hummus recipe

Houmous is proof that some of the best tasting things in life are the simplest to make. It can be rustled up with just six ingredients and requires no cooking – only a food processor. The houmous recipe below will give you perfect basic houmous, and also a solid base from which to work in terms of experimenting with flavours.

Houmous is a chickpea-based dip, and a staple at any Levantine table spread. Its simplicity means the popularity of this dish extends far beyond its home of the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa, and is now enjoyed across the world.

I have been eating houmous for as long as I can remember. My father would bring home great tubs of it from the local Turkish supermarket to accompany chicken and lamb kebabs he cooked over coals in the garden. They were always slightly charred from the lick of flames, and that combination of flavours instantly takes me back to the summers of my childhood.It’s such a popular staple food because it compliments so many things. Meat goes without saying, particularly lamb, but it’s also ideal for vegetarians who wish to dunk in a crisp crudité. It can act as a replacement for butter or mayonnaise in a wrap or sandwich, and it is wonderful simply scooped up with warm flatbreads.

hummus recipe

It’s also a great medium for experimentation. Houmous recipes across the countries of the Levant might include spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, paprika, dried chilli flakes, sumac, or za’atar. You might also come across houmous blended with red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and even caramelised-onion houmous in some supermarkets.

The hard and fast rule for flavouring houmous is that there are no rules, so it’s great for having fun with at home. Once you have mastered the basic recipe, you can flavour it with whatever takes your fancy. I quite like adding black olives (and therefore less salt), which get blitzed up with the rest of the mixture for a briney Mediterranean kick and a different colour.

Let your experimental side run wild, or simply enjoy as is.

Basic houmous recipe

Serves 6-8 as a starter

  • 2 x 400g cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid and a few chickpeas for decoration)
  • 4 tsp tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed sea salt
  • 6 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 3½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Coriander or parsley leaves (optional)

Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and tip into the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs.

When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, tip it into a serving dish. Drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas. Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped coriander or parsley leaves, for colour.

hummus recipe

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  • Mardi Michels

    Leyla, this looks wonderful! A good basic hummus recipe is such a necessity!

    • Leyla Kazim

      Thanks Mardi! I completely agree – a weekly staple in my house :)

  • Nick Aivatzidis

    You don’t boil the chickpeas neither leave them in the water for a nigth or sth? Ouaou…nice!

    • Warren Evans

      There is no pre-boil or soaking required with tinned chickpeas, lovely!

      • Leyla Kazim

        Correct Warren!

    • Leyla Kazim

      These are tinned chickpeas so already cooked. Therefore they do not require any soaking or boiling :)

  • Norm Gray

    Sounds nice … I’ll try it out.

    • Leyla Kazim

      Let us know how it goes!

      • nevaeh

        hummus is my favourite I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t like it!

  • Mary Anne Lawless

    yum. nice with a bit of cumin

    • Leyla Kazim

      Oh yes, very

  • Chris Stevens

    Why not cook the chick peas in a pressure cooker – 15-20 mins max – how do you know really what else is in that tin??

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    • Leyla Kazim

      Tinned chickpeas are usually just cooked chickpeas held in water, with a little salt. I would suggest checking the ingredients of the can if you’re uncertain of what’s in it.

    • John Eagle

      Nice to see someone else uses a pressure cooker.

      • amy

        Tinned chickpeas are usually just cooked chickpeas held in water, with a little salt & loads of preservatives due to high protein content of chickpeas.

        • Stefano Naval

          They made tin cans cause you don’t need preservatives they did not have them when they where invented) They are germ free because of heat = pasteurized and the containment is airtight. there is maybe a little bit Vitamin C added

    • Trimmer

      I buy dried beans and can them myself in a pressure canner. I have all of the economy of dried beans bought in bulk, the knowledge of what — exactly — is in the jar, and the convenience of having a jar of already-cooked beans ready to go whenever I need it. Pressure canning scares a lot of people, but it’s actually very, very easy.

      • favreaux

        I cook the dried beans in a pressure cooker also, then cool and freeze the beans for later use.

    • nevaeh

      how bout growing your own?

