White Bean Bruschetta
Published Oct 05, 2012•Updated Mar 01, 2023
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White Bean Bruschetta takes a simple can of white beans and elevates them with fresh aromatics like chopped basil, roasted garlic, and earthy olive oil. Spread the creamy topping on crisp rounds of bread and guests will devour these crunchy, creamy, bite-sized snacks.
Bruschetta – oh, how party guests love thee! I’ve been making these summery toasts for years and they disappear almost as fast as any dish I can set out. White bean bruschetta is a restaurant-worthy vegetarian appetizer that is deceptively easy to make. The time saving trick “secret” is a can of cannellini beans.
Just roast a few heads of garlic, place your ingredients in a food processor, and toast a few slices of fresh baguette. And, presto! Creamy, herby, delicious bruschetta.
And if you want to mix things up, use this recipe as your starting point. Play with different herb combinations, add some diced tomato, drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Set them out and watch them disappear.
What is bruschetta?
Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer with a base of crisp toasted bread that is drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh ingredients. While fresh tomatoes and garlic are a classic topping for bruschetta, there are countless variations. From olive tapenade to creamy white beans and garlic to figs with fresh cheese, the versatility of bruschetta has made it a popular food for hundreds of years.
How to Make It
- Roast garlic. Wrap garlic in foil and roast until tender, 35 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Blend ingredients. Blend together white beans, roasted garlic, lemon juice, and salt until smooth.
- Toast bread. Slice baguette, drizzle with olive oil, and toast until golden and crisp.
- Assemble. Spread white bean mixture over bread.
- Top bruschetta with olive oil and fresh basil and serve!
- Garlic and Olive Oil – Roasting the garlic transforms the flavor of this pungent aromatic to something mild, nutty, and almost sweet. The smooth, delicate flavors add so much complexity to this white bean bruschetta.
- White Beans – Canned beans are a timesaver in this easy recipe. Navy beans, great northern beans, and cannellini beans work great. Chickpeas will work as well.
- Lemon Juice – Brightens and balances the creaminess of the white beans.
- Kosher Salt – To bring the flavors together.
- Baguette – A crusty baguette is perfect for holding all of the delicious bruschetta toppings. Thinly slice into ¾ inch pieces and broil in the oven until crisp.
- Fresh Basil – Bruschetta isn’t bruschetta without fresh chopped herbs. Basil adds a pop of green color, and a slightly sweet aromatic flavor.
If you’re preparing for a party and will be short on time, roast the garlic and make the white bean mixture ahead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, bring to room temperature and thin with some water if needed before spreading it on bread.
- Go wild with herbs – White beans are so good at taking on herby flavors that you can use just about any combination to create tons of extra flavor. Some fresh rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, or marjoram would all work well with this Italian-inspired appetizer.
- Add some spice – Red pepper flakes complement just about any type of bruschetta. Add a pinch of flakes when you blend your ingredients together if your guests love a little heat. Or, sprinkle the flakes on half the batch if you only have one or two guests that like some spice.
- Top with cheese – Topping with slivers of Parmesan or rich buffalo mozzarella is an easy way to elevate this bruschetta.
- Try different breads – Try artisanal bakery loaves like asiago batard, cranberry and walnut, ciabatta, or olive batard.
Pair bruschetta with white wines that are light, bright, and acidic. The dry, grassy and herbaceous notes in Sauvignon Blanc absolutely sing with the creamy white beans in this bruschetta. Citrus-y and mineral-y Vermentino is also a winning combination. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to a refreshing Albarino with bite-sized bruschetta.
Dried beans are a kitchen staple and so easy to buy in bulk and store for later use. If you want to cook dried white beans from scratch, soak the beans overnight in a large pot with enough water to cover the top of the beans by 2 to 3 inches. When the beans are done soaking, drain the water, and then simmer the beans in a large pot of water with aromatics like onions, carrots or herbs. Allow the beans to cook for 1 to 2 hours, or until the beans are fork tender.
When the beans are ready, drain the liquid and continue to the rest of your recipe.
More Appetizer Recipes
- Cheese Pinwheels with Crispy Prosciutto
- Herb and Cheese Stuffed Sweet Peppers
- Caprese Skewers; An Easy Summer Appetizer
- Crispy Baked Spring Rolls
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Brie and Balsamic Honey
- Baked Crab Rangoon
- Pasta Salad Skewers
- Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Sugar Chips
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White Bean Bruschetta Recipe
- Food Processor
- Skillet or Half Sheet Pan
- 1 head garlic
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed (I like navy beans, cannellini, or great northern)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 small baguette, 3/4-inch slices
- 10 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced or chopped (optional for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the head of garlic in half lengthwise so that you slice through the center of all of the cloves. Place the halves cut-side up on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Seal the foil tightly around the garlic. Roast until the garlic is very soft and golden, 35 to 45 minutes.
- When the garlic is done roasting, unwrap it and wait until it is cool enough to handle. Gently squeeze each of the garlic cloves out of its peel. You may not need all of the roasted garlic for this recipe, so any you don't use can be saved and added to another recipe (it's great on pizza!).
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the roasted garlic cloves (start with half of the cloves and add more if you'd like, after tasting the spread), white beans, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a small amount of water if needed to loosen the spread.
- Spread the baguette slices out on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toast under the oven's broiler just until golden. Spread the top of each piece of toast with a generous spoonful of white bean spread. Top with basil and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.