Baby & Kid-Friendly Black Bean Dip [vegan + Instant Pot recipe]

A versatile black bean dip you can use as a dip for veggies, in quesadillas or even serve to your baby!
A bowl of kid-friendly black bean dip on a snack board with fresh veggies and crackers.

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We had a hard time naming this dish… should we call it a black bean dip? A black bean spread? The tastiest black beans you’ll ever eat? It’s actually all three of those things!

May we proudly present to you: the tastiest black bean dip/spread you’ll ever eat! 

Bring On the Flavour

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: don’t be afraid to offer your baby flavourful food! 

Think about it… would you be interested in eating a bowl of plain, unseasoned, unsalted black beans? 

While I’m sure that might be appetizing to some people but for ourselves, we want the flavour! 

And we’re guessing our babies might want it too!

While in the womb, babies practice swallowing by taking sips of amniotic fluid. Studies show that the food you eat can alter the taste of the amniotic fluid. Meaning, if you ate garlic while you were pregnant, then your baby tasted garlic! Isn’t science fascinating?

This is why we love developing flavourful recipes like this black bean dip, to offer your babies and toddlers. 

Having said that, you need to know your child. While some kids enjoy and prefer flavourful food, others my be more sensitive to strong flavours. Scientifically known as ‘super tasters’ (yes, that’s the scientific term!) some people are born with a higher number of tastebuds. The more tastebuds = the more amplified a flavour will be! This amplification can be overwhelming for some people. 

I (Jessica) suspect I was a super taster as a kid as I found regular old jarred spaghetti sauce too spicy! And, if there was even a tiny amount of black pepper in a dish, my tastebuds were overwhelmed. 

When Can Babies Eat Black Beans?

In their whole form, black beans are considered a choking hazard for a young baby and shouldn’t be offered in their whole form until closer to one year old. At that point they should, however, be nice and soft and squishable. That means, even if you’re feeding your baby á la baby led weaning style, you’ll have to modify black beans for safety!

Mashing cooked black beans into a dip or spread allows your baby to experience and taste this nutritious food in a safe texture.

How Can I Offer This Black Bean Dip To My Baby?

The texture of this dip ends up being a thick spread. For a handheld option, you can spread it thinly on toast strips or spread on steamed carrots or broccoli. To thin it out for spoon feeding, you could add more broth, human milk, or formula. It’s also lovely with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

When preparing the dip, skip the salt. Set some aside for your baby and then add salt to the remaining portion for the rest of the family.

How Can I Serve This Black Bean Dip To My Toddler?

So. Many. Ways!

1. As a (duh) dip! Offer alongside crackers and (if your toddler has developed the chewing skills for them yet), raw veggies such as carrot sticks, bell pepper sticks, and celery sticks.
2. In pinwheels. Spread a thin layer of the black bean dip on a tortilla wrap. Fold it up tightly and then slice into 1-2” thick segments.
3. In sheetpan quesadillas. Okay, you can use them in stovetop quesadillas but we love making quesadillas for a crowd on a sheetpan! Watch the video below to see how we make them.
4. With a spoon. Seriously, it’s that good! Pair it with some scrambled eggs, toast, and orange segments for a balanced meal.

For a toddler, you can add the salt in during the cooking process; no need to go salt-free!

Is This Dip Spicy?

The beautiful thing about preparing food yourself is that you get full control over the flavour level! As written, the spice level is fairly mild. But if you know your baby is sensitive to spice levels, feel free to dial back on the chili powder and skip the cayenne. 

Is This Black Bean Dip Gluten-Free? Dairy-Free? Vegan Friendly?

Yup, yup, and yup! This black bean dip is naturally hypoallergenic and plant-based, perfect to take for school lunches. If you have a baby or toddler at home, you might be thinking that school lunches sound sooo far away from where you’re at now. But, trust us… you’re going to want to start serving food now that your child can take with them later to school! If you get kids accustomed to certain flavours when they’re young, you won’t be scrambling to find school-friendly foods they accept later on!

BLACK BEAN DIP FAQ

Can this bean dip be frozen?

Yes, bean dip freezes beautifully and defrosts easily in the microwave. 

Can this bean dip be frozen?

For baby food safety, we recommend freezing in small portions and defrosting as needed. For the rest of the family, the bean dip will last several days in the fridge. 

Check Out Three Ways to Eat This Black Bean Dip:

Black Bean Dip (Instant Pot Instructions)

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Instant Pot heat up and release30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Keyword: black bean dip, black bean spread, instant pot black bean dip, vegan black bean dip
Servings: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced in half
  • 4 cups vegetable broth use no sodium added if baby will be eating some
  • ½ tsp salt *optional
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder *you dial back to 2 tsp if you’d like
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne *optional
  • Juice from 1 lime

Instructions

  • Rinse black beans, and then add into the insert of the Instant pot along with the broth, onion, salt and garlic.
  • Set to manual function for 40 minutes. Ensure you’ve turned the knob to sealing.
  • Allow this to come to pressure and cook. Once this is done, allow for a natural release for 20 minutes.
  • You may see some liquid, please strain this into a small bowl - you don’t have to remove all of it. You’ll want to set it aside in case you need it later to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Next, add in the remaining ingredients and stir.
  • Use an immersion blender or potato masher to form the consistency you’d like. Again, you’re welcome to add back more of the reserve liquid.

Notes

*Skip these ingredients if your baby will be eating some. You can set some of the finished dip aside for your baby and then stir salt into the remainder.
For a creamy texture feel free to add a dollop of sour cream or silk tofu at the end.

Black Bean Dip (stovetop instructions)

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder *you dial back to 2 tsp if you’d like
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt *optional
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne *optional
  • 2 cans 19 fl oz or 540 ml black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can 6 oz or 156 ml tomato paste
  • Juice from 1 lime

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  • Add the garlic, spices, and salt. Cook for one more minute.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Add in the beans, tomato paste, and lime juice.
  • Using an immersion blender or potato masher, mash the beans to your desired consistency.

Notes

*skip these ingredients if you're serving to your baby. You can set some of the finished dip aside for your baby and season the remainder.
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Do you have fears or worries about feeding your baby?​

We know that starting your baby on solids can feel overwhelming and you may have other worries such as…

  • I’m afraid my baby will choke!
  • I’m afraid my baby won’t be getting enough of the right nutrients!
  • I’m afraid my baby will have an allergic reaction!
  • I’m afraid my baby is not eating enough… too much!
  • I’m afraid my baby will be a picky eater!

We’ve created a FREE guide for you to address these fears and most of all, help you work through them! Just enter your email below and you’ll get the guide sent to your inbox.

jess and nita, registered dietitians
Meet Jess and Nita

Hi! We’re both Dietitians & boy mamas! We’re here to help you confidently raise kids who will grow up to be lifelong Happy Healthy Eaters. Dig into our site for kid-tested recipes & feeding tips. 

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