Best Hummus Recipes for Creamy Homemade Hummus for Snacks, Starters and Sides. Copyright © 2023 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Best Hummus Recipes for Creamy Homemade Hummus for Snacks, Starters and Sides

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Our best hummus recipes make creamy homemade hummus dishes for snacking or to serve as starters and side dishes. They include an easy authentic hummus recipe for a traditional hummus, a hummus balila recipe for warm cumin-spiced chickpeas served with pickles and salad, a hummus with spiced beef recipe for hummus bil lahme, and more modern carrot, pumpkin and beetroot hummus recipes.

After making homemade hummus you’ll never buy store-bought hummus again. Hummus is easy to make from scratch. You could start with dried chickpeas (soaked overnight), but it’s easier to throw a can of chickpeas into a blender or food processor with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and extra virgin olive oil. Too easy.

You can serve hummus with crispy homemade pita chips or crunchy sourdough crackers or serve it as a mezze, appetiser or side dish with baba ganoush, fattoush, beef kofta and a whole lot of other Middle Eastern dishes. Hummus can also be used as a base for salads and vegetable sides, and you’ll find a few recipes below using hummus as a spread.

I thought it time to share a compilation of our best hummus recipes, as everyone seems to be searching for Ottolenghi’s creamy dreamy hummus right now. But there are so many more hummus dishes you could be making, from our favourite hummus dishes from the decade we lived, worked and travelled the Middle East to Middle Eastern-inspired dishes of my invention.

We’ve got recipes for everything from the classic hummus served as one of an array of mezze or starters or sides, which Terence was taught to make by a Lebanese colleague when we lived in Abu Dhabi, to the creamy warm cumin-spiced chickpea dish called hummus balila that’s typically eaten for breakfast throughout the Middle East.

If you’re not from the Middle East or haven’t travelled or lived there, you might only be familiar with the traditional chickpea dip or spread called hummus – or more accurately, hummus bi-tahina. ‘Hummus’ means ‘chickpeas’ in Arabic and ‘tahina’ is tahini, so it’s essentially a chickpea and tahini dip. But there’s a whole big hummus world out there.

I’m not only referring to the more modern, colourful hummus recipes made with vegetables, such as our roast carrot and pumpkin and chickpea dips, I’m also talking about the many traditional hummus dishes that, if you’re a lover of Middle Eastern food or have spent time in the Middle East, you’ll start to notice after eating out at a few Arabic restaurants – or Lebanese restaurants, Syrian restaurants, Egyptian restaurants and so on.

While some restaurants might only often a few types of hummus, others will have a long list of hummus plates, from the simple hummus bi-zayt (chickpeas with olive oil) to the sublime hummus wa rummaan (chickpeas and pomegranate), and they’re all delicious.

I’m going to continue to share more hummus recipes over coming weeks, because, like our other best canned beans recipes, our best hummus recipes are not only easy to make, they are healthy and affordable, and who isn’t looking for nutritious budget-friendly meals right now?

Before I share our best hummus recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo by supporting our Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon, which you can do for as little as the price of a coffee.

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Now let me tell you all about our best hummus recipes for our creamy dreamy homemade hummus dips, snacks, starters and sides.

Best Hummus Recipes for Creamy Homemade Hummus for Snacks, Starters and Sides

These hummus dishes can be served as a dip to snack on or as an appetiser or starter with other mezze such as baba ghanoush and muttabal and pickles and pita bread. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner as a side with salads and mixed grilled meats.

Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans and these hummus recipes make some of our best canned beans recipes if you’re looking for budget-friendly meals during these fiscally challenging times.

Easy Authentic Hummus Recipe for a Creamy Homemade Traditional Hummus

This easy authentic hummus recipe makes the traditional hummus served in homes and restaurants across the Middle East and it tops our list of best hummus recipes. It’s fantastic with crispy homemade pita chips or crunchy sourdough crackers.

A Lebanese friend taught Terence to make hummus when we lived in Abu Dhabi in the late Nineties and we make her classic hummus recipe whenever we have cravings for Arabic food or are missing the Middle East.

We always keep canned chickpeas in the pantry for that reason, but of course you can start with dried chickpeas, which need to be soaked overnight.

Hummus is a quintessential Arabic dip typical eaten with an array of mezze or starters right across the Middle East. Thought to have originated in medieval Egypt, hummus is found right across the Arab world, from North Africa through to the Levantine countries of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, in the state of Palestine and Israel, and throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

Try to get hold of sumac to sprinkle on your hummus at the end. But, if you can’t, ground paprika, while quite a different spice, is also good.

Easy Authentic Hummus Recipe for a Creamy Homemade Traditional Hummus


Middle Eastern Hummus Balila Recipe for Creamy Warm Chickpeas Spiced with Cumin

The only breakfasts I love more than Asian breakfasts are Arabic breakfasts. When we first moved to the Middle East many years ago, we looked forward to weekends away in Beirut, Damascus or Cairo and a traditional breakfast spread of labneh, olives, pickles, radishes, fresh salad vegetables, and a comforting bowl of warm soupy beans, such as ful medames or hummus balila.

