Beet Hummus

For those of you out there who cannot fathom even the idea of beets, fine. Truly, I’m a-okay with it. That only means there is more of this beet hummus for me. I ate this entire batch, save one teaspoon that my mother caught just in time, before it was all finished off. (In this family, you snooze, you lose.)

Seriously, if you like beets, and you like hummus, you’ll love this beet hummus. The ingredients are beets, tahini, garlic, lemon, cumin, and salt and pepper. Use as a pretty topping for cucumber rounds, scoop some up with pita triangles or celery ribs, or just dive in, like oink-oink here, with a spoon, and eat it up before anyone knows what they’re missing. Many thanks to neighbor, pastry chef, and friend Evie Lieb, for sharing this terrific recipe with us.

Beet Hummus Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 2 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets), scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled, and cubed*
  • 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
  • 5 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from approx. 2 lemons)
  • Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

*To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.

Method

Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired.

Chill and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

Eat with pita chips, or with sliced cucumber or celery, or on a crostini with goat cheese and shaved mint.

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Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

55 Comments

  1. Evie Lieb

    So glad you are sharing the delights of beet hummus, Elise. Your photos are incredible! I’d like to remind your readers that wearing rubber gloves while peeling cooked beets saves a lot of mess. Dish-washing gloves are fine; the red won’t stain them the way it does your hands.

  2. maria

    Would never think to put tahini and beets together–will have to try that. I think you might like the russian beet spread version: grated cooked beets, mayo, and garlic.

    Thanks for the suggestion! I did try mixing this up with goat cheese which was pretty darn good too. ~Elise

  3. Alanna

    Gorgeous, Elise, as ever, so glad some else is evangelizing beets too.

    One detail: it’s fine to cut off the tops but do leave an inch or so of the stems intact. If you cut into the beets themselves, their liquid will pour out while during cooking.

  4. Liza (Jersey Cook)

    Count me in as one of the beet-haters. This is such an interesting combo — I never would have thought to put beets in hummus.

    However, what I really want to know is where you got that beautiful blue plate!

    Ah, that’s the Valencia pattern from Arabia Finland. Now discontinued. I love this pattern and wish I had a whole set. ~Elise

  5. Heather(eatwell.eatgreen)

    The colour in this photo is fantastic. And the beet hummus looks delicious. I think I might try it as a pasta filling.

    Oh my, it would be great as a pasta filling. ~Elise

  6. Nancy Gunn

    My mother-in-law makes the best homegrown, homemade pickeled beets and I can literally oink-oink eat the entire jar! I absolutely love hummus and have turned many friends on to it. So this looks like a match made in heaven to me. Can’t wait to try it.

  7. Linda

    I am a great lover of beets but not so great on the lemons. Can this be made with very little of the lemon or without it completely?

    Sure, use vinegar instead. You’ll want the acid to balance the sweetness of the beets. ~Elise

  8. Meg

    I may get shunned for this, but I happen to think that beets are one of the few veggies that stand up well to canning. Not to mention I have a phobia of peeling those terribly colorful beets! Would this recipe work with canned beets, or would it ruin everything?!?

    Great question. If you try it, please let us know in the comments how it turns out. ~Elise

  9. Rossella

    Hi Elise, we easily find sliced, roasted beets here in Italy…do you think they would do?

    Sure, roasted would work great. ~Elise

  10. Sally

    Sounds good, but why is it called hummus? “Hummus” means chickpea in Arabic.

    Because it is reminiscent of hummus. In beet form. ~Elise

  11. Jess

    I have pickled beets from the fall crop. Would these work as well, if I omit the lemon juice?

    Great question. You could try it with just a small amount and see if the combo works. ~Elise

  12. Marion Olson

    I love hummus, and although I’ve never liked beets, I’m going to have to try this, just for the color!!

