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Learn how to make hummus from scratch with just 5-ingredients and a few simple steps. Instant Pot and stove top instructions included! Gluten-free, Oil-free, Vegan, Grain-free.
Plant-based or not, learning how to make hummus is a skill every home-chef should master. After you try this ultra easy method influenced by my travels in Israel, you’ll never go back to store-bought again. It’s light, fluffy and so smooth you won’t be able to stop dipping. It really is the best hummus recipe ever.
Table of Contents
3 Secrets to Making “Real” Hummus
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of taking a vegan tour of Israel. To be honest, I was not a huge hummus fan before my trip. I thought it was okay, but not great. Then I ate “real” hummus and realized that it’s very yummy, magical, and something I could see myself eating every day for the rest of my life. Yes, it was that good.
There are quite a few ways to make hummus, but this is the method that I’ll be sticking with. I’ve done some pretty extensive research and interviewed quite a few people — special thanks to Noam and Bentzi for your tips!
Here are the absolute Top 3 Must-Dos for making the best hummus:
- You really, really, really need to use dried chickpeas (not canned).
- Peeling the chickpeas is a must (seriously, just do it).
- ICE COLD WATER is essential to making the hummus light and fluffy.
What You Need for the Best Homemade Hummus
Hummus is made with 5 simple ingredients, but quality matters. Here are a few key notes:
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are the base of hummus. Most chickpeas sold in the United States are the Kabuli-type – light-colored, larger, round chickpeas. In the Middle East, however, Desi-type chickpeas (smaller, irregularly shaped, and darker in color) are much more common. When making the best hummus, the smaller the chickpeas, the better. Opt for the desi-type chickpeas when possible!
- Tahini: Hummus is not Hummus if there’s no Tahini. And the Tahini quality matters greatly – it should be smooth and runny. Generally speaking, the less English on the bottle, the better 😉
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are always superior to garlic powder, and it’s especially true in homemade hummus!
- Baking soda: Adding baking soda to the chickpeas helps make the legume easier to digest, softer, and makes them easy to peel. Don’t skip this ingredient!
- Lemon juice: I never suggest using pre-bottled lemon juice, but I especially urge you not to in homemade hummus. The flavor or freshly squeezed lemon juice simply cannot be replicated.
How to Make Hummus
- Sort, then soak the dried chickpeas for 12 to 24 hours.
- Drain and rinse well, then add the chickpeas, garlic, and baking soda to a large pot or pressure cooker.
- Cover with water and cook the chickpeas until tender.
- Peel the chickpeas then discard the outer skin.
- Process the garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice and salt in a food processor until relatively smooth.
- Add tahini then slowly pour in ice water as the food processor is running. Process for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the hummus is fluffy and smooth.
- Serve hummus with toppings of choice.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Use this process as an opportunity to listen to a good soundtrack or podcast. I’ll admit peeling the chickpeas can be a long, tedious step. But if you’re determined and got something to listen to, you can easily get this step done in ~20 minutes. To try and speed up the process, you can try rubbing the chickpeas between a clean kitchen towel, but I didn’t find that it made a huge difference.
- Process the hummus for the full 5 minutes. Authentic, “real” hummus should not be thick and chunky. Good hummus is fluffy, creamy, and silky smooth. To achieve this, I definitely recommend “processing” your hummus for the full 5 minutes. However, I’ve been told if you blend it for too long, it spoils faster. I’m not sure how true that is because it never lasts over 5 days here, but you’ve been warned 😉
Hummus is a delicious dip or spread to enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In the Middle East, hummus is often served warm as the center of a meal and topped with a drizzle of olive oil, and spices such as cumin, smoked paprika, sumac, za’atar, etc.
Try it spread on a Rainbow Veggie Sandwich, Vegan Pinwheels, used as a 3-Ingredient Hummus Salad dressing, drizzled on Sheet Pan Za’atar Chickpeas with Sweet Potatoes or turned into a Hummus Pasta.
If you’re looking for more homemade dip recipes, you’ll also love this Creamy White Bean Dip, Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus and this Healthy Buffalo “Chicken” Dip!
How to Store Homemade Hummus
Homemade hummus will keep best in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost frozen hummus in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours until softened. If desired, run the hummus through a food processor for 1-2 minutes to make it nice and fluffy again.
It is absolutely cheaper to make your own homemade hummus. Dried chickpeas are extremely affordable and will last for months in the pantry.
Although this recipe calls for dried chickpeas, it is imperative that they are cooked until tender before processing until smooth. Processing dried chickpeas will result in chickpea flour, which is very, very different.
Nope! Although many store-bought hummus brands are made with oils, authentic hummus does not need to be made with oil. A quality tahini will make it fluffy and creamy enough without!
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
How to Make (The Best) Hummus
- 12 ounces dried Chickpeas about 2 cups, soaked in water overnight
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3-5 cloves of Garlic
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 -3/4 cup Tahini based on preference
- 1 cup Ice Cold Water* divided
- Optional Toppings: Olive Oil, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Za'atar, etc.
