This creamy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is easy to whip up and makes a beautiful snack or appetizer. It’s a great choice for year-round entertaining, from Game Day and summer picnics, to holiday parties, and beyond!
I almost always have a container of hummus in my refrigerator. It’s so great for lighter snacking during the afternoon, spreading onto a sandwich wrap at lunch, or adding to a gorgeous mezze platter for easy entertaining.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus has always been one of my favorite varieties. It’s vibrant color and garnishes make it so especially inviting in the serving bowl. (We eat with our eyes first, right?) Rich and creamy, this nosh feels indulgent, when it’s made with some pretty good-for-you ingredients. Win-win!
How to Make Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Restaurant-quality Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is so easy to make at home, using just a few ingredients and a blender or food processor. It whips up in minutes!
This recipe starts with classic hummus components, including chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Roasted red peppers give the hummus a beautiful red-orange color and sweet pepper flavor.
While classic hummus recipes often add water, I find that this isn’t necessary with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, since the peppers add moisture. That said, if your batch is thicker than you’d like, you can always add a little water to thin to your preferences.
Should I Use Canned or Cooked Dried Chickpeas?
Either works! For convenience, I often use canned chickpeas that I’ve drained and rinsed, and the hummus is delicious.
If you have time to cook dried chickpeas, those work equally well. When preparing my own chickpeas for hummus, I like to cook them just a bit longer than I would for, say, a Chickpea Salad. Softer chickpeas blend up especially creamy.
For the smoothest hummus, I like to remove the skins from the chickpeas before adding them to the food processor. This is an extra step, and it does take a few minutes, but it helps to make an ethereal texture in the finished product.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is made from toasted sesame seeds that are ground into a smooth, creamy puree. The best tahini has a warm, nutty flavor, and is a classic ingredient in hummus. You can find it in the “ethnic” aisle at most grocery stores, and in specialty markets.
I chose the wording “the best” in the last paragraph for a reason. When shopping for tahini, it’s important to take note that not all brands are created equal. Some tahini is very bitter, and I’m not being overdramatic when I say that it can completely ruin your hummus. (Been there, done that, threw out the entire batch.)
It really comes down to tasting what is available to you, as well as brand reputation. My favorite brand for consistently delicious, mild tahini, that blends well into hummus without overpowering, is Soom. The 365 Everyday Value brand from Whole Foods is also a favorite, especially if Soom is not sold near you and you don’t have time to order it online.
Oftentimes, when you buy tahini, you will see separation in the jar between the oils and the ground sesame paste. Just like a natural nut butter, this is normal. Stir well to recombine before using the tahini.
Want to try making your own tahini? Check out this tutorial from The Kitchn.
Serving Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
As an appetizer or snack, I love to serve this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, chilled, with homemade pita chips and/or crudités for dipping.
When you’ve placed the hummus in the serving bowl, use the back of a tablespoon to make a few swirls in the top. Then, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on the top. It will pool in the valleys of the hummus, as shown in the photos.
In the center of the bowl, I like to add a little chopped roasted red pepper and some fresh parsley for a pretty presentation. This is also helpful for identifying the flavor of the hummus to your guests if you’re serving more than one variety at a party.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
- 1/4 cup good quality tahini
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers , drained, rinsed, patted dry, and roughly chopped; plus additional for garnish
- 1-2 cloves garlic , peeled (amount depends on how garlicky you like your hummus – I recommend starting with 1 clove the first time you make it.)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt , plus additional, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , plus additional, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , plus additional for garnish
- chopped flat leaf parsley , for garnish
- pita chips , for serving
- For a creamy texture, remove and discard the skins from the chickpeas.
- Add chickpeas, tahini, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and lemon juice to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- With the blender or food processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Blend for about 1 minute longer, until very smooth.
- Season the hummus with additional salt and lemon juice, if desired, to taste. If the hummus is quite thick (this will depend on your brand of tahini), you can add a little cool water, a teaspoonful at a time, to thin it. Keep in mind that the hummus will thicken a bit as it chills.
- Cover and chill the hummus for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Spoon into a bowl and swirl the top with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil and top with additional chopped roasted red peppers and fresh parsley.
- Serve with warm pita chips or crudités. You can store the hummus in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or smoked paprika, to taste.
- Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce, to taste.