A creamy Pesto Hummus is the perfect dip for serving at gatherings and parties with toasted bagel chips, veggies, or pita bread! It takes less than 5 minutes to make and has all the flavors of basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a deliciously dippable form!
We love easy appetizer dips like this, especially when we have friends coming over. Some of our other favorites are 7 Layer Dip, Trader Joe’s Lentil Bruschetta Feta Dip, and Grilled Mexican Street Corn Dip.
This simple, healthy dip is a combination of two of our favorite cuisines: Middle Eastern and Italian. Hummus is a traditional Middle Eastern food that was probably invented in Egypt in the 13th century, although some believe it was first created by the Greeks. It's made with cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic that are mashed into a dip or spread and traditionally served with pita bread.
We love hummus with pita bread, of course, but it's also excellent with crunchy veggie sticks and is something I will often send in the girls lunches for a healthy snack.
Why this recipe works
- It's as easy as throwing everything in a food processor and pulsing until it's as creamy and smooth as you like it.
- You can use fresh basil leaves or store bought pesto to add that wonderful herby flavor twist to classic hummus
- It's naturally gluten-free! Serve it with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping for a satisfying appetizer dip if you have friends with a gluten intolerance.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas make life easy because they are already cooked, soft, and ready to be added to your hummus.
- Tahini paste: This ingredient is common to hummus and gives it its distinctive taste. Tahini paste is made from finely ground sesame seeds and can be found at most grocery stores near the peanut butter or in the international foods aisle.
- Pine nuts: We love pine nuts and often throw them into salads, but they are a classic component in pesto. If you don't have pine nuts on hand, you could use walnuts instead.
- Fresh basil leaves: I don't recommend replacing fresh basil with dried basil for this recipe. If you can't get your hands on fresh basil, I would instead use some good quality pesto sauce in its place.
How to Make this Recipe
Add all of the hummus ingredients to the bowl of a large food processor . Close and secure the lid, then pulse until everything is broken down and forms a creamy, smooth spread.
You might need to scrape things down from the sides if they don't quite get blended in and pulse a little more, but it doesn't take more than a minute or two before it's wonderfully creamy and spreadable like the hummus pictured here. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
We like to serve it in a bowl garnished with a few extra pine nuts sprinkled on top and a drizzle of olive oil, but you could also garnish with a few reserved chickpeas and a drizzle of pesto sauce to indicate the flavor of the hummus.
This version is not because of the parmesan cheese that I added for the pesto flavor. However, traditional hummus is and you can make this vegan as well by using an equal amount of nutritional yeast in place of the parmesan cheese for that cheesy flavor.
If you don't have chickpeas or can't eat them because of an allergy, you can also make hummus with edamame, lime beans, black beans, or white beans. The flavor and texture might be slightly different, but you will still end up with a deliciously spreadable dip that is very similar.
Yes, hummus can be frozen for 2-3 months. If it is a little watery after thawing in the fridge overnight, just stir it well to recombine.
- I really recommend using a food processor over a blender. A blender can work, but in my experience it's just easier to do thick spreads like this in a food processor.
- Serve your hummus with toasted or soft pita bread, crunchy bagel chips or pita chips, or fresh vegetables like crunchy carrot sticks, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
- If you want a greener color to your hummus, try adding a handful of spinach before processing everything. It adds a natural darker green tint than the basil leaves themselves do.
- Store any uneaten hummus in the fridge. It can be eaten immediately after making it or served chilled straight out of the fridge.
More Appetizer Recipes
Did you make this recipe?
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Easy Pesto Hummus
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup fresh basil, packed
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- ¼ cup tahini paste
- ½ cup water
- Place all of the ingredients in a larger food processor and blend until smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add one tablespoon more of either olive oil or water until it reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt, if needed.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Serve with pita chips or bagel chips, crackers, soft pita bread, carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers, sliced cucumber, roasted cauliflower florets, etc.
- For a greener color to the hummus, try adding a handful of fresh spinach before blending.
- For a dairy-free alternative, you can replace the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast.