Hummus

This basic hummus recipe calls for using canned garbanzo beans. I’ve made hummus using dried beans, soaking them, cooking them, etc. but the results just weren’t as good. The canned beans actually mash up pretty well.

Hummus Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed and then minced
  • 2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish

Method

1 In a food processor, combine the garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.

2 Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.

Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.

Makes about 3 cups.

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Links:

Jalapeno and Lime Hummus from Katrina, the Gluten-free Goddess
Spicy Hummus from ToastPoint
Thai Basic Hummus from 28 Cooks
Spicy Indian Hummus from Cooking Medley

59 Comments

  1. Darren

    Great recipe, thanks. I find adding a little ground cummin also adds awesome depth to the flavour.

  2. Meeta

    Elise,

    This is so wonderful. An easy and quick recipe for Hummus. After living for almost 12 years in the Middle East I often miss the lovely food, especially the Mezzehs one gets served. Hummus was available ready made and we used to dip some fresh lebanese bread my mum bought at the barker’s while watching TV! A great alternative to Nachos and Cheese ;-) and not to mention healthier!
    With this recipe you not only tantalized my tastebuds but threw me back down memory lane.

  3. Anonymous

    Toasted pine nuts on top?

    Nice.

    E

  4. Andi

    Don’t you have to stream the olive oil in so it doesn’t separate?
    BTW, I love you site!

  5. Stacey S.

    As a previous Arabic Student, one of the first dishes our teachers introduced us to was hummus and pita bread…I fell instantly in love with this garlicky and lemony dip. I sometimes whip a batch up for a midnight snack and it is really healthy for you too. My favorite way to eat hummus is with Tabouli and Pita bread.

  6. Michelle

    Good texture is the key to great hummus. Keeping the recepie simple, also. Besides using this as a dip, it can be used as a sandwich spread (especially if thinned slightly), with shredded veggies on whole wheat bread /pita /wraps – with or without falafal. Also, try using roasted garlic for a sweeter taste. I’ve seen recepies which include a little fiery spice, or use part lime juice, but personally I think mild is better. A nice variation can be made by substituting any white bean for the garbanzos (liquid amounts may have to be adjusted).

  7. Jeff

    My wife is a hummus freak! We love making it with roasted garlic and chives.

  8. james

    Here I must point out a distinct difference in your method for the garlic, and the way the arabs do it. Arabs never cut garlic. They smash it.
    Garlic contains two separate chemicals within its cell walls that don’t mix when you cut or slice it. Only when you smash it, do they mix.
    And if it’s smashed well enough, you don’t need to mince it. Especially since it’s going into the food processor. Your garlic should be sticky when you’re done. If it’s not sticky, you could add 4 times the amount and not get the flavor.

    My Lebanese father-in-law puts his garlic in a plastic bag and pounds it with the handle of his knife for about 2 minutes.

  9. Tammy

    MMMM hummus….. I just got a Cuisinart, and hummus has been in constant supply at my house ever since. I stumbled upon a tasty (if not traditional) variation: I didn’t have enough olive oil (for SHAME!) so I subbed half the amount called for with Seasoned Wok Oil (there are varius brands, I always have some around for quick stur-frys). It is seasoned with garlic, sesame, ginger, and other spices, and it brings a heavenly, but subtle, extra note of flavor to the dish. I almost never make it without wok oil anymore!

  10. Sandra

    Hi, Elise. We love hummus. My neighbor brought some to scrapbooking the other night. Her husband bought some plain hummus at Whole Foods and then “doctored” it with cayenne, extra olive oil, garlic and onion powder. These additions were not thoroughly mixed in, it just looked like “ribbons” running through it. It was THE most delicious hummus EVER! Try it!

  11. Annie

    I have a similar hummus recipe but my kids wouldn’t eat veggies with it so…I just added them to my hummus! Raw zucchini, carrots, sundried tomato with their oil, a little extra garlic and some hot sauce. “Sure, honey, just dip the bread in. You don’t have to have veggies with it tonight.” Once I was caught with the zucchini waiting to be blended in. I just said I didn’t know what I was making, which was somewhat true since my hummus isn’t really hummus at this point. What would you call it? (wink)

  12. Bridget

    A friend of mine puts a little plain yogurt in her hummus. At first I thought she was crazy, but it really does add to the flavor.