    • becario_alex

      You can do it. Leave the chickpeas in water the night before, then boil them with water and salt until they’re done (plenty of ways to do it). Buying canned ones just takes away all the process.

    • Carl Ballantyne

      Are you worried the tin “may contain nuts”?

  • Jorgelina

    In my country is very dificult to find tahini, how can I replace it? I tried with a few drops of sesame oil, it tasted good, but I don´t know if it tastes the same.

    • sumedha

      Tahini is just sesame seed , garlic salt olive oil so its quite easy to make at home jorgelina :)

    • Ron Inbar

      Tahini definitely changes the taste, but not necessarily for the better. Personally I prefer the taste of hummus without tahini.

    • querilousruin

      Peanut butter works very well! Its hard to find tahini where I live as well (jamie oliver actually did the recipe on, um, 15 minute meals, I think! but i can’t find the recipe. Give it a go :) p.s. also works brilliantly as a replacement in hoi sin sauce!

    • mouldymould

      Tahini is actually very easy to make, just blend some toasted sesame seeds with olive oil.

    • Claire Gamble

      You can make your own tahini really easily. Just whiz up sesame seeds and olive oil x

  • Peter Teichner

    I haven’t made hummus from tinned chickpeas – so I have no way of comparing – will try this method too. But as much as it was slower it was more rewarding to have done it from dried chickpeas.

    On a different note: Tahini is that really needed or can you go without?

    • Anna Malinovska

      It improves the final taste greatly, so omit at your peril!

    • Leyla Kazim

      Tahini is a key component of hummus, it’s what gives it that distinct flavour. You can of course omit it if you want, but you’ll end up with something tasting quite different to hummus.

      • sussexchris

        In Istanbul I had it with chips of dried beef in it and it was amazing. At the risk of attracting a fatwah(!!), I have tried it with fried pancetta lardons as I couldn’t find beef and it is equally amazing.

    • Paul Grand

      Tahini just adds another note, but its fine without.

    • Julie Evans

      I substituted Sunflower seed butter for tahini today-tastes fine!

    • Veronica

      It is really easy to make tahini yourself. Just toast a cup of sesame seeds in a pan until its golden, be careful not to burn it. Let it cool a bit and then put your seed in a blender and add olive oil until you get the right consistency, it not to much, maybe a tbsp or two. And you can store it in the fridge. It keeps up to 6 months. You have loads of recipes online if you want to check it out. I recommend you not to leave it out.

    • mc

      Not easy to find in local stores but you can get it on Amazon and specialty grocers. Wouldn’t make it without it.

      • becario_alex

        you can make it yourself. it’s just a sesame seed paste, with some water added to them.

  • Mark

    Love the stuff, will have to try adding cumin. I found that crushing the salt w garlic in a mortar does something wonderful to the garlic. I have no idea why. Thanks.

    • HankKwah

      Will have to check out the salt/garlic process. Have you tried grilling onion or red pepper and adding it? Fantastic!!

    • Seán Connolly

      It emulsifies, you’re basically making Aioli at that point

  • Vanesa Quesada

    I usually prepare, my kids love the hummus, it’s a simple and tasty recipe

  • Ahmad LE

    You can add some of sodium bicarbonate to the chickbeas while cooking or boiling it so it will be cooked faster and will be over cooked and easy to be smashed .
    it is recommended not to add a huge amount of sodium bicarbonate beacause it gives bitter taste to the food.

  • DJ Keith D.

    What should the consistency be like? Thick?? Thin? Runny??

    • Leyla Kazim

      I’d say in the middle. Once you pour the hummus into your serving bowl, if you give the bowl a shake from side to side the hummus should be able to flatten and spread out.

  • Racheldnkts

    Great recipe! Also works well as a base for soup :)

  • querilousruin

    really lovely but I found it was too oily. My bad, should have tasted as I added the oil. worth doing but definitely tasted as you go!

  • Kirsten Walker

    My daughter and I have just made a batch of this, for an afternoon snack when the boys get home from school. My 6 year old complains about all food I serve up, but loves hummus so we thought we would try and make it. I also made a batch with butter beans for my 8 year old who is allergic to chickpeas. It tastes lovely as well.

    • jamieoliverdotcom

      Great to hear thanks Kirsten!

