Although I’m not a fan of the homely little chickpea in its full unpulverized form, I love me some hummus and usually keep it on hand in the fridge for healthy, simple snacking. My kids love it and I love that they love it. I call that a win-win (especially since I dip my fair share, too).

So I bring you today, day #2 in Sugar Rush Reinvented, classic hummus with two variations – delicious roasted garlic and roasted red pepper hummus. All three delicious, all three sure to please.


The thing I love about hummus (besides the fact that it just tastes great) is that it is quick and tasty enough for an every day snack but it is also classy enough to serve at a dinner party or appetizer event. Pita chips, pretzel thins, fresh pita bread wedges, celery or other fresh vegetables, all of these and more are a perfect accompaniment to hummus. And by the way, my hummus looks a bit chunkier than it should in the pictures (the goal is silky and smooth) but that’s basically because my food processor stinks and if yours is even one iota better than mine (or you have a nifty, tough blender), you’ll get the wonderfully creamy texture you are after. And for the second record, we like it just fine with the not-perfectly-smooth consistency so if your food processor is lousy, like mine, you’ll be just fine, too. Ok. Anything else? Nope. Over and out.

Classic Hummus

Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Classic Hummus

Note: The prepared hummus can be prepared and refrigerated 5 days in advance (don't add the parsley and cilantro until ready to serve). When ready to serve, stir in 1 tablespoon hot water to loosen up the texture of the hummus, if needed. Tahini can usually easily be found in the natural foods section of many grocery stores.


  • 3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons tahini, stirred well
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or parsley leaves


  1. Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 2 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish, if desired (I processed all the chickpeas in with the hummus).
  2. Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
  3. Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas (if using) and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.


Roasted Garlic Hummus Remove outer papery skins from 2 heads of garlic. Cut the top quarters off the heads and discard. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in a 350 degree oven until browned and very tender, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves in an 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until godlen brown, about 15 minutes (taking care not to let it burn). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic slices to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside; reserve oil. Once the roasted garlic is cool, squeeze cloves from their skins. You should end up with about 1/4 cup. In the original hummus recipe above, substitute the garlic cooking oil for the olive in step 1 and omit the cumin. Process the entire can of chickpeas along with the roasted garlic puree with the salt and cayenne. Garnish the hummus with the toasted garlic slices, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley and olive oil. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus In the original recipe above, omit the water and cumin. Process the entire can of chickpeas along with 1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers that have been rinsed and dried thoroughly with paper towels and the other ingredients (except the cumin). Garnish the hummus with 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley and olive oil.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated

56 Responses to Classic Hummus – Three Ways!

  1. Jodi says:

    Oh wow, that roasted red pepper version is amazing! I just finished making it, and I’m afraid I might eat it all right now. Yum!

  2. diana says:

    I have always been an “admirer” of homemade hummus (my neighbor across the street invited us over one night and had made some) but even though I am an avid cook, it was one thing I never made….Well, recently, the store bought brand out here (Sunny, Southern Ca) had a HUGE recall. I thought, well, now is the time to dive right in and try it! I made a batch to take with me to a girlfriends house to happens to be a Registered Dietician (no pressure there, huh?) and had enough to try at home. Well, it was FANTASTIC!! I made the garlic version and not sure why I needed to add more salt (not even a big fan of salt) but it did need it, we proclaimed it PERFECT! So, thank you so much! I am certain my friend will be impressed that I not only made it myself, but it has plenty of legumes which are high in fiber! Bonus!! Happy 4th Of July!

  3. Sharon says:

    Hummus has grown on me, and I have done research and a lot of testing (and eating hummus!) and find the following make a rockin smooth AND tasty hummus:

    1. Cook your own beans. You don’t have to, but I know why you don’t like the beans….they’re too hard in the can. I cook them like any other bean, quick soak or overnight, fresh water, no salt, boil and simmer 1-2 hours or until tender. They are creamy and heavenly all by themselves with just a bit of garlic salt…YUM! You can dry pack and freeze in ziplocs, so make a big batch!
    2. Put in food processor, add all ingredients but water, then add that ONLY as needed – you can control the oil this way, and if you use a lot of lemon juice, it won’t be too runny from adding water first.
    3. Like the song says….LET IT GO! I put it in, then walk away….at least 10, up to 20 minutes, and it will actually warm it up – that is key to the smoothest hummus EVER!