  13. Adam

    A few times, I’ve not been able to locate any tahini, so I’ve substituted some peanut butter for it. It’s not perfect, but it works quite well in a pinch.

  14. mb

    Elise –
    Firstly – I love your site. Im reasonably new here but have had the good luck to try a couple of your recipes including this one. We had the hummus last night and it was wonderful. I have made it many times before but have never used a recipe. I really like the end result of this one. Got tired of diggin in the freezer for the pinenuts and settled on some chopped roasted cashews which I presonally thought were wonderful. Also sprikled a bit of cayenne on top for color!
    Keep up the good work
    mb

  15. David

    What I usually do is take off the skin from the beans before I put them in a blender. It makes for a smoother hummus. Its more time consuming but its worth it.

  16. Michael

    I made this recipe and found the tahini flavor to be too strong. I used MaraNatha organic creamy and roasted sesametahini. The only other change I made to the recipe as listed was to saute the mashed garlic for 30 seconds. Any ideas?

    Note from Elise: Cut back on the tahini?

  17. Kitty

    This recipe looks really close to the family recipe we’ve passed down for 3 generations, from my Lebanese great-grandmother. However, one secret to add a bit more flavor: instead of using water, use the juice from the garbanzo beans. Don’t drain and rinse them…utilize that flavor! Just drain them into a measuring cup. Also, the other family secret is NEVER use bottled lemon juice! Always use a fresh lemon. You won’t be sorry! We don’t put the olive oil in it, we drizzle it on top when we serve it. Otherwise, just blend it up and enjoy!

    Note from Elise: One very good reason to drain the beans is that by doing so it helps prevent you from getting gas from eating the beans.

  18. Turtlesbirds

    I made my hummus with toasted sesame oil (as I couldnt find tahini in the store) It was lovely. I just used a tiny bit but it was buttery and creamy. Thought I’d share. :)

  19. Anonymous

    I always make “roasted red pepper” hummus which added flavor and kick. It’s essentially the same recipe as Elise’s… Add ground cumin, roasted red peppers and cayenne pepper to taste. The cumin gives ‘depth’; the roasted red peppers adds a bit of sweetness; the cayenne adds spice. It also gives the hummus a lovely orange-red color.

  20. Anonymous

    it was my first time to prepare it and my dad loves it but personally i thought there was a bitter after taste, i followed the recipe measurement so im wondering what caused it.

    Note from Elise: Ingredients are everything. Use the best quality canned beans (or fresh if you are making the beans from scratch), fresh lemon juice, good quality tahini, etc.

  21. Kathleen

    Why not use 1/2 cup drained liquid from the canned garbanzos instead of water? I have made it this way for years to rave reviews.
    Years ago, I read that when Pablo Picasso served hummus to guests, he drizzled olive oil in a zig-zag pattern–being the artist that he was–and then sprinkled ground paprika over the that. With minced parlsey and pine nuts, this makes a colorful presentation and pays homage to a great artist.

  22. Elise

    Hi Kathleen, the reason I rinse out the garbanzo beans (and not use the can water) is to rid them of the metallic “can” taste that can accumulate in the canning water. Love the Picasso mention, great idea!

  23. Saumya

    Try boiling dry Chickepeas in a pressure cooker to get them softer. Works every time!

  24. soursob

    A few important notes from a real hummus expert:
    1. 4 garlic cloves is too much, unless you really like your hummus garlicky. I recommend 2 for the amounts in this recipe.
    2. The tahini quality is crucial. If you can get an arabic brand or better yet an Israeli one, buy as many as you can.
    3. I usually use more tahini, about 1 part tahini for every 2-3 parts chickpeas.
    4. no need for olive oil at all.
    4. most important – the chickpeas. Hummus is the arabic word for chickpeas, and this is a good indicator of the importance of this ingredient. use canned chickpeas if you must, but the result will be far better if you can get dry chickpeas, immerse them in water for a day and then cook them for about 4-8 hours (remove the gray foam that forms when the water boils, then continue cooking over a low flame until the chickpeas are very soft but still in one piece). Since it’s quite an operation I take about a pound of dry chickpeas (much more after immersing and cooking) and freeze about 2/3 of the amount I get after cooking in 2 separate containers for next time.
    Don’t put all the ingredients in the food processor together. If you want a very smooth hummus put only the filtered chickpeas in the food processor and process until you get a homogenous paste. Then add the tahini, some of the cooking water, lemon juice, garlic and salt (I also add a 1/4 spoon of cumin) and keep processing. Add some more water if the paste is too thick.

