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Traditional Hummus Recipe

Growing up in a Middle Eastern family, hummus was a staple in our household. I could always count on this dish to show up at pretty much every family gathering. Over time, hummus caught on as a popular dip and now there's a ton of versions that include everything from red pepper to chocolate and even beets (!). I'm a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to hummus and almost always stick to my mom's original recipe. 

Did you know that you can freeze hummus? Make a bigger portion and freeze in half-cup or 1-cup portions. Perfect to use for veggies, spread on a sandwich, or dip with pita bread. My absolute favorite is to top the hummus with sauteed mushrooms.

What's your favorite way to eat hummus? Comment below.

Favorite Ways to Eat Hummus

  • Serve in a plate and top with sauteed mushooms, serve with pita
  • As a dip for vegetables and pretzels
  • Spread in a sandwich
  • With Falafel

Canned versus Dried Beans

Growing up, we always made hummus with canned beans. It's definitely the eastiest method. I've made hummus from dried garbanzo beans and didn't notice any difference in taste to justify all the extra steps and effort. However, I know it might also be more difficult during COVID-19 times to find canned beans.

You can definitely buy dried garbanzo beans and soak them. If you choose to do that instead, here's a few extra steps you'll want to take:

  • Soak overnight in large bowl of water
  • Boil the drained garbanzo beans with fresh water and baking soda (~40min)
  • Drain the garbanzo beans

Let's Talk Tahini

Tahini is made from ground up sesame seeds. If you have never had it before, it is incredibly creamy and nuttty. The botttom of the jar is very thick so you want to make sure you give it a really good stir before using. You can find tahini in a lot of grocery stores these days and even online. However, if you're struggling to find some, here's a great recipe from Lisa Bryan over at Downshiftology for how to make your own tahini at home. All you'll need is sesame seeds and olive oil - it's that easy to make!

If you end up making your own homemade tahini, I recommend freezing it in our half-cup trays so it lasts longer and is easy to defrost in useful portions. 

First, gather and prep ingredients

Hummus Ingredients Prepped

This recipe calls for 2 15.5oz cans of garbanzo beans.

Then, blend tahini, lemon juice, salt, and ice water until smooth

Tahini, Lemon Juice, and Water in Food ProcessorTahini, Water, and Lemon Juice blended in food processor

My mom prefers to use a food processor but I also occassionally use our Vitamix blender. You can use either. I'm sure an immersion blender would work too.

Additionally, you can also add 2 cloves of garlic (I prefer it roasted)

Now add rinsed garbanzo beans, olive oil, and cumin

Garbanzo beans in food processor for hummusScrapped down tahini in food processor for hummus

We always make sure to rinse and drain the garbanzo beans to reduce some of sodium from the salty water they sit in to preserve them in the can. You don't have to rinse the garbanzo beans but you will need to strain out the water befor adding to the food processor or blender.

I also recommend using a rubber spatula to scrap down the tahini from the previous step

Make sure to blend until smooth

Blended up hummus in food processor

If the hummus is a bit too thick, add an extra tablespoon of ice cold water and then blend again. Continue to add a tablespoon of water until you have reached your desired consistency.

Final step! Spoon onto a bowl or plate, add optional garnishes

Hummus in plate with olive oilhummus in plate with sauteed mushrooms

My mom loves to include olive oil, paprika, and a sprig of parsley on top of her hummus. Sometimes, my mom will add whole garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained) to the top of the hummus for chunkier consistency.

I love adding olive oil and sauteed mushrooms. 

Hummus will last up to 4 days in the refigerator. I recommend taking it out of the refigerator 30 minutes before you plan to use it. 

Have leftover hummus? Freeze to enjoy for later.

hummus frozen in half-cup souper cubesfrozen souper cubes of hummus

I tend to freeze hummus in half-cup portions since it's enough for one person. If Jake and I both want hummus with our meal, then I'll typically take out a full cup of hummus. I recommend freezing hummus without any toppings. 

To serve again, you have a few options:

Frozen half cup souper cube of hummus

  1. Place in a bowl or plate and let it thaw on the counter for a couple of hours with a cover, then stir together and place in refigerator until you're ready to eat hummus
  2. Place in a bowl or plate and let it thaw overnight in the refigerator
  3. Place in a microwave-safe bowl or plate and heat up in 20-second intervals until thawed. Mix together.

Traditional Hummus Recipe

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cooking Time: 5-7 minutes

Makes: 7 half-cup portions (3.5 cups)


  • 2 15.5oz cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ cup cold water 
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste (I used about ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal salt)
  • Optional Ingredients: olive oil, sauteed mushrooms, paprika, parsley, garlic, extra garbanzo beans
  1. In a food processor or blender add: ¾ cup tahini, ⅓ cup lemon juice, ½ cup cold water, and ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cumin. Then blend until smooth.
  2. Rinse and drain garbanzo beans from 2-15.5oz cans.
  3. Add rinsed garbanzo beans and ⅓ cup olive oil. Then blend until smooth (3-5 minutes).
  4. If too thick, add extra tablespoon of cold water until smooth.
  5. Garnish with olive oil, garbanzo beans, or sautéed mushrooms. Serve with warm pita bread.
Be sure to check out our other freezer-friendly sauces and dips by clicking here.
Freeze Food in Perfect Portions