Photo credit: Emanuelle Lee

We’re Obsessed With This Loaded Hummus Recipe

Make hummus a meal by loading it up with Middle Eastern flavors.

Every day all over Israel, starchy chickpeas bubble away in heavy vats on gas stoves, waiting for locals to pull up a chair for something quick, simple, and delicious to eat. Customers swipe silky hummus with warm, fluffy pita or raw onions, served with zhug, a fresh Yemenite hot sauce; warm chickpeas with tahini known as masabacha or mashawasha; or ful (fava beans). This sort of establishment is called a hummusiait solely serves hummus, pita, and a few staple salads. The message implied in these sanctuaries does not need to be said out loud: Hummus is not a side or a dip, hummus is a meal.

I can’t wait to get off the plane, drop off my bags, and head straight to my favorite hummus joint in Tel Aviv, but in the meantime, this loaded hummus recipe just about hits the spot. 

A note on chickpeas: There are a lot of complicated hummus recipes out there, but the best hummus I’ve had is made with the least ingredients. The important thing is that your chickpeas are super tender and your tahini is a high-quality, authentic one. Jarred chickpeas tend to be big and incredibly soft but hard to find. Canned are fine, though if they’re not super squishy you’ll need to cook them a second time to get smooth hummus. Or, cook dried chickpeas for 2 hours with a teaspoon of baking soda and a couple of bay leaves (after soaking overnight in water). If you can find a really good pre-made hummus, you could load that up, too. 

The following recipe is for homemade hummus plus four toppings; feel free to play around with the toppings according to your taste.

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Loaded Hummus Recipe

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Make hummus a meal by loading it up with Middle Eastern flavors.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


For the hummus:

  • 700 g cooked or canned chickpeas (a little less than 2 cans — save the rest for lemony chickpeas, see below)
  • ¼ cup good tahini paste (Har Bracha brand if you can source it, but New York-based Seed and Mill is also great)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil plus more for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • salt and white pepper

For the lemony chickpeas:

  • 100 g cooked or canned chickpeas
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt

For the chopped salad:

  • 100 g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved and/or quartered
  • ½ cucumber, chopped into small chunks
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp za’atar
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced

For the tomato-chili hot sauce: 

  • 3 red chillies
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt

For the sumac-marinated feta:

  • 80 g feta cheese, cut or broken into cubes
  • ¼ tsp sumac
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

To serve: pitted olives, radishes, tahini sauce, and/or pita or pita chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 355 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Start by roasting your garlic. Place 8 cloves of garlic plus a whole head cut in half width-ways (unpeeled) in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on size of your garlic, until tender, aromatic and a deep golden color.
  3. Meanwhile, make the lemony chickpeas. Heat a Tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add the chickpeas. Allow them to become lightly golden, tossing occasionally. Add lemon juice, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Once lightly crispy and golden, remove from heat and add lemon zest.
  4. To make the hummus, add your chickpeas to a pot and cover with water. If using canned, add a couple of bay leaves. Bring to a boil and boil until very tender, about 10-20 minutes. 
  5. Reserve a cup of the hot water and drain the chickpeas. Blend them in a food processor until smooth, adding some of the reserved water to help it get there; start with 1/4 cup and add another teaspoon at a time if needed. The chickpeas should now be a smooth, thick, puree consistency. Add the tahini paste and blend until smooth and well incorporated. Add 2 cloves of roasted garlic, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and white pepper, honey, and olive oil.
  6. For the chopped salad, combine all the ingredients and mix well, allowing the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions to marinate lightly in the dressing.
  7. For the hot sauce, place the chillies on a roasting tray and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes on each side, until charred. Remove top and seeds. Sprinkle chillies and garlic with salt and chop very finely. Then crush with the back of a knife until you form a paste. Transfer to a small bowl, grate the tomato into the bowl and mix well. Add the parsley, lemon juice, and coriander powder and mix to combine. Add the olive oil and mix lightly.
  8. Sprinkle the feta with sumac and drizzle with olive oil. Mix and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  9. To load your hummus, dollop your hummus onto your chosen plate, bowl, or platter and swipe with the back of a spoon, around and towards the outside of the dish. Drizzle with a generous amount of tahini sauce and top with chopped salad, lemony chickpeas, pitted olives, sliced radishes, feta, and the remaining roasted garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and dot the hot sauce around the dish (or serve on the side). Enjoy with fluffy pita or pita chips.
  • Author: Emanuelle Lee
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Quick
  • Cuisine: Israeli

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