- Soak the Chickpeas: Sort through the dried chickpeas, then place in a large bowl. Cover with water and soak at room temperature (or in the fridge) for 12 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
- Cook The Chickpeas: Add the chickpeas, garlic, and baking soda to a large pot or instant pot. – Instant Pot (recommended): Fill the pot with water until it is 2 to 3″ above the beans. Stir, seal, and cook on Manual HIGH pressure for 10 to 12 minutes; let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before breaking the seal. (Note: if you soaked your chickpeas for closer to 24 hours, cook for 8 to 10 minutes instead). – Stovetop: Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 40 to 120 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender.
- Peel the Chickpeas: Drain and rinse the cooked beans until no bubbles remain. Pick out the cooked garlic cloves and set aside. To peel the chickpeas, gently “pinch” each bean; the skin should slide off quite easily. Repeat with the remaining beans and discard the outer skin once finished.
- Chickpea Puree: Add the garlic and 3 cups of the peeled chickpeas to a food processor with an S-blade attachment. Mix the lemon juice and salt together in a small bowl until the salt dissolves. Turn the food processor on and slowly pour the lemon mixture into the processor while it is running; process until the chickpeas are relatively smooth.
- Make the Hummus: Add 1/4 cup of tahini to the food processor and seal it shut. Turn the food processor on and slowly pour in 1/3 cup of the ice cold water. Let the food processor run for 4 to 5 minutes, to help make the hummus fluffy and smooth (don’t skip this step!). Add in extra tahini and water in 1/4 cup increments, if you would like your spread to be thicker and creamier.
- Serve: Top the hummus with the remaining peeled chickpeas and any other toppings of choice. Leftovers will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- “Ice Cold” Water: place a few ice cubes in a glass of water for ~ 5 minutes, or stick a glass of water in the freezer for ~ 10 minutes.
- Baking soda: cooking the chickpeas in baking soda helps to soften them and make them easier to peel. You cannot taste any baking soda in the final recipe!
I just made this recipe today using chickpeas (garbanzo for some people), that I had soaking from dry. I did it on my stovetop as my slow cooker is a huge dinosaur size which is great for making big amounts of stew or chili but not for small amount recipes. I did a few things different, first I realized as I was rinsing off my chickpeas prior to cooking, that I could peel the chickpeas so I did prior to cooking, eliminating that step after cooking and also eliminated using baking soda in the water. I also increased the time of the cooking because the chickpeas were not soft enough for me. I also used more water than just covering the chickpeas so the water would not boil away (didn’t use a cover like I do when I make rice). The next step which your recipe calls for a food processor ( another item not in my household). I used a pistle to mash throughly the chickpeas and garlic until smooth, while first adding the salt, then the tahnini and the lemon juice. Okay hand mashing is going to be as smooth, but it came close. I gave it a taste when done, and yes, there’s a big difference from the store brands in taste. Yum.
So awesome and resourceful of you! Thanks for sharing all your steps on what you did differently. Sounds like it worked well!
I just came upon your recipe and it looks intriguing.
I plan to cook your hummus recipe this weekend. As I read the recipe, I have 2 questions before I get started:
By “cooking” (on a stove top), do you mean at a simmer (after it has come to a complete boil)?
Do I cook with a top on or off?
I look forward to your response on these 2 questions
For the stove top you would bring to a boil and reduce to a low boil and cook for the duration. You don’t need a top on the pot. Hope that helps!
The first time I made this recipe I used the stovetop method and it was perfect!! This time I have an instant pot and had no such luck…. I put the chickpeas on high pressure for 11 minutes and they were so mushy I couldn’t even separate them from the water. Definitely will stick to the stovetop for this recipe!
Sounds like the instant pot did too good of a job!
Four failures and one success. I kept doing something wrong. I finally did 7 minutes in my 6 qt rarely used instant pot and it was perfect.
There’s definitely a sweet spot with the instant pot timing. A little bit of trial and error to get familiar with how yours works. Thanks for sharing!
Excellent recipe Caitlin! Used by Vitamix heated the canned chickpeas
and used the cooled liquid I collected from the cans. Amazing! Looking
forward to preparing some of your other recipes, thanks.
Glad to hear it, Luisa!
Soak the chickpeas in water with baking soda but don’t add any to the cooking water or they really will explode.
Haha, yes soak them only. Thanks!
You were so right about the peeling! It was a bit tedious, but worth it! This will be my new go to for hummus from now on!
Awesome, glad to hear it! The peeling helps achieve that perfect texture.
What a wonderful delicious hummus recipe. This is the best one I’ve ever tried. I used oil instead of water. Added cumin to the recipe and smoked paprika so good.
Happy to hear it! The best thing about hummus is you can customize it so much.