    So no matter what you put in it, raw garlic or granules, almond (MY FAVE) or any other nut butter or tahini, cumin or cayenne, this method has been flawless for me! Thanks for your blog – it’s my favorite!

  4. jennifer says:

    Hi Mel, not yet, but I will. I hope you have a Merry Christmas

  5. jennifer says:

    you might of already addressed this question, so I’m sorry if I you are having to repeat yourself. we only have dry garbanzo beans and I cook them in our crock pot but I need to make a very large batch for our ward Christmas party next Friday and I’m not sure how much water to dry beans I should use. the last time I tried to just wing it, it was sort of a disaster. the hummus wasn’t as flavorful as I would of liked. so if you could help me with this Mel, I will be eternally grateful.

    • Mel says:

      Hey Jennifer – unfortunately I’m not going to be of much help because I haven’t made this hummus starting with dry garbanzo beans. Have you googled any tips on hummus with dry beans?

  6. […] -At the onset of a cold we immediately begin to cook with more onion and garlic – both of which have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.  I learned more about the power of food to heal our bodies in the book Food Pharmacy and in the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  A few favorite recipes are mjadara, fattoush salad, and hummus. […]

  7. Danielle H. m says:

    Hi Mel! I’ve made these hummus recipes often. The other day I didn’t have any roasted red peppers, so I used sun-dried tomatoes instead. Oh my deliciousness! So excited to have yet another version of this to make.

  8. Gail SR says:

    Another version: Add a drained can of plain artichoke hearts to the roasted garlic recipe. It cuts down on the calories and weight watcher points for each serving.

  9. ncflowerchild says:

    Have you ever made hummus with cilantro and jalapeno? So yummy, One of my favs from Trader Joe’s and hard to get since it sells out so quickly. It could easily be done with this recipe and a great addition when doing a Mexican meal appetizer.

  10. Nathalie says:

    Mel, I’m not sure if I did something wrong with this recipe, but I was really disapointed with the results…I purchased a tahini spread in the natural food section and I’ve looked online and mine looks the exact same (other than brand), but I found the hummus had an overwhelming taste of tahini? I’ve made different hummus recipes before (without tahini) and loved them…I’m not sure if it’s just my taste buds since I’m not a fussy person…oh well! I’ve added a few more ingredients from recipes that I’ve made before and it has helped to “tone” down the tahini taste. Other than this recipe I’ve enjoyed almost every single one I’ve tried from your site!!! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Hi Nathalie – it sounds like it just may boil down to taste preference. I know this recipe uses a bit more tahini than other recipes (the original recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated) but if you don’t like a strong tahini taste you might keep using one of your other recipes that uses less or none.

  11. Mel says:

    Jnl2211 – yes, it is 6 tablespoons but I’ve seen it range from 3 tablespoons to 6 (in Cook’s Illustrated recipes which is where I adapted this one from). So use the amount that best suits your taste preference.

  12. Jnl2211 says:

    Is it really 6 T of tahini or is that a typo?

  13. Christine says:

    Hi Melanie,
    Great hummus recipes! Can I share a hummus variation using your recipe that I did not too long ago for a large gathering? (125 guests).

    The goal was to provide a few food choices for the vegetarians in the group. A second goal was to not slow down the line at the buffet tables with dip type choices.

    So we made lavash bread (rectangles of flatbread) rolls.

    The process was to thickly spread the hummus on the lavash. Sprinkle liberally with chopped curly leaf parsley. Roll up, with the narrow side facing. Chill the rolls. Remove from fridge and cut gently into 1-inch slices. A sharp serrated knife helps here. The parsley made a pretty green spiral.

  14. dsfjhsdf says:

    Skin the chickpeas before processing them for a smoother texture. Also, reserved liquid from canned garbanzos results in a better texture than water.