    I know this is quite different and perhaps it’s not easy to get dry chickpeas and Arabic tahini in the US, but trust me, it’s worth the effort.

    Making this again, I agree that the 4 cloves of garlic is too much, I’ve reduced it to 2. ~Elise

  25. Jessica

    Elise,
    I use dried chickpeas and soak them at least 8 hours, sometimes 16. Then I cook them 3-4 hours until they are soft enough to mash. When I put them into the food processor I do not drain well, leaving a little of it’s own juices sometimes adding a half a cup or more which I believe helps in texture as well as flavor.

    Like many other comments I too add cumin for that extra depth of flavor. And in regard to the garlic being too much I add 4 to 5 cloves to the boiling chickpeas about 5 minutes before they are done just to take the zing out of the garlic.

    The last time I made it I put in a ton of fresh herbs; basil, oregano, thyme and some rosemary. It turned out spectacular!

    Thanks again for all of your recipes and helpful hints.

  26. Colin

    Thanks for your recipe. The texture was perfect and all I did (like many of the other posters), was augment it slightly to spice it up. I love roasted garlic so I used 3 heads! I also added some lime juice, cumin, and oregano.

    The texture was perfect and it made a nice amount. We took it to a party where it was devoured but I was smart enough to leave just enough at home for us to enjoy later.

    A nice bonus was that we made it for a mere fraction of the store-bought variety we have bought on numerous occasions.

    Colin

  27. Thelonecabbage

    To use dried chickpeas cook them in salted boiling water with baking soda.

    You will get a MUCH smoother blend.

    From dried bean it takes 2-3hrs

    From soaked (over night) it takes less than 1hr, and produces an even smoother result (actually I find it too smooth)

    Great idea is to reserve about 10% of the beans, mash them up a little bit (not a lot), and mix them back into the finished hummus (gives it a better mouth feel). Or if your making small quantities, use it for decoration on top with crushed garlic, olive oil and zatar.

    I make my own hummus every week from dried beans, my 2 year old daughter demands it!

  28. Jen

    I just wanted to add that it is true you need to soak the dried hummus with baking soda. Also, soak over night in one part water for one part of hummus (1cup hummus= 1 cup water). The next day you would add 1 cup more water for each cup of hummus and boil till tender. Here in Jordan the people would laugh at you if you tried to serve hummus with thyme, basil or what ever (I know. I tried to get my family to eat a spinach artichoke hummus)..these things can be served on the side to be added on top for garnish. However we usually eat hummus for breakfast or lunch…and 4 cloves is too much garlic…

  29. Glenda

    I started the recipe as-written, then tweaked it a bit to fit my taste buds after I’d processed it:

    ~ added juice of another lemon half
    ~ added approx. 1/4 C. additional olive oil
    ~ approx. doubled the salt (used kosher salt)
    ~ added several dashes of cayenne pepper

    Oh, instead of 1/2 C. water, I used 1/2 C. of the canning liquid.

    Fantastic!! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  30. Elisa

    I am Lebanese and Irish (a strange mix, or so I have heard). My Lebanese father is a great cook always uses canned chickpeas and brings them to a boil before mashing them and makes the tahini mixture first with a little water, fresh lemon juice, tahini, smashed garlic and a tablespoon or so of sesame oil. He says that the garlic is best when you either roast it and then smash the cloves with salt, but he only does that if the garlic smell REALLY strong.
    I love your recipes and everyone’s great hints and tips.
    My secret twist: Try using hot chili powder and parsley as a garnish on top with a drizzle of olive oil.

  31. jenjen

    I cut the recipe in half because it was just me but I accidently added all the lemon juice. I thought it would be too much but it wasn’t. This is the hummus recipe I have been searching for. Really really good. I used the chick pea liquid instead of the water too.

  32. Nicolas

    Hummus is my Main Thing! Best Dip I Ever Made.