      • nevaeh

        try it with peanut butter now. at least I think its better!

  • kelly

    How long can this keep if not all eaten?

    • Alyssa Abdul

      About a week or so.

  • Andrew Goodman

    That is a really delicious recipe. Best I’ve tasted. Think I’ll stock up on Chick peas and Tahini…..Thanks Leyla!

  • Aadhya Kaul

    What if I don’t have Tahini? Will it make a significant difference if I don’t add Tahini. Also, if it can be substituted with something else. Please tell me. Thanks.

  • Fanny Chenal

    Had this with homemade flatbreads drizzled with garlic butter and sprinkled with za’atar – Perfect dip

  • Angela Ward

    I have just made the hummus , it’s a little grainy ! Is this o k

    • Gina

      You just didn’t process it enough. Or the chick peas were a little underdone?

  • Jeanette Holden

    Just made this without looking at the comments! First time I have made hummus but not sure I like the tahini…….. may add less next time then try without. Also I have always found that gently cooking garlic before adding to uncooked food removes the bitterness.

  • Jason Catterall

    Tinned chick peas?? Sacrilege!

  • MrsH

    Thank you so much – absolutely perfect hummus recipe!

  • Val Longpre

    What if you don’t have a food processor,would a blender do??

    • HankKwah

      The food processor has much more power than a blender, unless you’re using a vitamix.

      • Knollsgerbils

        Blending with a fork gives it a coarser texture, which is also wonderful.

        • HankKwah

          Not a big fan of coarse hummus. Like it smooth. :)

    • Patricia Devlin

      I have always made it in a blender no prob though in smaller quantity than this recipe. I use one can of chickpeas and then adjust other ingredients to taste preference

  • Bridge Forster

    I made this for a party this evening and was a little nervous as there were a number of Arabic friends coming who can be very straightforward about the food they like (I am living in North Africa at the moment) but a number of my Tunisian friends asked where I bought it from. They were amazed when I said I had made it. Well done Jamie. It really does taste like some of the nicest hummus I have eaten and completely different from what you buy in English supermarkets

  • Rachel Stokes

    Can this be frozen?

    • nevaeh

      yes it will last slightly longer if put in a cool place :)

  • Jade

    I have read somewhere that humus is traditionally served warm, is that right? Can this be served warm?

    • Yaputya Leftlegin

      Seems to be mostly served warm or room temp. in the Middle East. But I like it at any temp. – even straight out of the fridge on cracker biscuits!

  • Adele davis

    Do you have to put lemon juice into it

  • Rehana

    How we mix Thania, bcz its thick ?

  • Karen Lagalla

    Tablespoon or teaspoon abreviation unclear.?

    • jamieoliverdotcom

      Hi Karen,

      tsp = teaspoon
      tbsp = tablespoon

      These are standard recipe abbreviations and you’ll find them styled like this throughout the website. Hope that clears up any confusion and you enjoy the recipe!

  • Sayuri

    I’ve tried hummus for the very first time in a small lovely cafe and I really liked it. This recipe tastes different, but also good. I usually cook with lots of garlic and put too much salt, but this tastes too salty and garlicish. So next time I would use only one clove garlic, less salt and maybe half of the chick pea liquid.

  • Nichola

    Hi, I saw someone else asked this also, but can this be frozen?

    • Holly Bilski

      Don’t freeze it! The taste stays, but the texture will never be the same. I have no idea why, but trust me.

  • yoyoyo

    Found that it needed more tahini, olive oil and lemon. It was just too dry.

  • Yaputya Leftlegin

    My Lebanese cookbook recipe has 2 cups chickpeas to 1 cup Tahini. This recipe has hardly any Tahini!

    • Holly Bilski

      A whole cup? Whoa! I’ve seen a lot of recipes for hummus, but none with that much. You might consider cutting that recipe in half to see how it tastes first; it might be fantastic, but if it’s not, you can always use the other half of your chickpeas, lemon, olive oil and garlic to make a tahini-free recipe, then mix them together.

