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How to Make Hummus

It’s crazy-easy to make hummus from scratch, and once you know how it’s done, you’ll never go back!

How to Make Hummus

Making hummus from scratch is surprisingly easy and quite rewarding. It takes just a few simple ingredients — most of which you may already have in your pantry and fridge. Traditional hummus recipes call for ingredients such as: chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), lemon, sesame seeds or tahini, garlic and salt. And don’t forget to use a good food processor, which is the key to smooth hummus. Once you’ve made hummus from scratch, we bet you’ll think twice before purchasing store-bought hummus again. The flavor of homemade hummus really is incredible!

Hummus is packed with protein and fiber thanks to its main ingredients: chickpeas and tahini.

What is tahini? Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds, often used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s different from tahini sauce, which is typically a sauce made with tahini as the base, but with other ingredients as well. You can use sesame seeds in place of tahini, but the hummus will not be as smooth.

Hummus is an even better-for-your snack, if you opt for healthy dippers like raw vegetables, instead of chips or pita bread. It’s a wonderful alternative to indulgent dips like queso or spinach-artichoke dip.


What You Need:

  • Ingredients for Hummus
  • High powered blender or food processor
  • Spatula
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
  • Hummus dippers like pita bread wedges, crackers or raw vegetables

1. Place beans, reserved bean liquid, lemon juice, sesame seeds, garlic and salt in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides if necessary, until consistency is uniform.

2. Spoon dip into serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve with pita bread wedges, crackers or raw vegetables.

Pro Tip: Trying to figure out what to do with leftover tahini? We recommend using it in recipes like Easy Greek Pasta Salad with Tahini Dressing, Gluten-Free Kale Chips with Tahini or Zucchini with Lemon Tahini Dressing.

How to Cook Chickpeas

The main ingredient in traditional hummus is chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are a great convenience item, as they don't need to be cooked, but cooking dried chickpeas at home is easy. Though it takes longer, cooking dried chickpeas is worth it for the flavor and lower sodium content. You will need to plan ahead as dried beans do need to be soaked before cooking to soften and plump. Soaking dried chickpeas also helps reduce digestive stress for people who have a hard time digesting beans, but the step isn't mandatory.

1. Sort through the dried beans to remove any shriveled, small or damaged ones and to remove stones.

2. Rinse and drain using a fine sieve or colander. Now you’re ready to soak your chickpeas. Because they rehydrate to about triple their size, be sure to choose a pot that’s big enough.

3. Soak chickpeas. There are two methods for soaking chickpeas: a quick-soak method and a long-soak method.

Quick-Soak Method: Place dried chickpeas in a large saucepan; add enough water to cover. Heat to boiling; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for at least 2 hours.

Long-Soak Method: Place dried beans in a large saucepan or bowl; add enough cold water to cover. Let stand 8 to 24 hours.

4. After you’ve completed your preferred soaking method, drain the beans and add fresh, cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low; then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 2 ½ hours.

How to skin chickpeas: One optional tip to making creamy hummus is to remove the skins from the chickpeas. Hold a chickpea between your thumb and index finger, pinching gently to remove the skin. This does take some time, but it will result in smoother hummus. No matter if you break some chickpeas during this process, they’ll just be thrown into the food processor later anyway!

If your food processor does not get your hummus as smooth as you like it, try pushing it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any clumps.

Variations of Hummus

Hummus Olive Spread

There are tons of flavor variations on hummus, like sun-dried tomato or roasted garlic. You can even make hummus without garbanzo beans by substituting other mild-flavored beans, such as great northern, cannellini or navy.

Here are three variations on our basic hummus recipe (above):

Cumin Hummus: Add 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Omit parsley. Sprinkle with cumin seed, if desired.

Roasted Garlic Hummus: Stir 1-2 tablespoons roasted garlic into finished hummus.

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus: Stir 1/3 cup chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) into finished hummus.

Chopped Hummus Dip with Za'atar

As you can see, hummus goes well with many different flavors. For a simple but pretty presentation, smooth the hummus into a shallow bowl, plate or platter and top with a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds. For an even more stunning presentation, you can top it with chopped Kalamata olives, chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, za’atar spice, herbs and more.

What to Eat With Hummus

Layered Greek Dip

Hummus is quite a versatile ingredient. It’s great as a spread on a sandwich or wrap or as a snack dip for raw vegetables, pita bread or chips. It’s a welcome addition to vegetarian or vegan sandwiches and wraps, adding some heft where vegetarian options are sometimes lacking. Whether you eat it as snack, use it in your main dish or serve it as an appetizer, homemade hummus is a great addition to your recipe box!

8 Ways to Eat Hummus

Can’t get enough hummus? We’ve got tons of different variations to try!