Roasted Beet and Lentil Dip

This brightly-hued dip is packed with fiber, thanks to both red beets and lentils. Canned lentils can be found in most grocery stores and are a great alternative to the ever-popular chickpea. Just make sure to drain them well and give them a good rinse to eliminate extra sodium before using them.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a knife

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium red beets (about 12 ounces total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 cup walnuts

One 15-ounce can organic low-sodium brown or black lentils, drained and rinsed well

Serving suggestions: Dippers such as baked pita chips and sliced cucumbers, bell peppers and/or carrots  

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with 2 racks set in the middle. Stir together 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, thyme, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a 2-quart baking dish. Add the beets and stir to coat in the liquid. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the upper rack of the oven until the beets are fork-tender, about 1 hour, stirring the beets once halfway through the cooking time.
  2. Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast on the lower rack of the oven until slightly darkened in color and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Finely chop 3 of the toasted walnuts and reserve for garnish.
  3. Remove the thyme from the baking dish and discard. Cool the beets and cooking liquid slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the beets, cooking liquid (along with the cooked garlic), whole toasted walnuts, lentils, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Season with the remaining 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar if desired. 
  4. Transfer the dip to a small serving bowl and garnish with the reserved walnuts. Serve with pita chips and vegetables.
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