Smoky Hummus

Creamy, garlicky, and smoky hummus that pairs well with a fresh Israeli salad or pita bread!

One of my most memorable meals was many years ago at Zahav in Philadelphia with my mom; I still think about it. The chef and owner, Michael Solomonov, specializes in Israeli cuisine, and has gained national recognition for his outstanding contribution to the world of food. I’ve eaten my fair share of Israeli/Middle Eastern food, but this meal was on a higher plane altogether. My mom and I wanted to sample as much as possible, so we ended up ordering quite a bit of food. Every single menu item was absolutely divine.

white bowl with smooth and creamy hummus next to a white bowl with green cucumber salad on a wooden table

After my unforgettable experience at Zahav, I discovered how easy it was (and soooo much more flavorful!) to make homemade hummus. I mean, we’re talking minutes, and presto, you have a fresh batch of the tastiest stuff ready to eat. This hummus recipe is inspired by the one in Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking. Fun fact that I learned from this cookbook: Israeli -style hummus has much more tehini than Greek-style hummus, which is more garlic-and-lemon forward. I decided to combine the two and create a hummus recipe that has plenty of tahini AND garlic! I also wanted a smoky flavor to add a more nuanced flavor profile, so I’ve increased the normal amount of paprika in most hummus recipes. The result is a smooth and creamy, garlicky, smoky, tahini-rich bowl of happiness. I make it frequently and I hope you do, too.

close up of smooth and creamy hummus topped with paprika, olive oil, and parsley in a white bowl

I know that some people swear by using dried chickpeas, but if you are short on time, canned chickpeas work just fine, and that is what I use here. A smidge of heat is added to this recipe because the bold flavors of garlic and tahini can hold their own. The parsley added at the end is optional, but it does add bright freshness, so I recommend it. Pair hummus with a simple cucumber salad, carrot sticks, or just pita chips! As always, let me know if you have any questions in the comments section, and enjoy your week.

Smoky Hummus

Creamy, garlicky, and smoky hummus that pairs well with a fresh Israeli salad or pita bread!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Israeli
Servings 4 cups


  • 15 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 splash olive oil, for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for serving (optional)


  • In a food processor, blend the chickpeas until a chunky mixture forms. Scrape down sides of bowl, and add garlic, lemon juice, salt, tahini, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  • With machine running, add 1/4 cup cold water by the tablespoonful and continue to blend until a smoothy and creamy texture is created. It may be necessary to stop, scrape down sides of bowl again, and continue processing for another minute or so. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  • To serve, spread the hummus in a bowl, drizzle generously with olive oil, dust with additional paprika, and sprinkle with parsley. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword chickpeas, garlic, hummus, tahini


  1. Barb+Haner

    This brings back so many fun memories! I will be making some hummus!

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