If chickpeas have a divine purpose it’s to create the creamy, garlic, tahini- and lemon-spiked dip known as hummus. Douse the top with the best olive oil you can find, and the work is done.
You can spread hummus on a sandwich, slather it over a pita, or scoop piles of it onto sliced cucumbers or colorful bell peppers. It’s the perfect dip to serve at parties for people who avoid gluten or dairy, and it keeps for weeks in the fridge. It’s loaded with fiber, protein, and healthy fats (I’m looking at you, olive oil). What’s not to love?
If you’re a hummus purist, then that’s where the story ends. For this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe, I’m breaking from tradition. Sorry.
WHAT MAKES THIS HUMMUS SPECIAL
Traditional hummus recipes call for tahini, a toasted sesame seed paste. It makes the hummus extra creamy, but I am not a fan of tahini so I skipped it for this version. If you and tahini are BFFs then, by all means, add a tablespoon or two.
In addition to kicking tahini to the curb, I added roasted red peppers to the hummus and chopped some up to sprinkle on top. If you like lots of red pepper flavor, scoop up some chopped bits with every bite. If you’re more of a minimalist, just take the dip and leave the bits.
Life is busy at the Miller house these days, so I usually just buy a jar of roasted red peppers. In the summer when my garden is bursting with peppers, I tend to make my own and use this recipe for Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers.
DRIED OR CANNED CHICKPEAS?
For whatever reason, it’s difficult for me to find dried chickpeas where I live. Every other kind of dried bean covers my grocery store shelves, but chickpeas are a canned-only situation. So canned beans it is for this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE CREAMY HUMMUS
If you have dried beans and a little time to plan then, by all means, make hummus with dried beans you cooked at home. Follow this step by step guide for How to Cook Dried Beans, but add 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda to the water for hummus-bound chickpeas, and reduce the cooking time.
This technique of adding some baking soda was made popular by Yotam Ottolenghi and creates an alkaline environment that helps the skins release from the chickpeas. Agitate the chickpeas every now and then while they are cooking and skim the skins off the top. Ta-da!
For this short-cut version using canned chickpeas, drain a can of chickpeas, transfer the chickpeas to a bowl. Sprinkle in the baking soda and cover them with warm water. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes, agitating the chickpeas from time to time. Most, but not all, of the chickpeas should release. Just scoop them out and rinse them a few times.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
Perhaps you’re not a roasted red pepper fan. Not to worry—feel free to get creative.
- Skip the roasted red pepper and just have classic hummus
- Add tahini
- Add roasted garlic
- Swirl in some tapenade
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HUMMUS?
When I make hummus, I pretty much eat it on everything until it’s gone. When you’ve made a batch, here are a few ideas on how to use it up.
- Make a Mediterranean Mezze Platter.
- Serve it solo with sliced veggies like cucumbers, peppers, and carrots.
- Top it with whole chickpeas, olives or za’atar.
- Pick up some fluffy pitas, tear and dip!
- If all else fails, crackers will do just fine.
HOW TO STORE HUMMUS
Hummus will keep for about a week or two covered in your fridge.
LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT HUMMUS RECIPES? TRY THESE!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Recipe
Removing the skins is completely optional. The purpose is to create a smoother hummus, but it’s not necessary and I’ve made plenty of hummus with a little texture from the skins. It hasn’t bothered me a bit.
- 1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish.
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, divided and drained
1 Soak the beans and remove the skins: In a medium bowl, add the drained chickpeas and the baking soda. Cover them with water and use your hands to rub and agitate the beans for about 30-45 seconds. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, agitating them every few minutes.
You should see the skins start to release from the chickpeas and rise to the top. Scoop the skins off, and run the beans under running water 3 or 4 times to get the rest of the skins out. You probably won’t get all of them, and that’s OK. You’re going for 80 percent perfect. Drain the beans completely.
2 Puree the chickpeas: In the bowl of a food processor, add the drained, skinned chickpeas and garlic. Puree for 1 minute, scraping down the bowl of the food processor. Add the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Puree for 1 minute, scraping down the bowl halfway through.
Add the cumin, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Puree until it looks creamy. Add 1/4 cup roasted red peppers. Puree until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
3 Transfer and garnish: Transfer the hummus to a bowl. Use the back of a spoon to create swoops and swirls in the hummus. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup of roasted red pepper, and sprinkle it over the top of the hummus. Drizzle with additional olive oil and a little additional lemon juice.
4 Serve: Serve the hummus with warm pita bread, pita chips, crackers, or freshly sliced vegetables. You can also use it as a spread on sandwiches.
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