This homemade roasted red pepper hummus recipe is so creamy, flavorful, and easy to make.
I have a major soft spot for hummus. When my husband and I lived in New Zealand, we ate the most incredibly flavorful hummus. Some of our favorite flavors were caramelized onion, pumpkin & kumara (sweet potato), basil pesto, roasted red pepper hummus... there were so many.
Despite it being store-bought, it was soo creamy. We couldn't. get. enough.
Store-bought hummus in the U.S. is pretty disappointing for the most part. Most store-bought brands tend to be thick, dry, lack brightness, and have an unnecesarrily long list of ingredients.
While there is a good brand or two, the majority of them are sub-par. If I'm eating hummus, I want it to be ultra-creamy, bursting with flavor, and pillowy.
What can I say? New Zealand has set my hummus standards quite high.
Where Does Hummus Come From?
Hummus is made all over the world.
It's unclear where hummus truly originated because people in Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries claim it as their own.
The difference usually lies in the quantity of each ingredient used as well as the toppings. However, hummus as a whole is the combination of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Ingredients
- Chickpeas. The chickpeas are the base of the hummus and make it creamy. Canned beans or dried both work. For convenience, I used canned. Save the liquid and make easy egg-free mayo or aquafaba meringues.
- Tahini. Tahini is made by grinding sesame seeds into a paste and is an essential ingredient in hummus. Some tahini is more bitter than others, you just have to find one that you like best.
- Extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil makes hummus extra creamy with its great source of healthy fats.
- Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice adds brightness and helps create that nice pillowy texture (by tenderizing the tahini and beans).
- Garlic. Garlic is essential in hummus. It gives it that savory flavor, also known as umami. If you don't prefer a strong garlic flavor, just use one clove of garlic or see the substitutions section. Love it? Add more.
- Cumin. Ground cumin is a spice that's common in Middle Eastern dishes. It's added here for warmth and extra flavor.
- Smoked paprika. It adds a smoky, umami flavor to the hummus. This also helps to bring out the slight smokiness in the roasted red peppers.
- Roasted red peppers. I love the addition of the roasted red peppers for both the color and the sweet/smoky flavor they give. To make this recipe even easier, you can use store-bought roasted red peppers from a jar.
- Cayenne pepper. The cayenne just helps round out the flavors but doesn't add any heat.
How to Make This Creamy Hummus Recipe
In hummus, the chickpeas themselves don't really have much flavor. The chickpeas provide the texture while the other ingredients provide the layers of flavor.
First, add the tahini and lemon juice to a food processor for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and process again for another 30 seconds until those two ingredients are well-incorporated.
After that, you'll see that it has a whipped texture and is lighter in color.
Next, you want to build more flavor by adding the olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt (or any seasonings of your choice).
Now, give this layer another whirl for about a minute (you may have to stop in the middle and scrape down the sides).
To get that light and fluffy hummus texture, it's best to add the chickpeas in batches. Depending on the size of your food processor, you'll want to do this in about two to three batches.
Once the chickpeas are all well incorporated, add the roasted red peppers and run the machine until completely smooth.
To thin it out, add one tablespoon of water at a time until it's reached your desired consistency.
Taste the hummus now that the peppers have been added and see if it needs more salt.
Now it's ready to eat! To make it extra luxurious, you can...
- Drizzle the hummus with more olive oil.
- Add chopped roasted red peppers to the center.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
- Top with more smoked paprika and/or cumin.
Please remember that recipes are meant to be used as guides/templates. How can you make this roasted red pepper hummus using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
No chickpeas? ➝ You can also use another white bean such as Navy beans (confusing name, but they're white), Great Northern, or Cannellini beans.
No garlic? ➝ Add diced shallots, green onions, or leek greens for a milder flavor (around 1-2 tablespoons). Or you can omit completely.
No smoked paprika? ➝ Substitute regular paprika or leave it out.
No cayenne pepper? ➝ Add a small squirt of hot sauce or leave it out.
How to Get Ultra-Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
There are many debates about whether you should peel the skin off each individual chickpea to create the creamiest and smoothest hummus. When it comes down to it, it really just depends on personal preference.
I've had hummus both with and without the skins and it usually doesn't make that big of a noticeable difference for me.
The real secret to getting that ultra-creamy texture is going to shock you.
Ready for it? It has to do with the order in which you add the ingredients. Hint: the chickpeas go in last.
Just like you develop flavors when cooking, you want to use that same method when making hummus.
For example, you wouldn't put a steak in a pan first and then add garlic, onions, oil, etc. You build the flavor first before adding the steak. The same thing applies when making hummus.
More Healthy Dips & Sauces
If you love sauces and dips, be sure to check out these sweet and savory recipes:
Ultra-Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 cup roasted red peppers skins removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- water to thin (optional)
- If using canned chickpeas, drain the liquid, rinse the beans, and set aside.
- Add the tahini and lemon juice to the base of a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and process for another 30 seconds.
- Now add the olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice mixture. Process this until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add the chickpeas in two to three batches depending on the size of your food processor. Once the first batch is well blended, continue until all the chickpeas are used up and you have a thick smooth paste.
- Now that you have the base, add the roasted red peppers and process until smooth. If it's too thick, add water (one tablespoon at a time) until you've reached your desired consistency.
- Taste to see if it needs more salt or other seasonings. If so, process again.
- Don't discard the chickpea liquid. It's a great egg replacement, like in this easy egg-free mayo recipe.
- You can eat the hummus as is, but to make it even more flavorful, drizzle with more olive oil, chopped roasted red peppers, fresh parsley, or sprinkle with more cumin and/or paprika.
- You can also make this in a blender, but it must be a high-powered blender.