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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Red Lentil Hummus

There's a little cafe not far from the house that has some pretty amazing hummus. Turns out, it isn't made from chickpeas but from red lentils! What?! I mean, sure you can make bean dip from any bean you'd like but ... lentils?

Seriously, lentils are such a great boon to any kitchen. I've shared a number of favorite lentil recipes including this salad, these two favorite curry dishes and here, and of course, flying saucers and asteroids. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrients, but even better, they are quick cooking, and great for weekday dinners.

In this hummus, the beauty of using red lentils is that you no longer need to figure out what side of the skins-on vs skins-off debate, AND they cook so quickly, you can start the lentils while you assemble everything else ... you'll be digging into warm, super tasty hummus within 20 minutes!

Red Lentil Hummus

Makes about 3 cups


Creamy hummus ... from lentils!

1 cup (185 grams) red lentils, rinsed

1 3/4 cups water

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, peeled

6 oz tahini

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/3 to 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup (55 grams) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping

Za'atar, cumin or Aleppo for topping


1. Place the lentils in a small saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water with a small pinch of salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (mushy) and have absorbed all the water.

2. Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce: put the garlic and the vinegar in the container of a blender or food processor. Pulse 10 to 15 times to pulverize the garlic. Let the mixture steep for 5 minutes; drain the liquid to remove the garlic bits, reserving the now garlic-infused vinegar. Don’t bother washing the container.

3. Measure out 6 oz of tahini into the blender container (this is easiest using a scale). Add the salt, pepper, cumin and your reserved vinegar. Blend on low for a few seconds. The mixture will thicken considerably. Scrape down the sides of the container, add 1/3 c of water, and blend again. You may need to add a bit more water; the mixture should be thick but creamy (sort of like hummus). Be sure to scrape the bits off the side of the container.

4. Transfer the hot lentils to the tahini mixture. Process for another 3 minutes, gradually getting up to highest speed.

5. Pour the hummus into your serving dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with za‘atar, cumin, and/or Aleppo.

The hummus will still be warm. To keep a skin from forming as it cools, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the hummus, pressing down to eliminate air bubbles.


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