This is one of the base recipes featured in our Whole Life Meal Plan. Hummus is one of our favorite foods because it’s delicious, nutritious, easy to make, and incredibly versatile! This hummus base recipe is super creamy and satisfying. Give it a try, then adjust to your taste!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Creamiest Hummus
Some hummus recipes say to drizzle the olive oil in slowly for a better emulsion, but we couldn’t tell a difference either way. Place all of the ingredients in the blender at the same time and blend away!
To fix a grainy hummus, blend for longer, add 1-2 Tablespoons more oil, or warm the beans before blending.
For an even smoother texture, simmer the chickpeas in water before blending. Place drained and rinsed chickpeas in a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer until very soft. Drain and add to the blender with the remaining ingredients and blend.
If you prefer a thicker hummus, use ¼ cup of water. If you prefer a creamier, thinner consistency, use ½ cup.
When doubling or tripling the recipe, don’t increase the spices at first. Doubling the spices can create a bitter flavor! Taste after blending, then adjust spices to taste.
- Chickpeas: use 1 ½ cups homemade cooked chickpeas. Learn our three different ways to cook chickpeas from dry: Instant Pot, stovetop, or quick soak. Using cooked from dried chickpeas creates a creamier hummus!
- Tahini: substitute no-sugar-added sunflower or pumpkin seed butter.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute avocado or canola oil, but note that the flavor will be slightly different. You can also substitute an infused olive oil for more flavor.
- Lemon: substitute lime juice or red wine vinegar.
- Garlic: substitute 1 teaspoon garlic flakes, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, but note the flavor will not be as strong. Fresh is best!
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! Keep it simple or spice it up!
Use these additional ingredients for even more flavor.
- Fresh Herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, fennel, mint, oregano, parsley, and thyme are all delicious. When choosing herbs, keep in mind the flavor profile you are trying to achieve. Blend fresh herbs into the hummus, stir them in after blending, or use as a garnish. If using dried herbs, start with 1 teaspoon, then adjust to taste.
- Pesto: use homemade or store bought. Replace the olive oil if adding.
- Spices: add chili powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika, coriander, a dash of cayenne, or your favorite spice blend. Add a dash of spice after blending for an extra pop in presentation.
- Roasted Red Peppers: substitute sun-dried tomatoes in oil or soak dried tomatoes in hot water for 15-30 minutes before adding.
- Diced Jalapeño or Chipotles in Adobo: substitute ¼ serrano pepper.
- Hot Sauce: use sriracha, Tabasco, buffalo sauce, or your favorite hot sauce for an extra kick of heat. Blend into the hummus or drizzle on top.
- Citrus Zest: use lemon or lime zest for an extra pop of flavor.
Add any of these ingredients as garnishes for a striking presentation. Diced olives, fresh diced tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds, and capers also make great garnishes.
Some people ask if hummus is better with or without tahini, and we definitely say WITH! Tahini helps give hummus a smooth and creamy texture and mouthfeel. However, if you have a sesame allergy, sunflower butter, pumpkin seed butter, or a few more tablespoons of olive oil are good substitutions.
Want more hummus recipe inspiration?
Use these recipe variations for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors, ingredients, and textures!
Hummus Equipment Recommendations
If you don’t have a good blender or food processor, we recommend purchasing one! An immersion blender also works for making creamy hummus. Although cheaper blenders will do an okay job, a high-powered blender definitely creates a smoother texture.
If a fancy blender or food processor isn’t within your budget, simply blend the mixture for longer, or simmer the chickpeas in water until very soft before blending for the best texture.
Health Benefits of Hummus
This hummus base recipe is packed with nutrients! According to research, hummus-consumers have reportedly higher intakes of many nutrients, including essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fatty acids. Chickpeas, tahini, and extra virgin olive oil are the star ingredients in this healthy hummus recipe.
Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans
Beans of all varieties are a great source of plant-based protein and are an important component of a plant-forward diet. They are also high in complex carbohydrates and fiber. These nutrients are all important for steady energy, satiety, blood flow, disease prevention, and digestion. And in case you were wondering, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing!
Tahini is made from blended sesame seeds. Sesame seeds contain mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that may support heart health. Sesame seeds also contain fiber, phytonutrients, and plant-based protein – important nutrients for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, and cancer prevention.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. Additionally, certain nutrients require fat for absorption; using extra virgin olive oil in homemade hummus can help you get the most nutritional bang for your buck!
Serve hummus as a healthy after school snack or as the centerpiece of an appetizer spread. Serve with fresh vegetables, whole grain crackers, or whole wheat pita wedges. Hummus is also a great spread on sandwiches and wraps. Make a hummus grain bowl by adding a dollop to cooked quinoa, roasted veggies, and chopped fresh herbs.
Place the hummus in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Want more healthy snack and appetizer recipes?
Try out these favorites, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
Hummus Base Recipe
- 15-ounce can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ – ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced (~1 Tablespoon)
- 1-2 small garlic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Additions to YOUR taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs
- ¼ cup roasted red peppers
- 2 Tablespoons pesto
- 1-3 teaspoons spice(s)
- ½ small fresh jalapeño
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon citrus zest
- Place base recipe ingredients and additions to your taste in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Start with ¼ cup water, then increase until desired consistency.
- Add salt to taste. Place in a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, then top with garnishes to your taste. Enjoy!