Black Bean Dip

Easy healthy black bean dip recipe is made with simple, fresh ingredients for the ultimate flavor. It can be served warm or cold with tortilla chips or veggies. It’s made without lard, so it’s a healthy Mexican spread to serve alongside your south-of-the-border dishes.

A hand with a tortilla chip reaches into a bowl of fresh black bean dip.

My favorite dish to take to parties is this easy black bean appetizer. With less than 10 ingredients, I’m serving up this healthy and fresh-tasting dip in NO time.

If you’re into easy vegan dips, check out my Vegan Queso Dip or my Vegetarian Pepperoni Pizza Dip.

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • Cooking some of the veggies for a few minutes creates a mellow flavor that makes this dip the best ever
  • Adding lime juice infuses this dip with zesty flavor
  • Using fresh cilantro brings out the earthy fresh flavors in this dip.
  • Cocoa powder is a secret ingredient, and it adds deep flavor and a bit of color to this recipe.

What is Black Bean Dip?

A simple bean dip consists of black beans ground to a creamy texture combined with other aromatic vegetables, like onions, garlic, and seasonings. Serve it with tortilla chips or use it as an ingredient in things like vegan burritos or vegan taco salads.

The goal with this recipe is to combine all the fresh, salsa-like ingredients into one healthy, tasty dip. If you love easy vegan dip recipes, this one should move to the top of the list!

Looking down on veggies, including cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, fresh cilantro, garlic, and more.

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Onion — I used a yellow onion but you can substitute a red or even a white onion.
  • Jalapeño peppers — This is my favorite addition to this dip. Removing the seeds takes out most of the heat, but keeps the delicious flavor. If you don’t want to risk any spiciness, substitute green bell peppers.
  • Garlic — You’ll need 1 or 2 large cloves of garlic.
  • Bell pepper — I recommend using a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper because of their mild flavor.
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Black beans — You’ll need a 15-ounce can of black beans or 1 3/4 cup of cooked black beans.
  • Ground cumin — You can use ground cumin or substitute taco seasoning.
  • Cocoa powder — You’ll need just a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Lime juice — I like fresh lime juice but you can substitute bottled lime juice.
  • Cilantro — Some people don’t like cilantro so feel free to leave this out or serve it chopped in a bowl on the side for folks who like it to add to their individual servings.

How to Make Black Bean Dip Easy

A lot of store-bought bean dips have lard in them, which means it’s not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. It’s a good thing it’s so easy to make this vegan black bean dip recipe at home.

  1. Add the chopped onion, jalapeño, garlic, bell pepper, black beans, and water to a food processor bowl and pulse a few times.
    Ingredients for a Vegan Fresco Black Bean Dip
  2. Add the cumin and cocoa powder and pulse again until smooth, but with some texture.
  3. Transfer the dip to a microwave-safe container and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  5. Garnish with chopped cherry tomatoes and serve warm with air fryer tortilla chips.

Everyone loves to talk about refried beans, but I say leave out the frying and the lard that comes along with it. In case you’re not sure what lard really is, it’s animal fat. Who wants to eat that?

But making this black bean dip from scratch is best because it’s chockfull of fresh ingredients that begs for one chip after another. Delicioso!

A bowl of Mexican spread with chopped tomatoes on top sits next to some tortilla chips.

What to Eat with Homemade Bean Dip?

We love serving up a plate full of tortilla chips with this black bean spread. You can also serve it alongside Spanish Quinoa and any of your favorite Mexican recipes. I love adding some Sofritas with this recipe for bean dip and lots of tortilla chips.

For example, this black bean chip dip would taste great next to this Vegan Enchiladas recipe.

Low-Carb Dips

Looking for more low-carb vegan recipes? This healthy bean dip is for you! It’s questionable whether or not you could have this on a keto diet, although it adds fiber and protein which is important.

I’ve seen keto described as anywhere between 20 to 50g of carbs per day. If you’re aiming for the upper limit, this dip can definitely be a part of your daily eats.

Here’s the nutritional estimate for each serving:

Calories: 122 Carbs: 22g Protein: 7g Fiber: 7g Net Carbs: 15g

Marly’s Tips

  • Always be careful when handling raw jalapeños. I love these tips on how to cook with jalapeños.
  • Add 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen corn or other fresh veggies
  • You can add some chipotle spices to the mixture, such as Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning.
  • Add 1/2 cup of vegan sour cream for a creamy black bean dip
  • Transform this into a spicy black bean dip by adding a tablespoon or two of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce.

More Mexican Recipes

If you love this black bean dip, here are even more Mexican recipes you’ll like too:

A bowl of bean dip next to tortilla chips with a lime and a margarita behind it.
A bowl of bean dip next to tortilla chips with a lime and a margarita behind it.

Black Bean Dip

Making this easy Black Bean Dip is perfect for sharing with others with a plate full of tortilla chips. Serve this dip hot or cold. Either way you'll be enjoying a healthy, fresh, and flavorful dip with friends in no time!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 122kcal


  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 jalapeño peppers seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic peeled, chopped
  • ¼ cup yellow or red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 to 4 cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 30 oz canned black beans drained
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder*
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro


  • Add the chopped onion, chopped jalapeño, garlic, bell pepper, black beans, and water to a food processor bowl. Pulse a few times, pushing down contents that go up the sides. Add the cumin and cocoa powder and pulse again until smooth.
  • Place in a microwave-safe container and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool for a minute.
  • Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Add more lime juice and/or water to achieve a thinner consistency if necessary.
  • Garnish with more chopped cherry tomatoes. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Recommended Equipment

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* The cocoa powder adds some nice color and actually adds a nice, savory flavor as well.
Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 7g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

3 Responses to Black Bean Dip

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaria powell Reply

    5 stars
    This would be great to sit and watch a tennis match with! Or even a football game! This looks so good. I’ll see if frank wants to try it with me!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNancy Nurse Reply

    Hi, if you don’t use microwaves, would you know how long to cook this on a stove top? Is the purpose just to “warm” it or is it to actually soften and cook some of the ingredients?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Nancy! If you don’t want to use a microwave, I would simply transfer the dip to a sauce pan over medium to medium low heat and bring to a simmer for about 3 – 5 minutes. That not only warms up the mixture but cooks the onion and garlic as well. Hope you love this dip!

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