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Be a Better Cook

This Red Pepper Hummus is Infinitely Better (And Cheaper) Than Store-Bought

It wasn’t too long ago that hummus was available only at specialty markets. Now this healthful bean dip is a household name and everyday snack. See how easy it is to make your own clean hummus from scratch!

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Why buy hummus when you can make so much more of it and make it so much better in just 5 simple steps at home?

Hummus is a creamy blend of chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, oil and tahini. Chickpeas – also called garbanzo beans – are a good source of resistant starch, a nutrient similar to dietary fiber. Resistant starch, which is also prevalent in beans, peas and underripe bananas, provides the benefit of making you feel fuller faster, which can ward off weight gain, as well as reduce your risk factors for heart disease and high blood pressure. That last ingredient, tahini – a paste made from sesame seeds – is what gives hummus and other Middle Eastern dishes, such as baba ghanoush, their distinct nutty and slightly bitter flavor. Tahini is full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are known to lower total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol. The best part about this uber-healthy bean dip is that it delivers all these nutrients in delicious, flavorful bites.

The key to making better than-store-bought, super creamy hummus is to process the ingredients for longer than seems necessary. Even when the ingredients are blended, continue processing for another 30 seconds to 1 minute until you achieve that silky texture.

True, you can speed things up by using canned beans and jarred roasted red peppers, but we show how you’re just a few easy steps away from serving a delicious, all-natural hummus that’s double-dip worthy! (Don’t worry, we won’t judge.)

What You’ll Need

Large saucepan
Chef’s knife
Cutting board
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Plastic bag
Food processor
Rubber spatula

Step 1: Soak Chickpeas

To a large saucepan, add chickpeas and cover with water. Let soak for 8 to 24 hours, or until they almost double in size.

(Quick-Soaking Trick: Instead of soaking overnight, bring chickpeas to a boil in a pot of water; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside to soak in hot water, covered, for 1 hour.)

Step 2: Boil Chickpeas

After chickpeas have soaked, drain and cover again with water. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until chickpeas are tender, 2 hours.

Step 3: Broil Red Peppers

Meanwhile, position oven rack 5 inches below heating element and preheat broiler to high. On a foil-lined baking sheet, place pepper quarters, skin side up, and broil until skins of peppers are blistered and charred, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and place in a resealable plastic bag; set aside to steam for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag and gently peel off and discard the blackened skin. Finely chop one of the pepper quarters and set aside for garnish. Coarsely chop remaining peppers and set aside.

Step 4: Add Ingredients Into Food Processor

In a food processor, process lemon juice and tahini for 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl halfway through. Process for the full minute to ensure mixture is creamy and smooth. Add garlic, 2 tbsp oil and salt; process for another minute or until no lumps remain and mixture is very smooth.

Step 5: Add Chickpeas to Food Processor

Drain chickpeas. To food processor, add chickpeas and blend for 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl after 30 seconds. Add coarsely chopped peppers and process until smooth. Continue processing, scraping down bowl as necessary, until mixture is well blended and smooth. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water and blend until mixture is creamy. Top hummus with reserved finely chopped red pepper and drizzle with additional oil (if using). Serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 5 days. If hummus thickens, stir in 1 tbsp water before serving.

Get the full recipe here.

When you’ve mastered the basic hummus recipe, inject some fun flavors into this versatile bean dip. You’ll soon discover there are endless combinations. Here are some Better Cook twists to try.

Black Bean Chipotle Hummus

Swap 1 cup black beans (or 1 15-oz BPA-free can black beans, drained and rinsed) for the chickpeas; follow directions to cook beans. Omit the roasted red pepper. Add 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (chopped) in step 5.

Apple Peanut Hummus

Use 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter instead of tahini. Omit the roasted red pepper and cumin. Add 1⁄3 cup unsweetened applesauce in step 5. Omit the water. Top with coarsely chopped peanuts and a dash of cinnamon.

Carrot Ginger Hummus

Omit the roasted red pepper and cumin. Cook 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped, in boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes, or until very tender; drain and cool to room temperature. Add carrots and 1 tsp minced fresh ginger in step 5.

Olive Almond Hummus

Use 1/4 cup all-natural almond butter instead of tahini. Omit the roasted red pepper and cumin. Add 1/4 cup pitted green olives in step 5. Top with more chopped green olives.

Coconut Curry Hummus

Omit the roasted red pepper and cumin. Add 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 jalapeño chile pepper (seeded and chopped), 1 tsp curry powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric in step 5. Top with more shredded coconut, lightly toasted.

Read on for more customizable cooking techniques to make you a better cook!

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