How To Make Perfect Hummus: Everything You Need To Know

This is an incredibly smooth, creamy hummus recipe that can be prepared using either chickpeas or white beans!
Read this definitive guide on how to prepare creamy, perfect hummus from scratch using simple ingredients. Get the recipe from Savory Simple.

Homemade hummus is one of my absolute favorite snacks. It’s fantastic with toasted pita or vegetables, and I love using it as a sandwich condiment. For years I thought I wasn’t a fan; it turns out I actually don’t care for store brands (which I find to have an unusual aftertaste). These days I always have fresh hummus in the fridge. After plenty of trial and error, I’ve come up with a perfect hummus recipe that I love. It offers plenty of room for additional spices and add-ins so you can customize it based on your own preferences.

Chickpeas and white beans, with a close up of chickpea skins.
Well-stirred tahini about to be added to hummus.

Beans

Hummus is traditionally prepared using chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Some believe that hummus should only be prepared using dried beans that have been soaked overnight and then cooked for hours. I commend anyone who does that, but I prefer taking the canned bean shortcut. I’m a believer in taking the extra time when necessary, but in this instance, I think canned beans do a great job.

Does hummus have to be prepared with chickpeas? Again, this is a matter of personal opinion. Hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, and some might say that’s the end of it. Chickpeas have skins that need to be individually peeled off in order to achieve the creamiest possible texture. Swapping in white beans is another huge time saver in this instance, and achieves an equally creamy texture. The flavor and texture are almost identical once the other ingredients have been added.

Tahini

Recipe ingredient lists often reference well-stirred tahini, and details beyond that are glossed over. I’m guilty of this. The consistency of any recipe will vary greatly depending on the thickness of the tahini, and stirring will only do so much. It’s similar to natural peanut butter. No matter how much muscle I put into it, there’s usually a dense, thick layer of paste at the bottom of the jar that I never managed to incorporate. It’s not a big deal with dips, but you most certainly want to keep that in mind with a recipe such as frosting

A trick for incredibly creamy hummus: instead of starting with the beans, add tahini to the food processor first along with ice water. This creates a whipped, frothy tahini base that will transform the entire recipe.

I wrote a creamy hummus tutorial for ehow last year, and the whipped tahini and final results looked vastly different using almost identical ingredients. This is because the tahini was thicker, even though it was well-stirred. Since I don’t mind a thinner hummus as long as it holds its shape, I’m ok with this. However, if you prefer a very thick hummus, be sparing with the ice water, especially if you’re starting with thin tahini. Add no more than 1/4 cup of ice water unless the tahini is clumping in the food processor.

Tahini that has been whipped in a food processor using ice water.

Everything Else

  • Always use fresh squeezed lemon juice as opposed to something from the bottle.
  • For best results, use an olive oil that is buttery and/or peppery as opposed to fruity.
  • You can finely chop the garlic, but to infuse it perfectly into the hummus, try using a microplane zester/grater.
  • If it seems like the hummus “needs something” at the end, try adding a bit more salt and/or lemon juice. Salt and acidity usually brighten up the flavors in any recipe that is lacking.
  • Experiment with spices and add-ins! Cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper are all great options. A drizzle of olive oil, toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley are also wonderful on top. One of my favorite variations is loaded hummus, which can be found in my cookbook.

Read this definitive guide on how to prepare creamy, perfect hummus from scratch using simple ingredients. Get the recipe from Savory Simple.

5 from 1 vote
Read this definitive guide on how to prepare creamy, perfect hummus from scratch using simple ingredients. Get the recipe from Savory Simple.
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How To Make Perfect Hummus
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

An incredibly smooth hummus recipe that can be prepared using either chickpeas or white beans! 

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 10
Author: Jennifer Farley
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini) or chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 small or 1/2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice (approximately 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional for serving: toasted pita or vegetables
Instructions
  1. Drain the beans (no need to rinse). If using chickpeas, peel each one individually and discard the skins.
  2. Add the tahini to a food processor and pulse several times. Turn the machine on and slowly add 1/4 cup of ice water. If the tahini is clumping, add the additional 1/4 cup water 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Puree for 1-2 minutes, until the tahini is a whipped, creamy consistency. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add the beans and garlic, then puree until smooth. Turn the machine back on and slowly add the olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
  4. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired.
Recipe Notes

Recipe prep time reflects using white beans. Add 10 minutes if peeling chickpeas.

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