hummus recipe

Hummus 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 hummus recipe below will give you perfect basic hummus, and also a solid base from which to work in terms of experimenting with flavours.

Hummus 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 hummus 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. Hummus 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 hummus blended with red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and even caramelised-onion hummus in some supermarkets.

The hard and fast rule for flavouring hummus 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 hummus 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!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • kelly

    How long can this keep if not all eaten?

  • 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??

  • 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?

  • Jade

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

  • 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.?

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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…