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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Making Your Own Hummus: The Complete Step-By-Step Checklist



yellow bowl full of hummus
Making your own hummus is a cinch–it usually consists of mashed chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and sesame paste.

Sure, you love hummus. It’s delicious and healthy and trendy, too.

We’re sure you’ve tried lots of different store-bought types of hummus, but have you tried making your own yet? If you haven’t, then you’re definitely missing out on some great stuff.

We share our favorite, best hummus recipe in detail so that you can try it in the comfort of your home to find out how easy and delicious it really is.

(One note: you will need a food processor to make homemade hummus.)

What is Hummus?

Hummus is a classic dip, spread, or side dish that originated from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It’s usually made using chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), tahini (or ground sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic, and salt.

In Middle Eastern cuisine, they include olive oil, chickpeas, paprika, and parsley for garnish. In other countries, they add other staple ingredients to add different flavors, such as ground cumin, for example.

Research shows that hummus has impressive health benefits. It can help fight inflammation in the body, help control blood sugar levels, and help with your digestive system. Plus, it can lower your risk of heart disease and, in conjunction with a healthy diet, encourages weight loss.

Nowadays, there are several variations of hummus available in your local grocery store. Many people, though, prefer to make their own homemade hummus rather than buy processed ones.

And why not? This creamy and protein-packed dish is easy to make. The best part? Once you are familiar with the ingredients and steps of making your homemade hummus, you can change up the recipe to suit the tastes of your family and yourself.. Plus, you can make tons of it, too, for your own consumption or to share with friends and family.

You can serve hummus either warm or cold, or as a spread or dip. No matter how you choose to present your homemade hummus, one thing is for sure: everyone will agree it’s more delicious and definitely better than store-bought hummus.

Basic Ingredients for Homemade Hummus

The basic ingredients for making homemade hummus are chickpeas, tahini, fresh garlic, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and an ice cube or ice-cold water.

While you gather together the basic ingredients for making your own hummus, we’ll explain how they contribute to achieving the light, creamy, and fluffy consistency of this hummus recipe.


Chickpeas are the star ingredient in making your own hummus. They serve as hummus’s base.

Once the beans are softened, you can easily turn these into a smooth paste using your food processor.

You can choose from either canned or freshly cooked chickpeas for this best hummus recipe.

Should I Use Fresh or Canned Chickpeas?

Some cooks opt for homemade cooked chickpeas over canned chickpeas, while prefer the latter. We’ll help you decide which version you’d prefer to use in your own hummus recipe.

Fresh Chickpeas


  • Cooked chickpeas are richer and creamier than canned.
  • They are BPA-free.
  • They are more budget-friendly.


  • Homemade cooked chickpeas take a longer time to prepare than canned.

Canned Chickpeas


  • Canned are more convenient than freshly cooked.
  • They taste delicious.
  • Organic canned chickpeas are a great choice.


  • The texture of canned chickpeas may be a little grainy.
  • Canned chickpeas usually have added preservatives.

Should I Peel the Chickpeas?

Yes, absolutely.

You need to peel the chickpeas to achieve the best texture for your homemade hummus. There are two easy and hassle-free ways for you to do this:

  • If you are using canned chickpeas, you can take off the skin one-by-one. Yes, it may take time, but we promise: it’s worth it, and if you’re making just a small batch, it won’t take much longer than 10 minutes, total.
  • If you have a large number of chickpeas, use baking soda to peel them. Boil your chickpeas with baking soda for about 20 minutes, then rinse in a colander. The skins will fall off on their own when you rinse them with water. Using baking soda in this way makes this task way more convenient and simple.


When it comes to producing incredible-tasting hummus, you absolutely need tahini.

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. You can purchase tahini at the grocery store, or you can choose to make your own. If you choose to make homemade hummus, then you may want to make your tahini from scratch.

This way, you can make large batches of hummus, and if stored correctly in the fridge, they will last for a month.

However, you can also opt just to simply buy a great quality jar of tahini for your best hummus recipe.

What are Some Substitutes for Tahini?

