Black Bean Dip

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make black bean dip.

black bean dip

We just got back from a family adventure in Costa Rica! We rafted through the jungle, came face-to-face with monkeys, sloths and toucans, zip-lined over the rainforest (okay, I didn’t do that but my kids and husband did) and — best of all — ate lots of delicious Costa Rican food. From homemade corn tortillas to rice and beans to empanadas, we tried so many native dishes that I can’t wait to recreate at home and share with you.

First up: this creamy black bean dip. Admittedly, it’s not going to win a beauty contest, but it’s so flavorful, healthy and easy to make, you won’t care.

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.


Before we get to the recipe, a few words on jalapeño peppers. Two 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.

Also, 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 something awful!


How to make the dip

Begin by cooking the onions, garlic, and jalapeños in olive oil until very soft, about ten minutes. Notice that I leave the garlic in fairly large chunks; if you chop it too finely, it will burn.


Meanwhile, rinse the black beans.


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


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


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!

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Black Bean Dip

Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make black bean dip.

Servings: Makes about 3 cups
Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • 1/4 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
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime, plus more if desired
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 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

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  • 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, 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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Reviews & Comments

  • This is excellent! I used to buy Fantastic Foods Instant black bean mix and make an “instant dip” out of it. I loved it, but decided I really wanted to make my own and just could not get the recipe right. You nailed it!!! I love the recipe although I got too much lime in it and added some cheese on top. Thank you so much for this great recipe!

  • Wondering how many days ahead this can be made?

    • I’d say 2 – 3 max. Hope you enjoy!

  • I love this dip. My friends came yesterday and everybody loved it, it was the first time that I prepared it so I was a little nervous but like I said it was a hit! Thank you for this recipe.

    • Reply
  • I have large amounts of regret. Regret that I halved the recipe thinking that would plenty. Boy was I WRONG! Amazing! What a wonderful blend of flavors. Nothing overpowers. Instead, each ingredient shines. My 9yo declared the “essence of lime” to be her favorite part. Guess I’ll be setting up to chop another onion and jalapeño. It definitely won’t last long. Love each of your recipes and so grateful that you share them with all of us!

    • I did the same mistake and I have the same regret…you never know.

      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious!!! Thank you for another incredible recipe! ?

  • It was our daughter’s 24 birthday dinner party last evening. I decided to try making this dip. Everyone loved it and it all went. It was easy to prepare and make ahead.

  • Over the MOON Happy Dance! Thank you 1st for sharing a bit about Costa Rica, enjoyed that. The BB Dip, Dannnng is this the tastiest dip ever, awakens & satisfies the taste buds. Seriously this could be my go-to meal. The fresh taste of lime really enhances. MmmMmmmMMM! Made quite a bit & thought I would share some with a co-worker EXCEPT unable to stop eating it so may have to share a little with my husband & keep the rest for myself. Absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Thank you Jenn for sharing this, I am so appreciative. Intend to make it weekly, it’s TH?AT good. I left about 1/4 of the beans whole for texture (preference) Perfect as is though.

  • This is such a yummy dip! I made twice with and without jalapeno. Love both versions and so does my family. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • My husband loves black bean dip at our local Mexican restaurant, so I had to find a recipe to make it at home. This was it! It’s so simple to put together and has great flavor. We like things spicy so I use serrano peppers and leave the seeds in. Yummy!

  • We made this for a group party and it was quite easy to throw together. We even used a cheap blender at our cottage with no issues just used small batches. I left some beans just barely pulsed to give it some chunky consistency. Delicious,easy,healthy!

    • I forgot to rate it… 5 stars!

  • We love the black bean dip at our local Mexican restaurant. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It has great flavor, and I love that it’s such a healthy recipe. It makes me feel a lot better about all the chips that I eat with this fantastic dip.

  • Have made this a number of times and it is perfection.

  • This black bean dip is so, so, soooo good! Loved it! I could sit down alone and eat a whole bowl of it!

  • O M G!!! Best Bean Dip I have ever had … and I made it! The only change I made was to use vegetable stock instead of water … and I trusted you with the hottness and you were right, the recipe creates an amazing balance. Thank you!!

  • I made this last night, and it was super easy and quick. It doesn’t look very appealing but it tastes very nice. I served it with tortilla chips, which are already salty, so I halved the salt in the recipe. The flavours are balanced perfectly, but I would probably add some jalapeno seeds for thay extra kick if I was serving it to adults.

  • Wow! This was so easy to make and is SO delicious!

    I wanted to make it for the first layer of a taco dip that calls for Frito Lay Jalapeno dip. I will never use the store-bought stuff ever again!

    Of course, this made way more than I needed for the taco dip; after having a taste (it was still warm), my daughter announced she wanted some of the bean dip for dessert.

    Now I need to look at your other recipes 🙂

  • So good!

  • Had some friends over recently for supper and they bought black beans and rice. Had tons of black beans left over so froze two quart bags of them – thinking “need to find a good dip recipe for these”. Now we’re invited to game night and wanted to bring some dips, so I found your recipe and made it up – absolutely delicious! We live in Panama, so can relate to your experiences in CR!

    FIVE STARS from me!

  • I happened upon this recipe while I was cooking a huge batch of black beans. I followed the directions except I did not have any jalapeno on hand so just added a few dashes of hot sauce. This dip is very delicious. Great depth of flavor. My kids each ate a bowl with a spoon! I’m enjoying it with celery sticks. I’m really enjoying browsing your blog. You have a serious understanding of food but deliver it to the average home cook like me. I’m glad I found your blog. I look forward to trying more recipes. Thanks!

  • Had never been to your site and was looking up a recipe for a Black Bean Dip. I came across your recipe and it sounded simple and yummy. Of course, I also checked all the reviews. All so positive!!

