How to Make Hummus Without a Food Processor

Easy Hummus by Hand

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Hummus is perhaps the easiest Middle Eastern food to prepare. It takes little experience -- even my children can prepare hummus on their own. Most people use a food processor to make hummus at home. It's quick, easy and convenient, but what do you do if you do not own a food processor?

The good news is that you aren't out of luck. A lot of kitchens aren't equipped with a food processor in the Middle East and hummus is prepared and eaten there every day.

In fact, hummus was consumed in Ancient Egypt and the last time I checked, archaeologists have not unearthed any KitchenAid food processors lately. So, it can be done!

I receive many emails, especially from college dorm dwellers on a budget who want to make their own hummus, but lack a food processor. If you do not have a food processor at home, don't fret. Your kitchen isn't lacking by any means, but know that hummus is best prepared with an appliance like a food processor. The results are creamier and the ingredients mix better. Without a processor, you may have a thicker, chunkier hummus, but it will still burst with flavor.

Ingredients to Make Hummus Without a Food Processor

This is just a basic hummus recipe. The great thing about hummus is that it is so versatile. You can add in spices or veggies and it really won't compromise the flavor. Start with a good base and add what you like!

Need some inspiration? Check out the dozens of hummus recipes below for some "hummuspiration"!

Hummus Recipes

Here are some tasty hummus recipes that will add variety and flavor. Most can be done without the use of a food processor, but remember that it may be thicker or chunkier.

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Using a Blender: A blender is going to be the next best thing to a food processor. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend. Just remember to put in your thicker ingredients first, like the chickpeas and tahini. Otherwise, your blender, unless you have a commercial grade version, might have trouble thoroughly blending everything.

Mortar and Pestle: Using a mortar and pestle is the "old school" way of making hummus, but works. Just be prepared to put a little elbow grease into it! For those unfamiliar, a mortar and pestle are two bowl (mortar) and bat (pestle) shaped objects used to pulverize foods, such as seeds, herbs, and spice.

Microwave: Yes, you can microwave your hummus. Microwaving makes chickpeas easier to mash with a fork. Before mixing ingredients, place chickpeas in a microwave safe bowl and heat them for about 30 seconds. Drain, but keep the liquid; you may need it in case your hummus is too thick. After mashing, add tahini and remaining ingredients. If too thick, add one table of the drained chickpea liquid until desired consistency.

If all else fails, you can always buy a basic hummus at the grocery store and add the spices and vegetables you want. Popular choices are garlic, jalapeno peppers, and sundried tomatoes.