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Savory, satisfying white bean crostini make a nice-looking but super-easy appetizer that’s great for last-minute entertaining.

white bean crostini and snap peas on a marble background
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Why we love this recipe

I love having a few super-easy appetizer recipes like these white bean crostini in rotation at all times. These guys are made from pantry ingredients, so if friends suddenly stay until wine o’clock or drop by unexpectedly on the way home from the beach, you’ll have something a little special to feed them without a lot of work. 

This recipe works beautifully with my white bean dip, but if you prefer, you can substitute hummus to make it even quicker and easier. It’s got:

  • A satisfying combination of flavors and textures
  • Enough heft to pair with cocktails, beer or wine, without spoiling your dinner
  • Tons of flexibility — I’ve offered several topping choices, but you can tinker to your heart’s content
  • Prepahead potential (you can make the dip well in advance)

I first published this recipe here back in 2018. I’ve since updated the post for clarity and added a few options to the toppings list.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at what you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls

The base

  • The base layer of these crostini is flexible. I’ve designed the recipe to be made mostly from pantry ingredients, so I’ve pictured two types of packaged “toasts” which are, by any other name, crackers. In the ingredients photo and the one directly below, you’ll see the Brioche Toasts from Trader Joe’s. In the other photos, you’ll see Eli Zabar’s Health Crisps.
  • Alternatively, you can slice and toast a baguette according to the instructions in the recipe card below.

The white bean dip

  • The money layer is made from our fabulous white bean dip, which, itself, is quick and easy to make from ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. You can make this element well in advance if you like. Or substitute hummus if that’s what you’ve got.

The toppings

  • If it’s summertime and you’ve got your pick of beautiful fresh tomatoes, it’s nice to include half of a thin slice on each toast, as pictured above. This adds a bit of freshness and a nice geometric element to the presentation. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes or they aren’t fabulous, leave them off.
  • I’ve also included sun-dried tomatoes for a deep, sweet-savory flavor. You can use the jarred, oil-packed version — just blot excess oil and cut each tomato half into thin strips. When available, I like to use soft sun-dried tomatoes in a resealable bag, such as Trader Joe’s Julienne Cut California Sun Dried Tomatoes. They’re easy to work with and nice and tender.
  • It’s nice to include one additional savory element as well. Sometimes I’ll cut pitted, briny olives (such as Cerignola or Kalamata) in half and place a piece on each toast. Alternatively (or in addition!), a few toasted pine nuts add nice dimension.
  • A few pieces of soft fresh herbs add freshness and visual interest. I’ve pictured fennel fronds above and chives and Italian parsley below. Other good choices include basil, chervil, tarragon, dill, and cilantro.
  • Flaky sea salt makes a nice final touch. It adds a little bit of crunch and a delicate flavor that brings out the beauty of the rest of the ingredients. I like Maldon salt.
white bean crostini with sun dried tomato, olive, parsley, and chives

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a quick and easy batch of white bean crostini. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll add all the ingredients for the white bean dip to a food processor.
  2. Process until beautifully smooth and creamy. You can do this part in advance.
  3. Spread some of the dip onto each toast.
  4. Garnish with a small piece of each of your toppings, sprinkle with flaky salt, and serve. That’s it!
white bean crostini and snap peas on a marble background

Expert tips and FAQs

How do I make my own toasts for crostini?

Preheat your oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Cut a baguette on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes total, flipping each slice once about halfway through cooking.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

You can make the white bean dip in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a year. Bring to room temperature before using. Assemble crostini at serving time. Try to make only as many as you’ll want — they don’t hold too well once assembled.

More favorite appetizers on toasts

white bean crostini and snap peas on a marble background

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white bean crostini and snap peas on a marble background
5 from 3 votes

White Bean Crostini

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Savory, satisfying white bean crostini make a nice-looking but super-easy appetizer that's great for last-minute entertaining. Please refer to the notes section below to learn more details about each ingredient.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 batch white bean dip
  • 12 pieces thin toasted bread or flatbread
  • 2 small fresh tomatoes, if available
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pieces
  • 6 pitted briny olives, cut in half
  • ¼ cup soft herbs, fennel fronds, parsley, basil, dill, chives, chervil, tarragon
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, optional
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Instructions 

  • Prepare the white bean dip. You can do this up to a week in advance, or up to a year in advance if you'd like to freeze it.
  • Spread about two tablespoons of white bean dip onto each toast.
  • If including fresh tomatoes, slice them 1/4-inch thick and cut each slice in half. Line up the flat side of the tomato with one of the edges of the toast (if you're into that sort of thing).
  • If including pine nuts, place them into a small, dry frying pan. Toast over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until beginning to brown very lightly.
  • Garnish each toast with a piece or two of sun-dried tomato, an olive half, a few pieces of the herbs, and a few pine nuts, if using.
  • Sprinkle with a little bit of flaky salt and serve right away.

Notes

  1. The base layer of these crostini is flexible. I've designed the recipe to be made mostly from pantry ingredients, so I've pictured two types of packaged "toasts" which are, by any other name, crackers. In two of the photos and the video, you'll see the Brioche Toasts from Trader Joe's. In the other photos, you'll see Eli Zabar's Health Crisps.
  2. Alternatively, you can slice and toast a baguette according to these instructions: Preheat your oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Cut a baguette on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes total, flipping each slice once about halfway through cooking.
  3. The money layer is made from our fabulous white bean dip, which, itself, is quick and easy to make from ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. You can make this element well in advance if you like. Or substitute hummus if that's what you've got.
  4. If it's summertime and you've got your pick of beautiful fresh tomatoes, it's nice to include half of a thin slice on each toast, as pictured above. This adds a bit of freshness and a nice geometric element to the presentation. If you don't have fresh tomatoes or they aren't fabulous, leave them off.
  5. I've also included sun-dried tomatoes for a deep, sweet-savory flavor. You can use the jarred, oil-packed version — just blot excess oil and cut each tomato half into thin strips. When available, I like to use soft sun-dried tomatoes in a resealable bag, such as Trader Joe's Julienne Cut California Sun Dried Tomatoes. They're easy to work with and nice and tender.
  6. It's nice to include one additional savory element as well. Sometimes I'll cut pitted, briny olives (such as Cerignola or Kalamata) in half and place a piece on each toast. Alternatively (or in addition!), a few toasted pine nuts add nice dimension.
  7. A few pieces of soft fresh herbs add freshness and visual interest. I've pictured fennel fronds above and chives and Italian parsley below. Other good choices include basil, chervil, tarragon, dill, and cilantro.
  8. Flaky sea salt makes a nice final touch. It adds a little bit of crunch and a delicate flavor that brings out the beauty of the rest of the ingredients. I like Maldon salt.
  9. You can make the white bean dip in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a year. Bring to room temperature before using. Assemble crostini at serving time. Try to make only as many as you'll want — they don't hold too well once assembled.

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcal, Carbohydrates: 10.3g, Protein: 3.3g, Fat: 5.1g, Fiber: 3.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snacks and Starters
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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