The Key to Smooth Hummus

by on September 8, 2010

If you’re like me, you love smooth and creamy hummus and have spent days wondering just how Sabra does it.

smooth hummus.JPG

Well, as it turns out there is a secret to smooth hummus and I’m willing to share to the secret with you all, my lovely readers! If you want really smooth hummus you have to remove the chickpea’s skin.

chickpea skins.JPG

Yup – that’s the skin. I’m not even going to write what I think this bowl of chickpea skins looks like, but let’s just say the end result is worth it and although a bit time consuming, it’s actually pretty easy.

Directions for removing chickpea skins:

  1. Place drained, canned chickpeas into a pot of boiling water.
  2. Let boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, place in strainer, and run cold water over the chickpeas. Let cool.
  4. Once they’ve cooled a bit (about 5 minutes). Take each chickpea in your hand and easily peel off the skin. I found that using my thumb and index finger to pop the skin off works really well.

Use this method when preparing your favorite hummus recipe or try my recipe below.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Classic Smooth and Creamy Hummus
Prep time
Total time
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained, with liquid reserved)
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, sliced
  • ½  teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup reserved liquid or water, more or less to thin dip as desired
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • ground cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  1. Remove peels from chickpeas, per instructions above.
  2. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except bean liquid. Purée until smooth, gradually adding liquid as desired to thin dip and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

I added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to add a bit of heat! We like things a bit spicy here at Casa EBF.

super smooth hummus.JPG

Over the weekend I served the hummus with fresh veggies and gluten free sesame seaweed rice chips- which are really tasty!!

sesame seaweed rice chips.JPG

I hope this tip is as exciting to you as it was to me!! Now go enjoy some super creamy, smooth and delicious hummus.

Perhaps it’s just because I’m into marketing, but I found this article quite interesting: Making Carrots as Cool as Junk Food. Maybe IT IS all about the package (twss)!

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet September 8, 2010 at 6:39 am

I had no idea that was the secret, but it totally makes sense! Let’s see if I have the patience to do it now…


Lauren September 8, 2010 at 6:48 am

Wow, I had no idea that was the key to smooth hummus. I’ll be honest, I probably will never do this because it just seems too time consuming but I am so glad I now know! :)

Love to you sweetheart! :)


Naomi(onefitfoodie) September 8, 2010 at 7:40 am

who knew! thanks for the insiders tip :)


Stephanie September 8, 2010 at 7:47 am

Now that’s hummus dedication! Never would have thought that was how to get it smooth?? Great tip! Love the twss joke haha ;)


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

That’s a great tip. I can see how de-skinning chickpeas takes extra time, but they come off so easily that I don’t think I’d mind.


Rhea (Greek Feaster) September 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

GENIUS! …And this is why I want to have kids someday. To make them to my tedious food prep.


Mama Pea September 8, 2010 at 8:37 am

Shoot! I actually talk about this mehod in the book. Here I thought I was the only one who knew ;)


Sarah September 16, 2010 at 3:20 am

Ha! Me too, Mama Pea! So I guess none of us have secret insider knowledge. Boo.


Eating Bird Food September 16, 2010 at 8:22 am

Sorry to spill the beans. ;)


allison @ livingoneday September 8, 2010 at 8:49 am

wow, that is so interesting! maybe i’ll endeavor to do that one day! probably not though – i dont mind chunky hummus! i dont discriminate haha. and i think the skins look like annie’s mac and cheese shells!!


Julie @SavvyEats September 8, 2010 at 8:54 am

That totally makes sense, and it looks a lot easier than I thought it would be, albeit time consuming! Thanks for the tip :)


allijag September 8, 2010 at 9:14 am

YOU – young lady, are EXTEREMLY brilliant!!! Love this idea – I always wondered how Sabra did it! :)


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

I’ve never thought of that, but it makes so much sense!

That bowl of chickpea skin kind of grosses me out too — something about the texture and color–ew!


Kath September 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

Yay – great discovery! I’m going to try this out.


kimberly September 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

Hi! I stumbled on your blog. I am a fellow veg-head, CSAer, runner, etc, loving your site! Anyway, I HAVE wondered about how Sabra does it. My hubby and I typically make a month’s worth of hummus at a time and freeze it in 4s. We start with dried beans, the point being, it is already a process. A lazier option: last month we used white northern beans and they had a creamier consistency than the chic peas.

Thanks for solving the mystery!


Allyson September 8, 2010 at 11:31 am

I had no idea! That sounds totally worth it. I’m always up for spending a little time to make something super awesome. The next time I’m making hummus I’m going this route for sure. Thanks for the hot tip :)


Steph September 8, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I lovvvve Lundberg rice chips – they are one of the few “junk” items that make it to the pantry. I highly recommend the trying Honey Dijion flavor – they are my favorite! Nacho and Sante Fe deserve honorable mention, Wasabi …eh….


