Classic Hummus

For a long time I felt like everyone else’s kids liked hummus, and mine didn’t and I felt like they were missing out.

Hummus is such a great food – a dip, a sandwich spread, nutritious, ubiquitous, and truly easy to make. And finally it happened: hummus slid over onto the list of liked foods. Probably something else slid off, because that’s the way things seem to work, but hey, mission accomplished.

(This reminds me for some reason of a dinner I made recently: an adventurous seafood stew, a root vegetable dish, and a green salad that featured chopped dried fruit. Jack took one look at the table and asked, “Mom, did you purposely set out to make a meal that contained only foods that I hate?” I share this so you can rest assured that though my kids are pretty good eaters, it ain’t all rainbows and sunshine at my table every night).

And here’s the optional secret ingredient: sesame oil. Can you believe it? It’s so crazy and so simple at the same time. My friend, Chris Styler, who is fairly brilliant in the kitchen, was cooking with me one day, I realized I was out of tahini, and he said, “Just use sesame oil instead.”

Genius. Seriously. I now use both, which gives the whole thing a deeply rich sesame flavor.

And one time, when I was out of tahini altogether (it happens, right?), I made a version with only sesame oil, and it was absolutely delicious.

Sesame Oil Hummus/Classic Hummus

I have made pretty good hummus for years, but only recently did I figure something out that made me love it even more. Don’t just process the mixture until it is blended – let that machine go for 2 or 3 minutes at full throttle for the creamiest texture.

And furthermore, the heat from the motor starts to warm the hummus a bit, so while you can certainly make it ahead, there is something about fresh, slightly warm hummus that is just fantastic.

Classic Hummus/Sesame Oil Hummus

This will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving if possible.

More Dips and Spreads Recipes:

Classic Hummus (Plus a Caramelized Onion Version)

A simple hummus is a crowd pleaser….a hummus with caramelized onions is something to show off.
Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cans chick peas drained and rinsed
  • cup tahini
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil optional
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling if desired
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Paprika or cayenne to sprinkle
  • ½ cup water approximately


  • Place the garlic and chickpeas in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the tahini, sesame oil, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and salt and pepper. Puree and with the motor running add about 1/3 cup of the water. Allow the mixture to process for about two minutes (see recipe intro), adding more water if you’d like a thinner consistency.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil if you like, and sprinkle with the paprika or cayenne.


What the Kids Can Do:

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, measure the ingredients and dump them into the food processor, and run the machine with supervision.

Fork in the Road:

Caramelized Onion Hummus
Chop two onions. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions for at lest 10 minutes, preferably 15 to 20 until they are very nicely browned but not too dark. Add them to the hummus with the other ingredients, or if you like, just sauté one onion in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil, blend up the hummus as directed above, remove half the hummus to a small bowl, then add the caramelized onion to the rest of the hummus in the food processor and blend that for 1 minute and serve in a different small bowl.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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