  33. patty

    Just a few ideas to add. The best hummus by the way are served in Lebanese restaurants In Lebanon,they dont add garlic it doesn’t keep well. They turn out the creamiest. They won’t tell you their secrets I already asked. But I find the best are made with goya chickpeas pre-soaked over night with 1 T. baking soda rinse and boil for an hour or bit more till the chick peas are mashed easily. drain well. start in a food processor 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1/4 cup tahini,”Biladi” is ok. add some Salt and blend, you can add some zest of a lemon for flavor too. Add the chick peas and let it mix 5 minutes. taste for salt and if mixture is thick add water 2T at a time. Garnish with paprika and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. enjoy!

  34. Jessica

    This was my first time making hummus, I’ve always wanted to try it. Alas, I could not find tahini so I went without, and this was delicious! My first time eating hummus, and I’m hooked. Thank you so much! Next time though, I may put a little less fresh lemon juice.

  35. Bianca

    I am also arabic and I love your recipe. But you are supposed to drizzle olive oil on top to keep it from seperating. Also, instead of pine nuts and parsley, I put paprika or cayenne pepper on top and add some black olives on top.

    B

  36. Julie

    I’m going to try this recipe today since it has such rave reviews. I have no idea what tahini is or where to find it-but noticed one person made it w/out tahini and still loved the taste. Since I’m in a pinch (really want to make hummus to bring to a friend’s house tonight)-I’ll go without and see what happens!

  37. J

    Your recipe is great but you’re missing the cumin seasoning! I always sprinkle in at least a 1/2 teaspoon but I usually add it in to taste. It makes a huge difference.

    FYI for those that asked, you usually have to look for the ethnic foods section of your average grocery store to find tahini and no one there will know what you’re talking about unless you go to a specialty store! :-)

  38. Christie at TheLooksee

    This was a great recipe- good size for a party. I added extra olive oil, some cayenne pepper, crushed red peppers, and 1/4 cup of kalamata olives for some extra kick.

  39. Amy

    I just made this and it was really delicious! I did use dried beans because they’re SO much cheaper and I thought they worked out great when cooked until a little soft. I highly recommend this recipe!

  40. Deborah

    This is my basic hummus recipe. But being Mexican, I love to add in a serrano chile (right at the beginning, so it processes up very tiny) and then add a whole bunch of cilantro at the very end when I am pulsing in the last ingredients. Since I use all organic, Bragg liquid aminos is a great addition. I am trying to use more cilantro for its chelation properites for heavy metals in the body, this is a great way that I make almost every week. Sometimes I use the evoo, but sometimes toasted sesame oil. And eat on flaxseed flour crackers!

  41. Shannon

    I made this for the 2nd time tonight…the first time it was good…but we didn’t use tahini. I can’t seem to find it anywhere! that’s what I get for living in a small town in Wyoming I guess LOL. Tonight we roasted the garlic and used the entire head and a half (very small heads). And we added some fresh Parmesan cheese and used sea salt instead of regular table salt. It’s soo yummy! Thanks for all of your awesome recipes!

  42. Tom

    Hummus:
    - 5 cups (16 Oz. Bag dry) Chick Peas (Soaked and cooked)
    - 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
    - 1 ½ cup Tahini (Ground Sesame) Most major food stores have this.
    - 2 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
    - ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
    - 1 ½ Tbsp Cumin
    - ½ tsp Salt
    - 12 oz or so of cooking water

    Soak beans in water overnight. Then cover with water in a large pot, bring to a boil and cook on Med Low heat for 1 hour or so until soft.

    Combine ingredients in a food processor. Start food processor and slowly add about 12 Oz or so of water. Mix for 5-10 minutes until smooth consistency.
    Taste the Hummus and adjust the seasonings if need be. I like more Cayenne Pepper and Cumin in mine.

    Pita: Preheat Oven to 400°F. Spread Pita on cookie sheet and spray with Olive Oil. (Use one of the oil sprayers that you can buy at Bed/Bath & Beyond) Sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Celery Salt. Flip over and do the other side. Bake for 3 minutes per side. Flip the Pita half way thru.

    Garnish a serving plate with lettuce. Place chopped onions, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes on lettuce. Place Pepperoncini around platter. Place Hummus in middle. Serve with Pita bread.

  43. Jacqqueline

    When I first made hummus I couldn’t find any tahini, so instead I just added in roasted seaseme seeds when I was blending everything. Although the recipe doesn’t beat the flavor of hummus from a Lebanese restaurant, it does turn out much better than other homemade recipes I’ve tasted which used Tahini.

