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Published December 20, 2017. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BUSH’S® Beans. The opinions and text are all mine.
I absolutely love this time of year, and not just because it’s the holiday season. You may not know this about me but I am a college football junkie, so when the bowl games get going then you can be sure to find me in front of the TV grazing on food all day, which makes this Smoked Cheese Bean Dip Recipe and Crudité Platter the absolute perfect at home tailgate recipe! Just because I love football and love to eat recipes like this one does not at all mean this bean dip wouldn’t be absolutely fabulous for your Christmas or holiday spread this year; After all, this recipe is jam packed with amazing smoky bean flavor!
It seems these days that almost all of the dips I make have bacon in them. I mean come on, what’s not to like, right? I used to always say that either you like bacon or you’re wrong haha. So, with that being said, of course I started off this recipe by cooking off some thick cut bacon. Not only will I use the bacon to finish off the bean dip with, but I also use the rendered bacon fat as well. I mean just think of two super simple things that go amazing together, pork and beans. Once you cook the bacon, you want to set the crispy bacon to the side while leaving the bacon fat in the pan. To help kick the flavor up a few notches I added in some onions and garlic and caramelized them to help bring out some of the natural sugars that are in those foods. Next up, beans!
When it comes to cooking with beans, I almost always use an assortment to help provide some complexity to my recipes as well as some diversity to the legume category.
I added in just a wee bit of water to help cook the beans once I added them to the pot with the caramelized onions and garlic so that they could break down a bit. The goal here is to really soften up the beans so that you can mash them. Now, you can simply transfer everything at this point over to a food processor or mash it by hand which is what I did. I kind of like a few chunks in my dips and don’t at all mind if there are a few whole beans in there or even some nice big chunks of caramelized onion. To me these little inconsistencies in the texture of the dip make it awesome!
Once you mash up those beans you want to toss it around with a bit of cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise to help make it creamy. From there you bake it up until the cheese is super melty and has almost a nice crisp brown to the top. While you’re baking up your smoked cheese bean dip, this is perfect timing to get all of your crudité ingredients together. If the word crudité scares you, don’t let it because it simply means raw assorted vegetables served up with a dip for an appetizer, which is what we’re doing here. For me, the more dippers the better but you have to be mindful of the season so since it’s winter you should be looking to root vegetables first. You simply want to avoid things like cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow squashes, green zucchinis, etc. Just think of things that grow in the ground really.
When it comes to making a crudité platter, the more colors and options the better. As you can see from the pictures the spread is incredibly colorful with tons of great choices. I also like to include warm pita bread on there because it really just ads a little something extra along with helping to make it easy to scoop out all of that goodness in the dip! Happy football watching and holiday season!
Check out this Bacon Wrapped Dates Recipe for another awesome holiday appetizer!
Smoked Cheese Bean Dip Recipe and Crudité Platter
For the Dip:
- 6 strips of chopped thick cut bacon
- ½ peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 3 cloves of finely minced garlic
- 2 cans of BUSH’S® Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed 1 can of BUSH’S® Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup each of shredded mozzarella and smoked white cheddar cheese + more for garnish
- ¼ cup of sour cream
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- optional garnishes: sliced green onions, and roasted peppers and onions
For the Crudite:
- tri-colored baby carrots
- mini bell peppers
- roasted garlic
- warm sliced pita
- sliced celery
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Add the bacon to a medium size pot over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside.
- Next, add the onions and garlic to the pot with the rendered bacon fat and cook until browned.
- Drain the beans in a colander and place into the pot along with a ¼ cup of water and cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until they begin to break down a bit.
- Mash with a hand masher and fold in the cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise and salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to a cast iron or enamel pan and top off with cheeses. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- Garnish the top of the bean dip with optional garnishes and serve with crudité options.