It’s the end of January.  If you started working on a healthy lifestyle change on the first of the month, chances are that the shiny newness has worn off and it’s beginning to be a bit more difficult.  This weekend on Super Bowl Sunday, party tables everywhere will hold all sorts of snack foods, most of the unhealthy variety.  Some of the most popular (and most irresistible, in my opinion) are dips.  Usually creamy, melty, cheesy dips.  And yeah, they can be soooo good.  However, they are also one of the easiest ways to consume a lot of fat and calories at a pretty rapid rate.

Rather than toss aside all your efforts so far, consider this kale pesto white bean dip as an alternative.  A snack you can feel good about.  It’s creamy and fresh, chock full of vitamins and low in fat.  Serve with pita chips or fresh veggies and you may just find this nearly as addictive as all those other dips, but with a lot less guilt afterward.  Our whole family loves this and it’s sure to make many appearances at our kitchen table.


2 cloves garlic
¼ cup walnuts
1½ cups kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups cannellini beans, drained (2 15 oz. cans)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


  • 01

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, walnuts and kale.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the processor running, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a steady stream through the feed tube until smooth.  Add in the Parmesan, salt, and pepper and pulse until combined.

  • 02

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the beans, the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the balsamic vinegar.  Process the mixture until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.  If necessary, pulse in additional olive oil to achieve a smooth texture.  (I did not need additional oil.)  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts.  Serve with pita chips, fresh veggies, etc.

  • Love that this is more on the healthy side… it looks delicious! I’m all about kale these days and I’ve never tried putting it in a dip before… hmmmm may need to try this soon… : )

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    This looks fantastic!

  • Annie @Annie’s City Kitchen

    I’m a dip fiend but obviously it’s not always easy on the waistline. This looks great! I’m a huge fan of white beans. So smooth and creamy.

  • I was just writing a post last night for hummus, and thinking how it’s funny in January people go on these diets, and then come February so many throw it out the window, beginning with a Super Bowl party.

  • Caroline L.

    And so pretty too! It’ll look so perfect on a party platter! :)

  • Thank you for keeping Super Bowl celebrations healthy Annie!

  • Ohhhh, so bright and vibrant! The perfect party dip

  • Kare @ Kitchen Treaty

    I’m so glad you like the recipe! And the fact that your family loves it too gives me hope (currently dealing with a picky 13-month-old, such such fun.)

  • so clever!!

  • annieseats

    Ugh, that’s no fun at all! Thankfully my kids both love guacamole (though maybe not that thankful since I never want to share it – ha!). Since this looks similar, the youngest thought it was guac so she shoveled it in. And our son loved it too! Definitely glad to have another healthy snacking option in the repertoire. Thanks again!

  • Tracy

    Looks like a fantastic dip, can’t wait to try; the green color is awesome and so colorful!

  • Sonja / A Couple Cooks

    Annie, this looks delicious! Looks right up Alex and my alley — especially for parties. What a great idea!

  • annieseats

    I thought you two would like this one :)

  • Stephanie

    If made ahead how long do you think it would keep?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ for general food storage info. I’m not exactly sure how long this keeps. Enjoy!

  • SandiO

    I just made this and accidentally used garbanzos rather than cannellini beans and it was still delicious. I hate walnuts, my husband hates kale and lemon and I have two picky 4-yr old boys and we all LOVED it. Thanks for this healthy alternative!

  • Heidi Schermerhorn

    Oh my this is amazingly delicious! The texture seems kind of like hummus. Will def make this again. Is the serving dish fr crate and barrel?

  • annieseats

    Yes, I believe it is!

  • DoubleYolked

    This looks so tasty. Just started eating Kale and never thought to use it in a pesto! Thanks for the idea