Hummus Without Tahini

Spicie Foodie Nancy Lopez-McHugh with her personal take on the classic mid-east chickpea dip. Sans Tahini.
By Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Hummus is a middle eastern spread or dip made mostly from white chickpeas (also know as garbanzo beans). Hummus has enjoyed great popularity in not only middle eastern cuisine but also in Greek cuisine. In recent history it has gained popularity all over the world. Chickpeas have been used in the middle east since ancient times. Some believe that the earliest hummus recipes date back to the 13th century.

Recipes for hummus can vary greatly from country to country and home to home. This makes hummus one of those dishes that can easily be personalized according to taste. The most common ingredients are boiled chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, spices and herbs. All or any combination of ingredients is then ground to make a thick dip or spread and served cold. Hummus can be served as an appetizer with pita or any Arab breads, as part of a Meze, it can be spread on sandwiches, or even served with fresh vegetables as a healthy snack. Hummus makes a healthy snack because the chickpeas are high in fiber, folic acid, a good source of iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. The lemon provides a good source of vitamin C and the olive oil is a source of healthy fat.

Hummus without Tahini

Tahini is an ingredient that can sometimes be hard to find. My recipe omits the tahini but still yields a delicious flavor with a lemony flavor.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hummus Without Tahini
Prep Time
Total Time
Learn how to make perfect hummus without tahini
Recipe Type: Side
Cuisine: Mid Eastern
Serves: 3-4
  • 14 oz. or 400 g cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • ¼ cup or 60 ml reserved broth from boiling chickpeas or from can
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, (E.V.O. oil)
  • 1 medium lemon (I used Meyer lemon) juiced about 3 tbsp juice
  • ½ tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • to decorate:
  • olive oil
  • extra cooked chickpeas
  • paprika
  • parsley, dried or fresh
  • Tools:
  • immersion blender or regular blender
  • small bowl
  • serving bowl
  1. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place drained chickpeas/garbanzo beans in blender, remember to reserve the broth. Pour ¼ cup of the reserved broth and the lemon mixture into the blender. Pulse until you have a smooth thick paste. If needed, add extra broth or water to the blender to achieve the consistency needed. Taste and adjust spices if necessary. Pour the hummus into serving dish.
  2. To decorate as in photo: Make a small well near the edge going in a circular motion. Pour some olive oil in the well, place some cooked chickpeas into the well and a few in the center of the dish. Sprinkle with paprika and fresh or dried parsley. Serve with pita and enjoy.

Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Nancy Lopez-McHugh

Nancy Lopez-McHugh is a food blogger, photographer and published author. Most recently she has published "Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide To Better Photos".

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Originally Published: March 9, 2011

43 Responses to Hummus Without Tahini

  1. Pingback: Hummus Without Tahini | Madbevægelsen -- danske madblogs

  2. Joan Nova

    Joan Nova Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I’ve done hummus without tahini and didn’t miss it. I think the key ingredients are the lemon and garlic — and, of course, the garbanzos and olive oil. :) I really like your plating.

  3. Nancy Lopez-McHugh

    Nancy/SpicieFoodie Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Joan, I didn’t miss the tahini either, it was still so delicious. Yes I agree and thank you :)

  4. Priscilla - She's Cookin' Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I make all my hummus without tahini and don’t miss it either! As you said, tahini can be hard to find, plus its shelf life is very short. Love the meyer lemon here – and gorgeous presentation!

  5. Alisha Randell

    Magic of Spice Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    What a gorgeous humus recipe! Tahini is probably the main reason people fear being able to create this delight, or better said the inability to find it. Excellent recipe!

  6. Sandra Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Nancy this sounds so good and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing bit of history about hummus! I love this photo too! Well done!

  7. Julie - Persnickety Palate Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I don’t usually buy tahini because of the short shelf life and because I can never think of anything to do with besides hummus. Half the time I even make my “hummus” with white beans instead of garbanzos! But I recently learned that the combination of chickpeas and tahini forms a complete protein, which makes me look a little harder at the options. Gorgeous presentation, by the way! :)

  8. Brian Samuels

    Brian @ A Thought For Food Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I have had hummus a number of ways… both with and without tahini. I love it either way… with or without tahini. With that being said, my sister is allergic to sesame, so I’m always looking for a good recipe that doesn’t call for it.