  15. Noopur says:

    MaryAnn – I’m not sure how the ratio’s of the can and dry Garbanzo beans will map out. but you can follow the following way:
    take 1 cup dry garbanzo beans
    wash them with water and then soak them in 3 cups of water for 7-8 hrs
    then you can pressure cook it for 25 mins with another 1 cup of water and little bit of salt (1/4 – 1/2 spoon) Tip: once the steam has formed reduce the flame.

  16. To Hummus Lovers ( Middle East it’s Homos)
    Make some of Mel’s Pita Bread (you can use Flour Torttias in a Pinch) split bread apart then tear off small pieces and use it as scoops set the Homos in the middle of the table and everyone eats from the same bowl.

  17. Emily says:

    Mel, okay…I’m going to let you in on a little secret. My family is from Syria and I know how to get your hummus MUCH smoother than anyone else’s…even if your food processor is not exactly up to par — boil the chickpeas first. I take the can of chickpeas, drain, and boil them for 15 minutes. You can let them cool or just make the hummus warm. I will say it is hard to tell if you have the flavor right if you make it when it is too hot because really warm hummus to me is, well, gross. Make the hummus as per your recipe and add a LOT of lemon juice. Most bad hummus recipes are based on a real lack of fresh lemon. Refrigerate and let the flavors blend. Top with chopped parsley and drizzled olive oil for a REALLY awesome taste!

  18. Becky B says:

    I have tried other hummus recipes only to be disappointed. I vowed I would never try another one but decided to give this one a try. Well my search is over because it was awesome!!! Thank you!

  19. i love hummus and so does my oldest. i make my own but i don’t use the tahini paste and it still comes out AMAZING. so if you’re readers can’t find it or find the price hard to swallow (at least at my stores!) they can try making it without.

  20. Danielle H. says:

    How long does this keep in the fridge?

  21. queenann says:

    Mel, in the most recent Cook’s Illustrated that just came in the mail, they have a tip for making hummus turn out less gritty no matter how crappy your food processor is. It’s VERY simple and involves heating the chickpeas before using them. Ingenious! I thought of you the instant I read it. You get the magazine, right? Find the tip and try it for us will you!?!

  22. Danielle H. says:

    sorry…I may do just that…

  23. Danielle H. says:

    I am eating the Roasted Red Bell Pepper version right now. Heaven! I could seriously live off this stuff, and I do just that. p.s. I am LOVING your parade of savory yummy-ness this year.

  24. Terressa T. says:

    I have been searching for a yummy and easy recipe for hummus. The store stuff is way too expensive and we devour it way too fast to justify it’s purchase…so, thank you.

  25. Karyn says:

    I like to use my blender to get a creamier smoother texture. And the January February 2012 cooks illustrated says to puree your chickpeas warm to obtain a smoother dip.

  26. […] Speaking of sugar, over on Mel’s Kitchen, Mel reinvents the sugar rush by focusing on some savory options, such as this delicious-looking hummus. […]

  27. Nicole says:

    So instead of tahini (seasame paste) I use smooth peanut butter. It gives it a sweeter flavor that more folks seem to like. Plus, it can be hard to find tahini at Walmart!

  28. grace says:

    i’m super keen on hummus, in all its varieties. my current favorite is sun-dried tomato. pretty color, good eats.

  29. Michelle Barber says:

    Mel you need to make it your new mission to research the best food processor out there, find a way to get one for yourself (for free!). Then have a giveway for one and rig it to have me win. Because I’m seriously in need. I got the Bosh food chopper thing and it’s ultra annoying that it’s not a food processor too.

    P.S. Do we know boy or girl yet? You may have already told us all in your very sneaky way and I missed it.

  30. amy @ uTryIt says:

    Wow, I love this recipe. The variation are lovely and the flavor combination is mouth watering. I sure will make all 3 versions for my next holiday gathering to share with my family. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

  31. Christine says:

    Hey Mel, your Hummus is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win?

  32. Cammee says:

    Oh yes! I love adding savory to Sugar Rush. I was looking forward to this week.

  33. Mel says:

    Erin – I’ve noticed the same thing and am trying to figure out an alternative way. Google docs updated their format and I can’t go back to the old way but I might be able to just start attaching my own pdf documents or something like that. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  34. Mel says:

    Sandra – there is a note below the recipe title where I included that tahini can usually be found in most grocery stores in the natural foods section, or even sometimes by the peanut butter. It is a paste made from sesame seeds.

