February 12, 2012

Homemade hummus recipe using dried garbanzo beans

Hummus is one of my favorite dips and spreads – but it can be very hard to find it for less than $2-$3 a container. I usually try to buy it when it’s on clearance or when I have a coupon and can find it under $2. Otherwise, I generally pass it up. So I decided to try and make homemade hummus – it turns out to be much cheaper and I had heard that the homemade stuff beats the store bought stuff as far as flavor goes (it usually does).

Dried garbanzo beans are a lot cheaper than canned. Look for them in bulk.

I have raved about the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter a couple months ago and in it there are great instructions for making homemade hummus. I started with dried garbanzo beans, which are much cheaper than canned.

Add plenty of water – more than you think, they’ll soak it up.

I soaked one pound of dried garbanzo beans over night in plenty of water.  The older your beans, the longer you need to soak them. It’s recommended you buy them from a store that you know rotates stock fairly often because the fresh ones are the best. If I was in a hurry (and didn’t want to soak overnight) I could have done the “quick soak” method which calls for boiling the dried garbanzo beans for two minutes and letting them sit at room temperature for two hours.

The next morning I drained off the soaking water and put the beans in a medium pot, with fresh water and brought it to a boil. I let them simmer for a good 60 to 90 minutes – until fork tender. If you have really fresh garbanzo beans they could be soft in as little as 40 minutes.

Once you have your garbanzo beans ready to go, here’s the hummus recipe:


4 garlic cloves, peeled (I ended up using five)

4 cups drained cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or you can used canned

Some of the liquid from boiling the garbanzo beans

2 teaspoons cumin

Pinch of ground coriander

5 tablespoons tahini (You can find tahini in health food departments, the local Olympia co-op sells it in bulk or you can order it online from places like Amazon or VitaCost which offers a $10 sign up credit. It’s a little spendy – but a little bit goes a long way so it should last you for many recipes.)

Juice of three large lemons (I ended up using four)

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more if you need it

Optional: Paprika sprinkled as a garnish


In a blender or food processor (see food processors on Amazon) puree all the ingredients until it’s creamy – give it longer than you think it needs. Make it the consistency you like by adding cooking liquid from the chickpeas and additional olive oil. Add salt to taste and additional lemon juice if you want more of that flavor. Ta da! You have hummus. It’s great with carrots, pita bread, on sandwiches or even spread in these feta, tomato wraps.

Overall it was a pretty easy process. Soaking the beans didn’t require much effort and I let the garbanzo beans simmer while I was cleaning – so they didn’t require too much attention. I learned I don’t like hummus that is warm – which it is was after they had simmered and then were blended – but after a little time in the fridge I felt like the flavors melded and it most resembled the stuff you’d get at the store – but better!

Although this was the first time I soaked beans for a recipe – I plan to venture into other bean recipes using dried beans. They are so much more affordable than canned beans and can add bulk to your meals without a lot of cost.

I’d love to hear if you have a hummus recipe you enjoy or if you have a favorite recipe that starts with soaking dried beans!

If this kind of things makes you giddy, I recommend checking your local library or Amazon for Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Cook from Scratch.


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  1. Abigail Miguel says:

    I love hummus and have been making my own from dried beans for a few years now, I think it is so much better than store bought. I usually cook at least 2 pounds of chickpeas at once, I use what I want for hummus immediately and then freeze the rest (in 4 cup containers) to use for hummus later on. That way I can just pull my chickpeas out of the freezer the night before I want fresh hummus and it is so easy to whip up once the chickpeas are cooked. It’s also nice to just have some cooked chickpeas in the freezer to add to meals or make a quick salad. The other thing I’ve been adding to my hummus is preserved lemons (just lemons, lemon juice and lots of salt in a big jar, they sit on the counter for a few days until they begin to get syrupy, then store them in the fridge, they keep for a long time) instead of fresh lemon juice and salt and it gives it a slightly different, but delicious taste, and some fresh parsley if I have any on hand.

