Humus is a creamy delight that originated in the Middle East but is now a global enjoyment. Packed with healthy proteins, this little dish is exotic and easy to make. And, when you make it right, the result is just perfectly smooth and fatty without being heavy.
Even more, it’s so versatile that I could have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
But I manage to get a hold of my love for hummus and only cook it on special occasions or when I want to feel special (it’s my favorite ‘Pick Me Up’ dish). So, without further ado, I will teach you how to make hummus in your Instant Pot.
Why the Instant Pot, you ask? Well, hummus is basically a chickpea puree. This means, that, in order to get it extremely creamy and tasty, you first need to bring the chickpeas to a tender and soft. Now, it takes a lot of time and cooking to get the beans to this texture when you’re using traditional cooking methods or a slow cooker. So, to speed things up, I like to use my trusty Instant Pot.
Keep in mind: Chickpeas will increase in volume while cooking so make sure to follow the quantities specified in the recipe!
Is it Healthy?
Hummus has an oily texture and it’s so rich that you can’t eat too much of it on one sitting. So, it’s natural to wonder about its caloric profile and overall effect on your health.
As it turns out, nutritionists and health specialists had the same question. In a study performed at the University of Tasmania’s School of Human Life Sciences, it was proven that even consumed as a steady diet, hummus lowers bad cholesterol and provides the body with much-needed fibers.
In addition, this is the ideal spread when you’re trying to lose weight. According to scientists, due to its rich protein content, hummus helps reduce cravings by keeping blood sugar levels balanced. Even more, it is rich in iron, which helps increase energy and focus during the day.
Besides being healthy and nourishing, hummus never gets boring. People have built upon the original recipe (close to the one I have shared here) and now there is a myriad of flavors. Among the most interesting I’d like to name basil pesto, roasted red pepper, or chipotle. But there’s also something called Thai coconut curry hummus that I haven’t tried yet, so there’s a lot to look forward to!
To Soak or Not to Soak?
It depends on your time and preparedness. If you know you want to make hummus at least one day ahead, then you should consider letting them soak overnight.
For every cup of chickpeas add a cup of water (in a large container) and finish it up with a tablespoon of salt. Mix everything in and let them soak at room temperature. In the morning you’ll find them double or triple in size, just ready to go in the Instant Pot.
Quick tip: If you soak the beans, it’s enough to cook them on high pressure for about 15 to 20 minutes. In the recipe, I have the details for non-soaked beans.
Making the Paste
To get that perfect creaminess and taste, it’s best to process the chickpeas while they are still hot. That’s when they can be crushed into a creamy and oily paste that goes nicely on bread, chips, and vegetables.
Still, before you can get them out of the pot, you’ll have to let the pressure release naturally. While you do so, put the garlic cloves (whole) in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and let them soak until the beans are ready for processing. This will get the pungency out of the garlic and improve the taste of the hummus.
Also, when you get the beans out of the pot, make sure to remove the onion and bay leaves (these are just out in the water to add flavor while cooking the beans).
When you blend everything together, start at the lowest speed, and increase progressively to high. Basically, the paste should already be smooth when you reach the highest level. At high speeds, the hummus settles in nicely and becomes incredibly creamy.
Quick tip: If you like a thinner paste, add a bit of the liquid you reserved after you drained the beans. Don’t add too much at once as the hummus can get too thin; do it progressively and adjust according to your needs.
What if I don’t Have Tahini?
Tahini or sesame paste is an important ingredient in the classic hummus recipe. It brings out the nutty flavor in the paste and makes the dish feel full and flavorful in your mouth.
So, what is there to do when you run out or you can’t find any at the local grocery store?
Well, if you can wait, I would recommend you do so. While there are some viable substitutes for tahini, there’s nothing to replace it completely. For me, hummus without sesame paste is not hummus – it’s still good but it doesn’t quench my desire for the real thing.
Now that this is out of the way and I’ve proven my loyalty to high-quality hummus, here are some substitutes I’ve used over the years:
- Peanut butter (smooth) – this works if you really like peanut butter. Since it has a stronger flavor than tahini, it will completely dominate the dish while still maintaining the creaminess.
- Sesame seeds – yes, with a high powered blender you can make your own paste. However, it’s difficult to get the same consistency and taste as with the store-bought product.
- Sesame oil – while it is stronger in flavor than tahini (so use sparingly) it only works for small quantities of hummus.
- Greek yogurt – again, the taste will be completely different but it will produce that creamy result. Still, keep in mind that it is more watery than tahini, so proceed with caution. The good news is that you can make your own greek yogurt, so you don’t even have to go to the store!
I also have two more hummus recipes, where I don’t use tahini – Garlic Hummus and Spinach Hummus. Yes, they are delicious. And yes, I will always choose the one with tahini should I be given the choice
As I already mentioned, hummus goes nicely in a wide array of combinations. But it can also be a meal in itself, so it’s up to you how you want to consume it.
For presentation purposes, I like to place it in a ceramic bowl and add freshly chopped parsley and paprika at the top. It also helps to drizzle it with virgin oil – it creates a very nice and inviting look.
- 3 cups garbanzo beans
- 12 cups water
- 1 onion cut in half
- 2 bay leaves optional
- 1/2 cup cooking liquid made in the recipe
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp paprika for serving
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for serving
- Drain and rinse garbanzo beans.
- Add garbanzo beans, water, onion and bay leaves (optional) in an Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and set the vent into "sealing".
- Cook for 50 minutes on high pressure.
- When cooking time ends, wait for a natural pressure release.
- Once done, open the lid, drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
- In a food processor, add the beans, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Process the mixture until it is creamy and smooth.
- Serve and enjoy. Topped with paprika and olive oil.