The doorbell just rang ~ and all you’ve got is a tub of hummus. What to do? Here are 50 ways to hack your hummus so you don’t miss a step. These fun and easy appetizers will get the party started ~ and everybody wins!
#1 Jewel it
Bedazzle a plain tub of hummus with a swath of olive oil, a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, and a burst of fresh thyme to complete the festive color scheme. The seeds will add a burst of tangy juice to every bite.
TIP: A whole pomegranate will last weeks in the refrigerator, and the seeds will stay fresh even after it has been cut. You can also find packages of pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe’s.
#2 Smoke it
One of my favorite spices is smoked paprika, it’s got a vibrant color and a fantastic smokey flavor. It comes in both hot and mild varieties, so use your preference, but I’m partial to the hot. Blend in about 2 teaspoons to start with and add more to your taste. Sprinkle on a bit more over the top, and accent the pretty color with a sprig of parsley.
#3 Whip it
Put your hummus in a food processor along with 8 ounces of cream cheese, or a block of Boursin, and whip it good!
#4 Drizzle it
Spread the hummus in a wide shallow bowl and drizzle liberally with your favorite infused olive oil ~ I keep a variety of flavored olive oils in my cabinet and they work wonders to turn plain hummus into a truly rich and flavorful dip. I especially like O Olive Oil’s Meyer Lemon Olive Oil with hummus.
#5 Seed it
I love to top hummus with my favorite ‘everything’ spice blend. It’s a combination of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dehydrated garlic, onions, and caraway seeds.
TIP: I toast the seeds in a skillet for a few minutes first to bring out their flavor. Keep the heat moderate, and keep the seeds moving. They’re done when you begin to smell them and the sesame seeds turn golden.
#6 Swirl it
Take a tub of great pesto and swirl it right into your hummus, the flavors marry beautifully. Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves and some pine nuts.
#7 Bake it
Drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil, and bake in a small oven-proof ceramic dish at 350F until it’s warmed through, about 10-15 minutes.
#8 Pepper it
This is one of my favorite hummus hacks ~ grind lots AND LOTS of fresh black pepper into the hummus. Spread in a dish, t0p with some good fruity olive oil, and a final shower of pepper ~ it’s divine!
TIP: Use good quality, fresh peppercorns and grind them using the coarse setting. You should be able to smell the gorgeous spicy aroma as you grind.
#9 Herb it
Blend hummus with several handfuls of fresh herbs…parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, tarragon, or even mint will all work. Blend until the hummus turns green and fragrant.
#10 Dust it
Add a generous amount of za’atar over the top of your hummus. Za’atar is a dried Middle Eastern spice mix consisting of roughly equal parts thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. Look for it in specialty stores, or get it online, here.
#11 Smother it
Top the hummus with caramelized onions…cook sliced onions low and slow in some olive oil in a skillet until they turn golden brown.
#12 Beet it
Blend the hummus with one or 2 cooked beets. The color will astound you. Garnish with some fresh dill, parsley, or crumbled feta. This is a showstopper! To roast beets wrap loosely in foil and bake at 350F for about an hour, or until soft when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Let cool before peeling.
TIP: Use one small beet to achieve a beautiful pink color with subtle flavor. Use more beets to give your hummus a more intense color and a ‘beet-ier’ flavor.
#13 Warm it
Blend hummus with a subtle mix of warm fall spices like cinnamon, allspice, and clove. Use just enough to leave a hint of flavor without overpowering.
#14 Kick it
A simple hot pepper or two can make a huge difference to a bowl of hummus. Add them, seeds and all, to a food processor and process along with the hummus. A sprinkle of cayenne over the top is a pretty accent.
TIP: You can use jalapeno peppers, or, for a more intense heat, use the smaller ~ but mightier ~ Serrano peppers.
#15 Season it
Cumin is a classic seasoning for hummus, stir it in and sprinkle more on top. Sumac is another great spice to play with, it’s a bold spice with a crimson color and a bright citrus flavor, used a lot in the Middle East. Find it online here.
#16 Embellish it
Go all out with pine nuts, whole garbanzo beans, pitted olives, and chopped herbs.
#17 Sweeten it
Stir in lots of chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes. Use the flavorful oil from the jar to drizzle over the top.
#18 Pair it
Show off your wine skilz… hummus goes particularly well with Sauvignon Blanc, Rosés and Pinot Noirs.
#19 Deconstruct it
Add a topping of whole chickpeas that have been tossed (or sauteed) with garlic and chopped parsley…drizzle everything with a little tahini dressing.
#20 Cheese it
Blend hummus with an equal amount of feta or goat cheese for a unique spread.
