One of the best reasons to keep a few cans of garbanzo beans in the pantry? To make hummus! It’s so easy to make in a food processor and takes all of 5 minutes.
What’s hummus made of? Cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Purée everything, top with some paprika and a swirl of olive oil and voilà, you’re done.
VIDEO: How to Make Hummus
Use Quality Ingredients for Hummus
With this few ingredients, their quality is important.
You can cook your chickpeas from scratch or use canned, which is what we are doing here for our quick and easy version. Note that not all canned chickpeas are equal. The brands I have found that are the best tasting are Bush’s and S&W premium.
Tahini is a paste made with roasted sesame seeds. You can usually find it alongside the peanut butter at the grocery store or with other Middle Eastern ingredients.
Sesame is rich in oil and therefore, like any oil, will go rancid over time. So, that half empty can of tahini that has been sitting around in your fridge for a year? Probably not the best tasting anymore, and likely rancid. Taste it before you use it in this hummus, and if it doesn’t taste good, don’t use it. (Throw out any rancid oils, they taste terrible and are bad for you.)
More Tips for Making the Best Hummus
- Process the tahini and olive oil first: when you buy tahini, often the solid part of it is compacted and separated from the oil. If you process it in the food processor first, you’ll be able to start with a creamier base.
- Peel membranes for extra creamy hummus: If you have extra time and you want to make hummus that is extra creamy, peel the membranes off the cooked chickpeas before you purée them. The best way to do that is work with about 1/2 can of chickpeas at a time, drain them and rub them vigorously between two large paper towels. That will make it much easier to slip off the membranes.
What to Serve With Hummus?
Hummus is terrific with toasted pita bread. Just take some pita bread, cut it into wedges, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 375°F oven for 10 minutes, turning them over halfway through, until crisp.
Hummus is also wonderful as a dip for crackers or raw crispy vegetables such as celery, red bell pepper, carrots, and cucumber rounds.
How to Cook Chickpeas From Scratch
Prefer to cook your chickpeas rather than use canned? Just soak a cup of dry chickpeas overnight in at least a quart of water. Then drain, and cook with another quart of water and 2 teaspoons of salt, simmering until tender, about an hour or two or longer, depending on how fresh the chickpeas are.
If you don’t want to soak overnight, you can do a quick soak by pouring boiling water over the dry chickpeas, letting them soak for one hour, then draining and cooking.
Or you can cook them in a pressure cooker using these instructions: How to Cook Beans in a Pressure Cooker.
No need to limit yourself to plain hummus! You can swap out the chickpeas with cooked beets for a vibrant beet hummus, or skip the tahini and add basil for a pesto inspired basil hummus.
For a vibrant green spring hummus, swap out the beans for shelled peas, and add some mint for a fresh pea hummus.
Also check out these easy add-ins to a batch of hummus.
Make-Ahead and Freezing Hummus
Once prepared, store hummus in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
More Easy Food Processor Dips
The Origin of Hummus
Hummus is Middle Eastern in origin and many cultures in that region claim hummus as their own cherished recipe. All of them make hummus with a base of chickpeas and tahini. In fact, hummus means chickpeas in Arabic, and this recipe is for what is traditionally called “hummus bi tahina.” (And yes, we do realize that some of the alternative hummus recipes listed above don’t contain chickpeas and technically aren’t hummus.)
What to Dip in Hummus
Salty pita chips or sliced raw veggies such as carrots, celery, red bell pepper, and cucumber are commonly dipped in hummus, but these dippers work, too.
- Dried apricots
- Pickled turnips
- Tortilla chips
In addition to using hummus as a dip, it makes a delicious sandwich spread, a central element of a Mediterranean Mezze Platter, or as an ingredient in dishes like Grilled Dukkah-Crusted Chicken With Lemon Hummus.
1/2 cup tahini (roasted, not raw)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for garnishing)
2 garlic cloves, mashed and roughly chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garnishes: A sprinkling of paprika, a swirl of olive oil, toasted pine nuts, and/or chopped parsley
Process the tahini and olive oil:
In a food processor, combine the tahini and olive oil and pulse until smooth.
Add the garlic, beans, lemon juice, water, and salt; process until smooth:
Then add the garlic, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Process until smooth. The longer you process in the food processor, the smoother the hummus will be. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
Spoon into serving dish, swirl a little olive oil over the top and sprinkle with garnishes—a little paprika, toasted pine nuts, or chopped fresh parsley.
Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with toasted pita bread.
To toast pita bread, cut the pita bread into triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 375°F oven, turning them over half-way through the cooking.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
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|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Saturated Fat 1g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||10%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.