Jenn (eating bender) September 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Tehehe – I think I know what you think those skins look like. ;)

Anyway…GREAT insight! I would have never known and as we got our first food processor last weekend, now I will know exactly what to make first. Your final product looks creamy and delicious. Thanks, Britt!


Kelly September 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Great trick. I would have never thought of that! I actually think it doesn’t sound that bad. If I cook beans from scratch the skins tend to come off anyway when I soak them.


Shannon September 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

wow, so cool. definitely trying that!! and that is quite the interesting picture of skins ;)


Ashley September 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Yum yum yum…what a great idea. You can tell how creamy it is in the photos!! :)


Monet September 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm

So now I have a new trick to show my hubby, who thinks he is the hummus making king! This makes so much sense, and I appreciate you sharing it with us!


Sarina (Beanz) September 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

I love those rice chips! I tried them for the first time at the rinky-dink airport in St. Lucia of all places. They didn’t have much there in terms of food (and our flight was delayed by three hours) so those chips were life saving. Have you tried the BBQ flavor? I’m not sure what the ingredients were like but they were yummy.


Cynthia September 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Thanks so much for the tip! Next time I make hummus (and when I have some time), I will have to try this. I like my hummus more creamy, but my last attempt at making it was not very successful at all.


BroccoliHut September 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I actually had to do an assignment a few weeks ago about hummus and learned that it is traditional to remove the skins. However, I kinda like the skins (and the extra fiber) so I usually just leave them on:)


Eugenio September 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Great tip, I wonder if pushing the chickpea puree through a chinois accomplishes straining out the shell as well. I can’t see myself peeling the chickpeas on a regular basis. (maybe just for guests!)


Marianne September 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Hmmm…it seems like such a pain in the ass to take off all those skins, but at the same time, so much more economical than buying tubs of Sabra. I might need to do me some hummus making this weekend!


Nicole (Making Good Choices) September 9, 2010 at 9:17 am

I don’t know why, but you just blew me away with that tip. I was always wondering why the heck my hummus isn’t as smooth as theirs. I have to try this, I mean it’s certainly easier to have chunkier hummus, but I need this in my life! Thanks for sharing! And, how did you figure this out??


Leah @ Simply Fabulous September 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

omg sounds so obvious but i had no idea! genius!


Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' September 9, 2010 at 9:28 am

I never would have thought!! I’m still not sure I have the patience to peel each skin off my chickpeas, but at least I’ll know why my homemade hummus isn’t as smooth! Ha ha. ;)


Courtney September 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

My husband and I have been removing the skins on chick peas to make hummus for a while (well, that’s my job since he does all the actual cooking) and I got tired of doing it, so we decided to make a batch with skins and one without and do a taste test, and apparently nobody can tell the difference, so now we just leave the skins on.

By the way, where in town can you buy Sabra hummus besides Costco? We had a membership and let it expire, and plus I hate to drive all the way out to Glen Allen anyway (he he, the entire 15 minute trip from the Near West End, that is… living in Richmond has totally skewed my perception of what a long drive is).


Eating Bird Food September 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Hi Courtney – I buy my Sabra hummus at Kroger – it’s in the fresh cheese section near the deli.


Courtney September 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thanks, you just made my day! : )


MoniMeals September 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Brittany! You are amazing, great post! So here I am, thinking I am a hummus whiz….umm not so much. :) I did not ever think about the skins…I will be playing with this for sure. Sometimes I do like it chunky, sometimes I like it smooth, so Good to know! It will come down to my patience….lol! Thanks. :)


Justine September 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm

What a great tip! Hummus will be perfect football game fare! Thank you for sharing. :)


Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice September 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I still haven’t made my own hummus yet. I should really start because it seems much economical!


Catherine @ Life 2.0 September 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for the tip! I can’t wait to try smoooooth hummus!


Leah MacVie September 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

WOW- really!!! This is amazing- I can’t wait to try it this weekend!


Kocinera September 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

What a cool tip! I’ve never made homemade hummus before, but thanks to your yummy photos and helpful instructions, I really want to give it a try!


Shauna September 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Amazing! I’ve been making hummus for years and never knew this. I must now make this today. Thank you!


Nicole, RD September 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I’m so glad I found this! I’ve been wanting to make SMOOTH hummus, but mine always comes out chunky!


A Teenage Gourmet September 20, 2010 at 8:35 am

I almost made hummus yesterday, but now I’m glad that I waited! This is such a helpful post – and so timely!


LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils October 6, 2010 at 3:02 pm

1- I’m so glad I know this now (I found you through Janetha) and 2- Maybe it’s because I work in PR but I think that article is fascinating too. I watched a video where they gave a choice of a plain cupcake or a banana decorated with Dora stickers to preschoolers, and they ALWAYS chose the decorated treat, whether it was the banana or the cupcake. Reminds me of that concept.