#21 Lighten it
Fold in an equal amount of tangy tzatziki (a thick Turkish sauce made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon, olive oil, dill, mint, and parsley) and garnish with fresh dill.
#22 Individualize it
Spoon hummus at the bottom of plastic cups and insert fresh crudites for fun and portable appetizers.
#23 South of the border it
Top with your favorite chunky pico de gallo and plenty of fresh cilantro.
#24 Guac it
Blend your hummus with ready-made or from-scratch guacamole ~ it’s a crowd pleaser!
#25 Pile it
Pile it high with crispy canned or homemade onion strings! Be sure to crush the strings as you add them so your guests can easily scoop up the hummus.
#26 Blitz it
Process your hummus with an equal amount of roasted red peppers (drained,) a garlic clove, and 1/3 cup roasted walnuts. Garnish with extra roasted walnuts.
#27 Infuse it
Roasted garlic adds a ton of flavor to a plain hummus. Whiz it in the processor with anywhere from 1 to 40 cloves!
TIP: To roast garlic, slice the tip end off of a head of garlic to expose the flesh and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap loosely in foil and bake at 350F for about an hour, or until caramelized and mellow. Squeeze the end of each clove to remove the garlic.
#28 Truffle it
Blend your hummus with truffle oil and a bit of truffle salt. Taste to get the proportions just right, and top with more of the oil to serve. Delish!
#29 Squash it
Use pureed pumpkin (canned is fine) or other roasted winter squash like butternut or kabocha along with a hint of cinnamon or even vanilla, for a unique variation. Garnish with pepitas or roasted squash seeds.
TIP: To roast winter squash, pierce it in several places with the tip of a small knife, and then put it, whole, on a baking sheet in a 375F degree oven for about an hour, or until soft. Slice in half, remove the seeds, and scoop out the flesh.
#30 Elevate it
Top your hummus with rich spiced lamb if you really want to impress those guests ~ Hummus with Spiced Lamb is an unforgettable experience.
#31 Freshen it
Rosemary has such an amazing piney flavor and I love to take a handful of fresh needles and blend it into my hummus. Garnish with a fresh sprig and watch it disappear. (Don’t try this with the dried herb, only fresh!)
#32 Umami it
Stir in a tablespoon or two of white miso paste, then top with black sesame seeds.
#33 Accompany it
Serve plain hummus with lots of fresh homemade pita bread ~ no one will care what kind of hummus you’re serving when you offer them soft, chewy homemade pita.
TIP: You can turn store-bought pita into delicious chips ~ just slice it into small triangles, brush with olive oil and dust with onion salt. Bake at 350F for 5 minutes per side.
#34 Old Bay it
Blend with Old Bay seasoning to taste.
#35 Roast it
Blend with 2 carrots that have been rough chopped, tossed with olive oil, and roasted in a 375F oven until soft.
#36 Green it
Blend the hummus with 1/2 a package of frozen petite peas.
#37 Brighten it
Add the juice of half a lemon, and top with lots of fresh lemon zest ~ garnish with lemon wedges.
#39 Buffalo it
Blend with smoked paprika, and hot sauce to taste, then top with crumbled blue cheese.
#40 Crunch it
A layer of pine nuts does wonders for hummus, scatter them on as thick as you like, the contrast in textures is wonderful! (This is one of my personal faves.)
TIP: A quick toasting brings out incredible flavor in pine nuts…put them in a small skillet with a little olive oil and stir constantly over medium heat until they take on color and become fragrant.
#41 Tapenade it
Top the hummus with a layer of olive tapenade, black or green olives are equally wonderful!
#42 Adobo it
Blend in canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, to taste.
#43 Skewer it
Top a plate of hummus with skewers of barbecued chicken, beef, lamb, or Turkey and Zucchini Meatballs, (below)…but be forewarned, your guests might never leave 😉
#44 Choke it
Pulse the hummus with a small jar of marinated artichoke hearts ~ go for a chunky texture.
#45 Detox it
Pulse with a equal parts fresh kale and fresh parsley.
#46 ‘shroom it
Top with mushrooms that have been sauteed with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and parsley.
#47 Dill Pickle it
Process with a few baby dill pickles and pickle juice to taste. Garnish with thin slices of pickle.
#48 Crust it
Crumble a thick layer of crisp bacon over the top.
#49 Devil it
Fill halved hard cooked eggs with hummus, garnish with snipped chives.
#50 Layer it
Create a fun layered dip with baba ganoush, guacamole, tzatziki, olive tapenade, red pepper spread, feta cheese, and tabouleh ~ or choose from among your favorites. Do this in a single dish, or individual plastic cups.
So there you have it, 50 Ways to Hack Your Hummus ~
Have your own personal favorite hacks? Let me know in the comments, let’s keep this list going!