      • Yaputya Leftlegin

        I know most recipes have far less tahini, I thought that was because they are not authentic and are toned down for western palates, but it is probably because my recipe uses dried chickpeas which swell up to 2 or 3 times the size after soaking and boiling. The recipe comes from “Lebanese Cookbook” by Dawn, Elaine and Selwa Anthony.
        ISBN 0 7018 1753 4
        Their list of ingredients for Hoummus b’Tahini…..
        1 1/2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled 1 hour
        2 teaspoons salt
        2 cloves garlic
        3/4 cup tahini
        1/2 cup lemon juice
        cayenne pepper and parsley to garnish

        • Holly Bilski

          OH, okay. That makes a LOT more sense. Yeah, seems completely legit. Dang, though, that’s hummus for a huge crowd! I’d probably add another teaspoon of salt, but it looks good.

          • Yaputya Leftlegin

            Yeah, I never make it exactly like that recipe, I usually add more garlic and lemon and leave the salting until it is finished. I’ve been making it with canned chickpeas lately too, they aren’t quite the same taste though.
            Do you know you can make Baba Ghannouj with the same ingredients, just substitute 2 eggplants that have been softened in the oven for 30 minutes for the chickpeas. If you have gas burners you can soften them directly in the flame ( never tried that, no gas).

            Both recipes go great with Tabbouleh and Lebanese bread!

          • Holly Bilski

            I didn’t realize baba ghannouj was so similar in ingredients–I’m totally trying that, thanks!

        • neoswf

          I totally agree with @yaputya. In israel the ratio is like this as well. 50% if not more of Tahine, without any use of Olive Oil, that in most recipes adds fat texture to replace the fabuless Tahine.
          Hummus without decent amount of Tahini is dry, sad, un authentic and just not fun.

          • Yaputya Leftlegin

            I don’t mind Hoummus with Tahini from 20% up to 50%, but I have noticed that some people don’t like a lot of Tahini, so I tone it down a bit if we’ve got guests. It definitely tastes better to me with more Tahini.
            The Lebanese restaurants do drizzle some olive oil over the top of the Hoummus, more as decoration I guess. The best Lebanese restaurants will bring out plates of Hoummus and Tabbouleh with Lebanese bread and picled green peppers to nibble on before you have even ordered anything!

          • neoswf

            Hey Yaputya. How are you? :)

            Maybe people complain cause of the Thine Type.
            Some Tahine are bitter than others. Maybe they got “burned” in the passed, traumatized cause of bad experience….
            Best Tahine I know is imported to Brasil from Lebanon, called Zeenny. Ever heard about it?

        • masala girl

          the dried chickpeas will become about 4 cups cooked

      • CaireannMcGregor

        Yeah I agree that’s too much tahini..will really affect the taste too much.

    • masala girl

      maybe they meant a cup of dried chickpeas. that equates to about 3-4c cooked

  • sunny

    I made this today, it’s perfect as it is! Easy, no-fuss, and delicious. Thank you Leyla for the great recipe, I’ll be making this again.

  • EcoHustler

    No need to buy tins!! Soak dried chickpeas overnight – cheaper and better for the planet…

  • Scarlette Ohara

    I add some cumin and artichoke hearts (in olive oil). It is so good I can’t stop eating it!

  • Linda Cutting

    I live in Turkey, and I have not yet seen hummus anywhere. Also, I have to soak and cook the chickpeas.

  • maja

    I have once (mistakenly) used raw (but soaked overnight) chickpeas and, upon testing on family and myself, concluded it was safe to eat. astoundingly everyone was most impressed with taste and it’s been a dip to be remembered by!

  • Berne

    how do you make tahini?

  • nevaeh

    try using peanut butter

  • Gannny

    Just entered the brave new world of homemade hummus and after so many canned ones I’m pleased with the results, also with how easy/quick it is. Thank a million for the upgrade! and also for cutting down my hummus expenses:)

  • Lisa Slater

    This was great! Very impressed and so unbelievably easy. Although I do not have a food processor, so I used my Magic Bullet lol- I just made the recipe in two batches since the Bullet isn’t very big. Turned out delicious (I added more garlic since its my obsession), topped it with an olive tapenade and served it with naan bread. SO SO good!

