Healthy Vegan Keto Za’atar Butter Bean Dip Recipe

Butter Bean Dip is one of our favourite healthy vegan keto appetizers to enjoy when we’re craving a Middle Eastern snack.

Our creamy homemade Butter Bean Dip recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under 30 minutes.

You’ll love spooning through a bowl of spiced Butter Bean Dip featuring flavourful garlic, lemon, cumin, parsley, olive oil, pine nuts and za’atar.

This simple recipe is also vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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What Are Butter Beans?

Butter Beans are known to horticulturalists as Phaseolus lunatus. The legume is also commonly referred to as lima beans, sieva beans, or Madagascar beans.

Phaseolus lunatus was originally found in South America. Two gene pools of cultivated lima beans point to historic domestication events. The Mesoamerican lima bean is distributed in tropical lowlands while the other is found in the western Andes. They were initially discovered in Peru.

The small-seeded (sieva) type is distributed from Mexico to Argentina, while the large-seeded wild form (lima type) is found in the north of Peru.

During the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, lima beans were exported to the rest of the Americas and Europe, and since the boxes had their place of origin labeled Lima, Peru, the beans got named as such. Despite the origin of the name, when referring to the bean, the word “lima” is generally pronounced differently from Peru’s capital.

As a general rule, America and Canada refer to them as lima beans, while the United Kingdom refers to them as butter beans.

The term “butter bean” is also widely used in North and South Carolina for a large, flat and yellow/white variety of lima bean. In the United States sieva-type beans are traditionally called butter beans, also otherwise known as the Dixie or Henderson type. In that particular region, lima beans and butter beans are seen as two distinct types of beans, although scientifically they are the same.

In India, they’re called Double Beans and are often soaked overnight and pressure-cooked as a nutrient-dense ingredient in curries.

Ingredients you'll need to make our easy vegan Butter Bean Dip recipe.
Ingredients you’ll need to make our easy vegan Butter Bean Dip recipe.

What is Keto Butter Bean Dip?

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. Over 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve your health.

A keto diet involves reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Ketogenic diets can cause significant reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits.

Looking for a Keto friendly appetizer? Our Middle Eastern Vegetarian Butter Bean Dip recipe is carbohydrate free and best paired with crudités like carrot & celery sticks.

Middle Eastern Butter Bean Dip features parsley, garlic, lemon, pine nuts and za'atar.
Middle Eastern Butter Bean Dip features parsley, garlic, lemon, pine nuts and za’atar.

My Family Loves Healthy Butter Bean Dip

My family had a tradition of eating soup, salad and healthy dips lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. It’s such a simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

We’d often pair our light lunch with sandwiches, pickles, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese, sourdough bread and other homemade dips.

Butter beans, garlic, lemons, parsley and spices are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this healthy Butter Bean Dip at the cottage in Muskoka during the summer. It’s an easy and yummy lunch to eat on the dock while sipping craft beer or local wine.

We’ve flavoured our vegan Butter Bean Dip with a taste of the Middle East including olive oil, pine nuts, parsley, garlic, lemon and Lebanese za’atar.

Love making homemade dips? Try these recipes at home:

Mix butter beans with Middle Eastern spices, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.
Mix butter beans with Middle Eastern spices, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.

Butter Bean Dip Health Benefits

Our easy vegan Butter Bean Dip recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Beans are rich in cancer-fighting vitamin C, energy-boosting B vitamins, and gut-healthy fibre.

A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.

A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.

An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.

Pine Nuts are rich in magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, and protein, which can help with diabetes management, heart health, and brain health.

A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame seeds help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.

Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.

Garnish butter bean dip with parsley, za'atar, pine nuts and olive oil.
Garnish butter bean dip with parsley, za’atar, pine nuts and olive oil.

Butter Bean Dip Recipe Tips

This healthy homemade Middle Eastern dip is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time dip makers!

  • We suggest using an immersion blender to puree the ingredients in a mixing bowl or use a heavy duty Vitamix.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula so it’s easy to scrape the dip into a bowl.
  • We’ve used garlic, cumin, lemon and za’atar to flavour this Middle Eastern dip. You could substitute with ginger, curry powder, spicy chili and lime juice to enjoy a taste of India.
  • Our Butter Bean Dip recipe is keto, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free friendly. If you’re looking to increase your protein at mealtime and eat meat, we suggest serving this dip topped with sizzling chicken shawarma or lamb kibbeh.

What To Serve with Keto Za’atar Lima Bean Dip

Whether you’re cooking for one (that’s me!) or prepping meals for a larger family, our easy Butter Bean Dip will always be a hit.

You can serve the dip as part of a traditional Middle Eastern mezze platter, or enjoy on its own as a mid-afternoon snack with carrots and celery sticks. Whenever we bake sourdough bread we love to slather this dip on a fresh slice. Sprinkle with za’atar, pine nuts and chopped parsley for a healthy solo snack.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our Middle Eastern Dip as an appetizer before serving heartier mains.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.

Storing Dip

If you have leftover bean dip you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. We suggest storing leftover dip in Pyrex containers that have a snug lid so there’s no spilling.

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This Butter Bean Dip recipe is vegan, vegetarian, low carb and keto friendly.
This Butter Bean Dip recipe is vegan, vegetarian, low carb and keto friendly.

How To Make Easy Butter Bean Dip

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4.50 from 2 votes

Healthy Vegan Butter Bean Dip

Learn how to make the best Butter Bean Dip. Our healthy vegan keto Middle Eastern recipe features pine nut, parsley, cumin, garlic & za'atar.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: butter bean dip
Servings: 8
Calories: 158kcal


  • Food processor or immersion blender
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Zester
  • Lemon juicer
  • French knife
  • spatula


  • 2 15 oz cans Butter Beans
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Lemon juiced and zested
  • 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp Pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Za’atar


  • Add butter beans, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin and 2 tablespoons of water to a food processor. Blend at medium speed until the consistency is smooth.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and top with pine nuts, chopped parsley, drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of za’atar.


Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.6g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 451mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 5.8g | Sugar: 1.9g | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 4mg

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