Hummus recipe and variations

Also below a recipe for Tahini at the bottom.

I went looking for a hummus recipe. Below are two that seemed good with helpful comments on modifying the recipes to taste.

First recipe and comments from:


  • 2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley


  1. Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the garbanzo bean mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.

Original Recipe Yield 2 cups


  • This recipe, like most, is not going to suit everyone’s taste as written. But it is a good basic recipe and a good place to start. Remember that you can always add more of one ingredient, but “removing” means adding more of every other ingredient. My thoughts: 1. notice the recipe starts with 2 cups of beans, not 2 cans (garbanzo beans are also called: chick peas or ceci beans 2. drain and retain all the bean juice as you will want to add it later to get the texture to your liking (water will also work) 3. tahini can vary in intensity, I recommend starting with about 3 TBSP and working up or down from there (Tahini can be identified by its bitter taste) 4. start with 1 OZ of lemon juice and work up if you like your hummus more sour 5. it’s always best to add salt towards the end because some beans have salt in the juice 6. garlic- what can I say about garlic- some people will say 1 clove, some people will say 12 cloves (I use 3-4 depending on size) 7. olive oil is traditionally served on top, I blend 1TBSP in and pour more on top- olive oil is a “good oil” so don’t worry about adding it 8. paprika is traditional on top but won’t add much heat, if you want some kick, blend in cayenne, jalapeños, or crushed red pepper (I use 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes) 9. I consider cumin a necessity (start with 1/4 tsp and work up from there, I like 1 tsp) 10. have fun- try adding roasted garlic, chives, scallions, roasted red peppers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or feta cheese
  • My husband and I are Arabic so we eat a lot of hummus and after making this recipe we agreed it is absolutely easier to make it then to get in our car and drive to the restaurant and carry it out. However, we needed to make a couple of minor changes to get to this point. We used 2- 15 1/2 oz cans of garbanzo beans. We thought it was a bit too much tahini so we used slightly under 1/3 cup. We added an extra clove of garlic (at least). We also added red pepper which is a staple ingredient in hummus so I was surprised it was omitted (not a lot- maybe a teaspoon or so). We also agreed with other reviewers that you need some of the chick pea juice to thin it out just a bit. We used 3/4 of a can of juice from one can of the chick peas. My mother in law tells me that if you peel the chick peas (which is supposed to be fast and easy) it will come out better too- I don’t think I will do this though because it tasted great just like this. We also used a little more lemon than the recipe called for – it just depends on your taste.
  • Lots to read on this one! Here’s a review of the reviews. Use fresh lemon juice. Save bean liquid if thinning necessary. Some like less Tahini – 2T works. Cumin, Tabasco or red pepper adds flavor. Roasting the garlic mellows it. Some add more cloves. Make it the night before serving so all the flavors meld. Indian or pita bread brushed w/olive oil, topped w/parmesan cheese, toasted in the oven and cut in wedges works well for dipping as does bagel and other chips, or crackers. Tahini can be hard to find – some grocers carry it on the peanut butter aisle. I go to a fun health food store called Manna Mills that carries it. Hummus is heart healthy and earth friendly. I disliked chickpeas as a child & recently learned to enjoy them (read the classic ‘The Yearling’).
  • Been making Hummus for 35 years. This is THE recipe! I’ve made gallons of this one, and lived next door to a Lebanese family in Georgia recently, the Dad a restaurant owner, who live on Hummus… and mine (this one) kicked butt! Add 1/4 to 1/2 C roasted red peppers to the mix for color and flavor to die for. Forget the blender. If a blender works, it’s too thin. A big, heavy duty Quisinart will save hours! Another tip: Fill muffin tins, then freeze them, then put the Hummus portions in a bag in the freezer. One cake, thawed, warmed a little, with 2 T Premium olive oil, sprinkled with sesame seeds, served with warmed pita bread is the way to go. SOOooooo good for you!!

A second recipe from:


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed (see comments below suggesting less)
  • 2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Pine nuts (toasted) and parsley (chopped) for garnish


  1. In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste.
  2. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley.

Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. You can cut the pita bread into thin triangles, brush with olive oil and toast for 10 minutes in a 400°F oven to make pita chips with which to serve the hummus.

Makes about 3 cups.


  • Also, try using roasted garlic for a sweeter taste.
  • Here I must point out a distinct difference in your method for the garlic, and the way the Arabs do it. Arabs never cut garlic. They smash it. Garlic contains two separate chemicals within its cell walls that don’t mix when you cut or slice it. Only when you smash it, do they mix. And if it’s smashed well enough, you don’t need to mince it. Especially since it’s going into the food processor. Your garlic should be sticky when you’re done. If it’s not sticky, you could add 4 times the amount and not get the flavor. My Lebanese father-in-law puts his garlic in a plastic bag and pounds it with the handle of his knife for about 2 minutes.
  • I always make “roasted red pepper” hummus which added flavor and kick. It’s essentially the same recipe as Elise’s… Add ground cumin, roasted red peppers and cayenne pepper to taste. The cumin gives ‘depth’; the roasted red peppers adds a bit of sweetness; the cayenne adds spice. It also gives the hummus a lovely orange-red color.
  • A few important notes from a real hummus expert:
  • 4 garlic cloves is too much, unless you really like your hummus garlicky. I recommend 2 for the amounts in this recipe.
  • The tahini quality is crucial. If you can get an Arabic brand or better yet an Israeli one, buy as many as you can.
  • I usually use more tahini, about 1 part tahini for every 2-3 parts chickpeas.
  • no need for olive oil at all.
  • most important – the chickpeas. Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, and this is a good indicator of the importance of this ingredient. use canned chickpeas if you must, but the result will be far better if you can get dry chickpeas, immerse them in water for a day and then cook them for about 4-8 hours (remove the gray foam that forms when the water boils, then continue cooking over a low flame until the chickpeas are very soft but still in one piece). Since it’s quite an operation I take about a pound of dry chickpeas (much more after immersing and cooking) and freeze about 2/3 of the amount I get after cooking in 2 separate containers for next time.
  • Don’t put all the ingredients in the food processor together. If you want a very smooth hummus put only the filtered chickpeas in the food processor and process until you get a homogenous paste. Then add the tahini, some of the cooking water, lemon juice, garlic and salt (I also add a 1/4 spoon of cumin) and keep processing. Add some more water if the paste is too thick
  • I know this is quite different and perhaps it’s not easy to get dry chickpeas and Arabic tahini in the US, but trust me, it’s worth the effort.
  • I use dried chickpeas and soak them at least 8 hours, sometimes 16. Then I cook them 3-4 hours until they are soft enough to mash. When I put them into the food processor I do not drain well, leaving a little of it’s own juices sometimes adding a half a cup or more which I believe helps in texture as well as flavor. Like many other comments I too add cumin for that extra depth of flavor. And in regard to the garlic being too much I add 4 to 5 cloves to the boiling chickpeas about 5 minutes before they are done just to take the zing out of the garlic. The last time I made it I put in a ton of fresh herbs; basil, oregano, thyme and some rosemary. It turned out spectacular!

Tahini (sesame seeds and oil)


Tahini is a Middle Eastern pantry essential. It is the foundation for amny Middle Eastern recipes like hummus and baba ghanoush.

Tahini can be prepared homemade or purchased at a Middle Eastern grocer in a can. It is called tahini or tahina, depending on the region.

Prep Time: 5 minutes;  Cook Time: 10 minutes;  Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 5 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, tossing the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.

Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

Yield: 4 cups

Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.

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