I wanted to start off our little hummus series with a bang, and the people on the ‘gram want a lemon beet hummus recipe. If you can’t already tell, chickpeas are a main food group here at the Hangry Chickpea.
Lemon beet hummus is a fabulous appetizer or snack, especially in June or early fall when beets are in season. But in all honesty, it's the hot pink color for me...
First, let's talk about chickpeas. Great hummus is smooth and creamy, so we need to use the softest, creamiest chickpeas available. Usually, that means soaking and cooking dried chickpeas.
You can buy dried chickpeas at Whole Foods, Amazon, health food stores, and larger grocery stores. In general, this is more cost-effective than buying canned beans, especially if you're making hummus for a crowd. Score!
If you're in a rush, grab a 15 oz can of chickpeas - I have a shortcut, don't worry.
We can't make lemon beet hummus without lemons...zest AND juice.
Tahini (ground sesame seed butter) is another key component of hummus. It's like peanut butter, but with sesame seeds. Sometimes tahini can taste bitter, so try out a few brands until you find one you like. I'm a huge fan of Trader Joe's tahini.
Grab a beet from the store - we'll roast it, peel it, and add to our hummus for the signature bright pink color. Here's what it looks like...
Add some garlic for extra flavor.
Thin out with ¾ - 1 cup olive oil and ⅓ cup of ice cold water.
Finally, season with some salt and pepper to taste.
Still with me? Great. Let's go deep...
How to prepare the softest chickpeas for hummus
First, let's prep our chickpeas. We want the softest chickpeas possible, so for best results, rehydrate dried chickpeas. It takes ~3 hours, and there are two main steps.
- Rehydrate - the quick soak method is my favorite. Cover chickpeas with a few inches of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat for 1 hour.
- Cook - drain chickpeas and add to same pot with fresh water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours covered or with lid slightly ajar for softest chickpeas.
To test cooked chickpeas, gently smash. It shouldn’t be hard or grainy at all. Just a soft, smooth little chickpea explosion.
SHORTCUT: If you're too lazy to rehydrate chickpeas (been there), drain chickpeas from juices in the can. (Save that magic liquid for chocolate chip cookies or this carrot cake bread). Bring to a boil with a few inches of water, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Once chickpeas are cooked, there is one more thing we can do to ensure the creamiest hummus: remove the skins. Drain chickpeas and carefully remove the milky skins. For one can of chickpeas, this takes about 5 minutes. The more skins you remove, the creamier the hummus, but it's ok if there are a few left.
How to roast a whole beet for hummus
First, preheat oven to 350 F. Then wash the beet and wrap well in foil. Placed on lined baking sheet (parchment is fine) seam side up. The lined baking sheet will make clean up a breeze and catch any purple juices that leak out of the beet.
Roast at 350 F for 45-60 mins, or until easily pierceable with a fork.
Carefully remove foil and let cool for 15 minutes. Then peel off skin. A knife is helpful, but you'll also need your hands. Cut into ½ in cubes and set aside.
PRO TIP: Beets can be messy, so wear an apron and clean the counters and your hands as soon as possible to prevent staining.
Blending the creamiest hummus
Add chickpeas, roasted beets, lemon, zest, tahini, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth (2-3 minutes). Then slowly add olive oil. If hummus still needs to be thinned, add cold water, a tablespoon or two at a time.
Garnish with more good olive oil, parsley, and pine nuts.
PRO TIP: In addition to properly preparing chickpeas, blend hot or warm chickpeas and roasted beets for creamiest hummus.
Substitutions & Variations
This beet hummus is naturally vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free and sugar free. Just a whole lotta protein and snack-able deliciousness.
In a pinch, here are some of my favorite substitutions:
- White beans can take the place of chickpeas if you're desperate, but the recipe works best with chickpeas
- Replace roasted beet with edamame, roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, roasted carrot...whatever you're feeling! Just make sure it's warm.
