Tepary Bean Dip — A Healthy Snack


Veteran food writer Bill Daley from the Chicago Tribune wrote a story about snacks with an Arizona theme to celebrate the 49th Super Bowl to be held in Arizona on February 1, 2015. One recipe was for Arizona’s beloved Sonoran hotdog: a wiener wrapped in bacon, grilled and stuffed into a Mexican roll called a bolillo and topped with pinto beans and mayo.

The other recipe was something slightly — OK, leaps and bounds — healthier: my recipe for tepary bean dip. I chose tepary beans because they are native to the Sonoran desert and they are delicious — not to mention a nutrient powerhouse. Feel free to substitute small, white navy beans.

Tepary beans grow well in the Southwest because they are drought-tolerant. Whatever water they don’t drink while growing, they make up for by soaking up during cooking. Think of these beans as a blank canvas and you can really pair any flavors. I’ve added a little cumin, Mexican oregano, lemon and garlic. I also call for a chiltepin chile, also native to the Sonoran desert. It’s a tiny berry that packs a punch. You can substitute red chile flakes if you like.

You can buy white and brown tepary beans and chiltepin chiles at Native Seeds/SEARCH.

Here’s a link to the Chicago Tribune story and the recipe is posted below.


Tepary Bean Dip — A Healthy Snack

This is not your typical bean dip. Tepary beans are native to the Sonoran Desert, which stretches from Mexico to Arizona, are hearty little beans. And they pack a powerful nutrient-dense punch for their size. Substitute any small white bean for this delicious, healthy bean dip.

  • Author: Gwen Ashley Walters
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers



11/2 cups dried tepary beans

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Zest of half a lemon ~ 1 teaspoon

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 medium cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano

2 to 3 chiltepin chiles (optional)

11/2 teaspoons sea salt

Garnish (optional):

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Cilantro sprig


Pick through the beans and remove any sticks or debris. Rinse well and drain.

Place in a saucepan and cover with at least 4-inches of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender but not mushy, about 1-1/2 hours, adding more liquid as necessary to keep covered. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Place the beans in a food processor. Pour in 3/4 to 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid (or water) and process until chunky. Add more cooking liquid or water if necessary to get a thick, dip-like consistency.

Add the remaining ingredients (olive oil through sea salt) and blend until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if desired.

Transfer to a bowl. May be made up to two days prior to serving. Store covered, in the fridge. To serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, top with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with sliced vegetables, crackers or tortilla chips.

Keywords: healthy dip, tepary beans, bean dip, tepary bean dip

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2 replies
  1. Jill Silverman Hough
    Jill Silverman Hough says:

    Nice recipe, Gwen–seems similar to white bean dip or hummus, but totally unique as well. And such a pretty photo!

    I’ve been subscribing to your RSS for eons, but just switched over to email–looking forward to seeing your name in my inbox. 🙂

    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      Thanks, Jill… I guess, technically, it is a white bean dip recipe. If it were hummus, I would have added tahini, right? Thanks for commenting and I have to confess I’m not great at the email portion of blogging, even though I’d like to be. It’s a goal for this year!


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