Silky Smooth White Bean Hummus, Mediterranean Style

By Amanda Paa – Updated May 2, 2023
4.66 from 20 votes
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The creamiest white bean hummus is easy to make at home! The secret is using tahini, a little water, and a food processor to make it. I love this hummus for snacking on with veggies and crisps, or slathering it on sourdough bread. It turns out so creamy every time and is extra flavorful.

I’m a firm believer in homemade hummus. Store-bought, no matter which way, which how, just doesn’t compare. That’s not to say I’ve never purchased a tub for convenience when grocery store hangry or traveling. But if able, I’ll be whirling up the chickpeas in my food processor, going so far as peeling them too because that’s how the smoothest hummus is made.

This recipe however, uses white beans, and was inspired by Jennifer Farley‘s new cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen. As I was paging through the book, her Loaded Hummus caught my eye stacked with all sorts of things like feta, olives, and sun dried tomatoes. As I read the headnote, she talked about her preference for white beans because of their smoother consistency. I decided to try her technique because I’d sworn off white bean hummus. 

To me, it seemed like it was trying to be something it wasn’t, always a little pasty and grainy. After making her recipe, I figured out what I was doing wrong…. I had been afraid of using a little water, and not enough tahini/olive oil, the healthy fats that allow it to blend and emulsify into the silky dip that it is.

a plate of Silky White Bean Hummus with Artichokes and Pine Nuts in a black bowl

The Secret to Silky Smooth Hummus:

I made it a few times after, perfecting my own version. I found that using the water from the beans instead of tossing it was the best liquid, having some starch in it to make it even creamier.

higher proportion of olive oil really lets the fruity flavor of the olives shine, and lots of lemon for brightness. I topped it with marinated artichokes (they’re actually grilled and marinated, from Trader Joe’s so they add a nice smoky flavor), toasted pine nuts, za’atar, and parsley.

Incredible flavor and textures going on…..

You will need a food processor to make this recipe. I’ve used this one for 9 years and it has never let me down!

Ways to Eat White Bean Hummus:

This white bean hummus doesn’t last long in our house.

I spread it on my Everyday Sourdough Bread first, next with roasted vegetables, and lastly on an egg sandwich. And it’s also the perfect base for this healthy 7-Layer Dip!

Olives on the branch
California Olive Ranch - olive harvest
California Olive Ranch - olive harvest
heartbeet kitchen, olive grove, sacramento
Olive Oil Harvest, California
California Olive Ranch

Experiencing An Olive Oil Harvest

Olive oil is to my kitchen as is salt. The food I cook would be nothing without it.

As one of the most fraudulent ingredients in the world, the story and sourcing of the olive oil is extremely important to me. If you haven’t read the book Extravirginity, which reveals this story of  globalization, deception, and crime in the this industry, put it on your list immediately.

After reading the book in 2013 (I still have the date marked inside the cover), I did a lot of research to find a U.S. based olive company that I could access, that was doing it the right way, from olive grove to bottle, to store, to my house. But it also had to taste really, really good.

Since that time, the timeless green California Olive Ranch bottle has been in my cupboard, doing everything from baking cakes, to roasting my favorite vegetables, and searing meat to perfection.

The experience was enlightening and humbling, opening my eyes to the entire process and the passion of the families who work tirelessly to bring us such an integral part of cooking.

Olives on the branch, during an olive harvest

I don’t know what I was assuming the field would look like, but I had no idea how beautiful olive groves are. Rows and rows of mystical trees with long branches, swaying in the wind with clusters upon clusters of olives, almost like grapes. California Olive Ranch innovated a particular mechanical harvest method to make extra virgin olive oil available to more people around the country. That big over-the-top harvester you see above (which we all rode on the top deck to get some amazing photos and the ultimate bird’s eye view!) allows them to harvest the fruit at their perfect ripeness. The olives never touch the ground, minimizing any damage to the fruit from dropping.

As you can see by so many pictures, the visual story is quite captivating. I absolutely love California Olive Ranch’s mission, to bring more people quality olive oil. And their approach, growing olives uses time honored farming techniques while fully embracing modern technology and focusing on sustainability. Their fruit is grown by 70 family farmers around the Sacramento area who are committed and proud of what they do.

California Olive Ranch

Clarifying Olive Oil Myths and Facts:

  • Heat Myth: Forever I thought I wasn’t supposed to cook with olive oil at high heat. All those people that told you the same thing – they were WRONG. With high quality, fresh olive oil that is. Such will stand upwards of 425 degrees, well above the ideal temperature for frying food around 350 degrees. Low quality will burn because it has less acid, has probably been cut with vegetable oils, and may have particular matter from not being separated properly.
  • Color: Greener olives generally make more intense, grassy flavors and less oil. More mature purple fruit will make mild and buttery oil that is often golden in color.
  • Storage: Move that bottle away from light and heat, and store it like you would wine. That means away from the stove. After you’ve opened it, try to use it within one month. This is one reason why big bulk bottles at Costco are not a good idea.
  • Bone Health: most of us know that olive oil is a heart healthy fat, but what I didn’t know is that is also helps improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps the body absorb calcium, which is a key player in preventing osteoporosis, aiding in thickening the bones. And as I someone who was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 25, I need all the help I can get.
Silky Smooth White Bean Hummus, Mediterranean Style {vegan appetizer}

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white bean hummus on a black plate

Creamy White Bean Hummus, Mediterranean Style

The creamiest hummus made from white beans, with delicious Mediterranean toppings! Use a food processor to puree the beans, olive oil, tahini, and lemon juice. Top with fresh herbs and pine nuts.
4.66 from 20 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Amanda Paa




  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons za'atar spice
  • a few marinated artichokes, lightly chopped


  • Place the garlic, beans, tahini, and olive oil in a food processor. Blend and processor for 20 seconds, stop to scrape sides, then blend for 20 more seconds.
  • Add water, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Puree for two minutes, just keep it buzzing, to create the really really smooth texture.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour, to thicken. Spoon into bowl and top with parsley, pine nuts, za'atar, and artichokes. Serve.