I learned from an Israeli. Yes peel the chickpeas, and used dried chickpeas. I was also made to use the water from boiling the chickpeas. And you only add one ingredient at a time. Chickpeas and water blend, then tahini blend, then olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, anything else. Blending between each and tasting. Then at the end you can add more of whatever if you need it
Awesome, thanks for sharing!
I’m a bit late too the party but hopefully someone will still read this. A great hack for pealing the chickpeas is to submerge them in a bowl of water and rub them – the skins will float to the top and you can easily remove them. Chickpeas peeled in under 5 mins :).
Also, when you suddenly have a best-hummus-ever craving, you can boil canned chickpeas for 10 mins or so and then peel them, which will also yield a great hummus. The extra boiling makes for a much smoother hummus and removes some of the canned flavour.
I will try your recipe next time I make hummus and I’m very curious!
This seriously is the best recipe. I cheated and used canned chickpeas. I boiled them for about an hour, let them cool, then peeled them. The skins came off really easily. Oh and I forgot to add the garlic when cooking the beans so I just put in one raw clove while blending. My husband and I are trying not to eat the whole batch right now. It’s so good! This recipe makes store bought hummus taste like garbage. I love that it doesn’t have olive oil. Thank you for the awesome recipe!
You’re so very welcome, Monica!
Great recipe! I had the chickpeas boiling on the stove for about an hour and then the beans were very mushy and I had no skins to take off! It was a big soft mess but it blended well and now i have so much hummus! I was worried about the skins, what happened there? Ahaha. THANKS!!!
They probably just cooked down so they were soft – I’m glad that worked out well! 🙂
I’ve made many humus before in my life and I must say this is A GAMECHANGER. Peeling the chickpeas was tedious and I was sceptical whether it would be worth it, but WOW, yes it was! Even Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe pales in comparison. Never ever have I achieved such a creamy texture without using oil. MINDBLOWN. Hugs from Berlin
Thank you so much, Anna! 🙂
This was good, smooth like soft-serve ice cream. A little bland but not really in a bad way, I’m probably just used to the highly processed versions.
I tell you what though, peeling the chickpeas was a mission, even with the baking soda.
Thank you soooooooooo much!!! This was by far the best Hummus I’ve made. I think the peeling is the trick… the end result is a lot smoother than usual.
For sure! 🙂
Just made this yesterday and it’s very good! I’ve made hummus several times, but always with olive oil and I NEVER realized it could be made oil-free. This is so cool, thank you!
You’re so very welcome!
I’ve got to admit, everyone has their hummus recipes but what makes this one special is certainly how FLUFFY it is! I love that! I didn’t measure my chickpeas beforehand because I just cooked a whole bag’s worth but I measured out two cups of very cooked chickpeas to use in the hummus. The ice cold water really makes a difference! I also added some cumin, a dash or coriander, and a teaspoon of harissa paste to my hummus. I love the texture. Thank you for the recipe, Caitlin!
You’re very welcome, Melanie! Once you try fluffy hummus, it’s hard to go back 😉
If I do this with canned chickpeas, do I still have to soak and cook them??
You don’t, but as I mentioned in the recipe I would really recommend cooking from dry for best results 🙂
Key Caitlin! I just want to say thank you for this recipe. I use recipes more as a suggestion, so here’s the changes I made:
I used 1 1/2cup chickpeas + 1/2cup red lentils, I added cumin and cracked black pepper into my mixture instead of as a topping, I also added an extra garlic clove because I am a garlic FIEND. Other than that I followed your instructions of soaking, cooking, peeling, blending for 5+ minutes etc. It turned out amazing. As tedious as peeling chickpeas is, it’s definitely worth the extra effort. I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought hummus again; it just doesn’t compare.
Cool! I’ve never thought of using red lentils 🙂
I use Pacific Kombu in my bra prep. I find that if I use Baking Soda in the boiling water that later in the process this negatively effects the end quality of the product – composition/(taste, texture & breakdown). The Baking Soda also causes the Kombu to break down in an odd and unsatisfactory way.
What I’ve gone to is … do the first 1/2 of the boil with Kombu. The remove the Kombu and continue second half with Backing Soda. You may can change the water or not on your preference.
As to the Baking Soda … I wait till the beans are full cooked, dried and cooled in a strainer (not yet refrigerated). Spread beans on a towel, and pat with,l towel. It up the process. Add the beans back to the boil vessel. Sprinkle the Baking Soda on the beans (one to one and a 1/2 teaspoons per 2lbs). Heat at medium for @ three minutes shaking or rolling the vessel. Rinse beans with cold water several times (perhaps employing ice-cubes as an agitator
and behold the skins separated from the beans with minimal effort if any.
Peeling the chickpeas = time consuming but yes this is the best hummus I have ever had and it feels more satisfying knowing I made it myself!
We totally agree!
this recipe is good and all, but you need like 40kg mixer because there is a lot of chickpea. also the peeling time is like 2h or more.