Basil Hummus

Basil hummus made with garbanzo beans puréed with fresh basil, olive oil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, and lemon. It's a bright green, herby take on the classic dip.

Basil Hummus in a black bowl with pita on the side

Simply Recipes / 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.

Fresh basil growing

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

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

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 3 cups

*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. For even faster beans, make them in a pressure cooker.


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained (see Recipe Note)

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

  • Several dashes Tabasco

  • Up to 1/4 cup water

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  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, lemon juice, olive oil, 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
121 Calories
8g Fat
11g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*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.