Can be made 3 days ahead, just save the toppings for right before serving.


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November 25, 2016


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  1. Evelyn

    5 stars
    This is my go-to recipe for hummus, so delicious. I have stopped buying store bought hummus thanks to this very easy recipe. Although I love garbanzo beans, the smoothness of white beans makes this so good. I microwave my garlic clove for 6-8 seconds, this removes the sharp raw garlic taste that can linger in your mouth for hours :)

    • Amanda Paa

      such a good tip for the garlic! i’m going to try that.

  2. Jeff Winett

    5 stars
    Late in the day yesterday I saw this recipe. I had all ingredients at hand, other than the toppings, although I did have pine nuts. This was absolutely sensational. Hubs and I ate judiciously, as I wanted to bring enough for a small gathering with friends tonight. This time, all of the toppings will be strewn on top before serving. They will flip as we did. This will be made often, and big Sherman Oaks thanks for your sharing.

    • Amanda Paa

      Terrific, so glad you liked the recipe! We love making it for friends, too.

  3. Amanda F

    5 stars (I use a blender for those struggling w the texture maybe give that a whirl!)

  4. Valarie

    i have tried to make hummus a few times and it has not turned out well. I’m attributing some of this to my food processor. What kind of processor are you using. I’m researching now, but the struggle is real.

    • amandapaa

      Hi Valarie!
      I’ve used this Cuisinart food processor for 8 years and it is the BEST. High quality, durable, and easy to clean. (aff link)

  5. vicky

    I tried making this – and glad I did. I loved the fact that it was very easy to make smooth, and tasted great too.
    Garbanzo beans might taste a tad stronger or nuttier, but I prefer the smoothness of this one. I’ll be making it again and again. Thanks!

    • amandapaa

      Yay, so glad you enjoyed the recipe Vicky! Can’t wait to make it again, with all the fresh summer vegetables for dipping.

  6. Jill D

    I just made it and it turned out delicious. I topped mine pita with the hummus and schug/zoug and it was a perfect pairing! Next time Ill add more lemon.

    • amandapaa

      so glad you liked the recipe! and so yummy with the pita.

  7. Laura Adams

    I hope I’m not committing a sacrilege, here, but I made this outstanding hummus today, using Great Northern beans & Jif creamy PEANUT BUTTER in place of the tahini. Plus I subbed 2 teaspoons of sesame oil for 2 teaspoons of the olive oil (California Olive Ranch is the only kind I buy), to give it some sesame flavor. I was almost afraid to taste it, but – oh, boy – is it good! Thanks for such a quick, easy, and delicious recipe. When I get some tahini, I’ll make it as-written.

  8. Taylor

    Do you use white cannellini beans or some other type of white bean?

    Thanks :)

    • amandapaa

      I used white cannellini, but you could also use navy beans.

  9. Christine

    Thanks for this amazing recipe. I made this for a party today and it is delicious. Your photography is stunning as well, so glad i stumbled upon your site.

    • amandapaa

      wonderful, i’m so it was well liked! thanks for the kind words. xo

  10. Jim

    Yes, this looks awesome! I need this in my life ASAP!

    • amandapaa

      So creamy! One of my favorite appetizers.

  11. Safania

    Dear Amanda, that’s one of the most stunning food porn pix I’ve seen in a while – if not ever …. well done (salivating icon)

    • amandapaa

      :) real food is so pretty! thank you for the kind comment.

  12. Emily

    What a fun adventure! For the longest time I was afraid to cook with olive oil and was also so relieved to find out that it’s fine as along as using a good oil. (Big cheers for that!) As a big fan of chickpea hummus, I now feel convinced that I need to try white bean. I think this is the most beautiful bowl of hummus I’ve ever seen. xo

    • amandapaa

      crazy how the media can shift something – I feel like they were really saying this when people were turning away from using canola oil. i’m going to try frying some sort of tempura vegetable in olive oil this winter!

  13. Rachel

    We moved from an area that had a lot of authentic Middle Eastern food and this looks absolutely perfect! So smooth and creamy! And California Olive Ranch olive oil is the BEST!

    • amandapaa

      We have a Mediterranean restaurant that is so not fancy but SO good. This reminds me a lot of how creamy their hummus is. Now I need to perfect the falafel! xo

  14. betty

    Amanda, this is stunning! That photo of you remains one of my favorites from that trip, and I just loved getting to know you. I’m going to go and make this silky smooth hummus right now!

  15. Genevieve

    Their olive oil is actually one of my favourite brands to buy! It’s delicious. I haven’t read Extravirginity but it’s been on my reading list for a while! I’m currently reading Salt: A History of the World and the author talks about the effort that goes into olive harvesting and the difference between olives for oil and olives for eating, which was so interesting for me to read. I’m also a firm believer in homemade hummus- even though storebought is not bad, I can’t bring myself to buy something that I can make a lot better by myself at home!

    • amandapaa

      Well, just added that book to my list! Sounds super interesting. We didn’t talk much about the olives used for eating, but as an olive freak, I think I’d love to learn more. One of the things that was surprising was the different colors growing off each branch, not because they were different olives, but because they were different ripeness levels. From bright green to the prettiest indigo purple. Thanks for stopping by Genevieve! xo