Three Cheese Cannellini Bean Dip

Three cheese cannellini bean dip with toasted bread

Anne Leonard

Everything is always better with a sprinkling of cheese. I often return home from the grocery store with more wedges and logs of cheese to add to my growing drawer of nibs when, the truth is, I really only had bananas and broccoli on my list. Each of my cheese nibs even tell a story: there’s the honey gouda from our anniversary weekend of wine tasting, goat cheese from a fig recipe and a block of iberico from a double date with some friends. And that’s really only the half of it. Don’t even get me started on the cheese I buy for homemade pizza, eggs or salads.

In efforts to solve this inevitable mountain of nibs, I combined a few to make one savory, “meaty” dip. Just as each cheese has a story to tell, each speak volumes in this dip. The goat cheese attributes a tangy element as well as a creaminess to fuse the dip together. The honey gouda adds a nice balance of salty and sweet. Spanish iberico cheese, which is a blend of sheep’s, goat’s and cow’s milk, adds a wonderful buttery element. Then there’s the tender cannellini beans, acting as the “meat,” which give a certain earthy, nutty depth that is key to this cheese dip. Thyme even lends a fragrant smokiness that the three cheeses could not fulfill.

These cheeses can typically be found at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.


4 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 Vidalia onion, finely diced

1 tbsp butter

5 thyme sprigs

Few splashes olive oil

⅓ cup honey gouda, cubed

⅓ cup iberico cheese, cubed

1 1/2 cup goat cheese

¼ cup heavy cream

Few dashes of smoked paprika

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed

Salt and pepper

Lemon juice


To dip

Toasted bread


Whatever you have on hand



In a medium saucepan, add garlic, onion, butter, thyme sprigs and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté on medium heat. Stir until sizzling then turn on medium low heat. Add honey gouda and iberico cheeses gradually, stirring constantly to assist while melting. I used a rubber spatula to mash the cheese in the pan. Add the goat cheese by the spoonful. Once the cheese mixture begins to melt add heavy cream, paprika and salt and pepper, and stir. Add the beans, heating them through the dip for 2–3 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Spritz lemon juice over top. Serve immediately in a bowl with toasted bread or crackers. Whatever you have, just get dipping!

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