The Best Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip

An easy winter recipe for a vibrant beet and walnut dip. Swirled with sour cream and topped with dill, it’s a luxurious and festive appetizer.

All winter long I’m never without a sack of beets in my cold room. I roast them up in batches about once a week and stash them in the fridge, where they keep for about 4-5 days.

A surplus of cooked beets is necessary to have around in the Simple Bites kitchen. Recipes like the kid’s favourite Chocolate Beet Snack Cake and today’s beet and walnut dip are in regular rotation all season.

I’ve been meaning to share this quick, do-ahead appetizer that I make every year around the holidays. The vibrantly coloured dip, paired with crisp winter vegetables, is exactly what I want to eat to balance out all the cookies.

The Best Beet and Walnut Dip

I’m calling this the “best” dip because it never fails to elicit a great reaction anytime I serve it. The classic recipe, with roast beets and toasted walnuts, is truly sensational.

However, I’ve also done many a lazy version, with boiled beets (pre-packaged, grocery store) and a handful of whatever-the-heck-nut is within reach. It’s always a hit.

The base Beet and Walnut Dip is interesting on its own, almost like a purple humus. But when swirled with sour cream or a Greek-style yogurt, it takes on the luxurious quality necessary for a special occasion dip.

I serve this dip with my fruit and nut crisps, another holiday staple. Torn pita bread is also delicious. Warm it in the oven first and brush with a little olive oil – this is a date-night-in favourite snack for my hubby and I.

Lastly, this is your opportunity to get your vegetable intake for the day. Thinly sliced winter radishes, endive leaves, wedges of cucumber and thin carrot or celery sticks are all excellent options.

Beet Dip Variations:

This recipe is inspired by Alison Roman’s beet dip from her last book, Nothing Fancy.

I’ve kept this beet and walnut dip quite simple, finishing it with a drizzle of olive oil, cracked pepper and flaky salt.

However, should you want to go through the pantry and dress it up, here are some suggestions for exciting variations.

  • Add a splash of pomegranate molasses and a pinch of cumin for a muhammara-inspired dip via Fine Cooking.
  • Use a spoonful of tahini and a splash of lemon juice in this creamy version from The Kitchn.
  • Keep it a little thicker, like a spread, and sweeten with honey like Becky from Vintage Kitchen.
  • Top with goat cheese and hazelnuts like Ottolenghi over on Food & Wine.
  • Follow Melissa Clark’s advice and blend everything, dill included. A pinch of horseradish is inspired.
  • I alternate between sour cream and yogurt for the swirl of delicious dairy, however a few spoonfuls of crème fraîche delivers truly the deluxe variation.

Perhaps my favourite add-in is Za’atar – that classic blend we borrow from everyday Middle Eastern cuisine. Not everyone knows this, but Za’atar is both a single herb and a blend.

The herb itself is closely related to thyme and savoury. The blend consists of toasted sesame seeds, za’atar, thyme, salt and sumac, which adds a fantastic sour hint to the blend. It’s available in specialty grocery stores or online at Les Filles Fattoush or Epices de Cru.

In truth, the best beet and walnut dip is the one you make from scratch in your kitchen.

Beet and Walnut Dip

An easy winter recipe for vibrant beet and walnut dip. Swirled with sour cream and topped with dill, it’s a healthy, yet luxurious appetizer.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Essential Ingredient: beets
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 368kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 medium cooked beets roasted or otherwise, peeled
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more to garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground za'atar optional
  • 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream or yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a blender (or food processor, they work equally well) combine the roasted beets, walnuts, garlic, vinegar and maple syrup. Blend to combine.
  • With the blender running, drizzle in the olive oil. Season dip with salt and za'atar, if using. Blend into a smooth paste. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (see note).
  • At this point, the dip can be transported to an air tight container and kept, refrigerated, for up to 4 days.
  • To serve: partially fold in the sour cream to the dip. I like to marble the red and the white colours instead of completely combining them. Spoon into a shallow bowl with plenty of surface area.
  • Drizzle the dip generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with dill and black pepper. Finish with flaky salt. Serve with crackers or pita and cut vegetables.

Notes

As with all recipes, taste and adjust the seasonings to your preference. You may want an other drizzle of maple syrup or vinegar, depending on that sweet/tangy balance. And don’t be shy with the salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg
About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Posts like this is what keeps me coming back to your blog. Your blog has become my go to for recipes and ideas. Thanks! Also how many cups of beet puree do you think 3 medium beets equal. I froze some in the fall when I had a surplus that needed saving.

  2. 5 stars
    This is a truly refreshing and tasty spread. Took it to a party last night and got many requests for the recipe. I did add additional salt and lemon juice. This is definitely keeper.

  3. Such a gorgeous colour and refreshing healthy ingredients! I’m putting together a menu plan of sorts for the holidays and I like the sound of this one.

  4. 5 stars
    I was caught at the first glance at the pictures! So beautiful and the recipe is easy to cook! Can’t wait to try it!

  5. 4 stars
    I tried it Aimee, and you were right. It is the best Roasted Beet and Walnut Dip, I have made. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I look forward to prepare it for my parents, they will definitely love it.

  6. Chantal Vaillancourt says

    I only had yellow beets the first time I tried this and it was uh-maz-ing. I put a lot less oil than recommended and it was still super rich due to the nuts. I tried again with red beets and I think I actually preferred it with the yellow beets. Anyhoo, it’s like my new make-every-week-recipe. Thank you sooo much. Your blog is the gift that keeps giving!

  7. This dip really is the best! You just can’t walk past the fridge (or a bowl) and not sneak a another nibble… or three.

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