  • Leo Carey

    luverlly jubberly

  • Budd Margolis

    Hummus is as much about the texture as the ingredients but canned is a sure sign that this is an inferior recipe. I challnege Jamie to a HummusOFF and he will see where he has gone wrong.

  • Елена Щербакова

    Надо обязательно сделать!Вкусно наверное!)))

  • Egons Baumanis

    Thank you Leyla for taking the time to share these recipies.

  • Dan Hunter

    Sometimes it is worth looking at leftovers as prep instead of waste. Cooking a large pot of chick peas will take no more time than cooking a small pot does. So long as you think ahead a little bit you can plan more than one meal with an ingredient.
    When I cook dry chickpeas I always cook more than I need for the meal. It is no problem for me to use up my extra chickpeas as hummus, or in salads, or as almost anything I can think of to do with chickpeas.
    I do the same thing with rice and then have rice ready for stirfry dishes, curries or even as fried rice.

  • Joys Jacob

    Soak the chickpeas over night – peel it – drain it – leave it in the drainer for another 6/8 hours – cook it in the pressure cooker – wait until it is cool, Put it into the grinding jar – add 3/4 spoons tahini – 3/4 cloves of garlic – 3/4 green chilli – pinch of salt – grind all these together to become paste – (add enough water for become paste). Shift to a plate – (garnish with fresh tomatoes, parsley leaves, red chilly powder – all optional) – add olive oil to taste. Beautiful dish to go with Chappathi,Kuboos, etc (Please note this does not go with Maida products). You can change flavours by using substitutes as pepper powder, small onions, carrots, beet roots (any fresh vegetables) – Try it – you will love it.

  • Anders Frederiksen

    The hummus recipe we use, is always based the basic ingredients , plus what i can find in the garden, mint-sage-chili-peppers-green onions-basil, and it never tastes the same !

  • FoodChick

    Sounds easy and delicious. It’s on the to-do list for this weekend.

  • Fabrizia Costa

    I cook my chick peas and freeze them in 1-cup bags. Ready to go at any time, just rinse in running water and ta-da :) We make hummus all the time.

  • PeterL

    Great recipe! Instead of adding tahini, I had some crushed sesame seed I bought from the store and blended it with the chick peas. It turned out great and tastes just like the hummus you get from restaurants. Thanks for this simple recipe idea!

  • Matt Abraham

    damn. rinsed the chic peas… then she says to add reserved liquid from the cans… which i poured away when i rinsed the chic peas. *sigh*

    • Rasputin

      Best to pour the liquid away and add filtered water.

    • John Campbell

      The water from chickpeas in Australia is aweful. Can’t see what good it would do in any scenario.

  • Rasputin

    I remove the skins from the chick peas before blending. Less bottom burbs.

    • CaireannMcGregor

      Good tip!

  • Adam


    I’ve made this twice now. The first time it was too sloppy so I suggest adding the chickpea water a couple of tablespoons at a time after you’ve mixed the ingredients, until you reach the desired consistency

    Be generous with the garlic and try adding 1-2 tbsp more lemon (I used two whole lemons in total)

  • Valentina Peredo Contreras

    Why do hoy use caned chick peas instead of buying raw chickpeas and then cook it?

  • Boris Alexy

    Jamie Oliver, a chef that I really admire, posts a houmous recipe which gets everything wrong, I`ve lost faith!! Canned chickpeas, seriously??

  • Nikki Butler

    I’ve made it with tahini paste and without. I prefer it without. Interestingly, when I made it for friends without tahini they said it was the best hummus they’ve ever had.

  • Karl Mizzi

    I use peanut butter in stead of tahini. .gives it a richer nutty edge

  • John Triplow

    Green chilli works great in hummus. I had it once at a Lebanese place near to where I live. Best I’ve tasted, actually. :-)

  • Raymond Turner

    Needs more garlic, needs more tahini, needs more lemon juice……

  • tommy

    good recipe without tahini just made eating now , creamy smooth, tasty!

    basically I cook by eye but

    3 cloves garlic
    1 drained tin chickpeas
    salt about 3/4 tbs
    1/2 tbs ground black pepper
    olive oil, maybe 8 tbs to get creamy
    2 teaspoons cumin… its delicious!