Also known simply as ‘balila’, the Levantine dish has long been a popular breakfast staple or homemade snack everywhere from Lebanon and Syria to the Arabian Peninsula countries and our hummus balila recipe makes the dish that we used to love.

Creamy warm chickpeas are gently spiced with ground cumin, drizzled with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, and served with pita bread, pickles, fresh herbs, and salad. It’s another of our best hummus recipes. Make a big batch so you can turn it into a balila salad the next day.

Middle Eastern Hummus Balila Recipe for Creamy Warm Chickpeas Spiced with Cumin


Balela Salad Recipe for a Delicious Warm Chickpea Salad from the Middle East

My easy balela salad recipe makes a warm chickpea salad from the Middle East and it’s another of our best hummus recipes. If you make and enjoy our hummus balila recipe, above, then I guarantee that you’re going to love this balela salad recipe.

Creamy hummus balila, the rustic cumin-spiced hummus textured with whole chickpeas and drizzled with a lemony olive oil, above, is topped with a traditional Arabic salad of crunchy cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, zingy purple shallots, crispy radishes, and fresh fragrant mint and parsley.

This balela salad can also be scooped up with pita bread, but as a warm chickpea salad, you could also tuck into it for a shared lunch or dinner as part of a mezze spread of starters or sides, alongside baba ganoush, fattoush and beef kofta and the like.

If our balela salad recipe is reminding you of something, I reckon salata balela, as it’s called in Arabic, has a cousin in Antalya piyaz, a white bean salad of creamy, soupy white beans that are also topped with salad and customarily eaten with the Turkish bread called pide and Turkish köfte or meatballs. I could live off both dishes.

A note on the spellings: I used ‘balila’ for hummus balila and ‘balela’ for the salad because that’s the most common spellings on search engines and I want you to find our recipes. It drove us crazy when we used to write travel guidebooks in the region (and drove our Lonely Planet editors even crazier, I’m sure), but different transliterations of Arabic terms are used throughout the region so don’t worry.

Balela Salad Recipe for a Delicious Warm Chickpea Salad from the Middle East


Hummus with Spiced Ground Beef Recipe for Hummus bil Lahme

This easy hummus with spiced beef recipe makes hummus bil lahme, another delicious Arabic dish that originated in the Levantine cuisines of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, but is found right across the Middle East.

Addictively delicious, hummus bil lahme is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with cumin powder, and topped with a generous layer of aromatic, richly-spiced ground beef and roasted pine nuts.

It’s a breeze to make, too. After draining the canned chickpeas, you simply transfer the chickpeas, garlic powder, extra virgin olive oil, tahini paste, ground cumin, and lemon juice to a food processor or blender, and pulse until well-combined.

Make the wonderful spiced beef mince, spread the hummus on a plate, pile the spiced ground beef on top, sprinkle on some finely chopped parsley, and serve straight away with zingy pickles, fresh pita bread or homemade toasted pita chips. Too easy.

Hummus bil lahme also makes a fantastic side dish to beef kofta, mixed grilled meats, roasted chicken, grilled lamb chops, Arabic sausages, and salads, such as fattoush and tabbouli, if you’re cooking up a Middle Eastern feast for a group of friends or family. And if you do, please send us an invitation!

Delicious Hummus with Spiced Ground Beef Recipe for Hummus bil Lahme


Pumpkin Hummus Recipe for Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Dip with Dukkah

Our easy pumpkin hummus recipe makes a roasted pumpkin and chickpea dip drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with dukkah, the Middle Eastern condiment of crushed nuts, seeds and spices. (Recipe below).

Serve it as a healthy snack with warm flat bread, crunchy pita chips or crispy vegetable crudités or as an appetiser with an array of Middle Eastern mezze, such as muhammara, baba ganoush, muttabal, and labneh, alongside traditional accompaniments, such as crunchy cucumber spears, radishes, pickles, olives, and crispy pita chips or warm flatbread.

You can arrange the lot on a large platter if you’re feeding a crowd, and serve with plates of kofta kebabs, shish tawook, roast chicken, and meatballs, and plenty of Middle Eastern salads.

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe for Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Dip with Dukkah


Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Creamy Hummus, Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Shallots and Mint

I’d been dreaming about this dish for weeks before I created it and while it’s based on a couple of Middle Eastern dishes, I’ve actually combined the two, so I’m going to have to say that this is a Middle Eastern inspired dish.

This roasted cauliflower recipe makes a dish of cauliflower florets roasted in gently spiced extra virgin olive oil, plated on creamy hummus, and topped with crispy fried chickpeas, tangy pickled shallots, and fragrant fresh mint. It’s easily another of our best hummus recipes.