    No wonder! It turned out so Delicious. I added more garlic( I just love garlic) used red onion, the jalepeno is important and just kicked up the spices a little to our taste. EXCELLENT! Love your site so much that I decided to make your Smoky Chickpea and Red Lentil soup tonight to go with all the Super Bowl leftovers. Thank you for a great recipe.

  • I haven’t made this yet but can tell by the list ingredients that it will be delish! We live down south and have several restaurants that will serve a black bean dip. In order to “dress it up” we add some queso fresco crumbles or a drizzle of la crema!

  • Can I make this a day ahead?

    • Yes, absolutely.

  • Not sure about this recipe. The consistency was fine (“scoopable”) but I didn’t really like the taste of it. And, yes, it’s not very pretty either 🙂

  • Perfect high fiber and high protein snack!! I’ve made it using jalapeños and serranos, came out great with both varieties!

  • This bean dip is so amazing! Even my picky eater tried it and like it! Can wait to make it again.
    Can I cook my own black beans? I know it is much easier to use canned ones but I cook beans for my kids so often and I always have it available.
    Great recipe!

  • This sounds delish! I think I’ll use some of the pickled jalapenos that I canned. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • I have tried so may of these dips (love black beans) this is by far the best recipe I’ve tried. As always thanks, Maurene

  • I really liked this recipe, but changed a few things. I didn’t use the full 1/4c of oil to sauté and used jarred garlic. I often make fresh “refried” beans with almost the same spices and additions and throw into the blender. I then freeze in ice cubes and have beans in the freezer for quick protein or single lunch meals. Bean dip or refried beans…kind of ubiquitous!

  • Would the black bean dip freeze well?

    • — Gay Lee Freedman
    • Reply
    • Hi Gay Lee, Unfortunately I think it might lose it’s wonderfully creamy texture. If you want to try it, you might be able to revive it by giving it a whirl in the blender again.

  • Dear Jenn,
    Great recipe, as always! No matter what I make from your website I know it will be perfect and a hit with everyone. I can count on you to make me look good!

  • One word…Delicious!!! Thanks for an easy, tasty recipe. I rolled it up in an Ole Mexican Xtreme Wellness Tortilla, with a little mozzarella, for a healthy snack.

  • How many different ways can I say delicious? This dip disappeared so quickly! It’s so easy to make and it’s so good that I could almost eat it with a spoon! 🙂 Thanks for such a great recipe!

  • This black bean dip was easy to make. I prepared it one day ahead and it kept just fine. Everyone at my book club loved the taste and that it was very healthy/diet friendly.

  • Great! All of the ingredients are on my diet! I ate it with veggies and it was delicious.

  • Delicious, thank you! I love black beans and was looking for a black bean dip that wasn’t too heavy. I modified it a bit – no garlic (allergic b friend) and added juice of half of a lemon in place of the second lime. It’s so tasty and easy, I’ve added to my “take to parties” repertoire.

  • Can I ask where you had the best bean dip?

    I am in Costa Rica as we speak and wondering if we ate at the same place to inspire me to find this post!!!

    • Hi Kira, I am so jealous! I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but it was overlooking Lake Arenal.

  • Really great recipe.

  • Great bean dip recipe! I was looking for one to make and this was just what I was looking for! Perfect recipe as is.

  • Onight’s dinner menu just changed. Thank you!

    • — Ka'Lu Underwood
    • Reply
  • Excited to make this dip this afternoon for a party. Got all fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market this morning. Thanks!

  • It was so nice to meet you and your family in Costa Rica. I am making your beef stew as we speak even though it is not winter…. Can’t wait to try this bean dip. Looks delicious and healthy too! Looking forward to trying your other recipes…. Susan and Boys

  • This is fantastic!! Very simple to put together and extremely flavorful!! This will become a party favorite for sure!! Great dip for my friends who can’t eat cheese, too. Thanks so much!!

  • Costa Rica is a fabulous place to share with your family..Michael and i did that trip several years ago on a tour. loved every adventure..and the food. Will make this dip soon. Sounds excellent..

  • I love black bean dip! I had it recently at a party and now I want to make it at home 🙂

  • This looks so great! I spent 3.5 weeks this July traveling throughout Costa Rica. It was amazing (including the food)! I had some black bean soup while there that was unbelievably delicious (particularly with the tomato/onion/egg salsa topping). I look forward to more CR inspired dishes that you’ll post!!

  • Jenn, it was so nice to meet you and your beautiful family in Costa Rica and experience watching our children zipline attached to one another!
    I’m glad I’ll be able to try your easy to make and delicious recipes. This one, I can’t wait to try! Thanks Jen

    • So great to hear from you, Wanda! We loved meeting your family too…and I’m so glad the kids are all keeping in touch on instagram! Mike and I just watched the video of Zach and Ryan on the zipline…crazy!

  • Will definitely make this. Sounds great. We were in Costa Rica last year as part of a cruise through the Panama Canal. I did go Zip lining…and I’m a lot older than you. It was scary but I lived through it

    • lol…Barbara, I am petrified of heights. I couldn’t even watch my kids do it!

  • I have been looking for a good black bean dip recipe and I can tell by the ingredient list that I will enjoy this one!
    Having traveled to Mexico (real places like La Paz, not the foolish resorts) I have experience the true flavors of Latino food and am glad to have your recipes. Now I’m off to my garden to harvest some jalapenos!
    Thank you.

  • Sounds like your trip was wonderful. I will try to make this dip tonight!

  • Definitely will make this and look forward to your other Costa Rica inspired dishes. My daughter toupee and actually picked coffee beans when she visited and then they told her what she would have made per hour if she were working the field.
    Happy Labor Day weekend and love the presentation of this dip!

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