How to Make Hummus
Find out how to make the best smooth and creamy homemade hummus with this easy recipe!
This year for my birthday (36!) my family went to a favorite Lebanese restaurant in town, Zaytoon. After much grumbling about the menu, my kids devoured the hummus and cucumbers and proclaimed it the best hummus in all the land. It absolutely was delicious, and different than the usual tubs of hummus we buy weekly at the grocery store. This one was softer, silkier, milder, fresher. We had to recreate it at home. But how? Was it copious amounts of olive oil? Did they peel each and every chickpea?
We set out on a quest to find the answer to the age old question: “How do you make creamy smooth hummus?” We tested several theories and found out the secrets to perfect homemade hummus. Here are the delicious results!
What is Hummus?
First things first. The word “hummus” means chickpea in Arabic. It’s a creamy dip or spread made with smashed chickpeas and a few other ingredients. Several cultures claim to be the creator of this creamy dip, but it’s hard to pinpoint as it’s been made for many many years throughout the Middle East. Chickpeas themselves have been cultivated for thousands of years from Rome to Greece to India.
Classic Hummus Recipe Ingredients
- tahini. Tahini is just ground sesame seeds. It’s like the Middle Eastern version of peanut butter and you can find it in that section of many grocery stores. I love it in Tahini Sauce for Falafel and Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing.
- olive oil (use aquafaba for oil-free)
- lemon juice
How to Make Smooth and Creamy Classic Hummus
The most important factor we found in making homemade hummus was to start with dried chickpeas. I know it’s tempting to use canned chickpeas, and that’s fine in a pinch. But for really good authentic, restaurant quality, smooth hummus it’s worth the extra step of cooking dried chickpeas.
Step 1: Cook Chickpeas
Cook your dried chickpeas on the stove or preferably in the Instant Pot, which requires no soaking. For hummus, it’s best to use very tender chickpeas. Don’t discard the cooking liquid, also known as aquafaba. Don’t miss my post all about How to Cook Chickpeas.
Step 2: Add the just drained chickpeas to the food processor.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chickpeas to a food processor. No need to rinse. Add the tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, and salt at this point too.
Step 3: Blend
Blend the ingredients in the food processor. Through the feed tube, pour in some good olive oil (traditional method) or aquafaba (for oil-free). This added liquid will help loosen and blend the hummus. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides so that all the ingredients blend together without any lumps. Continue until very smooth.
Step 4: Serve
Taste and add additional lemon juice, salt, or cumin. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with your favorite pita bread or veggies.
Tips for Making Perfect Hummus
- Use freshly cooked chickpeas, preferably still warm from cooking.
- Don’t let your chickpeas sit out of the liquid or they will dry out.
- When you drain your chickpeas, be sure to reserve the aquafaba.
Does Peeling Chickpeas Make Smoother Hummus?
We thought that by peeling the skins off the chickpeas once they were cooked we would get smoother hummus. After testing the same recipe both ways (peeled and unpeeled) we were surprised we could not tell the difference. We joked that this would make a excellent science fair project. I can’t say whether or not this would make a difference with canned chickpeas. I do find it matters when making Chickpea Salad Sandwiches.
Does Cooking Beans with Baking Soda Result in Smoother Hummus?
A little baking soda in the cooking water does help tenderize beans, but many sources like this one state that baking soda destroys nutrients, specifically the B vitamin thiamine. I do not cook my beans with baking soda for this reason.
How long does hummus last in the fridge?
Homemade hummus lasts 3-5 days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Can I make Hummus without tahini?
Sure! The flavor won’t be exactly the same, and you’ll need more liquid.
Is Hummus healthy?
What is and is not healthy is subjective and dependent on each of our individual bodies. However, beans have been called “the #1 longevity food” by many in the longevity nutrition field including Blue Zones and Dr. Greger.
What to eat with hummus
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, cooked (or 2 1/2 cups cooked/canned)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup Aquafaba (chickpea cooking liquid) or olive oil
- Drain the chickpeas and place into a food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cumin.
- Pulse a few times to get going. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the aquafaba or olive oil.
- Continue blending until very smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add more aquafaba as needed to thin. I've used up to 1 cup for very soft hummus.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, such as a squeeze more lemon or a pinch more cumin. Transfer the homemade hummus to a serving bowl or food storage container. I like to drizzle just a tiny splash of olive oil on top.
- Serve with pita bread, pita chips, or veggies.
- Store homemade hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- When you drain your chickpeas, be sure to reserve the aquafaba for thinning the hummus.
- Nutrition information was calculated using aquafaba, not olive oil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g