maximum health benefits. 

Avoid tahini or foods containing tahini f you have a tree nut allergy or know that you are allergic to sesame seeds.  

How To Make Hummus-Style Cannellini Beans Recipe

My hummus cannellini beans recipe couldn’t be easier to make.    

Possibly the most labour intensive process to making this hummus is crushing the garlic with a little salt.  The best way to do this is to peel and roughly chop the garlic on a chopping board.  Sprinkle the garlic generously with salt and then using the back of a knife squash and scrape the garlic against the chopping board.  You’ll see it begin to break up and start to release some juices.  Continue to squash and scrape until it looks like a paste.

Next add the crushed garlic to a food processor along with the cannellini beans, tahini, olive oil, lemon zest and juice and parsley.  Grind in some freshly milled black pepper before blitzing to a smooth paste.

Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly before transferring to a serving dish.

Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly chopped chili.

Enjoy with warm pitta and vegetable crudities as a heathy snack or an alternative to sandwiches in lunch boxes.

Hummus-Style Cannellini Beans Recipe Variations

Use Butter Beans instead of Cannellini Beans

Butterbeans are a perfectly acceptable alternative if you don’t have cannellini beans in your cupboard.  They blitz up in much the same way as cannellini beans do and are also a good source of plant-protein and fiber. 

Traditional hummus made with chickpeas

Traditional hummus made using chickpeas can be prepared using much the same ingredients as I’ve used for my hummus cannellini beans recipe and add half a teaspoon of ground cumin instead of the parsley before you blitz.  If you find the finished dip is too dry or stiff, just add a splash of extra virgin olive oil.


Hummus-Style Cannellini Beans Recipe

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4


  • Blender or Food Processor


  • 1 400g can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra to drizzle on top before serving
  • Juice and zest from half a lemon
  • ½ tsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ fresh chili finely chopped to sprinkle on top before serving


  • Peel the garlic clove and crush with the back of a knife. Use a grind or two of salt to really get a pulpy consistency. Add this to a food processor
  • Next add the cannellini beans, tahini, oil, lemon zest and juice and chopped parsley to the food processor.
  • Add a couple of grinds of salt and pepper and then blitz all of the ingredients together. You may need to scrape down the sides of the food processer a couple of times between blitzes to make sure everything is well combined.
  • Before spooning into serving dishes check the seasoning and consistency. Consider adding a little more salt and pepper, lemon juice or olive oil depending on how you like yours and what you are using as a ‘tool’ to get it into your mouth! You don’t want your hummus to be too runny if you are serving this to guests and expecting them to use veggie sticks as a spoon!
  • Once you are happy with the taste and texture, spoon into serving bowls and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly chopped chili.

More Delicious Bean Recipe Ideas

Beans (or legumes) are often underrated and discarded as being rather humble and insignificant.  But I just love them and use them to add flavor and texture to my recipes all of the time.  I frequently add them to soups such as my Vibrant 3 bean soup Mexican-Style and Easy 30-Minute Butter Bean Soup or to stews and one-pot dishes such as my delicious and healthy version of the classic Texas Roadhouse Chili Recipe.  Use the link to find out how to cook them now. 

H2 Hummus Cannellini Beans Recipe

Hummus-Style Cannellini Beans Ingredient Substitutes

Tahini Substitute:

Although tahini is traditionally used to make hummus, it is possible to substitute it and still get a delicious outcome.  An alternative seed butter such as sunflower seed butter would work really well as would a nut butter such as peanut, almond or cashew.  If you are looking to omit any type of seed or nut then you could try using the same quantity of Greek yogurt instead. 

Parsley Substitute:

I love the peppery earthiness that comes with using parsley for this recipe however, thyme also works really well with cannellini beans.  I would recommend using fresh herbs rather than dried in a dip.  Dried herbs have a more potent flavour than fresh and need using in smaller quantities.  They also benefit from being cooked through rather than being served up without being cooked. 

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