Learn how to make hummus like a pro! I'm sharing my family's easy hummus recipe and expert tips for authentic, smooth, ultra cream hummus! And be sure to watch the video.
No mezze is complete without a bowl of hummus and some warm pita. But there are so many ways to enjoy this tasty dip!
What is hummus?
Most everyone knows hummus. It’s the quintessential Middle Eastern dip made by blending chickpeas with tahini, garlic, and citrus.
I grew up on it, and I'm convinced that this simple beige dip is some of the best stuff on earth! Creamy, satisfying and packed with plant-based protein.
This authentic homemade hummus recipe is so much easier to make than most people think and way better than the store bought stuff!
I love this recipe because it's simple and uses just a few ingredients. But a few tips make all the difference in this hummus recipe, so be sure to read on!
- Chickpeas (3 cups). Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are the star ingredient in hummus. Canned or dry chickpeas? If you're wondering how to make hummus from scratch--the best, extra creamy, authentic stuff--you'll want to cook your own chickpeas from scratch (you'll give them a good soak overnight + boil in water until well-done. More on this later)
- Garlic (1 or 2 cloves). Start with 1 clove and make sure it is finely minced. Tip: to tame its pungency, allow minced garlic to sit in a little bit of lemon juice for a few minutes.
- Tahini (⅓ cup). Tahini is a rich, nutty and slightly bitter paste made from toasted sesame seeds. (You can find my go-to tahini paste here).
- Fresh Lemon Juice (from 1 lemon). Fresh lemon juice is just the thing to add tang here.
- Kosher Salt. Just a pinch of kosher salt to your liking. You can always add more. If you're interested in adding
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. A generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil is the way to finish and serve this dip the authentic way. (You can find my go-to extra virgin olive oils at our online shop here)
- Garnish. Not to be underestimated. My favorite way to garnish a bowl of hummus, once the EVOO has been poured nicely right in the middle, is a few pinches of tangy sumac (sometimes ground cumin is a good addition). If you have some extra cooked chickpeas, plant them right in the middle. For a pop of green, you can add a garnish of fresh parsley.
5 Important tips
- Cook the chickpeas well (even canned chickpeas can use a quick simmer!) I already mentioned that dry chickpeas are the best if you really want to learn how to make hummus from scratch. After soaking overnight, you can give the chickpeas a simmer in water for about 2 hours until well-cooked through and tender. Big tip! Overcooking the chickpeas just a bit gives you creamier hummus! So, even if you're using canned chickpeas, give them a brief 20 minute simmer so they will be well cooked and tender.
- Peel the chickpeas. Chickpea skins are edible, but if you want creamy hummus, peel the chickpeas and discard the skins. It helps to soak the chickpeas in a bit of hot water with some baking soda, takes the chickpea skins right off (more on this process below). Of course, sometimes I don't peel the chickpeas, but that doesn't change the taste, it only makes the hummus a bit on the "rustic" side.
- Use quality tahini and enough of it. Tahini paste is a key ingredient in an authentic hummus recipe. It will add that rich consistency and subtle nutty flavor. There are all sorts of tahini options out there. The best tahini comes from Ethiopian sesame seeds. I use organic Soom tahini from 100% roasted and pressed organic Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds (find it at our online shop here).
- For fluffy hummus, add ice cube while blending. Sounds crazy right? This is a trick I learned from my mother-in-law who is a master of the Levant kitchen. The ice cubes help in whipping the hummus into a creamier texture--kinda like freshly churned ice-cream.
- Don't rush it! Let the food processor run for 4 to 5 minutes. Run the food processor for a few minutes so the hummus mixture will blend well enough to a smooth texture. Test, and if needed, add a tiny bit of hot water through the opener of the food processor as it’s running to help continue to smooth the hummus even more until it's utterly creamy.
How do you make hummus from scratch?
Time needed: 20 minutes.
My guide for how to make hummus step-by-step. Printable recipe below
- Soak and cook the chickpeas
If using dry chickpeas allow extra time for soaking (overnight) and cooking (2 hours).
Take 1 cup dry chickpeas and place it in a large bowl. Add plenty of water and soak overnight (chickpeas will expand in the bowl).
When ready, drain chickpeas and place them in a medium-sized heavy cooking pot. Cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. You should end up with about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.
*If using canned chickpeas, give them a quick 20 minute simmer in plenty of water to help soften them some more.
- Peel the chickpeas
Cover the cooked chickpeas in hot water and add 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda. Leave for a few minutes. Take a handful of chickpeas and rub under running water to remove the skins. Discard skins. Let the chickpeas cool completely before using.