  35. Mel says:

    MaryAnn – I’ve never tried it starting with dried chickpeas but I imagine it can’t be too difficult!

  36. Heidi says:

    @Susan – I use unsweetened creamy almond butter in place of the tahini. Quite honestly, with all the other seasonings, I cannot tell the difference. We always have almond butter in the house but I’m betting cashew butter would be even better.

  37. I love hummus…my hubby is not a fan, however. More for me! 🙂

  38. I have had trouble with my yeast dinner rolls and they were awesome but I did have trouble with rolling them out. The dough just didn’t seem to realx after I punched it down and let it rest for 5 min. Do I need to let it rest more?Thanks.Carole

  39. Hummus is so good! So versatile, too. I’ve used it in salads and for a spread on sandwiches…delicious.

  40. If you take all the little shells off it will help you get a more creamy texture. It doesn’t take to long once you get the hang of it.

  41. denise says:

    okay, i am extremely excited about this!!! i’ve been wanting a homemade hummus and now I have one!! thanks for sharing!!

  42. Erin says:

    So, I’ve noticed that when I print your latest recipes now, the format is different than before. The printer will always cut off the right side of the paper, and some of the words on the recipe. Any chance of going back to the old google docs printing, or is it a mandatory update for google docs. Just can’t figure out the cutting off the words part. Thanks!

  43. Susan Bovee says:

    Sounds delicious! Thanks Mel. BTW, Tahini is a seed paste made from sesame. as I’m allergic to sesame, I just use another nut or seed paste, that I either make or purchase. I’ve been making walnut-hazelnut butter lately, but think that something lighter like pine nuts might make a better combination in Hummus. Haven’t had hummus in far too long, so reading this has my mouth hungry for it?

  44. I haven’t quite caught on to the whole hummus craze, but my husband loves it. Having to buy the store bought variety gets to be quite expensive, so I am definitely bookmarking this so I can make it for him at home! Or better yet, so he can make it himself!

  45. Sandra H. says:

    What is tahini and where do you get it?

  46. I’m REALLY into hummus these days and am so excited to try this. In fact, I’m stopping by the store today on my errands to get the ingredients to make it because I want some RIGHT NOW! I’ve usually always had such a sweet tooth and it’s so strange to me being pregnant how I hardly want anything sugary now. Are you feeling that way too? I love the Sugar Rush week, even if I just look at the recipes and save them for when I have the urge! And the reinvented way this year is right up my alley for now. Thank you, Mel!

  47. I’m REALLY into hummus these days and am so excited to try this. In fact, I’m stopping by the store today on my errands to get the ingredients to make it because I want some RIGHT NOW! I’ve usually always had such a sweet tooth and it’s so strange to me being pregnant how I hardly want anything sugary now. Are you feeling that way too? I love the Sugar Rush week, even if I just look at the recipes and save them for when I have the urge! And the reinvented way this year is right up my alley for now. Thank you, Mel!

  48. I love hummus and I love making my own because that way I can control the amount of sodium that goes in there. Have you ever tried making your own chickpeas from dried? I hear it’s not hard and tastes better but I haven’t tried it yet.

  49. Ooh, it is going to be a chickpea soiree at our house tonight! My vegetarian daughter will be here to celebrate her birthday, so chickpea curry, naan, and hummus (thank you very much!) are on the menu.

  50. kandi victorino says:

    I have found that if I add some of the juice from the canned chickpeas, it helps make for a smoother consistency. I studied Arabic in the military and all our teachers were natives of the Middle East. They introduced us to the wonderful world of ME food and I have been a HUGE fan ever since. Thanks for including this yummy recipe in your Sugar Rush! When can we expect a falafel recipe? 🙂

  51. Kim in MD says:

    I am loving this savory reimvented Sugar Rush, Melanie! This hummus looks amazing, and I love that you give three variations of the recipe. They all sound delicious!

  52. StephenC says:

    I am partial to the garlic version. The best hummus I ever had was brought to our house several years ago by an Egyptian guy. It had an incredible amount of olive oil in it. And it did have whole garbanzos on top as a garnish. You have made me determined to make some very soon.

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