- I've definitely used lime instead of lemon...it happens.
I firmly believe that great hummus is an art, not a science, so pull out your tasting spoons.
Fixing flavor issues:
- Bitter – add more acid (aka lemon juice)
- Acidic – add more chickpeas, or an extra tablespoon of tahini
- Not lemony enough - add more ZEST not juice. Zest is where the flavor is.
FUN FACT: the bitter taste comes from something called a “base,” as in the opposite of an acid. So, if you want to “neutralize” that bitter taste, add some acid. In this case, the acid is lemon juice. COOL. SCIENCE. Moving on.
Fixing texture issues:
- Thick – add a couple Tbsp olive oil or cold water
- Thin – you might need more chickpeas, so don’t use them all right away. Add liquid slowly so you don't have to fix this problem...
Hummus is FUN! Get your partner, kids, and friends involved. Tasting is the best part of cooking.
A food processor is the best appliance for making hummus and other thick dips. If you don't have one, do yourself a favor and buy one. It will open up a world of possibilities for other dips, veggie burgers and pestos. My suggestions are here and here.
If you're just not feeling the food processor, the next best option is an immersion blender and a medium mixing bowl. This is a little more labor intensive as you'll need to actively blend the hummus.
You may use a blender, however blenders are made to blend more liquid-y foods like smoothies, juices, and sauces. You may need to add more olive oil and water than you want. Take your time, stopping to scrape down edges as needed.
Refrigerate lemon beet hummus in an airtight container for up to a week.
Frequently asked questions:
Pita chips, fresh pita, pretzels, chips carrots and celery are all great options. Or spread it on a sandwich instead of mayo for a healthier protein-packed option.
Yes. This hummus contains whole foods only, and no added sugar. Plus it's packed with protein. Enjoy to your heart's content, guilt free.
Great question! You can make a beet poke bowl with the leftover beets or roast the beets and put them on a salad with with other yummy veggies, greens, grains and a yummy dressing. Or make beet juice if that's your thing.
Blend the hummus while the ingredients are warm or hot for best results. And take your time with the chickpeas...show them the love they deserve, and they'll pay you back creamy dreamy hummus.
Want more hummus? Or dying to try hummus on a sandwich now? I've got ya covered.
We're starting off our little hummus series with a bang, and the people on the ‘gram want a lemon beet hummus recipe, with extra soft chickpeas.
- 1.5 cups dried chickpeas (or a 15 oz can)
- 1-2 lemons juiced, plus zest of one
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 cup cubed roasted beet
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- ¾ - 1 cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup cold water
- 1 Tbsp salt (to taste)
- 1 Tbsp pepper (to taste)
To prepare dried chickpeas (canned chickpea users - skip this section)
- Boil dried chickpeas for 1 hour, then drain & rinse.
- Place chickpeas into pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove from heat and let sit for 2-3 more hours if you have time.
- Strain, then carefully remove as many skins as possible (let cool for 5-1o minutes so you don't burn your hands...)
To prepare canned chickpeas:
- Bring to a boil in water, then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain, then carefully remove as many skins as possible for creamiest hummus.
To roast beets:
- Wash beets and wrap in foil. Place on baking sheet seam side up.
- Bake 350 F for 45-60 mins. They're ready when you can pierce with a fork.
- Let cool for 15 mins in foil, then unwrap and let cool for 10 mins or until you can handle with your hands.
- You should be able to slide skin off with your hands and dice.
- Place warm chickpeas, roasted beet, lemon juice and zest, tahini, salt, pepper and garlic into food processor. Blend for 2-3 minutes until homogenous and creamy.
- Then add olive oil slowly to thin. If needed, add cold water 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
- Taste and adjust as needed (see tips in post).
Keywords: beet hummus, lemon beet hummus, vegan beet hummus, roasted beet hummus, roasted beetroot hummus, purple hummus, pink hummus