In case tahini is unavailable, don’t worry. You can continue making homemade hummus with one of the following tahini substitutes you can choose from to make this recipe:

  • Homemade Tahini. It’s easy to make, with ingredients that are probably already available in your pantry.
  • Sunflower Seed Butter. Blending sunflower oil with seed butter yields results that are similar to tahini’s texture and taste.
  • Cashew and Almond Butter. These two may be a bit costly, yet they are great in providing a tahini-like mild richness to your hummus.
  • Peanut Butter. This ingredient is the most practical solution as a tahini substitute. The taste may be a bit stronger than you would like, but peanut butter works well to produce the silky smooth texture of good hummus.

Fresh Garlic

bulb of garlic on black background
Fresh garlic adds the kick you need to make great hummus on your own.

Fresh garlic is essential in homemade hummus. It’s responsible for aiding hummus in achieving its traditional flavors. It also adds a bit of spice and zest.

If you want a stronger garlic taste in your hummus, simply add more fresh garlic. Also, you can try roasting the garlic first for your best hummus recipe.

Fresh Lemon Juice

One essential thing to remember: always choose freshly-squeezed lemon juice. This ingredient adds a delightful tang to your homemade hummus; using fresh lemon juice simply produces a better quality hummus than if you use bottled lemon juice. For that reason, bottled lemon juice is not recommended if you truly want a good-quality homemade hummus.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

bottle of olive oil on white background
Olive oil is an essential, non-negotiable ingredient when making homemade hummus.

Extra-virgin olive oil is the ingredient that’s mainly responsible for hummus’s luxuriously creamy texture.

This ingredient is simply non-negotiable. To make your homemade hummus even yummier, you can add a bit of extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle on top of your hummus before you serve it, as well.

Sea Salt

With the addition of sea salt, homemade hummus achieves a better, heightened flavor due to the minerals found in sea salt. While some may argue that adding salt to hummus is unhealthy, using it in moderation is the key. Too much salt is unhealthy, and you don’t have to overdo it when you’re making your hummus recipe.

Ice Cube or Ice-Cold Water

The ice cube or ice-cold water is the kind of ingredient that makes sure everything else in the recipe is in place. An ice cube or some ice-cold water makes your homemade hummus light, creamy, and fluffy in texture.

The key behind this ingredient is figuring out the right amount to add. When mixing your hummus, if you think it’s too thick or not smooth enough, adding an ice cube or some ice-cold water is your best bet, a little at a time until you get your desired consistency.

circles of different vegetables and fruits on white background
Fruits and vegetables served with your homemade hummus add to its healthy benefits.

Our Basic Homemade Hummus Recipe

Learning how to make traditional hummus at home can save you money while giving you a better taste than store-bought. Plus, it’s practically hassle-free.

Even if you don’t add any extra ingredients to this basic recipe for homemade hummus, we promise: it will still taste better than store-bought hummus.

Follow these easy hummus recipe steps using a food processor.


  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (peeled)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 to 4 pcs ice cubes
  • ⅓ cup tahini paste
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 pc lemon
  • Hot water (if needed)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  • Add the peeled chickpeas and minced garlic to the food processor’s bowl. Blend until it becomes smooth.
  • While the food processor is blending, add the tahini paste, salt, lemon juice, and ice cubes. Blend, all the while checking the consistency of the hummus. If it’s still too thick, turn on the food processor and add a bit of hot water.
  • Once the hummus has reached the consistency you want, remove the finished product from the food processor and place the hummus in a bowl. Add a drizzle of extra olive oil on top. You can also add a few whole chickpeas in the middle for garnish.

Other Additions and Garnishes for Homemade Hummus

Garnishing your hummus is simple once you’ve already become familiar with the basic hummus recipe. The best thing is, you can explore different options that will appeal to your and your family’s preferences.

There are actually no limits when it comes to garnishing your homemade hummus, but we have a few recommendations that we think will make your homemade hummus recipe an even more delectable one.

  • Flax Seeds. If you want a healthier option, you can choose flax seeds rich in Vitamin E, fiber, Omega 3, and lignans.
  • Sesame Seeds. Since tahini is made of sesame seeds, we believe it makes sense to add more sesame seeds on top of your homemade hummus for a more flavorful taste.
  • Chia Seeds. These add nutritional value to your homemade hummus recipe.
  • Spices such as paprika, cayenne, sumac, and pepper. There is nothing more powerful than boosting the flavor of your hummus made at home with these classic spices.
  • Herbs such as chives, parsley, onions, and rosemary. Any herb of your choice can add more flavor to your homemade hummus recipe. It works best with an added drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt.
bags of colorful spices in rows
Experiment with different spices to add different flavors to your homemade hummus.