- Puree the chickpeas in a food processor
Dry the chickpeas well then add them to the bowl of a large food processor that's fitted with a blade. Run the processor until the chickpeas turn into a smooth powder-like paste
- Add the rest and keep blending
While the food processor is running, add 2 ice cubes, tahini, salt, and lemon juice. Blend for about 4 minutes or so. Check, and if the consistency is too thick still, run processor and slowly add a little hot water. Blend until you reach desired silky smooth consistency. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the hummus for an hour or so before serving.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish
Spread in a serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Add a few chickpeas to the middle, if you like. Sprinkle sumac on top.
Enjoy with warm pita wedges and your favorite veggies and some warm pita bread.
How do you thicken hummus?
If , for some reason, you ended up using more liquid than you should have or if you still want a thicker consistency, you can add a bit more tahini. And if you chill the hummus for an hour or so before adding any garnish, that should help as well.
Another thing you can add to thicken your hummus is 1 or 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt. You can add the Greek yogurt right in the food processor and blend.
What is hummus traditionally eaten with?
People of the Mediterranean, myself included of course, eat hummus with pita bread. And if we're doing a more modern thing, then maybe pita chips. But there are many ways to serve and enjoy this tasty dip:
- As part of mezze alongside other small plates like baba ganoush, tabouli, roasted cauliflower, or pearl couscous salad.
- To make a Mediterranean dinner bowl like these chicken shawarma bowls
- As a side next to things like kofta kabobs, chicken kabobs or Greek souvlaki, lamb chops, salmon kabobs or even a fun shrimp skillet.
- For breakfast? Sure! Hummus makes the best savory breakfast toasts or these satisfying breakfast bowls.
Tahini substitutions: what can I use instead of tahini
Let me be clear, if you wan to make the real deal dip using an authentic hummus recipe, you should not substitute tahini for something else. I personally do not. (You can find my favorite organic tahini here at our online shop)
However, in a pinch, if you want to turn your chickpeas into a dip, you can get a similar result in consistency, but not in flavor, by using a nut butter such as cashew, almond, or brazil nut butter. Each of these nut butter will give you a different flavor profile.
You can also use Greek yogurt, as I indicated earlier. Again, a completely different flavor profile.
In the absence of tahini, you can create a chickpea dip, I just would not call it hummus.
I think plain, authentic hummus reigns supreme, but I do love to play around with fun flavors. Here are a few options you might like:
Watch the video for this hummus recipe:
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Easy Hummus Recipe: How to Make Hummus
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: serves up to 8 people
How to make hummus the traditional way. No fuss. No extra flavors added. Just a plain, classic homemade hummus recipe. And a couple of tricks will ensure you achieve the best hummus ever--thick, smooth, rich, and ultra creamy. Be sure to see the video tutorial as well.
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas, peeled (from 1 to 1 ¼ cup dry chickpeas or from quality canned chickpeas. See recipe notes for more instructions on cooking and peeling chickpeas)
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 to 4 ice cubes
- ⅓ cup (79 grams) tahini paste
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Hot water (if needed)
- Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
- Add chickpeas and minced garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Puree until a smooth, powder-like mixture forms.
- While processor is running, add ice cubes, tahini, salt, and lemon juice. Blend for about 4 minutes or so. Check, and if the consistency is too thick still, run processor and slowly add a little hot water. Blend until you reach desired silky smooth consistency.
- Spread in a serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of Early Harvest EVOO. Add a few chickpeas to the middle, if you like. Sprinkle sumac on top. Enjoy with warm pita wedges and your favorite veggies.
- If starting with dry chickpeas, allow extra time for soaking (overnight) and cooking (2 hours).
- To cook dry chickpeas: soak chickpeas in plenty of water overnight (water needs to be at least doubled the volume of chickpeas). When ready, drain chickpeas and place them in a medium-sized heavy cooking pot. Cover with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- If using canned chickpeas, make sure they are drained and rinsed. It helps if you also give them a quick 20-minute simmer in a bit of water so they soften well (dry them before use).
- To peel chickpeas (cooked or from a can): cover cooked chickpeas in hot water and add 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda. Leave for a few minutes. Take a handful of chickpeas and rub under running water to remove the skins. Place peeled chickpeas in a bowl.
- Need to thicken your hummus some more? If for some reason, you ended up using a bit more liquid that you should have, cover and refrigerate the hummus for an hour or so before using. It should thicken up a bit. Otherwise, another trick I used to do is to add 1 to 2 tablespoon of Greek yogurt to hummus to also add some creaminess (you would have to blend it again in the food processor). But with this recipe (and tips mentioned above) I have not needed to do this.
- Recommended for this recipe: the best way to finish this hummus is with a generous drizzle of our excellent Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil and a few sprinkles of sumac. Find Early Harvest EVOO here; find Sumac here. SAVE! Try our Greek extra virgin olive oil bundle! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: how to make hummus, hummus recipe
This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2015 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!
This is the smoothest hummus I've made yet! Thank you... it's restaurant quality!!
Yay! Thanks, Tami!
