The VERY BEST Classic Hummus {recipe}

classic hummus recipe
I have been trying to make hummus ever since I realized I could make it at home myself instead of buying plastic container after plastic container of the stuff either at the grocery store or as a special “extra large side” from my favorite Mediterranean restaurants. Hummus generally isn’t that much cheaper to make at home, but it’s always nice to know where every single ingredient comes from, and of course, it’s more fun.

The first few times I made hummus, I tried to “hack” it and cobbled together bits and pieces of different hummus recipes I found on the internet — specifically “hummus” on TasteSpotting of course! My hummus always tasted okay, spicy with garlic and tart with lemon juice, but I never got the same ultra creamy, fluffy consistency of the restaurant hummus that even the grocery store hummus didn’t always have.

Hummus doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, so I tweaked here and there trying to achieve that creamy, fluffy hummus, whether it was amounts, order of ingredients, and even completely removing or adding other ingredients. Adding more lemon juice made the hummus, duh, too lemony. Putting all of the ingredients in the food processor at the same time as opposed to puréeing the chickpeas first made no difference. Adding more olive oil made the hummus runny.

And truth be told, starting with either dried chickpeas and cooking them myself, or using great quality canned chickpeas didn’t seem to make a difference.

Then, like every good food-obsessive a few years ago, I got my hands on Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Jerusalem. The simple recipe for hummus was a revelation to me. The recipe used no olive oil, called for a lot of tahini, and added of all things, ice water. I was skeptical.

I made hummus following Ottolenghi’s recipe to a T.

The hummus was perfect.

I’ve since made some tweaks to his recipe to suit my taste a little, cutting down on both the tahini and the lemon juice, without compromising too much of the texture of the final hummus. My extremely uneducated guess is that the conssitency comes from the addition of baking soda during the chickpea cooking process, and from the interaction of cold water with the oil in the tahini.

One thing to note is that I have not tried this version with canned chickpeas. There might be some science to starting with dried chickpeas and dry-sautéing them with baking soda, but I am too happy with the version I have to experiment any more.

The next thing to conquer? That insanely delicious garlic paste that they serve with roast chicken and lamb at Mediterranean restaurants!

Classic hummus

The Very Best Classic Hummus {recipe}

Dried chickpeas have to soak overnight, so plan on starting this recipe the night before.

For resources and recipe notes, see list at bottom of this recipe.


1¼ cups dried chickpeas
water for soaking
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 cups water (for boiling)
¾ cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
¼ to ½ cup ice cold water
salt to taste (start with 2 teaspoons)
optional for serving: olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, a few whole cooked chickpeas


The night before, soak the dried chickpeas in enough water to cover by twice the volume.

When ready to prepare, drain the soaking water from the chickpeas. Heat a saucepan over medium heat (no oil), add the soaked chickpeas and baking soda, and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir constantly so the chickpeas do not burn.

Add water to the pot, bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer. Cook chickpeas until they are very tender, crumbling when you pinch one between your fingers. Start checking after 20 minutes; mine were ready at 35 minutes. Skim off and discard and loose chickpea skins and foam while cooking.

Drain the cooked chickpeas, and pick off any remaining loose skins; it is okay if most of the chickpeas still have their skins on. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse, then process until the chickpeas are ground. This may require turning the machine off and scraping down the sides with a spatula or wooden spoon every once in a while.

With the food processor running, add tahini, lemon juice, chopped garlic, and 2 teaspoons salt.

Once most of the tahini has been incorporated, very slowly drizzle cold water into the running food processor until hummus becomes creamy and fluffy. You may use anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup of water.

Taste and season with additional if salt if necessary.

Scrape hummus into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a plate, and allow the hummus to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Serve hummus at room temperature. Adding a drizzle of olive oil, some chopped fresh parley, and a few extra whole chickpeas is always a good idea.

Store any leftover hummus tightly wrapped in refrigerator. It will keep for about 3 days.


  • use any dried organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • tahini is a creamy sesame paste, something like a much thinner peanut butter in both color, consistency, and sometimes taste. it is available in some grocery stores and Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets, and the organic brand I use, kevala, is also available on amazon
  • any and all other produce, organic, from local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods Market

This post sponsored by our friends at Thermador.

by Sarah J. Gim on April 27, 2016 · 1 comment

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Debbie December 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

I didn’t measure my dried chickpeas. I just threw the whole packet, 16 oz, into a pot to soak overnight. Good job reading skills! Any idea how much your recipe measures after the chickpeas have soaked?


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