How to Thicken Hummus

To thicken hummus correctly, you can follow two simple steps: add more tahini paste, or add more chickpeas.

The quick fix involves adding more solids to make the runny hummus thicker. The only challenging part is determining how much of either ingredient are needed for the hummus to thicken. You should add a little of either or both at a time until your hummus is the consistency you like.

Ways to Use Hummus

When we hear the word “hummus”, the first things that come into our minds are vegetables and pita bread to dip into it!

Don’t limit yourself, though. There are many more tasty ways to use hummus aside from dipping it. A few suggestions include:

  • Sandwich Spread. Boost the flavor of your regular sandwiches with your homemade hummus instead of mayonnaise or other condiments. You can also add some crunchy vegetables to the sandwiches to add contrast to the creamy hummus texture.
  • Pasta Salad Dressing. Add a bit of olive oil and water to thin your homemade hummus to make it similar to your usual creamy salad dressing to mix up your usual recipe.
  • Soup. Who doesn’t love thick and creamy soup filled with vegetables? Hummus works as a delicious main soup ingredient.


Hummus is a nutritious and savory classic dish from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Learning how to make your own hummus has several benefits.

  1. You can create better-tasting hummus than store-bought ones.
  2. You can explore and add other herbs, spices, and garnishes to serve with your homemade hummus.
  3. It is convenient and easy to make. In case you make extra batches, you can store them safely in side airtight containers in the refrigerator for a month.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make hummus from scratch?

To make this recipe, you need to have the basic ingredients on-hand, such as olive oil, chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and ice cube. You will need a food processor to blend the chickpeas and garlic. Blend until it becomes a powder-like form. Then, add the tahini, salt, lemon juice, and ice cube. Blend until you reach a silky, smooth texture. Once done, transfer the hummus to a bowl and drizzle a bit of oil. You can add some chickpeas in the middle as well.

Is hummus fattening or good for you?

Hummus is packed with nutritional benefits. It has plant-based protein and is full of vitamins and minerals. Hummus can also help your body fight inflammation. It’s rich in fiber, making it a great option to boost your digestive health. Lastly, it has a low glycemic index and can help you control your blood sugar levels. There’s no need to worry if you feel you’ve pigged out on hummus, because it has been proven to be good for you.

Do you need to cook chickpeas for hummus?

Yes, you need to cook chickpeas for your hummus recipe, especially if you purchased them in dried form. Doing so is essential to soften them and to allow them blend well for a creamy hummus texture.

If you have enough time, you can soak your chickpeas for at least 12 hours. If you don’t have enough time to do so, you can boil your chickpeas instead. You can also opt to use canned chickpeas that are already cooked. You need only to drain and rinse them to prepare your best hummus.

Is making hummus cheaper than buying it?

Making homemade hummus is actually cheaper to make than buy when compared to store-bought ones. The truth is, no matter what the recipe is, it’s always cheaper to make everything from scratch rather than buy it prepared. In case you are missing some of the ingredients, you may be able to use other staples as substitutes. Plus, you can explore different options and incorporate other quality ingredients you think work well in your hummus. The greatest advantage of them all is that homemade hummus tastes way better than store-bought ones.

How long does homemade hummus last?

You can keep homemade hummus for 4 to 7 days if it’s refrigerated properly. If you want to extend the shelf life of hummus, you need to freeze it.

To freeze your homemade hummus: place the hummus inside an airtight container or in freezer bags. Stored correctly, frozen hummus can last up to 4 months inside a freezer. You’ll know if the hummus has gone bad if it smells off or is growing mold. If you find evidence of this, throw away the hummus immediately.

Can you lose weight eating hummus?

Yes, hummus can help you lose weight because of its main ingredient–chickpeas. Chickpeas hold a key role in weight loss. They are high in protein and fiber, both of which are beneficial in losing weight. For various options, you can incorporate other healthy and smart ingredients into your hummus, such as avocado, beetroot, red pepper, or pumpkin, to list just a few. This way, you can enjoy different hummus variations while trying to achieve your desired weight.

Additional Resources

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Bryce Heitman

Bryce is not a real professor, but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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