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.


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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. I can’t eat garlic and I have found horseradish to be a nice substitute. Also I consider cumin a MUST for hummus!

  2. I just made this and it is fantastic!! I bought a jar of roasted red peppers on a whim at Costco one day and then went searching for things I could make with them. So glad I came across this recipe!

  3. I just made this with a red pepper and garlic I roasted myself which took about 2 hours total and I like spicy but this is bit too spicy for me. I also don’t care for too strong of a cumin flavor so if I make it again I will omit the red pepper flakes and half the spices. Other than that, very good recipe. This is my first time making homemade hummus. The store bought stuff was gross so I never tried it again until I had fabulous hummus recently in a restaurant. Now I’m hooked.

  4. I make my own quite often. Try Edemamme Hummis, awesome! If your brave, try it with hot wing sauce, that a great one for your husbands on football day. When it comes to garlic, I make it with very little most of the time becasue my wife hates the sleeping breath it gives me.
    I also never use tahini, its full of fat and only adds a slight taste, in my opinion. Hummis can be very healthy, but the Tahini sort of decreases that value.

  5. I love hummus. I recently made a version with roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and roasted the garlic too. PERFECT!!! Gone in two days. My usually ‘allergic-to-greens’ kids inhaled them with the home-made cheddar chips I made. I am definitely trying this version next 🙂

  6. Not a big fan of hummus but my daughter is so decided to try this–I really like it. Found the tahini at Whole Foods. Thanks for this, its yummy with pita chips.

  7. I found the tahini next to the peanut butter in my local grocery store if anyone else needs a tip of where to look.

  8. Walmart, here in Central Ohio sells it (Tahini), same brand as posted above. It’s in the Mexican/Asian/Kosher section. It’s about $6-7.

  9. I gave up on making my own hummus a few years ago when I couldn’t find tahini anywhere. When you posed this recipe I committed to finding tahini. I looked at my Wal-Mart Market for good measure, then spent a good half-hour searching Harmon’s for it – with no luck. I finally found it at Fresh Market in the peanut butter section. They even carry two brands of tahini!

    I am eating the roasted red pepper hummus as I type this, since I couldn’t wait for it to refrigerate for an hour before digging in. Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. Made this for my husband last night—he used the chips like a spoon and couldn’t get enough of it. Thanks for the great recipe!! This was my first try at making hummus—I can’t think why I waited so long. Quick, easy and delicious!!

  11. This will be a great addition to my hummus recipes! I have a Vitamix and often use toasted sesame seeds and a little extra olive oil instead of tahini. Not sure how that would work in other food processor options though.

  12. The military commissary often carries tahini, so if anyone you know is military, have them grab it for you. It’s also pretty dang easy to make your own tahini. Here’s a recipe:
    I always make my own, since I soak the sesame seeds in water for a couple of hours before grinding them. This helps reduce the bitter flavor.

  13. For those who don’t like the raw garlic taste, try roasting the garlic first. It mellows/sweetens the flavor of it considerably.

  14. Oh I am totally going to have to give this a try. I learned how to make my own pitas not that long ago and this would be PERFECT with that! Thanks!!

  15. Love LOTS of garlic in my hummus (and roasted garlic makes it even better). The red peppers are a nice twist from time to time. A great tip shared with me by a Syrian chef is to remove the skins of the garbanzo beans. It makes a smoother dip. I have a weird thing about textures, and it really does make a difference for me. Thanks for sharing the recipe.