  2. missdrd23 says:

    Very good recipe, thanks!

  3. I mean for making Tahini

  4. Could you use sun flower seeds instead??? I have some in bulk…

  5. Beronica says:

    I think I will try this recipe…has more tasty ingredients in it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Little tip on Garbanzo beans – after the first soak, drain the water and add 2 Tbs baking soda and just enough water to cover and simmer for between 30 minutes ( fresh beans) to an hour plus (older beans). Then wash in cold water under a constant stream and the shells will separate from the beans. This makes for a much creamier sauce!

  7. For those that want to make their own tahini,you can buy the seasame seeds hulled or unhulled from Whole Foods. You need three things: toast your sesame seeds first then add olive oil with the seeds to a food processor. A pound of seeds with the 3/4 cup of olive oil gives you about two cups of tahini. And to answer the question about freezing it,I have been doing it for years,with great results.

    • Yes, and I’ve started making my hummus without Tahini (sometimes stores don’t carry it) and it tastes just as good!

      • I live in Japan where you can buy roasted sesame seeds, so I just add the roasted sesame seeds directly to the hummus recipe with extra olive oil when mixing. Tahini is simply that; roasted sesame seeds and olive oil – no need to buy expensive packaged Tahini.

  8. Thank you for posting a hummus recipe with dried beans! I have been wanting to try this but was unsure how to cook them! I really appreciate it!!

  9. I was just reading that hummus freezes really well! They suggest adding a drizzle of olive oil after thawing.

  10. I love Hummus! I’ve never tried using dried beans, I might have to try that next time. Here’s my favorite recipe that I have been making for years.

    White Bean Tapenade
    (don’t let the fancy name fool you–it’s hummus, I promise!)
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    1 19 ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
    (or garbanzo beans)
    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    2 cloves garlic, crushed (I use more ’cause I love it!)
    3/4 teaspoon salt (I omit this)
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 roasted red pepper
    (it’s simple to roast your own, but I usually take the lazy route and just buy a jar of it!)
    2 tablespoons minced red onion
    1/4 cup finely chopped black olives

    In a blender puree the first 5 ingredients. Add water as needed if mixture doesn’t blend. In serving bowl, combine chopped red pepper, olives, parsley, and onion. Set aside 1 tablespoon of this mixture for garnish. Stir puree into mixture in bowl. Sprinkle with garnish.

    If you can stand waiting, the flavor is even better the next day. It keeps so well that I usually make a double batch. My family likes to eat it with pita bread that I cut up and broil, although I’d be happy with just a spoon to dig in! Yum!

  11. Silly question–to get the 4 cups of cooked chickpeas, how much dried chickpeas do you use? Not sure if how much they expand as they soak/cook.

    Also, can you subsitute peanut butter for the tahini like you can in some other hummus recipes? I can only find salted tahini in the stores, but I’d rather not add extra sodium if I can help it. Thanks! 🙂

    • I soaked a pound of garbanzo beans – but it ended up being slightly more than 4 cups. So maybe 3/4 pound would be closer to four cups? I’m totally guessing here. And I have no clue about substituting peanut butter instead of tahini – I think it would have a totally different flavor. You can make tahini relatively easily – I recommend checking into that? Then you can make it unsalted.

  12. I’m so glad you posted this. I am excited to find that book and read it. My favorite bean recipe is a delicious creamy white bean chicken chilli from Mel’s Kitchen cafe. Her whole website is wonderful.

    The link to the recipe: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2008/09/creamy-white-chili.html

    While the recipe calls for canned beans, I always just cook my own. So easy and delicious!

  13. Can you freeze hummus? This makes quite a bit of hummus and I am the only one in the house who will eat it!

  14. Yumm–I will have to try this recipe, although I like hummus warm- thats how we got it at a little restaurant in Old Jerusalem. Hummus was their primary menu, but I noticed over there they used more olive oil.

  15. mmmm…hummus….yum….


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