Classic Hummus

8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Easy Authentic Hummus recipe with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in 5 minutes. A perfect appetizer or sandwich spread!

Classic hummus, a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, has earned its place as a beloved Dip and Topping across the globe. Originating from the Levant, hummus is traditionally made from simple, wholesome ingredients. This creamy and nutritious dish is a delicious Side or Appetizer for Middle Eastern dishes like Chicken Souvlaki with some Pita Chips.

How to make Hummus at home - bowl of homemade hummus

Sabrina’s Classic Hummus Recipe

Our Homemade hummus recipe is celebrated for its delightful balance of earthy chickpeas and nutty tahini, brightened by a hint of lemon and the pungent kick of garlic. Many people say it’s better than store-bought hummus. The preparation is straightforward, involving the blending of ingredients to a smooth consistency, often with a drizzle of olive oil to enrich its texture. It’s a family-friendly dish, easily adaptable for various dietary preferences, and perfect for gatherings, be it a casual family dinner or an elegant party. Its versatility allows it to be a spread in sandwiches, a dip for veggies and pita bread, or a complement to grilled meats and salads.

Across regions, hummus has slight variations – some areas prefer a more garlicky or lemony flavor, while others might add spices like cumin or toppings like pine nuts. Despite these variations, the core essence of hummus remains the same.

Hummus, meaning ‘chickpeas’ in Arabic, has a rich history and is more than just a dip or spread. Each region in the Middle East might claim its own unique twist on the classic recipe, whether it’s the consistency, the balance of lemon and garlic, or the addition of unique local ingredients. In many cultures, creamy hummus is more than a dish; it’s a part of social gatherings, family meals, and festive celebrations. It’s not uncommon to find hummus on the table during holidays or as a staple in casual family dinners. The simplicity of its preparation and the ease with which it can be customized makes it a popular choice for various occasions.

Why you should make Hummus at home

Making hummus at home is a delightful experience that offers several benefits over store-bought or restaurant versions. Preparing this classic dish in your own kitchen allows you to control the quality of ingredients, ensuring freshness and the perfect balance of flavors to suit your taste. Homemade hummus often surpasses its commercial counterparts in texture and taste, devoid of preservatives and artificial additives. Additionally, it’s cost-effective and can be customized with various toppings and spices for a unique twist.

Classic Hummus Ingredients

  • 8 Cloves Garlic: Garlic cloves add a pungent, spicy flavor that’s essential to hummus. It can be adjusted to taste. For a milder flavor, roasted garlic can be substituted for a roasted garlic hummus. 
  • 3 Cans Chickpeas (15-ounce cans): Canned chickpeas are the base of hummus, providing a creamy texture and nutty flavor. Freshly cooked chickpeas can be used for a more authentic taste.
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavors. Sea salt can be used as an alternative.
  • 2/3 Cup Lemon Juice: Adds freshness and tanginess. Fresh lemon juice is best. Lime juice can be a substitute for a different citrusy flavor.
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil: Gives smoothness and a fruity taste to the hummus. Other mild oils like avocado oil can also work in a pinch.
  • ¼ Teaspoon Paprika: Used for garnish, adds a sweet and smoky flavor. Smoked paprika can be used for a deeper smoky taste.

Tahini Ingredients

  • ½ Cup Sesame Seeds: The key ingredient for tahini. Toasting them enhances their nutty flavor.
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil: Helps to blend the sesame seeds into a smooth, creamy paste. More may be needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  • ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt: Balances the nuttiness of the sesame seeds. Adjust according to taste.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Food Processor: Essential for blending ingredients into a smooth, creamy texture. A high-powered blender can be used as a substitute, though it may not achieve the same level of creaminess.
  • Small Frying Pan: Used for toasting sesame seeds for homemade tahini. A larger pan works, but be cautious not to overcrowd the seeds for even toasting.
  • Serving Bowl: For presenting the hummus. Any medium-sized bowl is suitable.

How to Make

Time needed: 10 minutes.

  1. Prepare Homemade Tahini

    Toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Stir and cook until just toasted, careful not to burn. Remove from heat and cool. Add the seeds to a food processor. Blend seeds while slowly adding olive oil until creamy and smooth.

  2. Blend Ingredients

    In a large food processor, add the garlic cloves, chickpeas, salt, tahini, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Blend until combined with a thick and creamy texture. Add more oil or lemon juice as needed if it’s too thick.

  3. Serve and Garnish

    Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl. Using the back of a spoon tip, swirl the top of the hummus to make places to hold the oil. Pour the additional olive oil over top and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika.

Can Classic Hummus Be Made Ahead of Time?

Absolutely, hummus is a fantastic make-ahead dish. Its flavors meld and deepen when stored in the refrigerator, making it an ideal recipe to prepare a day or two in advance. Simply store it in an airtight container, and it can last for up to a week in the fridge. Before serving, give it a quick stir, maybe a drizzle of olive oil, and it’s ready to be enjoyed. This makes it a convenient and delicious option for meal prepping, hosting, or having a healthy snack readily available.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Classic Hummus
Amount Per Serving
Calories 141 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Sodium 656mg29%
Potassium 80mg2%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 33IU1%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 99mg10%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tips & Tricks for Classic Hummus

  • Balancing Flavors: Start with less lemon juice and garlic, then taste and adjust accordingly. It’s easier to add more for flavor balance than to correct an overly strong taste.
  • Ice Water Hack: Add 3 tablespoons of ice water or cold water to the hummus while blending. This little trick can make your hummus fluffier and creamier.
  • Proper Order of Blending: Blend the tahini and lemon juice first before adding other ingredients. This process helps to ‘whip’ the tahini, making the hummus light and creamy.
  • Avoiding Bitterness: Burnt sesame seeds can make tahini bitter. Toast sesame seeds with care, ensuring they turn a light golden brown, not dark.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve hummus at room temperature rather than cold for the best flavor and texture. Cold hummus tends to be a bit stiffer and less flavorful.

