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.
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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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 teaspoon 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!