    And here I may have found the ultimate one.

  9. Brady Evans

    Brady Evans Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Have you ever tried subbing peanut butter for the tahini?

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy/SpicieFoodie Reply

      March 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Brady, No I never have. But I have read that peanut butter can be substituted for tahini. Why not?

  10. Nancy Lopez-McHugh

    Nancy/SpicieFoodie Reply

    March 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Thank you ladies for the great feedback. Glad to hear your tips as well.

  11. Bonnie Rodriguez

    sweetlife Reply

    March 15, 2011 at 1:51 am

    great background history, thanks for sharing..my girls love hummus, so I always try to have chickpeas onhand, great remake without the tahini..stunning plating!!


  12. sarah Reply

    March 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I can not wait to try this recipe! I love the addition of meyer lemon. Looking forward to reading more!!

  13. deeba Reply

    March 16, 2011 at 9:01 am

    What an exciting take on hummus…delicious!

  14. tasteofbeirut Reply

    March 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    In Lebanese kitchens, hummus is made without tahini and called hummus balila.
    It is garnished with pine nuts and flavored with garlic, olive oil and cumin.

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy/SpicieFoodie Reply

      March 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm

      Thank you for the information, it’s always great to learn more about hummus.

  15. Sylvie Shirazi

    Sylvie Reply

    March 18, 2011 at 5:22 am

    I’ve made a white bean version without tahini that worked out well too.

  16. Christine Curran

    Christine Curran Reply

    March 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Yum! I love hummus, and it is true that tahini can be hard to come by sometimes. Also, the price for tahini has become a bit ridiculous in the States, so it is great to have an alternative.

    Beautiful photo!

    • Nancy Lopez-McHugh

      Nancy Lopez-McHugh Reply

      March 25, 2011 at 11:02 am

      You are correct Christine, the price can be quite high. Even when purchased at Middle Eastern stores.

  17. Sherry Reply

    February 4, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Like others, I balked at making hummus at home because of the tahini. That and Sabra hummus is ungodly delicious, but then I realized I could make my own tahini by grinding up sesame seeds (which I always have on hand) and adding olive oil. And now I’m a hummus making fiend. But I still cave once in a while when it comes to Sabra but who can blame me?

  18. bdgross aka lord of hummus Reply

    May 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I have found that the tahini is used more as a filler and an alternative to olive oil. I will be doing a lecture next week at the Mid – West / Mid – East coalition on the role hummus has played in pre 1200 ad westward expansion. Looking forward to it.

  19. Jackie Eberle Reply

    October 24, 2012 at 8:44 am

    This is the first time I have made hummus at home. Just tried it and it is delicious. This is way better than the stuff in the shops and without any additives. Thank you.

  20. Katherine Ryan Reply

    October 29, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Hi there! I live in Greece and have no trouble finding tahini at a reasonable price. I just wanted to suggest that if you do like the taste of sesame but can’t get it or find it expensive, an idea is to toast a cup of sesame seeds in a frying pan on medium heat until golden brown and add them to your mixture. I do this whether I add tahini or not and it gives a nice flavour and texture to the hummus.

  21. Jeanne Reply

    November 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Thank you! Tahini is also calorie laden. I didn’t know I could just omit.
    Love your presentation as well.

  22. Gregory Hines Reply

    February 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I found this recipe searching for a non-Tahini hummus. I found this and what a find! I couldn’t believe this actually came out fo my kitchen. My wife (pregnant) and I eat this up constantly especially with me being on the daniel fast for Lent. I even brought it into work and shared the dish and nowe the recipe. Thanks so much and please keep ‘em coming!

  23. tahini alternatives Reply

    March 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    certainly like your website however you need to check the spelling on quite
    a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to inform
    the reality nevertheless I’ll certainly come back again.

