Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Happy New Year!! I hope everybody had a fun, happy, safe holiday. If this is your first January with us (or in case you forgot), we like to spend the entire month of January showing you that we don’t just know how to make naughty diet disasters–we actually try to cook and eat healthy most of the time.

Confession time: I kind of gain a lot of weight when I’m pregnant.  One of my goals this pregnancy/New Year’s resolutions/whatever you want to call it is to not gain fifty million pounds this time around because, well, I never really lost the last fifty million I gained the last time around.

One of the hardest things for me when I’m pregnant is that not only am I completely flat-on-my-back nauseous for a good 3-4 months, but I’m also ravenously hungry, which just seems like such a cruel paradox. What got me in trouble the other two pregnancies was that I used my ravenous hunger as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted or that it was my body’s way of telling me I needed, say, 4 Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburgers Deluxe (is that the correct plural? I feel a little like Yoda saying that…) in a single day. My strategy this time, especially now that my “morning sickness” (whoever came up with that term is hilarious) is starting to wind down, is to not let myself get hungry, but to keep myself constantly surrounded by healthy snacks that won’t make me crash and burn. And ice cream.

Hummus is one of my favorite snacks, even if my husband threatens to leave me every time I make it because he thinks the garlic usage is excessive (I didn’t know there was such a thing as excessive garlic usage). We have an awesome basic hummus recipe in our book, but I like mixing things up every now and then with this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It has all the classic hummus elements like chickpeas, tahini, garlic, cumin, and lemon, but it also has the sweetness of the roasted red peppers (which also helps offset the bitterness of the tahini, which can sometimes be a little overwhelming) and the brightness of a little chopped cilantro, which scared me at first. But you guys should know us better than to be too scared of cilantro; that’s just silly.

Speaking of tahini…it’s kind of a must in hummus. I find it in the Mediterranean section of the grocery store, but you can also often find it with the kosher foods (or both places, and sometimes there’s a good $1-2 difference in the price). And speaking of price, it’s expensive. Not as expensive as buying store-bought hummus all the time (which isn’t nearly as good, at least in my opinion), especially since a jar of tahini should last you a little while (unless you’re some kind of hummus junkie). That said…if you don’t want to buy tahini, don’t have room for it in your grocery budget, or are just plain not super crazy about the flavor (it’s kind of like slightly bitter nut butter), here’s a little secret: try getting an all natural peanut butter. Like the kind that you have to stir up when you use it and doesn’t have any added sugar or anything. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s surprisingly close and a good substitute in a pinch.


Toss all your ingredients (except the oil and cilantro) in the work bowl of your food processor or the jar of your heavy-duty blender…and blend until smooth. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream and process until the desired consistency is reached. Add in the cilantro and pulse it a few times until the cilantro is evenly distributed. If you can, let it stand for an hour, and then serve it with fresh veggies (I like it with carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, and grape tomatoes) or whole-grain pita chips. You can also spread it on a bagel or roll it up in a whole-wheat tortilla with some turkey and your favorite veggies. You could also substitute it for regular hummus in this 7-Layer Greek Dip.

This makes about 2 cups of hummus.


Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Love your fresh ideas and this twist on hummus. I haven’t always like hummus because the flavors tend to be bland. I will give this a try.


      1. I did try the sun-dried tomato substitution (instead of the peppers) and it was amazing … probably the best and most flavorful, not to mention prettiest color hummus I’ve ever had!

  2. I’m pregnant too, and I also get ridiculously sick (I’m 6 mon. now and just got the feeding tube out). However, once I get past that part, my body seems to think it needs to make up for lost time, so I’ve been looking for healthy snack recipes to keep myself from going overboard this time around. I’ll definately have to give this a try! Thanks!!!!

  3. Your recipes makes me want to try hummus. It sounds very good. My mother will love this recipe! Thank you for sharing!!

  4. I always make my Hummus with GREAT NORTHERN WHITE BEANS instead of garbanzo. I don’t like the texture of garbanzo…it makes me gag. However, white beans have a LOVELY smooth, buttery texture which just makes my homemade hummus even more delish! Also, you mentioned that you think the tahini is bitter, but I would be willing to bet that it is the raw garlic that you are experiencing a bitter taste from. Tahini is merely sesame seeds, and unless they are rancid, they are quite mild in flavor. Might I suggest roasting your garlic heads prior to using them in your hummus? That is the ONLY way I will use garlic in mine…and I would venture to guess that when your husband tries the velvety flavor of roasted garlic, he will change his mind about you making hummus! Besides, roasted garlic is fabulously easy to make and you can do several at a time and save the rest to make something yummy with! Love your blog!!