How to Store

Store: After enjoying, transfer any leftover hummus to an airtight container. If possible, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the top before sealing. This creates a barrier that helps keep the hummus moist. Refrigerate it, and it should stay fresh for up to a week. Remember, homemade hummus doesn’t contain preservatives, so it’s important to keep it refrigerated when not being served.

Freeze: While freezing is not typically recommended for hummus due to potential texture changes, it is possible. To freeze hummus, place it in a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top as it will expand when frozen. It can last for up to four months in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, give it a good stir and consider adding a bit more olive oil or lemon juice to bring back its original consistency and zest. Remember, the texture might be slightly grainier after freezing, but it will still be delicious and safe to eat.

Classic Hummus ingredients include chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice

Ways to Enjoy Homemade Hummus

  • With freshly warmed pita bread – Do it old school, use your stovetop flame and warm until it just starts getting crispy on the outside and still soft and fluffy on the inside (about five to seven seconds on medium flame on each side). Do not do this on an electric stovetop.
  • Skip the mayo on your favorite sandwich and add some homemade Hummus instead (turkey or grilled vegetables are FANTASTIC with hummus!).
  • Line your favorite gyro with hummus before adding the meat and veggies.
  • Falafel wraps with hummus instead of the runnier plain tahini hold up better.
  • Pita chips!
  • Vegetables! Carrots, grape tomatoes, celery, broccoli are all great scoopers for hummus.
  • Grill some chicken, pork, lamb, or beef kabobs, and add hummus on the side. A bite of kebab with hummus is a great one-two punch of grilled meat and this lemony garlic dip.
  • One of the most popular Armenian eateries in Los Angeles, Zankou Chicken serves up this hummus on the side of their rotisserie chicken with pickled turnips, garlic paste, pita bread, lettuce, and tomatoes. Recreate the meal on your own!

Frequent Questions

Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried ones for this recipe?

Absolutely! Canned chickpeas are a great time-saver and work perfectly for hummus. Just make sure to rinse and drain them well before use.

What can I substitute for tahini in hummus?

There are no good substitutions for the unique flavor of tahini. You’ll want to try and find some seeds to roast yourself or pre-made tahini if possible.

Is it necessary to remove the skins from chickpeas?

Removing the skins can create a smoother hummus texture, but it’s not essential. For a rustic, heartier hummus, feel free to skip this step.

How can I make my hummus creamier?

For creamier hummus, blend it longer, adding a bit more olive oil or a splash of cold water to achieve the desired consistency.

Can hummus be made in a regular blender?

Yes, though a food processor is typically preferred for achieving the best texture, a high-powered blender can also do the job. Just be sure to scrape down the sides frequently.

Recipe Card

Classic Hummus

Easy Authentic Hummus recipe with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice in 5 minutes. A perfect appetizer or sandwich spread!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Armenian
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 3 cans chickpeas , drained and rinsed (15 ounce cans)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil , plus more for drizzling on top
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika , for garnish

Tahini:

  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Add the garlic, chickpeas, kosher salt, tahini (directions for tahini below), lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a food processor.
  • Process until it is well combined and has a thick creamy texture. If it is too thick you can thin with additional lemon juice or additional olive oil.
  • Put into a bowl, and with a spoon make some valleys or rivers in it for some olive oil to get added on top.
  • Finally garnish with paprika

Tahini:

  • Add sesame seeds to a dry small frying pan on medium heat.
  • Stir and cook, until just toasted (not burned), then immediately remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Add to a small food processor and add olive oil in a very thin stream until creamy.

Nutrition

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 656mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Classic Hummus (Homemade in 5 mintues)

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Variations on Classic Hummus

Classic Hummus is a versatile dish that can be tailored to suit various taste preferences and dietary needs. Experimenting with different ingredients and flavors can transform this simple dish into something new and exciting every time. Here are some delightful variations to try:

  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Blend in roasted red peppers for a sweet and smoky flavor. This variant adds a vibrant color and a subtle sweetness that pairs well with pita chips.
  • Spicy Hummus: Add a kick to your hummus with a dash of hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or diced jalapeños. Perfect for those who enjoy a little heat in their dips.
  • Black Bean Hummus: Substitute chickpeas with black beans and add cumin and lime juice for a Mexican twist. This version is great as a spread in wraps or burritos.
  • Lemon and Herb Hummus: Increase the amount of lemon juice and add fresh herbs like dill or basil for a refreshing and tangy flavor.

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Photos used in previous versions of this post.

Bowl of fresh homemade hummus made from classic hummus ingredients
Classic Hummus made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice makes the perfect appetizer or sandwich spread for your favorite meal!
Classic Hummus made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice makes the perfect appetizer or sandwich spread for your favorite meal!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I love hummus!! I’ve only made it at home a few times, but it’s so, so good! This recipe looks amazing!

  2. Hummus looks great, I’m all about those little puddles of olive oil waiting for me to dunk my chips in. And I hope that’s smoked paprika, because you know, best paprika on the Planet 😉

  3. Hummus is absolutely mine and my husband’s favorite thing – I make huge batches and we enjoy it for days!

  4. I love making my own hummus! And yes on the lemon and garlic – I have a heavy hand with those as well. LOVE love love them!