How to Make Hummus, Step by Step
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Once you learn how to make hummus from scratch, you'll never want to go back to store-bought dip!
If you’re not already obsessed with this dip, you will be after you learn how to make hummus at home. It’s fresh, creamy and perfect for dipping pita chips, spreading on a wrap or serving with vegetables.
What Is Hummus?
The popular Middle Eastern dip is made from chickpeas and tahini. While you can certainly buy hummus at the grocery store, it’s easy—and more delicious—to make it at home. Plus, you can add toppings and garnishes to customize the dip based on your own taste preferences. (And if you want to compare your homemade hummus to store-bought, here are the best hummus brands, according to our Test Kitchen.)
How to Make Hummus
This hummus recipe takes less than 1 hour to make and yields 1-1/2 cups.
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Olive oil
- Roasted chickpeas
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Ground sumac
- Blender: It’s faster to puree homemade hummus in a blender than in a food processor. Plus, a blender will help make for a smoother dip. Our Test Kitchen compared the best blenders and the Vitamix Explorian was a winner.
- Top-shelf tahini: Tahini is a toasted, creamy sesame butter—but some brands can be grainy, oily or bitter. Look for a high-quality version, like Soom tahini.
- Sumac: While this isn’t a must-have ingredient, sumac is a delicious hummus topping. It’s a key component of za’atar, a popular Middle Eastern spice blend. If you can’t find it at your typical grocery store, buy ground sumac online or at your local foreign grocer.
Step 1: Peel and boil the chickpeas
Place the chickpeas in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Gently rub the chickpeas to remove their skins, then pour off the water and any skins that are floating. Repeat this two to three times until no skins float to the surface.
Drain the chickpeas and return them to the pan. Add baking soda and 1 inch of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, until the chickpeas are tender and starting to fall apart, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Test Kitchen tip: You can use dried chickpeas instead of canned ones if you’d like—follow our tips for how to cook dried beans.
Step 2: Blend with other ingredients
Taste of Home
As the chickpeas cook, pulse the lemon juice, garlic and salt in a blender until finely chopped. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes before straining and discarding the solids, then stir in the cumin. In a small bowl, combine the tahini and olive oil.
Add the chickpeas and cold water to the blender and process until completely smooth. Then slowly add the lemon mixture followed by the tahini. Finally, add more salt and cumin to taste.
Test Kitchen tip: For a thinner hummus, add aquafaba (the leftover liquid from the can of chickpeas) or ice-cold water until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 3: Serve
Taste of Home
Transfer the hummus into a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, top with olive oil, sumac, za’atar and roasted chickpeas.
The most popular way to serve hummus is as a dip with pita bread wedges or assorted raw vegetables. (Here’s how to make pita bread from scratch!) But you can also spread it on wraps, use it as a pizza topping or even stir it into pasta. For a healthy and easy weeknight meal, try making a Mediterranean hummus bowl.
Check out these other recipes to make with hummus, too.
Homemade Hummus Variations
While the recipe above makes the best classic hummus, there are other ways to spice up your hummus and highlight different flavors. Some hummus recipes swap the chickpeas for a different base ingredient, such as edamame or cannellini beans, or add another supporting ingredient, like pumpkin.
You can also put a new spin on our classic recipe by trying these unconventional topping ideas:
- Chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds
- Sliced mixed olives, feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes
- Chimichurri sauce
Tips for Making Hummus
Do I need to peel chickpeas for hummus?
Although we recommend peeling the chickpeas, you don’t have to. But keep in mind that removing the skins—as well as cooking the chickpeas in a little baking soda—softens them up so they’re easier to puree, resulting in a smooth, creamy texture.
Can I make hummus ahead of time?
Yes! Homemade hummus actually tastes best when the flavors have had a chance to blend and the mixture can firm up a bit. Ideally, let it chill for a few hours (or at least 30 minutes) before serving.
What can I substitute for tahini in hummus?
If you don’t have tahini, you can use a different type of smooth nut butter instead, such as peanut butter or cashew butter. Since tahini is sesame seed butter, you can also throw some whole sesame seeds into the blender—but keep in mind that this will affect the texture of your hummus.
It’s also possible to make hummus without a tahini substitute—this Lemon-Garlic Hummus recipe uses just chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. However, for the best, most authentic results, we recommend using tahini.
How long does homemade hummus last?
Homemade hummus should last for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container.
You can also freeze hummus in an airtight container—just pour a thin layer of olive oil on top before freezing. To thaw it, let it sit in the refrigerator for a day and then mix thoroughly before serving.