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Lemony Hummus

Updated: 8/14/21 3:00 amPublished: 4/11/18
By Catherine Newman

By Catherine Newman

Makes about 4 (1/4-cup) servings   Total carbohydrates: 16 grams per serving
Hands-on time: 10 minutes  
Total time: 10 minutes                       

Good hummus is tangy, creamy, and versatile. (As opposed to bad hummus, which is bland, gritty, and pointless.) It’s full of protein and fiber, thanks to the chickpeas, and you can scoop it up with veggies, roll it up in a tortilla or collard leaf, or include it on a salad plate. If you like tahini, which is a traditional ingredient, by all means swap some in for the oil here. You should also feel free to tinker in other ways: I sometimes change the flavor up by adding a handful of mint leaves or a few gratings of orange zest.


1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved (or 1 1/2 cups freshly cooked chickpeas)
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice plus ½ teaspoon freshly grated zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
6 tablespoons olive oil (plus optional additional for drizzling)
1 teaspoon aleppo pepper or other chile flakes (optional)


  1. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, whir together the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the chickpea liquid from the can, the garlic, the lemon juice and zest, the cumin, and the salt.

  2. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil, and process until creamy and light. Add another tablespoon or two of the chickpea liquid if the hummus is not perfectly creamy. Taste it and add more salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, or garlic, if the flavor needs a boost.

  3. Scoop into a bowl and, if you’re serving it as a dip, drizzle with olive oil. (If you like it a little spicy, warm the oil with the chile flakes before drizzling.)

Sidebar: Garbanzo Bonanza!

I love chickpeas, even when they’re called garbanzos (which sounds a little like an Italian clown made out of trash, but maybe not to you). The carb count might seem high (45 grams in 1 cup of cooked chickpeas), but the beans are full of fiber (12 grams per cup), which helps offset some of the carbs and keeps chickpeas lower on the glycemic index (i.e., less of a spike in blood sugar). In 5 minutes, you can turn 1 can of chickpeas into lunch for 3 people, just by adding lemon and olive oil, along with:

  • Red onion, mint, and feta

  • Radishes, green olives, and parsley

  • Cherry tomatoes and a spoonful of pesto

  • Arugula, parmesan, and toasted walnuts

  • Cucumbers, canned tuna, and dill

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Last year they started the WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and are currently developing Seasoned, their senior version, commissioned by the AARP. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health and happiness at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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About the authors

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop... Read the full bio »