Bill October 25, 2010 at 1:08 am

Finally! I made my first batch of skinless chickpeas hummus today and, after years, I have finally achieved the ideal texture. Thank you!

That said, there has to be an easier way to skin a chickpea. I haven’t tried this method yet, but my next batch will attempt this technique:


Tina March 28, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Hi! I found your site yesterday when I was looking for a solution to the smooth hummus challenge. I just had to share the answer that I found on another website with you. It’s certainly a lot less labor intensive than removing skins from beans! Here goes…the secret is to cook your garbanzos with a teaspoon of Baking Soda!! It softens the skins to almost mush, and I can tell you that the finished product looked EXACTLY like the hummus I eat at my favorite Lebanese restaurant. (And like Sabra, too!)
So, give it a try and see if you don’t have fantastic results like I did. Hope this helps!


lindsay January 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I love this recipe! You’re such a lifesaver–I had to make this for a party over the weekend, and I’ve always had trouble with smoothing my recipe out…thanks for sharing! I’ve even blogged about your recipe @ my blog ( Come stop by!

Ps- love the blog! I look forward to reading daily!



Eating Bird Food January 3, 2012 at 12:05 am

So glad you liked the smooth hummus trick Lindsay! Thanks for reading. :)


Run4fun February 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this! Removing the skins and boiling the canned chickpeas make SUCH a difference! My my hummus before was sorta rough lol :P I love how smooth it is now!!! :D Have a great week! :) Jesus loves you!


jessica April 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

just made this- AMAZING. cant even believe the money i will save not buying samba anymore. thanks!


Channing June 6, 2012 at 10:19 am

This is SO exciting! I am obsessed with smooth hummus and always end up with the exact opposite when I make it … then end up in the hummus aisle 10 minutes later. :) Cannot wait to try this!

- Channing (blogging in summer 2012 on Hot Bod Brigade: A fitness-ish pop up blog)


Desiree June 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Thank you. That made all the difference. Requires patience but well worth it in my opinion. Much better than the store bought stuff or making it with the skins on and it being gritty. Thanks again!


middle eastern July 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I don’t know about you but I refuse to sit there and peal every garbanzo beans. Throw all the ingrediants into a food processor and add water while its mixing and bam smooth hummus.


Eating Bird Food July 17, 2012 at 7:02 pm

It’s worth it!


Warda August 4, 2012 at 6:48 am

hahahaha “middle eastern” is reading my mind….we arabs are exremly lazy in such things, that’s why they sell already mixed chickpeas all over the arabic countries. 7ommous made with these ready mixed chickpeas will lead to smooth 7ommous as well….with less effort :)


Dick November 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I keep the skins on for the added health benefit.. fiber.
I make mine creamy by soaking from scratch, always with a bay leaf or two.
once soaked, I boil for a few minutes then add about 1/2-1 tsp of baking soda. some say it creates an off flavor, but it doesn’t if you use the right amount. this significantly reduces the boiling time as well, when you see skins floating to the top, test a chick pea from the bottom of the pot… it should basically fall apart in your mouth. at this point, quickly drain, rinse under cold water, and add to your food processor. blend until creamy. I add about 1/4 cup of salted water, then put in the fridge overnight which allows you to gauge how thick your end product will be. use this creamy paste in making your batch of hummus. Mine’s always creamy and delicious and you don’t have to remove the healthy fiber benefit.
hope this helps everyone!!
I’ve been making hummus since I was 20, so about 6 years, and the baking soda addition was a revelation in terms of its creamyness!!


Scott November 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I add way more garlic I also roast the garlic and I make a topping like the store bought stuff with sautéed garlick roasted red pepper lemon olive oil and white wine. I also peel and use a juicer to juice my lemons. Fresh lemon juice and olive oil also makes a wonderful salad dressing.


Ruth@FacetiousFarang November 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Wow! Thanks for the tip. I always assumed that store bought hummus just used more fat to make it smooth (and they probably do), but there is more to it than that. I am making a big batch of hummus for a party – let’s see if I have the patience to *groan* peel every single chickpea!


CoDuSu December 8, 2012 at 3:55 am

I just tried this hummus recipe and I think the toasted sesame oil I used made the hummus taste rather bitter so I added more tahini which helped to balance the flavors. I think next time I will add 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, rather than half tablespoon and see how that tastes or perhaps I just have some bad toasted sesame oil and should go find some of better quality. Anyway, I love this recipe because it is so smooth and I didn’t mind peeling the chick peas at all.


Brittany Mullins December 9, 2012 at 8:49 am

Thanks so much for the feedback! I think I’ll update the recipe to 1 teaspoon of sesame oil instead of the 1/2 Tablespoon.


Richard December 29, 2012 at 8:17 am

After trying this, I’ll never go back to making hummus the other way again. The only thing I do differently is I don’t add any of the sesame oil and sometimes I throw in a some green onions and just a little more olive oil.


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