  44. Abeer

    As a Lebanese citizen I can assure you that there is no need for water :) It tastes amazing with Tabbuleh also :)

  45. Emily

    I love making home made hummus! Such an easy, fun inexpensive dish. I add cilantro to mine to give it a light flavor kick, great recipe Elise thank you!

  46. Cindy

    Very easy to make, and of course it turned out great (like everything else on your site)!

  47. Anna

    I love hummus! For those of you having trouble finding tahini, it is easy to make yourself. In a food processor (metal blades), puree 4 parts roasted sesame seeds to 1 part oil.

  48. Lady Amalthea

    I also prefer using canned chickpeas! I also add roasted red peppers to mine. Yum!

  49. Brock

    Looks a lot like my base recipe! My changes are:
    - 1/2 cup lemon juice instead of 1/3
    - No water, this is made up by the additional lemon juice
    - 1/2 jalapeno
    - A little bit of cilantro

  50. Don

    Great recipes, and the variety of comments are much appreciated. I use the dry chickpeas: soak for 8 or 10 hours or overnight. Rinse. Can boil for 10 or 15 minutes to soften if desired (it doesn’t take 4 hours as a couple of people have advised.) I like the addition some have suggested using dry roasted cumin, then ground up into a powder. Also the fresh cilantro. Tahini is readily available in any health food store. I omit the garlic, but that is just my personal preference.

    I echo the original suggestion that if using canned chickpeas, to drain them and use fresh water. This is a high protein spread, very healthy, especially with fresh squeezed lemons.

    Served with pita bread is my favorite. I think with my next batch though, I’m going to serve them on some rice cakes and try that out, and maybe put some alfalfa sprouts on top.

  51. Carolyn

    Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds, I just grind the sesame seeds up in the blender along with everything else, same taste.

  52. rmaraj

    “Channa” (chickpeas) is a very common item in the Caribbean kitchen especially Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname and all the Indian diaspora.
    A very popular Indian delicacy in Trinidad and Tobago of which the main ingredient is chick peas. This delicacy is called “doubles”. Tourist from every part of the globe come here to relish this “chick peas doubles” delicacy.

  53. Jack

    Tahini is the easiest thing to make:

    Bake sesame seeds for 12 minutes at 350 or so. Put in blender with some olive oil and turn it into paste. If you use hulled sesame seeds it will make a smoother paste.

    Don’t use the canned water, its not healthy. Instead, rince the chick peas well and then boil for a few minutes in fresh water. If you want really smooth, the hulls of the chick peas will easily come off now. But, I like the texture.

    Just put a touch of Cumin, not a lot, it will overwhelm the flavor otherwise.

    Also, it’s good to blend the lemon juice, sesame paste and salt first into a smooth liquid. Then take the now hot chickpeas and add it to the mix. Add hot water as necessary.

  54. steph

    I know this recipe was posted 5 years ago and some of the comments go way back, but I noticed a lot of people struggling to find tahini. Making it is a good alternative, but it is also really easy to find. I’ve gotten it or seen it at almost every grocery store around my neighborhood, and I am in Knoxville, TN–not a huge city or anything. Just look in the aisle that has all the international foods. It is sometimes in the Mediterranean section but always in the Indian or Middle Eastern sections. My only problem is that it seems to typically come in large quantities, and when I am just making hummus for myself, it takes a long time to use. Should I refrigerate or just keep in a cabinet?

    I always keep it in the refrigerator. ~Elise

  55. Josey

    Claudia Roden has 2 versions of hummus in her book. One version is hummus habb which does not contain tahina.

  56. Sarah

    I can’t find roasted Tahini, only raw. What difference does it make? I make Hummus with the raw and it still tastes great, but I’m still curious.

  57. Sarah Maguire

    Dear Elise,
    Love your website- it’s my go-to guide when I can’t decide on what to do for dinner! :D
    I have a question: Living in Ireland, it’s hard to find ingredients such as tahini. Can you recommend a subsitute?

    Hi Sarah, can you get sesame seeds? If you can, you can roast them, grind them, and make your own homemade tahini. ~Elise

  58. Jackie Walters

    White kidney beans work great too. Try putting a little curry powder in the hummus.

  59. heather hicks

    Try pressure cooking the chick peas and you’ll never go back to canned ones again. They’re super tender if cooked properly.

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