November 28, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Hummus – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This Middle Eastern dip and spread, Hummus, is made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and garlic. This luxuriously creamy and flavor-packed dip is fully irresistible — especially slathered over pita chips!

Overhead view of a bowl of Hummus

The BEST Hummus Recipe

Before traveling to the Middle East (and eating all the food), I’d always just bought hummus. It wasn’t a favorite dip of mine (Salsa is my go-to!) so why bother making it?!

Well, that trip completely changed my mind on hummus — I quickly became obsessed. As in, I ordered it every single time it was on the menu. Including breakfast — yes, really!

It had so much more flavor and texture than anything I’d ever had in the states. So for months now I’ve been on a mission to recreate it. I couldn’t go back to store-bought after trying the “real” stuff!

Ingredient shot: a view of all the ingredients used in Hummus

A Middle Eastern Recipe

After trying just about every single recipe online, I almost gave up. Nothing tasted like it did on our trip and none of the textures were quite right. That is, until I tried the recipe from Adeena Sussman’s cookbook. It is sheer perfection — the best healthy hummus recipe and exactly what I fell in love with while in the Middle East.

I’m sharing a version of her hummus recipe (using canned chickpeas) with a few minor tweaks of my own. (And I’ll attempt to convince you to use the blender instead of a food processor.) But hats off to Adeena: thank you for making all my hummus dreams come true! 🙂

Process shots: preparing the chickpeas in the food processor

What Is Hummus Made Of?

There isn’t too much needed to make this dip taste amazing — canned chickpeas, fresh lemon juice, tahini paste, garlic, plus some salt and pepper. The dip is then topped with extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

Hummus Recipe With Tahini

When making this recipe, the biggest variable is tahini paste — this is a make-or-break ingredient. I’ve tried some really great tahini pastes and some that are near inedible. Additionally, most tahini pastes will separate quite a bit (leaving a thick sludge at the bottom with oil on the top) so be sure to shake the jar or mix the container really well before measuring for this recipe.

My personal favorite? Mighty Sesame Co.® or Soom Foods® Sesame Tahini Paste (affiliate links, but not sponsored).

QUICK TIP

What is Tahini? Tahini is a sesame paste sold in most mainstream grocery stores. Be sure to use hulled tahini (not unhulled or whole seed). Unhulled (whole seed tahini) is made from the whole sesame seeds (hull and all) which delivers a more bitter flavor.

Process shots: Alternative to food processor is using a blender to create Hummus

How To Make Hummus

It seems a lot of people are hung up on the idea of having ultra smooth hummus, which is certainly not how you’ll get it in the Middle East. It has loads of texture and is far from perfectly smooth. This is because of the skin on the chickpeas.

If you’re set on having the smoothest possible hummus, you can remove all of the chickpea skins, but I never bother. Especially if you have a high-powered blender, it’s amazing how relatively smooth you can get the mixture! And if you like even  more texture, use a food processor.

Additionally, the consistency of this dip is a bit looser than you’ll find in a grocery store in the States. This is exactly how it is in the Middle East and makes it ideal for smearing over pita chips or flatbreads before adding on meats and scoops of Israeli Salad.

Should Hummus Be Served Warm Or Cold?

For the flavors to shine the way they’re intended, hummus is best at room temperature. It’s creamier and tastier! 

Up-close view of a cracker scooping up some Hummus

Hummus FAQs

Hummus is a creamy blend of cooked chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) tahini paste, lemon juice, and garlic. It’s a high-protein dip or spread that is used around the world because it’s tasty, inexpensive, easy-to-make, and nutritious!

Hummus is similar to peanut butter, only it’s made with sesame seeds instead of nuts. And as you might surmise, hummus is used very differently than peanut butter.

2Where does hummus originate?

There are lots of different theories and claims for the origin, but not enough evidence to pinpoint exactly where hummus was initially developed.

It has been prepared and eaten in various parts of the Middle East. (Source)

3How do you properly eat hummus?

Hummus is great as a dip, spread, sandwich condiment, or a dish on its own!

  • Personal favorite: as a dip for pita chips! Also good dippers: tortilla chips, warmed naan, pita, of flatbread, bagel chips, good crackers, pretzels
  • We love spreading it on sandwiches or wraps (like these Hummus Wraps or Vegetarian Gyros)
  • It’s delicious as a dip for raw veggies like celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, cherry/grape tomatoes, etc.
  • It makes a tasty and unique pasta sauce

4What should you eat hummus with?

Whatever you like best! It’s a great way to get your kids (or yourself) to eat more veggies. I never eat more veggies than when I have a fresh batch of this hummus in the fridge. 🙂

5What are the benefits of eating hummus?

