There are a handful of staple foods that I absolutely cannot be without at any time. Hummus is number one on that list. It’s delicious, healthy, and works for just about any meal, or as a snack. I’ve made entire meals out of hummus plenty of times. And yes, a few of those meals include breakfast.
When I first discovered hummus it wasn’t that easy to find, so I’d stockpile it in my fridge whenever I stumbled upon a store that carried it. Eventually it became more readily available, and then I started making my own hummus. One fateful day, I went to whip up a batch of hummus and was out of chickpeas. This was a game changer. As it turns out, chickpeas are totally not essential to creating a delicious hummus-esque dip. (“Hummus-esque” because I know plenty of people who’d argue with me that anything made of any legume other than chickpeas is technically not hummus. Point taken. It’s delicious, whatever you call it.)
This is the first time I went with lentils as a hummus base, probably because I usually have cans of black beans, kidney beans or the like hanging around, but not lentils. I tend to buy lentils in dried form. Apparently I’ve been missing out all these years, because (1) lentil hummus is delicious, and (2) lentils cook up relatively quickly and don’t require soaking, so lentil hummus is almost as easy to throw together as all those other hummuses (hummi?) I’ve been making for years.
Using green lentils gives this spread a savory, earthy flavor. I always find I have a hard time describing the taste of legumes, but trust me, make this and you’ll pick up on the lentily flavor in there. I also added a bit of cumin to my batch, as it really brings out this flavor. If you don’t have any cumin on hand, just skip it, or better yet, experiment with your favorite hummus add-ins. Hot peppers, Kalamata olives and scallions would all be delicious choices for this blend.
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin optional
- Salt to taste
- Place the lentils and broth or water into a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes.
- Drain the lentils in a colander and return them to the saucepan. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
- Place the lentils, garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, cumin (if using), and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Transfer the finished hummus to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita wedges, crackers or veggies for dipping.
You should see how many green lentils I have at the moment! Time to use them up! Looks yum!!
Perfect! I have a tendency to accumulate tons of lentils too. Enjoy! 🙂
Luanne Roeder says
Can you use canned lentils and if so do you use the same amount, 1 cup?
Katie Trant says
Hi Luanne, if you used canned lentils you'd at least double the amount. The dried lentils called for in this recipe will double in volume (or more) when cooked.
Any idea what to put in for tahini? Or just leave it out? This sounds interesting because I love lentils...and hummus. Thanks!
You could probably just leave it out. I haven't done that with this particular recipe, but I've left the tahini out of other hummus recipes when I'm out. The flavor and texture is a bit different but it's always still tasty. 🙂
Believe it or not, but peanut butter makes a pretty good tahini substitute in hummus
Ah! Now that you mention it, I've seen hummus recipes that call for cashew or almond butter, so peanut butter totally makes sense. I'm very curious now and definitely giving that a try. 🙂
Hi Sue, I add in a tsp of peanut butter and a drizzle of sesame oil--it works in a pinch. You can use one of them, or both. 🙂
genevieve @ gratitude & greens says
Yum! Hummus is definitely one of my favourite to go meals. I don't even need crackers- just give me a spoon and I am one very happy gal! Love the improvisation here- I've never made hummus with green lentils although I've tried with some other legumes like white beans. Tasty no matter what!
Haha!! I've been known to eat hummus from a spoon too. It's so good!
Veggie Lad says
Is there anything better for a hungry Veggie Lad than a big pot of hummus?! I think not! Loving your work Alissa!
Veggie Lad x
Thanks so much!! A big pot of hummus is definitely one of my favorite things too! 🙂
Best Bake says
Interesting Post! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe. I really enjoyed my stay here..
This was yummy! I just gave it a try and it was so good. The cumin was excellent in it. Thanks for posting this.
Awesome! I loved the cumin in there too. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for commenting to let me know!!
I just made these and YUM! I have a habit of always doubling the garlic and it came out gooooood! Thanks for sharing!
I have to hold back when I'm working on recipes like this, because I tend to be a bit of a garlic fiend myself. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks Sondra! 🙂
Scott Jasper says
This is a great recipe because I am really sensitive to chickpeas but I love hummus. Thank you for the recipe. This is going to be a stable of mine.
Oh nice! I thought lentils would be a nice way to shake things up, but didn't even think about folks with sensitivities. Glad you can enjoy hummus again! 🙂
What if you used sprouted lentils....I just sprouted some and this sounds so delicious! Would I still need to cook the lentils
Excellent recipe Alissa. Easy to prepare and very tasty. Thank you for sharing.
Great recipe. Tried with a shitty low power blender and it took a very long time but I was eventually able to get it pretty much how I wanted. I probably doubled the lemon juice and garlic, with probably 25% more olive oil as well, absolutely delicious.
So loved the comments about the tahini substitutions, going to try this today. I have an abundance of lentils right now and my hubby's not fond of the recipes I've tried, it's a texture thing. But as a dip he may be more interested, if not my friends will =D
Carol Duncan says
Looking forward to making this. Has anyone tried using red lentils? Thanks for a spectacular blog.
This is fantastic with artichoke hearts added in
Excellent recipe! I used chicken bone broth and left out the cumin. I topped this dish off with EVOO & Za’Atar seasoning & then spread it on toasted whole-wheat Italian bread. The final touch was a bit of sautéed arugula on top of this open-faced sandwich - yum, yum & yum!
I doubled everything but the lentils and no one knew it wasn’t garbanzo bean hummus! Thank you so much for sharing.