    Many years ago I was visiting Denmark and wanted to go to Finland just for the Valencia dinnerware, but the weather was bad so I didn’t go. Looking at that plate 35 years later, I’m still sorry I didn’t try harder!!

    And I regret not buying the entire set I found in a second-hand store. So wish they hadn’t retired that pattern. ~Elise

  13. Leslie

    Ooh, when I saw the photo I thought it might be pkhali. Pkhali (or mkhali) is a similar dish from Georgia (the country) which is pureed beets, walnuts, garlic and other herbs/spices. If you like beets and walnuts, you should really try it sometime! I’ve never made it myself, but I found a recipe here: http://georgiantaste.blogspot.com/2007/12/charkhils-mkhali-beet-puree.html

    And I can’t wait to try this beet hummus. I recently learned that I love the combination of butternut squash, tahini and lemon juice. I’m guessing the same will be true of beets!

  14. Karen

    I made this yesterday not 5 minutes after I saw the recipe. I used a 15oz. can of beets and it turned out great! My husband was wolfing it down. Awesome recipe!

    Good to know the recipe works with canned beets. Thanks! ~Elise

  15. HankShaw

    OK, now that’s just weird – in a good way. Lurid, actually. You’ll have to make some for me next time I am over. And I have just the herb to add to it, too: lovage! Lovage and beets are a perfect marriage…

  16. Elana

    How long will the beet humus last in the fridge? What about regular humus?

    Hmm, about 3 days or so. I imagine the same with regular hummus. ~Elise

  17. Alexandra

    I made this today as I love all kinds of hummus and I love beets so thought this looked good. I think it’s a bit too much lemon juice/zest – the lemon was pretty overpowering so I added more of everything else to compensate (ran out of tahini though and thought a bit more would have done the trick). Eating it on sliced baguette helped to counteract the lemony-ness. I think a dollop on top of a sweet lettuce (Boston or bib) would be good too. Next time (and I will try it again), I may add the lemon juice slowly as I pulse the mixture and taste as I go. Thanks.

  18. Anna

    Made this last night and I absolutely love it. I’m eating it for lunch right now, spread on pita bread with slices of cucumber and a sprinkle of pepper. Perfect!

  19. Jessica

    This is beautiful. I used to HATE beets, but then again I only ever had them canned. A few years ago I started eating them fresh, roasted and just sliced on salads. My favorite now is grating raw beets onto my salads, adds a nice texture as well as color and flavor.

    I absolutely LOVE hummus and make it regularly. I’m always amazed how many people don’t know how to make it since it’s such a simple thing to do.

    I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for all the great recipes and keep up the good work!!

  20. shikey

    I love beets, though my sis can’t figure out why I eat them. Would love to make this but haven’t found tahini in small town India. I have sesame seeds though, any ideas?

    You might try roasting sesame seeds, then grinding them with a mortar and pestle to make paste, and using that for the recipe. ~Elise

  21. azelia

    What a fantastic colour and how great to see vivid colour this time of year. Gorgeous bowl.

    Truly great idea, beetroot is my beloved favourite veg so we have a lot of beetroot & orange salad, various beetroot salads, beetroot cake, roasted with balsamic….it goes on.

    He hates hummus so this would be an interesting experiment! mmm..could I change his mind??

  22. Zoë

    So good! I’ve done the River Cottage version in the past. Delicious with crispy flatbread, especially with burnt bits… yum.

  23. Annette

    I couldn’t wait to make this beautiful combination of beets, tahini and lemon, etc. I was rewarded with a first taste of sweet (from the beets) then the fresh lemon and finally the rest of the ingredients bursting in my mouth with flavor and texture. As others have said, wonderful with crunchy cucumber and pita bread – a very impressive and healthy appetizer.

    I’m so glad you liked it! ~Elise

  24. katerina

    Yum! Though I understand that not everyone does, I love roasted beets.

    I actually just made a spinach hummus today. I love the colours you get when you add these brights veggies. Not to mention the nutrition!

