Quick and easy layered hummus dip is perfect for a simple dinner or appetizer. Creamy hummus is topped with spiced beef, fresh vegetables, and toasted pine nuts.
Easy layered dip!
I’m a happy camper with nothing more than a bowl of homemade hummus dip, some crunchy vegetables and pita chips, but sometimes I want to dress up my classic chickpea spread and turn it into dinner. The best way to do that is to turn hummus into a layered hummus dip, essentially using it as a bed to carry some delicious toppings.
Layered hummus dip is easy, utterly delicious and looks great on your table. Start with a layer of hummus and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil followed by a layer of ground beef seasoned with sumac, cinnamon and allspice. Top it off with diced tomatoes, chopped onions, fresh parsley, and toasted pine nuts. The flavor and texture combinations of cool, creamy, warming spices, and fresh vegetables is like a party for your tastebuds. Trust me, you’re gonna love it!
Layered hummus is satisfying enough served on its own, but you can make it a feast by pairing it with a 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad and falafel for dinner bowls. Skip the beef entirely and load it up with vegan toppings like shallots and shishito peppers for a meatless meal. Let your imagination be your guide and make this tonight!
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Layered hummus dip ingredients
This 3-layer layered dip is made up of 3 main parts: hummus, ground beef seasoned with allspice, cinnamon, sumac, garlic and onion, then loaded with fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, parsley, and toasted pine nuts. It’s filling, protein-packed, and delicious.
This recipe begins with hummus. You can make it ahead of time using my tried-n-true hummus recipe.
If you don't have the time to make it in advance, don't sweat it — you can use your favorite store-bought hummus. Just make sure it's plain hummus so you don’t have any competing flavors.
Spiced lamb or beef mixture
The spiced meat is the middle layer of this layered dip, and it comes together with just a few aromatics and spices. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Extra virgin olive oil: You just need a little EVOO to saute the onions and bell pepper.
- Red onion: Chop up 1 red onion. Most is sauteed in olive oil, but keep a little aside (maybe a tablespoon or 2) for the top layer of the hummus.
- Garlic: You’ll need 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
- Green bell pepper: Core and chop up ½ a green bell pepper.
- Ground beef: I used lean ground beef, but you can also use ground lamb.
- Spices: You need a trio of robust spices: allspice, sumac, and cinnamon.
- Tomato sauce: You only need ½ cup canned tomato sauce, for a little acid and to make the meat mixture a bit saucy.
The sky's the limit with the fresh toppings! I like to add color, texture, and some freshness with the following:
- Roma tomato
- Red onion
- A good amount of flat-leaf parsley
- A few tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
But you can also use fresh chopped bell peppers, cucumbers, shishito peppers, different herbs like cilantro and dill, kalamata olives, or toasted sesame seeds and slivered almonds. This recipe is easy to play with and make your own.
How to make it
Preparing this layered hummus dip is as easy as cooking the meat mixture, spooning it onto some hummus, and topping that with some fresh vegetables, herbs, and toasted nuts or seeds. Here’s how to make it:
- Prepare the hummus. Either make a batch of homemade hummus or buy 16 ounces of your favorite quality store-bought hummus. Scoop it into a large serving dish and set it aside for now.
- Make the spiced lamb or beef topping. Saute most of a chopped red onion, ½ chopped green bell pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a skillet containing heated extra virgin olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until softened. Add 8 ounces lean ground beef or lamb and saute until browned (which will take about 8 minutes).
Drain any excess fat before seasoning with kosher salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon sumac, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Add ½ cup tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Assemble the layered dip. Drizzle the hummus generously with extra virgin olive oil. Scoop the spiced meat mixture on top, followed by 1 chopped Roma tomato, the remaining chopped onion, ½ cup fresh parsley, and 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts. Serve warm.
Make ahead tips
If you want to make the hummus from scratch, feel free to make it a day or so in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also cook the meat ahead of time and store it similarly in a separate container.
That way, you’ll just need to reheat the meat mixture and assemble the layered hummus dip when you’re ready.
What to serve with this Lebanese-style layer dip
If you’re serving a crowd, and want to fill out the meal a little more, these easy roasted tomatoes are a great addition to serve over toasts. I also love this Turkish-style fried eggplant as another option.
If you’re looking for side salad ideas, I’ve got you covered:
Swaps and substitutions
- Not in the mood for chickpeas? You can swap out the chickpea hummus with white bean hummus, a creamy dip made out of a can of butter beans, tahini, and a few spices. Its flavor is mild enough to not compete with the seasoned beef.
- Spices: Don’t feel limited by the spices I chose; use warm spices of your choice. Paprika, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, ras el hanout, etc. would all be great options to flavor the meat.
How to store leftovers
Store leftover layered hummus dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you’re able to scoop the spiced meat off the hummus, you can quickly reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop. If not, simply allow it to come to room temperature before enjoying leftovers.
Other delicious creamy dips to try
Best Layered Hummus Dip Recipe
- Make this Homemade Hummus Recipe, or use 16-oz store-bought quality hummus that you like.
For Spiced Beef:
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, optional
- Prepare hummus in advance using this recipe for creamy homemade hummus OR prepare 16-oz of quality store-bought plain hummus.
- To make the spiced beef topping, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a skillet until shimmering but not smoking. Add most of the onions, keeping about 1 tablespoon or so for later. Add green peppers and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or so, stirring regularly, until softened.
- Assemble the layered hummus dip! Spread hummus in a serving bowl. Pour a generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil (I used our Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil.) Top with the spiced meat, fresh chopped tomatoes, parsley, the remaining red onion, and toasted pine nuts.
- Serve immediately with warm pita pockets or these homemade pita chips.
- Make ahead tips: If you are making hummus from scratch, feel free to do that a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. You can also make the spiced meat a day ahead.
- What to serve with it: I like some warm pita pockets or pita chips, but you could also do some roasted tomatoes, fried eggplant, or a couscous salad.
- Swaps and substitutions: If you're not in the mood for chickpeas, try this white bean hummus instead. And don't feel like you need to spice the meat the same way I do! You can use other warm spices, like paprika, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, ras el hanout, etc.
- How to store leftovers: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you’re able to, try to scoop the spiced meat off the hummus when you want to enjoy some leftovers, so you can quickly reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop. If not, simply allow it to come to room temperature.
- Visit our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils, organic spices, and more!
* This post has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.