Those canned chickpeas in the back of your cupboard could be doing so much more right now. Use them in this easy hummus recipe to make a light, whipped spread that’s immeasurably better than the versions you’re likely to find at the grocery store. Blend the chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) in a food processor with the good stuff: tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and spices. Then thin it out with just enough cold water to reach your desired consistency, a creamy hummus ready for any and all of your dipping needs. 

The 10-minute prep time makes this the best hummus recipe to keep in your back pocket for last-minute appetizer emergencies. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile: swoop it around the base of a grain bowl, schmear a dollop on crusty sourdough, or serve it tucked into pita with freshly fried falafel.

This recipe is also great at stealing the limelight in a Mediterranean mezze platter with tabboulehmuhammara (roasted red pepper and walnut dip), and a smoky eggplant spread. Top it with a heavy drizzle of olive oil and garnish with pine nuts and flaky sea salt; paprika and chopped fresh parsley; roasted garlic; or a sprinkle of za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend featuring the oregano-adjacent titular herb, plus sumac and sesame seeds). No matter the topping, don’t forget lots of veggies for dipping. 

Ready to riff? Here are four ways to flavor your homemade hummus (including a curried sweet potato version and an herby avocado number) and a bonus smoky red pepper hummus. Searching for a way to use a bag of dried chickpeas? Stew a big pot of our best cooked chickpeas for lunch all week, or find lots more chickpea inspiration here.

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  1. Step 1

    Start by prepping all of your ingredients: Drain 15.5 oz. chickpeas in a strainer or colander and rinse thoroughly. Let drain again while you do the other prep.

    Step 2

    Cut 1 lemon in half, remove any visible seeds, and squeeze juice into a small bowl. You should have 3–4 Tbsp.

    Step 3

    Smash 1 garlic clove with the flat side of your knife on a cutting board and remove peel. Continue to mash with side of knife until a paste forms. (You can also grate garlic on a microplane if you have one—you’re just looking for a fine paste.)

    Step 4

    Combine drained chickpeas, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, garlic, ½ cup tahini, ¾ tsp. salt, 10 cracks pepper, ¼ tsp. cumin, and 2 Tbsp. water in a food processor.

    Step 5

    Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

    Step 6

    With the motor running, stream in 3 Tbsp. oil, then continue to process until hummus is very light and creamy, about 1 minute longer. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

    Step 7

    Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl, top with za’atar and/or sesame seeds, and drizzle with more oil.

    → Mastered this base recipe? Here are 4 ways to mix it up.

    Do ahead: Hummus can be made 4 days ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and chill. 

    Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in February 2018. Head this way for more of our best chickpea recipes

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