Homemade Hummus, 12 Ways

by Nava Atlas
Three wood bowls filled with hummus and beet hummus, garnished with olive oil, chickpeas, and paprika, all on a wooden cutting board with sprigs of parsley.

Everyone loves hummus — or at least, everyone I know! Here’s an easy homemade hummus recipe, with 12 tasty variations. While packaged hummus is available almost anywhere food is sold, I still enjoy making my own. It’s easy and tastes better than store-bought. And this DIY version is more economical, yielding a larger quantity. Hummus is useful as a spread for fresh pita as an appetizer, as well as in sandwiches and wraps. It’s also nice as a dip for cut fresh vegetables, including carrots, bell peppers, turnips, and celery.


15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed (see note)
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Ingredients for variations (see a listing in Notes)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor with ¼ to cup water. Process until smoothly pureed.
  2. Add any one of the optional additions following as directed.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve as suggested above in the headnote. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

  1. Note on garlic: For some, hummus isn’t the same without garlic, but since I’m not a fan of raw garlic, I sauté it first in a tiny bit of olive oil until golden. Truth be told, if I’m going to be incorporating any of the following ingredients, I sometimes skip the garlic altogether.
  2. Variations: Prepare any one of the following as directed and add to the food processor once the hummus is already smooth. Pulse on and off until the additional ingredient is finely chopped, but don’t let it become pureed.
    1. Roasted red peppers: Use 1 to 2 whole roasted peppers. Chop coarsely before adding to the food processor.
    2. Olives: 1/2 cup pitted olives: — green or black, your favorite variety.
    3. Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Use about 1/2 cup moist sun-dried tomatoes.
    4. Spinach: Wilt a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach, or use raw.
    5. Mushrooms: My favorite! Wilt a cup or so of sliced brown mushrooms in a skillet and drain before adding to the food processor.
    6. Herbs: Use about 1/2 cup parsley or cilantro leaves, or 1/4 cup fresh dill.
    7. Fresh chile pepper: Use 1 to 2 jalapeños or other fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped.
    8. Beet: Add 1 medium roasted or cooked beet. Peel and chop before adding to the food processor. You can also use about 1/2 cup of sliced pickled beets.
    9. Artichoke hearts: Use a 6-ounce jar of marinated artichoke hearts. Discard any really tough leaves before adding to the food processor. Use the liquid as well.
    10. Pumpkin or butternut squash: Add 1/2 to 1 cup baked pumpkin or butternut squash chunks.
    11. Avocado: Add a medium peeled, diced avocado.
    12. Go one step further by garnishing your homemade hummus with one or two of the following:
      1. Sesame seeds
      2. A few reserved chickpeas
      3. Fresh parsley
      4. Thinly sliced scallion
      5. A swirl of olive oil
      6. A dusting of paprika
  3. Find more of Nava’s recipes at The Vegan Atlas and follow her on Facebook and on Instagram.