What I love about this roasted cauliflower dish is that it makes a great companion to other Mediterranean dishes. We enjoy it with this braised chicken with olives and capers and Hassleback potatoes and I love to serve this radish cucumber salad with feta, rucola and fresh herbs on the side.

I use this pickled shallots recipe which, while it’s a Mexican recipe, tastes exactly like the pickled onions our favourite Lebanese restaurant in Abu Dhabi served. I make these regularly in vintage mason jars or clip-top Kilner jars, and always have some in the fridge.

I use a cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar, or sometimes a combination of the two. For salt, I recommend a sea salt or Kosher salt. Not a fan of pickled onions? Try this quick pickled red cabbage recipe instead.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe with Creamy Hummus, Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Shallots and Mint


Easy Roast Beetroot Hummus Recipe and Tips to Roasting Fresh Beets

This roasted beetroot hummus recipe make a deliciously healthy dip made with roasted fresh beetroots, chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Roasted beetroots are more nutritious than canned beetroots and taste naturally sweeter and more flavoursome.

Roasting beetroots is super easy – set and forget – then it’s a quick and easy dip to make in a blender or food processor.

I wrap the scrubbed beetroots very loosely in aluminium foil, twisting the piece of foil together above the top centre of the beetroots, so they’re essentially steaming in there. I find the beetroots take 45-50 minutes to roast.

Our beetroot hummus recipe only calls for one beetroot, however, I usually roast a few beetroots, which we use in salads, such as this Russian beetroot and potato salad or soups, such as this cold beetroot soup, which is cooling on a hot day.

Easy Roast Beetroot Hummus Recipe and Tips to Roasting Fresh Beets


Carrot Hummus Recipe for Roast Carrot and Chickpea Dip with Cumin and Sesame

Our carrot hummus recipe makes a roasted carrot and chickpea dip with cumin and sesame seeds. Deliciously addictive, the Middle Eastern-inspired dip is light, bright and healthy, and fantastic served with crispy pita chips or crunchy crudités.

As delicious as it is, I resisted sharing a carrot hummus recipe here for many years after first sampling a carrot, tahini and chickpea dip in the Austrian capital of Vienna of all places, way back in 2010, on the yearlong global grand tour that launched Grantourismo.

We’d lived in the Middle East and travelled the region for over a decade before we first came across an orange carrot ‘hummus’ and other crazy coloured dips (green wasabi ‘hummus’, yellow curry ‘hummus’ etc) at the Turkish delis at Vienna’s Naschmarkt.

Call us purists, but at the time we could never have brought ourselves to call a Turkish-Austrian carrot chickpea dip a ‘carrot hummus’. But, oh, how the world and what we eat in it has changed in 13 years, and cuisines evolve after all, for better or worse.

This carrot hummus is fantastic with crackers or vegetable batons, but it can also be used as a spread on sandwiches and baguettes, or as a base for salads and vegetable sides as I’ve done below.

Carrot Hummus Recipe for Roast Carrot and Chickpea Dip with Cumin and Sesame


Roast Beetroot Salad Recipe with Feta, Rucola and Pistachios on Cumin Spiced Carrot Hummus

My roast beetroot salad recipe with feta, rucola and pistachios on cumin-spiced carrot hummus makes my twist on the classic beetroot salad with feta, walnuts and arugula or rucola, roca or rocket, depending on your preference.

My inspiration is the Middle Eastern balela salad spread on soupy chickpeas (above) and the Antalya version of a Turkish white bean salad, in which the salad is also piled onto the creamy white beans. My roasted cauliflower on hummus (also above) and baby corn on creamy white beans are in the same style.

I spread the salad on a layer of the carrot hummus and replace the walnuts with crunchier pistachios for added flavour and texture. The bed of carrot hummus adds another dimension of flavour and texture, while the nuts add crunch.

Roast Beetroot Salad Recipe with Feta, Rucola and Pistachios on Cumin Spiced Carrot Hummus

Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of best hummus recipes as we’d love to hear how they turned out for you.


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

2 thoughts on “Best Hummus Recipes for Creamy Homemade Hummus for Snacks, Starters and Sides”

  1. LOVE this selection guys and already made a couple and they were delish. We remember one we had in Dubai at a Lebanese restaurant that had chopped tomatoes and whole chickpeas on top but haven’t been able to find a recipe for one exactly like it. Will you be sharing that one?

  2. Hi Mina, thank you! I think you’re referring to Hummus Beiruti. We lived in the UAE, including Dubai, for many years and used to travel to Lebanon – we wrote the Lonely Planet Lebanon & Syria guidebook and have travelled all over both countries and the region more largely. But back in those days, Hummus Beiruti was presented fairly simply — a standard hummus drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and some whole chickpeas and some finely chopped tomatoes piled on top. So it didn’t really need a special recipe, however, I actually looked for recipes out of curiosity and found all kinds of recipes but nothing like what we used to eat. I can’t imagine it having evolved that much, but maybe it has.I was thinking of reaching out to a chef in Beirut for a recipe, so I’ll keep you posted.

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