  24. Jim Reply

    April 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    If you have a Trader Joes around they always have very affordable fresh tahini!

  25. Erika Reply

    April 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    MMMM!! That was delicious! I was always told you HAD to have tahini to make homemade hummus. But I tried this recipe tonight, and it was great! Taste better than the store bought brands.

  26. Joan Reply

    May 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    If I use pj in place of tahini, how much should I use?

  27. Nico Reply

    July 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Reading thru your comments, I am wondering if it would make sense to substitute tahini for a very small amount of sesame oil- readily available and with a longer shelf life?

  28. Pingback: Hummus | Sukarah ????????

  29. Lynette Kleve Reply

    July 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Hi there! Nice post. I too like hummus and will be making my hummus recipe to go along with a chicken salad tonight. I have never used tahini but do use sesame seeds. The addition of roasted seasame seeds adds a nice texture to an already delicious dish! Ingredients in my recipe are:

    1 can chickpeas warmed
    fresh lemon juice
    fresh chopped garlic cooked in olive oil
    roasted crushed sesame seeds
    little salt/pepper to taste

  30. Deborah Roemer Reply

    January 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I haven’t tried this recipe as of yet but it sounds very good. I was wondering if substituting lime juice would be ok? We don’t get fresh lemons here but the little limes are readily available. Also question about the tahini–I made some and it has a different kind of taste and was wondering if that is normal. Thanks

  31. Anandi Reply

    February 4, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Hi! Your dish looks gorgeous! I wanted to know how long we could store this in the fridge. Would be helpful if you could elaborate. Cheers.

  32. Jonathan Abenethy-Deppe Reply

    April 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Our neighbor proudly makes what he calls hummus without tahini. It was delicious with lots of cumin, but it just isn’t hummus without the flavor of the sesame tahini. I’m a bit puzzled about all the claims for short shelf life of tahini. We keep ours in the refrigerator and have no trouble with it lasting a long time. Also, Costco carries a brand of organic hummus called Pita Pal. It’s delicious. I like Sabra, too.

  33. Susan Reply

    April 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Well sure you can make hummus without tahini, but why would you want to?
    Tahini makes the hummus taste fabulous. Yes, tahini has a short shelf life, but buy it canned(shelf life of 6 months until opened), then store the remainder out of the can in the refridgerator, where it will last a nice long time. I am bewidered by the complaints that tahini is hard to find, at least in the U.S. Good grief, freaking Walmart carries hummus. Yes, it is expensive, but a recipe for hummus is 80% chick peas, so a little goes a long way. What is life without our little joys?

  34. Erik K Reply

    October 29, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    As far as the value of having a recipe of hummus without Tahini goes, I personally think it’s awesome to be able to try this great recipe out because Tahini is not only hard to find…. it’s expensive as well as very high in calories. This alternative is a win/win! Thanks so much for publishing this! I’m excited to try it out!

  35. paul Reply

    November 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I’ve found sesame oil (dark better than light) is a perfect substitute for tahini. Especially since it is much easier to find than tahini and usually a bit less (since you use less – about 1 tbls per 16oz of beans).

  36. Kevin Reply

    January 19, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for that recipe just tried it and outcome was delicious.

  37. Allison Reply

    March 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

    My son used to LOVE hummus but when he was 4 we found out he’s allergic to sesame seeds. I’ve tried other recipes without the tahini and this is by far the best with out it. My son is so happy he can have hummas again. Thank you!

  38. Denise Reply

    April 27, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Where does the broth come from. I try to drain and rinse the canned chickpeas. Too many preservatives. Do I cook the chickpeas in water or chicken broth. I’m confused.

  39. ko kull Reply

    June 29, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Hummus made with only organic ingredients: chick peas, navy beans, pinto beans, 1/4 c lemon juice fresh squeezed, hot cherry pepper seeds, (yes from organic peppers) peanut oil, from homemade organic peanut butter (the oil separates) and fresh ground sea salt and pepper. yummmmm blended in a magic bullet and in a few minutes it’s ready to spoon out like a side dish.

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