It’s tasty. The ice is brilliant to use. Thank you for a tasty hummus recipe.
The first time I remember having this was when I was on a Med cruise and we stopped at the port of Marmaris in Turkey. I've had various store bought kinds over the years but none of them came close to as good as the stuff I had in Marmaris. I think this might actually be BETTER than what I had in Turkey. Definitely going to become a staple in my house.
Could I use a pestle and fine sieve to remove the skins from the chickpeas? Has anyone tried this?
Hi, Jay! Very interesting idea. We have not tried that here at The Mediterranean Dish, but maybe another reader has and will chime in here. Honestly, though, removing the skins the way we describe here really doesn't take as long as you may think.
Definitely not good for someone who has never cooked chicke peas. I followed the instructions for the dried peas. Because of the limited instructions ( simply cook 1.5-2 hrs . ) I over cooked mine so that when I strained the water….it was chickepea mush water. Nothing in the instructions on when to. Know when the peas are done. Lost three cups of dried peas ☹️☹️. Now that I have read other directions there was allot more to cooking those peas correctly
Very interesting to read all about your dishes I shall be trying them out soon.
Today is the third time I’ve made this and it’s PERFECT! I’ll never buy pre-made ever again!
Finally a homemade hummus recipe that actually turns out good! Thank you so much for this <3 the missing piece was the hot water, that changed everything 🙂
Yay! Thanks, Angela!
Fabulous! First time it actually came out well! I never knew to remove the skins! Thank you for the GREAT instructions!
This is so delicious! I’ve tried a lot of hummus recipes and this is hands down the best. Even my hubby loved it and he typically doesn’t care for hummus. It’ll be my go-to from now on!
Best hummus ever! Removing the chickpea skins really made this silky smooth - thank you!
I'd rather use yogurt instead of ice cubes because I'm crazy for plain Greek yogurt. How much should I use?
Hi, Cherie. Actually the ice-cubes and Greek yogurt serve 2 different purposes here. The ice cubes are the key to giving hummus a fluffy, creamy texture. The Greek yogurt helps to thicken it, if necessary. We recommend using both. You can add as little or as much yogurt as you'd like to get to your desired consistency. We really just eyeball it around here.
Curious if you can share how long this will keep? Or what storage tips you may have. I’d like to make a larger amount at the beginning of the week to enjoy all week long.
Hi, Kristy. This will keep well in the fridge in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
Your recipe does not say how much water to add. Also, I found that I needed more lemon juice and salt for taste. Does adding ice cubes eliminate the need for adding water?
Hi, Ralph. The ice cubes can eliminate the need for the water. It just depends on the consistency you prefer for your hummus. If it's too thick for you after blending in the ice, then you can add just a bit of hot water to loosen it up.
I made this a few weeks ago. It was absolutely delicious! I hadn't heard of the ice cube trick before, but was very impressed by how much creamier it made the hummus.
Thanks for yet another stellar recipe.
This is the best hummus I've ever had! And I didn't even simmer or peel the chickpeas. 🙂
Why the ice cubes??
Hi, Denise. The ice cubes help give this a creamier texture.
I am curious how you separate the skins from the beans… it seems incredibly labor intensive.
Hi, Bonnye. It's actually really simple. Check out the step titled "Peel the Chickpeas" in the "How do you Make Hummus from Scratch" section for our tips and tricks!
Hi there, I really enjoyed reading your authentic Hummus recipe. I am going to give it a try. As I live in the UK, do you have any idea where I can purchase the tahini paste from? I don't buy online as I want to keep local stores in business.
Many thanks for your assistance and please if you have a newsletter or a blog you create from family recipes, made with love and care, from scratch utilizing local produce, please add me to any resources you have.
I would be interesting purchasing a recipe book if you have one available.
Hi, James. Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately, we're not sure of specifically where you would be able to purchase tahini from in the UK. If there are any international or middle eastern grocery stores in your area, definitely look there. Here in the US, large neighborhood grocers often sell tahini paste as well. Suzy does have a cookbook! You can get the purchasing info by clicking here. And you can click here to sign up for our mailing list. If you ever have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Sainsburys and Morrisons sell tahini in their international foods isles but I tend to buy from a small local international store where I buy my rice, spices etc from and they're often cheaper!
I'm in the UK and buy tahini from Arabica London. Yes it's expensive and yes it's an online store but they aren't some greedy big company and it really is the best tahini I've found here. Ironically, I never buy food online but had to, when marks and Spencer no longer sold Arabica London tahini (and their other spices which are equally incredible). Highly recommend!
This is my go to recipe.
I used to skin the chickpeas but usually don’t bother anymore.
If you are like us and want more flavor thought I would add our additions. We add a T of red pepper flakes, a t of cumin and lemon pepper, half a t of cayenne, and chipotle pepper (if I have it).
Warmth without too much heat and so much flavor