Basil Hummus


Basil hummus dip made with garbanzo beans, puréed with fresh basil, olive oil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, and lemon.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The days are getting shorter, the zucchini beasts are slowing down production, and even the neighborhood kids are already headed back to school, signaling the looming end of summer.

Our basil plants however, don’t seem to notice that their days are numbered.

This is high season for them, and they’ve made quite the romper room of their garden beds.


I’ve been dreaming about this basil hummus for weeks now.

It sort of makes sense, doesn’t it?

Like a cross between hummus and pesto.

The basil and the pine nuts take the place of the tahini in the hummus. A little tomato paste adds a touch of sweetness and the Tabasco just a little zest. This was a hit with everyone who tried it, so I hope you like it too!

Basil Hummus Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 3 cups of hummus


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups sweet basil leaves, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Up to 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • Several dashes Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

* Several readers have asked about instructions using dry garbanzo beans instead of canned. I estimate that you will need about 1 1/4 cup of dried beans to make enough beans for this recipe. Soak them overnight in a pot covered by a couple inches of water. The next day, drain the water and add fresh water, again covering the beans by a couple inches. You might want to put a couple garlic cloves in the water for flavor. Bring to a simmer, and simmer on low heat for several hours, until the beans are tender but still whole. Remove any foam that bubbles to the surface during the cooking. Drain the beans and proceed with the recipe.


1 Toast the pine nuts: Heat the pine nuts in a small skillet on medium high heat. Stir them when they start to brown. When most of them have lightly browned, remove them from the pan into a bowl to cool. (Reserve a few pine nuts for garnish.)

2 Process ingredients in food processor: In the bowl of a food processor, place the basil leaves and the garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.

Add the rinsed and drained garbanzo beans, most of the pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, tomato paste, and a few dashes of Tabasco.

Pulse several times, for several seconds each time, until the hummus is smooth. Add more Tabasco and salt or lemon juice to taste.

Add water to the point of desired consistency.

3 Serve: To serve, place in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Sprinkle with a few toasted pine nuts. Serve with pita wedges, crackers, or rustic bread.

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Sun-dried tomato basil hummus from Sarah's Cucina Bella

White bean basil hummus from Weelicious

Basil Hummus

Showing 4 of 30 Comments / Reviews

  • aretephora

    I’m a little late in finding this delicious recipe. I found that my batch didn’t turn as green as your photo. The only change I made was regarding the tomato paste. I didn’t have any on hand so I added a few fresh cherry tomatoes. Would this impact the coloring? Thank you.

  • YDavis

    I made this last night and it is delicious! I added a hot pepper instead of the tabasco sauce. I also did not have tomato paste on hand but I had made tomato basil soup the day before so I added 2 tablespoons of that.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  • HamMI48

    This is @ Dryflour ; how long should the beans be boiled?

    Hi Ham. There is actually quite a discussion about this in the comments of our basic hummus recipe. People soak the beans overnight, some adding a little baking soda to the beans I assume to help them soften. Readers report cook times of anywhere from 15 minutes to 8 hours, so I assume it really depends on how fresh your garbanzo beans are. I know with other dry beans it makes a huge difference. If you are cooking beans that have been in your pantry for a year, they’re going to take longer to cook. If you are cooking beans that were harvested 9 months ago but are just getting sold now, they may take longer to cook. Even the hardness of your water can affect how long it takes the beans to soften. ~Elise

  • Dryflour

    Why do you always tell people to use canned beans when it is much safer, economical, and satisfying to buy dry beans from the bulk bin, soak them overnight, boil them the next day, drain, rinse, and blend? The fresh hummus made from these beans is warm and fragrant, sweet and nutty, far superior to canned garbanzo beans laden with BPA and who knows what.

    You are welcome to make this or any other recipe on the site that call for canned beans, from dry beans. Several recipes on this site call for cooking the beans from scratch. When I use canned beans it’s usually because I want to whip together a recipe quickly. I use organic canned beans that I get from Whole Foods and I have been very happy with the quality. ~Elise

  • Caroline

    Dryflour, canned beans at Trader Joe’s are BPA free. Buy the organic kinds then we’re pretty safe. I think. Many of us appreciate recipes like this that allow us to cook impromptu.

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