  25. Paul

    I saw this recipe and ran out the next day to buy beets.I made it a few nights ago and don’t think I’ve ever made anything so colorful.The flavor is really intriguing but, I have to agree with Alexandra’s post above. The 5 Tbs. of lemon juice overpowered the sweetness of the beets. Also, I found 1 Tbs of cumin to mask more than enhance the beet flavor. My next batch will be cut down to 3 Tbs. of lemon juice and just a teaspoon of cumin powder.(Maybe cumin seed was intended instead of cumin powder?)In any event, this recipe is a keeper, purple fingers and all.

  26. pattty

    If you don’t like beets you can do the same thing with the ends (roots) of white swisschard. You cut them in cubles and boil them. Then add all the other ingredients and mix. It is extremely delicious with Middle Eastern bread!

    Great suggestion, thank you! ~Elise

  27. Karin Jung

    Wow! This is amazing. So delicious and so pretty! I’m eating it on cucumber slices as suggested. So good! Thanks!

  28. Lakshmi

    I just made the hummus and it is delicious. However, I feel like I had to use more liquid (more lemon and more tahini) than was called for in the recipe (I even cooked the beets for 45 mins instead of 30). But nevertheless, this is a very delicious combo and a great use for beets!

  29. tao

    I made this for a party this weekend and it was a great hit! served it with celery sticks and people loved it. It was a little messy to make but it made the dining room table very colorful and fun. I actually liked it better with a little bit of beet chucks inside instead of it all smooth.

  30. Meg

    I did end up trying this dip with canned beets, and I liked the way it turned out. The color wasn’t as vibrant as in your picture, but the flavor was very nice. My boyfriend and I ate the whole batch with veggies and pita for lunch. Yum!

  31. ILikePaperCutting

    I guess we could then try spinach/ brocolli to make it green, sweet potatoes to make it orange, fun ideas.

  32. Geoff

    So months later I finally found time to make this five minute recipe. Had my chef friends over for burgers and served this hummus with a wonderful soft brie and some crackers. We all loved the flavour (lemony, cumin-y and beets, mmmmm), but it was overwhelming with the cheese. In the end we used it as a garnish on the burgers and everyone agreed that it made good burgers outstanding!

  33. Margaret

    I like the traditional humus.
    I tried to do this according to your recipe with beets.
    Unfortunately it is not in my taste.I do not recommend it.

  34. JT

    What an absolutely wonderful recipe – healthy, well presented, and very tasty. Made it today and added a TBSP of Asian chili garlic sauce to give it a little kick. Ate it with English cucumbers and almost finished half the bowl myself. Thank you so much for this!

  35. Deb (New Zealand)

    Yum – thanks for this. I LOVE beets – original beetaholic I think. This is going to be a firm fave I can see that!!!!
    Great to have something a bit different!
    Cheers and thanks again.

  36. Maryann Barry

    Can’t wait to try this. I am always looking for gluten free and casein free recipes. Love your website!

  37. Charli

    This is addicting! Possibly my new favorite use for beets. It makes for a great beet/cheese quesadilla.

  38. Emiko

    I am not really a fan of beets, but this stuff is fabulous. Tasty and beautiful.

  39. Julie

    Oh my goodness this is the most amazing recipe ever! The best hummus I have ever had. It’s so fresh tasting. What a great compliment to an already awesome vegetable.

  40. maneesha

    Fabulous. This hummus seems like a perfect solution for my beet surplus! Have you tried freezing the hummus? Did the texture hold up after thawing? Thanks!

    I have not tried freezing the hummus. But if you do, please let us know here how it turns out. ~Elise

  41. Thomas Smith

    This is a great recipe. I just made it and will make it again soon. My church gets food donations every week that we in turn give out to the community here in Florida. We get everything from bread to papaya to, well, beets. We recevied about two bushels of beets this week. I’m not a big fan of beets but I thought it was a great opportunity to try something different. This is an amazing recipe. For all the beet haters out there I highly recommend you give this a try.

