Homemade Hummus Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

June  8, 2018

No shade, really, against packaged hummus from the supermarket. It’s easy, convenient, and cheap...ish. But I’m here to make the case for something else, something even cheaper, and—get this—even more delicious: homemade hummus.

By no means am I breaking ground here. The chickpea spread has been eaten across the Middle East for centuries, much of it homemade. Though its exact origins are murky, hummus' many iterations can be tasted from Egypt to Turkey, and it's all very, very good. In recent years, however, the spread has made its way into North American supermarkets in a big way. We watched hummus shift from novelty to norm and now, all of a sudden, people are eating it on everything—in every which way.

Most people I know keep a tub of hummus in their fridge, usually Sabra—and why shouldn’t they? It’s filling in the best way and works on so many levels. But I say it’s time to ditch store-bought and break out the food processor because homemade hummus is the power dip-spread-snack-breakfast-lunch-dinner we all need more of in our lives.

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Half of you already make your own hummus, I'm sure, and the other half of you might be wondering why you should put in more effort than you have to. You’re right—you are, totally.

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Top Comment:
“Why would you ever buy ready made hummus when homemad is do much fresher tastier and has no preservatives. I’ve sweats made my own hummus since my friends mom taught me back when I was about 16; I’m now 65 ”
— Debra V.

Buuut where would I be today without the silky, olive-oily smoothness of a fresh batch of hummus? The answer, ladies and germs, is nowhere.

At its simplest, hummus is but chickpeas, lemon, tahini, salt, garlic, and olive oil blitzed in a food processor. When I’m lazy or in a rush, I’ll serve some amalgamation of these ingredients, varying the proportions to my mood. I'll slather it on vegetables or across bread or serve it in a bowl as an appetizer and guests usually always think I’m awesome for it.

What your home made hummus will look like in approximately .2 seconds. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Homemade hummus is cheaper, too. A 10-ounce container of Sabra at Walmart will set you back $2.98. On Amazon, the same tub comes in at $3.29. Although making hummus at home will cost more upfront to buy all the ingredients, the long term yield most definitely pays off.

Let’s do some math. Obviously, prices vary store by store—and depending on what part of the country you live in—so these calculations will in no way be exact. Think of them as very approximate. I used a barebones version of Zahav’s hummus as a template. Let’s see:

$1.29 worth of canned chickpeas
$1.25 worth of lemon
12 cents' worth of garlic (roughly 4 cloves from a 51-cent head)
$2.75 worth of tahini (roughly 2/3 cup from a $8.29 bottle of Roland tahini)

All of this—plus some salt and a glug of olive oil, which I’m assuming most everyone has a bit of somewhere in their kitchens—comes out to $5.41. Yes, that’s more expensive than the store-bought 10-ounce container. BUT the yield is much greater: A can of chickpeas will give you more than 20 ounces of hummus, so no matter how you spin it, you’re saving.

Wallet aside, the taste of homemade hummus is worth the minimal effort. Heck, make it your back-pocket appetizer. You probably have most of the things on hand, anyway, and if you don’t, none of the ingredients should be too hard to find. If you’re looking for some easy recipes to work from, try any (or all!) of these:

Are you a maker of hummus at home? If so tell us why you love it in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Pam
  • Ttrockwood
  • Denis LeBlanc
    Denis LeBlanc
  • Debra Villalobos
    Debra Villalobos
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Pam June 18, 2018
The BEST hummus I ever had was made in an electric pressure cooker, starting with dried chickpeas. I don't know if there was something magical about the pressure cooker, or maybe the difference was dried vs canned chickpeas? I still buy it occasionally, if I see an interesting combination of mix-ins on top; I may not want to buy a whole package of whatever is on top, till I know if I like it.
Ttrockwood June 11, 2018
After making my own I can’t go back to the storebought stuff! I buy tahini at trader joes which saves me some money but no olive oil. I make a big batch in the blender about once a week
Denis L. June 9, 2018
Homemade hummus is so easy to make. I make it without oil and just a tbs of tahini. Add some olives or roasted red peppers or extra garlic. Excellent!
Debra V. June 8, 2018
Why would you ever buy ready made hummus when homemad is do much fresher tastier and has no preservatives. I’ve sweats made my own hummus since my friends mom taught me back when I was about 16; I’m now 65