  5. Oh! How I love, love, love! hummus!! I have printed your recipe and appreciate you sharing it with us!

  6. Thanks for the tip about tahini. I’m allergic to peanuts and so eat almond butter–which is all natural–so I’m going to try that in place of tahini and make this tomorrow.

  7. Hummus is a favorite snack in our house! We eat it on everything. I used to only buy it on occasion then several years ago I got a food processor and started making my own! It is WAY cheaper and better tasting than the store bought stuff. My favorite flavors to date are roasted red bell pepper and a black bean hummus with a slight spicy kick!

  8. Yippee!! I’m so excited for your January posts! The foods you have posted past January’s have become staples in our kitchen. Thanks for doing this 🙂

  9. You can also use the hummus in chicken salad–substitute it instead of mayo next time, it’s pretty good 🙂

  10. We really love hummus at our house. There are times where i can’t keep it in the fridge and I really love the flavor of the roasted red peppers…..what what it would be like served warm on pita bread? Thanks for the recipe, this is on the grocery list for the next trip to the store! Glad you’re feeling better too –

  11. OK, I just made this. Forget chilling it for an hour, it is going to be gone before then! Thanks for another delicious recipe!!

  12. I am 36 weeks and the only thing I crave is hummus. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  13. This recipe looks delicious, I just printed it out and am so excited to make it. If I could leave one suggestions. I love that you have the “print this” function on recipes but if I could recommend I would love to have a small picture of the product on the recipe. In my recipe book I love to print the recipe with a photo of what it is so when I am deciding what to make for the week I can look at all the delicious photos.

  14. I’m not a big red pepper fan, but can’t wait to try your normal hummus recipe. My husband and I both love it, as well as large amounts of garlic, so I think we’re safe 😉

  15. wish I had seen this the other day (like, you know….. 2 days ago when I made the traditional hummus from your cookbook, which is scrumptious!).

    I now need to make this one too cause it looks delicious!

  16. Ha! My husband is the same way about the garlic in hummus. He throws a fit every time I make/eat it. But that stuff is worth it I tell you! Thanks for the variation. And, I totally get the “morning sickness”, thus why I only had 2 children. Hang in there!

  17. In a pinch ( like when you live 90 miles from any store that sells tahini) add a touch of sesame oil instead. I start with 1 tsp, because it has a strong flavor.

  18. I gain a ton of weight when I am pregnant, too. But I don’t usually get sick at all, so I have no excuses!! This looks wonderfu – I made a similar version years ago, but feel like I need to revisit it now!

  19. Yay! After a month of overdosing on sugar I am so ready for healthy food. I love this post!!

  20. How long is Tahini in the refrigerator good? I have half a jar that’s been in there for a couple of years? Would it be rancid by now?

  21. My boss has changed his eating habits to vegan and is health has improved dramatically. When we have office celebrations, I like to try different vegan recipes for him. He likes hummus; but he cannot eat garlic. Is there any substitution you would use to add flavor in place of garlic or just leave it out altogether. Finding a hummus recipe without garlic is nearly impossible.

  22. I have the same issues with pregnancy! I usually gain around 60 lbs. But with my last pregnancy I did just what you are doing and I only gained 30! I love hummus and this looks really good! Good luck 🙂

  23. I didn’t know there was a Mediterranean section of the grocery store. If I was shopping at say WinCo, or (gag) if I had to Walmart, where would I find tahini? What other stuff is it by?

    1. We don’t have a Winco, but a great start is the foreign foods aisle. At our Kroger, the Mediterranean/Greek section is close to the Italian section and I usually find the tahini near the Greek olives and peppers and flavored rice and couscous mixes (there’s also a kosher section in the same aisle and they sell it there as well). At our Albertson’s, I’ve found tahini with the kosher foods, which is by NOTHING else in the entire store.

      I’m almost positive the Walmart here doesn’t sell it, but we have an embarrassingly small ethnic food section. 🙂

      You can also see if you have a Greek/Middle Eastern market in your town and I bet they sell it there.

      1. Kroger, Farm Fresh and Harris Teeter carry Tahini but Walmart here (SE part of VA) does NOT.

      2. At winco it’s by the peanut butter. I used to work there. You would be surprised how many people asked me where tahini is. Usually next they asked me what tahini is.

    2. Our Winco here in Washington has it in the peanut butter area next to the almond butter, etc. The brand I use for my hummus is Marantha. (Personally, I don’t care for peanut butter as a substitute for tahini–ever. It is worth it to go to the trouble of finding tahini.)

  24. Well I guess I’m just silly then, because I am THAT scared of cilantro, but you already knew that about me.
    I’m glad you are starting to feel just a little bit better.