    Tom….Bradenton, FL

  42. Emily Davis

    What a wonderful inspiration! I used your recipe as a starting point and then added a few of my own things. I used yellow beets, which were fantastic! I was unhappy with the wet texture of the recipe…So I added a can of garbanzo beans and blended those in as well. The garbanzos helped thicken it up and have a more creamy texture.

  43. Mrs. Stranded

    I bought tahini paste for a hummus recipe and have been looking for creative way to use it. This is perfect! I love both hummus and beets. I can’t wait to try this!

  44. lindsay

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for ages but I’d never cooked with beets before and was nervous about it. I finally did it tonight and it is delicious! I do agree with some of the above comments about the lemon juice and cumin overpowering the beets but it is still really yummy.

    I think I will serve this with veggies and pita at a baby shower I’m hosting next month.

  45. Beth

    This is absolutely wonderful! I LOVE hummus and don’t mind beets, but the vibrant color and odd combo made this a “must make” recipe. So tasty with a slightly different consistency than your typical garbanzo bean hummus, but definitely worth trying. I will be making this again! Thanks for sharing.

  46. Baerbel

    Well…I had just pulled a bunch of tender Danish heirloom beets ['Beet Cylindra' from Baker Creek Heiloom Seed Co. in Petaluma, CA] when I came across your friend’s recipe. Hot to try it right there and then, I used almond butter in lieu of tahini and grated the raw beets fairly fine. I used all the other ingredients [Meyer lemons and fresh roasted cumin], and it was so good that I gobbled it all up. Thank you, Elise, you inspire me! B

  47. Karen Beth

    Oh WOW! I’ve had this in my Pinterest for awhile and just made it today. I’m totally hooked. I will make this often. It is amazing and I, too, will eat the whole batch. I love it even more than chickpea hummus and my mind is reeling with other veggies I could try. I think I might try KALE hummus next. YUM!!!

    THANK YOU!

  48. Kendra

    Hi Elise,

    Made this tonight and it was wonderful! As stated in other posts, I too, felt the lemon juice, lemon zest and cumin were a bit overpowering. I will make a few small changes to the measurements and try again, however, the overall turnout was fantastic, the color vibrant and the texture and taste pleasing to the palate. I look forward to another batch soon. :)

    Kendra

  49. MzElese

    Could the tahini be subbed out with natural peanut butter like in regular hummus?

    You could try it. If you do, let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  50. pat

    Made this for a New Year’s gathering last night. Everyone raved and asked for the recipe. I was almost embarased by how easy it it. Spectacular dish!

  51. Rebecca H.

    I had been given a huge jar of home-canned beets, which were lovely but it had started to feel like we were having a side of beets with every meal.

    So I made this, leaving out the lemon juice because of the vinegar in the preserve, and it is fantastic.

    It’s delicious any way you have it but we’ve found that on ryvita with cucumber and smoked salmon is pretty spectacular.

  52. Peg

    Tried this for the first time as a party appetiser. Everyone was seriously impressed. So tasty, healthy and easy!

    My family is stubbornly suspicious about beets and won’t try it, alas. But all the more for me!

  53. Sylvia U

    I love beets, went out and bought some to try this. Awesome! Hopefully there will be enough left for others to try!! I so enjoy all the post and the variations with this. There is never an end to veggies.

  54. Danny

    As an Israeli, I had to laugh: “hummus” literally means chickpea in Hebrew (חומוס) and Arabic (الحمص), so seeing a recipe for chickpea-less “beet hummus” was pretty entertaining. My girlfriend still wants to try it, though, and I think it looks awesome no matter what it’s called :-D

  55. Victoria

    I just made some using fresh beets from the garden, some tahini and garlic and spices. It turned out great. I had enough that I am going to pulse together the beets with a cooked sweet potato and see how that turns out.

    Great recipe!!

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