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Black Bean Dip

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Break out the chips for this creamy black bean dip—it’s not only easy to whip up and healthy, but irresistibly delicious!

bowl of black bean dip on platter with tortilla chips.

One of our most memorable family trips was to Costa Rica, where we explored the jungle, made friends with monkeys and sloths, and zip-lined above the rainforest (okay, I didn’t, but the rest of the family did). For me, the adventure was as much about the food as it was about the thrills. We enjoyed everything from homemade corn tortillas to hearty rice and beans, beef empanadas, and the classic arroz con pollo. One of my favorites was this deliciously creamy black bean dip. Although it’s not the prettiest dip at the party, its incredible flavor and simple preparation will make you fall in love at first bite.

“It’s so delicious…and also makes a GREAT filling for burritos. Spread it on a tortilla, add some chicken or beef, some sautéed veggies, cheese, sour cream, guac…YUM!”


What You’ll Need To Make Black Bean Dip

The secret is using lots of onions, garlic, jalapeños, and fresh lime juice to boost the flavor. I also like to add lots of fresh cilantro but if you don’t care for it, it’s perfectly fine to leave it out.

Two jalapeño peppers might seem like a lot, but I don’t use the seeds or ribs, which is where most of the heat is. The dip has a little kick, but it’s not spicy. If you like heat, you can add some of the seeds but go easy — you can always add more at the end.

Be sure to either wear gloves or wash your hands very well after handling jalapeños, and never touch your face while you’re chopping — if the juice comes in contact with your eyes, it will sting terribly!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers. Notice that I leave the garlic in fairly large chunks; if you chop it too finely, it will burn.

Heating the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan and adding the onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about ten minutes. Do not brown.

Cooked onion, garlic, and pepper mixture.

Combine the beans with onion mixture, salt, cumin, lime juice, water, and fresh cilantro in a blender or food processor.

Beans with onion mixture, salt, cumin, lime juice, water, and fresh cilantro in a food processor.

Purée until almost smooth. If you’re using a blender, you may need to stop and stir it a few times.

puréed black bean dip in food processor.

Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with more fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge if desired. That’s all there is to it. Enjoy!

bowl of black bean dip on platter with tortilla chips.

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Black Bean Dip

Break out the chips for this creamy black bean dip—it’s not only easy to whip up and healthy, but irresistibly delicious!

Servings: Makes about 3 cups
Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped*
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more if desired
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about ten minutes. Do not brown.
  2. Transfer the cooked onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add the black beans, salt, cumin, lime juice, water and cilantro. Blend until smooth (if you're using a blender, you may need to stop and stir a few times to help it out). If the dip is too thick, add more water or lime juice, little by little, to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasoning, then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm, cold or room temperature with tortilla chips.
  3. *Most of the heat from the jalapeños is in the seeds and ribs, so leave those out. If you like a spicier dip, reserve the seeds and add them little by little when you're blending the dip.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 114
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 231 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • I made this by bean dip for group of women. We all loved it! Thanks 💕

    • — Jackie on May 9, 2024
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this. Will make this weekend. I LOVE black beans, but I never get to finish a can and now I know what to do with them!! This is exactly what I needed!

    • — MARGO on October 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • Perfect appetizer for my Latin inspired menu. Everyone loved it. It was simple and quick to make. I added mist of the jalapeno seeds because my peppers were not that hot and in Texas we like some heat!

    • — Lori on May 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • Can you substitute green chilies for the jalapeño ?

      • — Judith Keech on May 5, 2024
      • Reply
      • Sure! I’m not sure what type of green chile you’re referring to, so keep in mind it may be more or less spicy depending on what you use.

        • — Jenn on May 5, 2024
        • Reply
  • Delicious! Will make again.

    • — Paula on March 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jennifer, I follow you and make many of your dishes. I live in Costa Rica I’m so happy you visited my country and had a great time here. I’m sure you had Gallo Pinto for breakfast. Lol….

    • — Betty Blair on March 16, 2023
    • Reply
    • 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this dip for the first time about 2 months ago and have made it probably a dozen times since. I love that it doesn’t use a ton of oil or tahini to give it a nice consistency, making it a little lighter than other dips I enjoy. And I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand so it can be made at a moment’s notice. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Valerie on March 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • I am from Costa Rica and I have lived in the US for 30 years.
    I cook Costa Rica’n food to my family. They love this dip. (frijoles molidos)😋.

    • — Mayra on March 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can you use an immersion blender?

    • — Kimberly on March 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kimberly, It may take a little longer to get everything blended but I think it should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 15, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi how long does this last in the fridge after making it? Thanks.

    • — Vee on January 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Vee, It should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2023
      • Reply
  • Super easy to make and quite delicious with a nice lime kick! Spread it on warmed flour tortillas and top with a sunny side egg with a drizzle of Cholula, heavenly!

    • — Pat Santillo on November 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this dip twice and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! It’s got tons of flavor and is the perfect texture. I made it to bring to someone’s house and plans changed so I have it in the fridge. I’ve been dipping fresh veggies into it, but also warmed it up and spread it on top of scrambled eggs. I think I may spread it on some toasted bread today and then add a few sliced tomatoes on top. Looking forward to that already!

    • — Betsy on September 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious as is, but did add a little red pepper to spice it up a bit (only added a handful of jalapeño seeds at the start). Thank you for this recipe.

    • — James Chappell on September 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is so delicious and easy to make!! And talk about healthy! We loved it cold. The lime and cilantro really stand out in this dish. I wish it looks as good as it tastes. 😜😜. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Lori on September 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Everything she makes is absolutely delicious.
    LOVE this bean dip!! I make it all the time and get rave reviews.
    I will say that 1 1/2 tsp. of salt is WAY too much! I add 1/2 tsp. then add more to taste after it’s done.

    • — Dana on September 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made it exactly as instructed, and it was delicious. Flavorful, savory, creamy, not pasty. The best I’ve ever had.

  • Delicious! I didn’t take out the seeds and next time I will…whew it’s spicy but I love it!

  • What can I substitute the cilantro for?

    • Hi Ant, you can use flat-leaf parsley in place of the cilantro. Hope you enjoy!

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