The main ingredient, chickpeas, are high in plant-based protein and fiber which helps leave you feel satiated. They’re also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

6How do you substitute dried chickpeas in this recipe?

About 1 cup of dried chickpeas when cooked through will be what you need for this recipe. Begin by picking through the dried chickpeas for any debris or shriveled beans.

Then, here’s how to prepare them:

  • On the stove: Soak overnight, covered with 4 inches of water (the beans will triple in size). Drain and then pour into a large pot, covering the beans with 2-inches of water and 1 tsp baking soda. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer (add a lid to the top, but leave it slightly ajar so steam can escape). Simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes to 55 minutes (there can be a lot of variation so check every 15 minutes or so). Cool chickpeas in liquid and reserve some of the liquid before draining.
  • Instant pot: No need to soak overnight. Cover with several inches of water and cook for 50 minutes on high. Allow to natural release for 10 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.

Hummus is a wonderful nutritious snack option that is high in protein, fiber, and other important nutrients.

View of a bowl of Hummus surrounded by Israeli Salad and pita chips

How To Top It!

Once you’ve prepared Hummus, spoon it into a shallow dish or on a plate and use the back of a spoon to make swirls over the top. Drizzle on olive oil– which will pool in those swirls–and then sprinkle on some paprika and finely chopped parsley. Besides being delicious, it’s beautiful served this way!

QUICK TIP

Another popular topping is tatbila/tatbelah which is a traditional Arabic condiment that helps to cut through the richness of the Hummus. Here’s how to make it: Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 tsp minced jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed), 1/2 tsp minced garlic, and a good pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir and spoon on top of Hummus.

Make A Whole Spread To Go Alongside

Hummus

This Middle Eastern dip and spread, Hummus, is made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and garlic. This luxuriously creamy and flavor-packed dip is fully irresistible — especially slathered over pita chips!A lot of people are hung up on the idea of having ultra smooth hummus, which is not how you’ll get it in the Middle East. It has great texture and is far from perfectly smooth. This is because of the skin on the chickpeas. If you’re set on having the smoothest possible hummus, you can remove all of the chickpea skins first, but I never bother. Especially if you have a high-powered blender, it’s amazing how relatively smooth you can get the mixture!

Hummus

This Middle Eastern dip and spread, Hummus, is made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and garlic. This luxuriously creamy and flavor-packed dip is fully irresistible — especially slathered over pita chips!A lot of people are hung up on the idea of having ultra smooth hummus, which is not how you’ll get it in the Middle East. It has great texture and is far from perfectly smooth. This is because of the skin on the chickpeas. If you’re set on having the smoothest possible hummus, you can remove all of the chickpea skins first, but I never bother. Especially if you have a high-powered blender, it’s amazing how relatively smooth you can get the mixture!

Instructions

  • CHICKPEAS: Drain the liquid off the chickpeas, reserving 1 cup. Do not rinse the chickpeas.

  • COMBINE: Add the chickpeas, 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid (115g), 1 tablespoon garlic, 1/2 cup tahini, 1/3 cup lemon, plus salt and pepper to a large food processor or high-powered blender. Season slowly; it will vary depending on the chickpeas. (I start with 1/2 tsp fine sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and increase from there.) (See Note 1)

  • PULSE: Pulse or blend until very smooth and creamy, about 2-4 minutes (depending on how powerful the blender is and the consistency you’re going after). If needed, add up to 1/4 cup more chickpea liquid to get to your desired consistency. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed.

  • SERVE: Dollop mixture into a shallow bowl and smooth the top with the back of a spoon to make swirls. Drizzle oil over the swirls and sprinkle with paprika. Enjoy with pita chips or veggies.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Blender or food processor: I prefer to use a blender for this project. The food processor takes longer, and isn’t as smooth. For smoothest possible Hummus (that is still quick and not fussy!), use a high-powered blender (like Blend-tec®/Vita-mix®).
Note 2: Using dried chickpeas: If you’d like to use dried instead of canned, start with 1 cup dried chickpeas. Follow the directions in the FAQ section of the post.
Note 3: Tahini paste: This is a sesame paste sold in most mainstream grocery stores. Be sure to use hulled tahini (not unhulled or whole seed, which are bitter). Most tahini pastes will separate quite a bit, so be sure to shake the jar or mix the container really well before measuring for this recipe. Not all tahini pastes are made equal — get a good one! My personal favorites: Mighty Sesame Co. or Soom Foods Sesame Tahini Paste (affiliate links, but not sponsored)

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 393mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.