Versatile, easy to make, and healthy, hummus has incredible flavor, texture, and nutrition. As far back as 13th-century Egypt, people have enjoyed this simple chickpea puree as a spread, dip, condiment, and main dish. Let’s explore why hummus is an ideal go-to dish for at-home and on-the-go snacking and dig into some healthy and delicious recipes you can make in a few minutes
What is Hummus?
At its most basic, hummus is a smooth puree of chickpeas, salt, tahini, and lemon. The most popular hummus styles in the U.S. include the following ingredients.
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans or ceci beans, the mighty little chickpea packs a big wallop of fiber, protein, and minerals.
- Tahini: Savory and slightly bitter, tahini is to the sesame seed what peanut butter is to the peanut.
- Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil brings heart-healthy fats, sunny flavor, and smooth texture to the dish.
- Lemon: Lemon juice’s acidic, snappy flavor brightens up hummus.
- Garlic: Garlic adds complexity and spice. Raw garlic adds bite and roasted garlic provides a more mellow flavor.
These five core ingredients offer a versatile foundation for expanding and experimenting. Veggies, herbs, and spices can add sweet, savory, spicy, or other notes to your hummus while enhancing the nutrients.
The Health Benefits of Hummus
A typical 3.5 ounce serving of hummus packs healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins (such as B1, E, B6, and folate), 8 grams of plant-based protein, and vital minerals, including:
Hummus’s tahini and extra-virgin olive oil don’t just taste great: They help the body fight inflammation. Plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free, even a small serving of hummus serves up incredible health benefits. For example, research suggests this smooth, flavorful dish may help you:
- Regulate blood sugar levels and maintain a lower glycemic index
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Support your microbiome for better gut health and digestion
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and decrease your levels of LDL cholesterol
Fortunately, not only is hummus nutritious, but it’s also easy to work into your diet in a variety of ways.
Unique, Delicious Hummus Recipes
Enjoy hummus your way, whether as a sandwich or wrap spread, a dip for veggies or crackers, or even as a thick soup.
Hummus is widely available at supermarkets and specialty food stores. When you use canned chickpeas, it’s also easy and fast to make at home. With the help of a food processor or immersion blender, you can make a delicious, heart-healthy, protein-dense batch of hummus in less than 10 minutes.
1. Basic hummus
Want to get started with a fast and easy hummus recipe? Try this:
- 2 cups drained, canned chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- One to two peeled garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
Once smooth, add more salt, extra-virgin olive oil, or lemon juice for taste.
This go-to recipe gets you started on your hummus snacking adventures. It’s a great mainstay recipe to make hummus a staple in your diet.
However, the beauty of hummus is how easy it is to punch up the flavor in countless ways. When you want to level up your hummus or broaden your chickpea palate, try out these other hummus recipes.
2. Pesto hummus
The bright flavors and deep green color of pesto combined with the savory smooth goodness of hummus? Yes, please.
Whip together a flavorful vegan pesto hummus by using nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan cheese in pesto, or make hummus with traditional pesto by adding a quarter cup of homemade or prepared pesto to the basic hummus recipe above.
3. Roasted beet hummus
Food isn’t just about the flavor and texture; it’s about presentation too. Not only do roasted beets add sweet, earthy notes to the flavor of traditional hummus, but they also transform the dip from yellowy beige to a brilliant, punk-rock purplish pink. Plus, they help you increase your veggie and fiber intake.
4. Horseradish hummus
While garlic and lemon juice can give a bite, sometimes you want a kick. A half-cup of prepared horseradish adds sinus-clearing spice to horseradish hummus. Feel free to adjust the horseradish up or down depending on how soft or hard you like your kick.
5. Golden hummus
Humans have ingested turmeric for its taste and health benefits for more than 4,000 years. In hummus, this earthy, delicious, bright yellow powder transforms hummus into a golden, nutritious delight. Want to further golden up — and veggie up — your hummus? Add a quarter cup of roasted orange bell pepper, pumpkin, or sweet potato.
6. Thai coconut curry hummus
What happens when you combine the Middle East with Southeast Asia? Mix Thai red curry paste and coconut milk into Thai coconut curry hummus for a silky-smooth dip or spread with a spicy zing.
Pack in Flavor and Health Benefits
From its nutrient density to its versatile flavors, hummus can enhance any snack or meal. It’s a fast, easy, and affordable way to level up the health benefits of your snacks — even when you’re busy and on the go.