This Mediterranean hummus can be made with canned or dried chickpeas. Make this recipe for creamy chickpea dip that tastes much better than store-bought!
I've been making hummus this way for years, ever since reading about using ice cold water to emulsify the chickpeas in the food processor.
See, one of the problems with grocery store hummus is the gritty texture. Creating creamy hummus dip is possible, but it takes a little time and effort.
Mediterranean hummus ingredients
This list is just for the purposes of notes. The full ingredient list and amounts you’ll need are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- dried or canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - Yes, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. There are just regional differences in names for them. For more info, check out this article from the Harvard School of Public Health.
- baking soda- Adding a tiny bit of baking soda to the water increases the PH level. This helps to break down the chickpea skins, making them easier to process into a creamy paste.
- tahini- This is a sesame seed paste, used for flavor in Mediterranean cooking. Most grocery stores carry it in the condiment aisle. Otherwise, you may find it with the ethnic foods. If you’d like, you can even use homemade tahini.
Try to find tahini made from Ethiopian sesame seeds; the buttery, complex Humera seeds are the best quality. Both Trader Joes and Whole Foods carry Ethiopian tahini. Or, you can order the Soom brand online.
Garnishes and Toppings
There are plenty of ways to add extra flavor and texture into hummus. Some people like to incorporate additional ingredients into the dip, but I prefer to use them as garnishes or toppings.
Just drizzle or sprinkle these on, as desired.
Video: Making Creamy Chickpea Dip
Watch the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post for my tips on how to create the dip with a super creamy consistency.
The key is using the right balance of liquid to legumes. In addition to lemon juice, I use ice cubes to create the creamy texture. When you add them to a food processor, they’re simultaneously ground down and blended into a thick paste.
- Soak and cook dried chickpeas. Obviously, if you’re using a canned product, you’ll skip this step.
- Drain and toast them. Drain to remove any water/liquid, then toss the beans with baking soda and dry toast them in a frying pan for a couple of minutes. Basically, you’re cooking out any remaining moisture and lightly toasting the legumes.
- Process into a paste. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor. If you have an immersion blender, you can transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Then you can finish making the Mediterranean hummus right in the bowl.
TIP: Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl before you start adding the liquids.
- Incorporate the liquids into the paste. To ensure that you end up with a creamy texture, you’ll need to add the liquids SLOWLY. If you add them all at once, they won’t blend into the paste properly, causing the dip to have a gritty texture.
- Garnish and serve the chickpea dip immediately, or chill / freeze for later.
Yes, you can store the chickpea dip in the freezer for up to 3 months! Just be sure not to overfill the container, because hummus expands as it freezes.
For the best flavor and texture, try to enjoy it within 3 days. However, it should keep well for up to a week.
Best Mediterranean Hummus Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup dried chickpeas (See Note 1)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 ½ cups water
- 1 cup tahini (See Note 2)
- 4 tablespoon lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3-4 ice cubes (See Note 3)
- Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl covered by 2.5 cups water. Cover with kitchen towel and set aside. If using canned chickpeas, skip this step go to Step 2 below.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. To a large saucepan or skillet over high heat add the chickpeas and baking soda. Toss to coat and dry cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the 6.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes (See Note 4) over medium heat. Skim any foam and skins that floats to surface. Chickpeas are done when they break up easily when pressed between thumb and finger. Drain and transfer to food processor. At this stage you can pick through to remove any skins, but I feel the food processor going at 5 minutes does a fantastic job of creating a creamy texture.
- Process cooked chickpeas to a thick paste. Stop and scrape down the sides. With motor running add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and cumin. Next, with motor still running, drop in the ice cubes and mix for a total of 5 minutes. You want the creamiest, smoothest paste.
- Transfer to a bowl, cover and allow to rest at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate if not eating immediately. Allow to come back to room temperature before spooning on to a serving plate. Garnish with a drizzle of good olive oil, parsley and either sumac, dukkah or za’atar.
- If not soaking and cooking chickpeas from scratch, feel free to use canned. Two 15.5oz cans drained is what you'll need for this recipe.
- Try to find tahini made from Ethiopian sesame seeds; the buttery, complex Humera seeds are the best quality. I've found brands at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, or order the Soom brand online.
- I find the ice cubes work best, but about 6 ½ tablespoons of ice water can be substituted.
- Cook the chickpeas between 20-40 minutes depending on freshness.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.