I have a brand new recipe for homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and let me just say that you’re going to want to save this one for your next snack attack because it’s utterly delicious! The smoky sweet red pepper and creamy garlicky and lemony hummus tahini go so well together. It’s a match made in heaven! Plus it’s vegan and high protein, so you can snack all you want and feel great about it!

red pepper hummus with a pita chip in it

Normally I have my kiddos pack their own snacks and lunches. They’re 11 and 13 and perfectly capable, but this winter, I have been helping my 11 year old with hers because she is doing ski racing. It’s pretty intense. They train three days after school during the school week, and Saturdays too. Plus then there are races on Sunday. It’s a lot for a kiddo to handle that, and I am a firm believer in letting kids have down time. As a result I am back on packing her lunch box, and it has gotten me all in a dervish about making sure we are fully stocked with healthy options that they’ll actually eat. 

Over the years, we’ve had countless conversations about what makes up a healthy lunch box. One of our rules is there always has to be at least one “fresh” thing included in the snack or lunch. For example, it’s okay to pack a granola bar, but it has to be paired with some fresh cut veggies or a piece of fruit. We also talk about making sure there is protein too (not all carbs.)

One of their favorites foods to pack for snack and lunch is hummus. We go through so much of it! They love to pack it with pita chips and fresh veggies for dipping. When I have the time, I try to make it from scratch. When I do, I am always like, why don’t I do this more often!?! One batch of homemade hummus lasts so much longer than a store-bought tub. Plus homemade hummus is preservative free, and doesn’t have any off flavors. 

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus in a black bowl on a blue gray concrete surface

I’m mean, friends, I’m okay with store bought hummus, we all are busy, and I get that making it from scratch doesn’t always happen! But I don’t like the flavor of the Citric Acid in store bought hummus. It’s too harsh, and doesn’t have the same lemony flavor that a real lemon has. I also try to avoid soybean oil (unless it is certified organic or GMO free.) Besides, hummus is all about the fruity flavors of good olive oil anyway, right?

Anywhoo, my point is, I love hummus and my girls love hummus. I try to make it from scratch as much as possible, and… I have an awesome Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe for you today! And if you’re thinking you don’t have time to make it, just remember, when we add this to our weekend meal prep, we’ll be so glad to have a week’s worth of hummus to go with their lunches! It’s going to taste SO much better, and it is much less expensive! 

I should also mention, that this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is also a great (healthy) appetizer for a party (hello Superbowl fans!!) Especially when it is all dolled up with strips of roasted red pepper, sesame seeds, and all the pretty garnishes! 

Is Hummus Healthy?

Yes hummus is a healthy food.

  • It is high in fiber, which is important for digestive health, and healthy fats from sesame (the tahini) and olive oil.
  • In smaller portions (2 tablespoons) it is actually low carbohydrates with only 3 grams of net carbs. So if you’re following a low carb diet, you may actually be able to include a small amount of hummus. Check with your doctor first. 
  • It also has some protein in it (2 g for a 2 tablespoon serving.) Note: while some protein in your snack food is better than none, make sure you read this post about my Italian Balsamic Chicken to see why it’s important to get enough protein every day (and how much you need.) 
  • Chickpeas, and legumes in general, have what’s known as resistant starches in them, which helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut too- so they will help make a happy belly!

In simple terms, since homemade hummus is made from whole foods (chickpeas, lemon, garlic, sesame and olive oil), it’s naturally a healthier choice for snacks and lunches. 

What About Lectins in Hummus? 

There’s been some hype lately, (no) thanks to a popular book called the Plant Paradox, about lectins. These are naturally occurring substances found in legumes and whole grains. This theory basically states that legumes will prevent your body from accessing available nutrients and in so doing will cause a host of health problems.

I’m not one to go for these conspiracy theories about any whole food group in our diet, and so I looked into it. I am a contributing editor at EatingWell magazine, and I trust the registered dietitians on the team there. What I found is that the science actually shows there are a number of flaws with this theory and that there are many studies showing bean’s health benefits. You can read more about the science of lectins here

Eating Beans and Legumes is Earth Friendly

I also wanted to share another fact that I found SO interesting about choosing to eat beans and legumes. “Making beans your go-to protein even occasionally can greatly reduce greenhouse gases. According to research published in the journal Climate Change, if every American swapped in beans for conventionally raised meat once a week for a year, it would keep 75.3 million metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.” ~ Source EatingWell.com

overhead view of hummus with roasted red peppers and vegetable platter

What is in Hummus?

Hummus is a Middle Eastern chickpea spread (or dip) made from the following:

  1. Cooked and ground chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans),
  2. Lemon juice
  3. Sesame tahini 
  4. Olive oil
  5. Garlic

The top is usually dusted with a little bit of ground sumac powder

Classic hummus is served with warm pita breads.

If you haven’t read how I fell in love with Lebanese style hummus when I was a kid make sure you read my post for Roasted Garlic Hummus. You can also read about how to make authentic Israeli style hummus from Chef Solomonov of Zahav here. {And you can get my beets and tahini recipe inspired by my dinner there too.}

Of course nowadays hummus is super trendy and can be found in a bazillion different flavors in the grocery store. There are even dessert hummus on the market too! (It’s actually not bad!) I actually love all the different kinds of hummus and make different flavors myself. We love my spectacularly green Edamame Hummus and one of my favorite recipes to date on this entire website is my Black Bean Hummus

But of all the store bought flavored hummus out there, Roasted Red Pepper is by far my favorite! 

 


 

How To Make Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Making homemade roasted red pepper is almost as simple as making regular hummus, but the only additional work is roasting the pepper. Which is actually quite easy to do. 

How To Roast Red Bell Pepper

Bell peppers can be roasted directly over flames, like over a gas burner, but I find that method doesn’t work as well as broiling them because the skin usually breaks and is harder to peel off. So here is the method I learned back in college when my roomate taught me how to make this Curried Couscous recipe. It is to this day the method I recommend for roasting bell peppers:

  • Oven Rack: Arrange the oven rack so that your pan and pepper can slid into the top of the oven without the pepper touching the element. Ideally it should be close but not touching, about 1 inch below the element or flame. 
  • Broiler: Turn on your broiler. I like to line my baking sheet or baking pan with foil because the pepper will get a little juicy as it broils, and then the broiler will caramelize the juices. The foil makes cleanup really easy! 
  • Prep Pepper: Wash your pepper and make sure the little plastic tag is removed. Set it on the pan on it’s side.
  • Broiling: Place the pepper directly under the element and close the oven (unless you have an old fashioned oven that needs to be propped open when you broil of course!) 
  • Look For Charring and Turn: Keep an eye on the pepper, and when the skin turns black, reach into the oven with tongs and turn the pepper over so an unblackened side faces up toward the element. The amount of time it takes to blacken the skin will vary greatly depending on your broiler (if it is gas or electric) and how many elements it has. Plus just how close the pepper is to the heat source. I look in after about 3 minutes to get a sense of how fast it is charring. 
  • Timing: I also notice that the first side is usually the slowest to char, and then from there the subsequent sides will char faster. The whole process takes 12 to 15 minutes.
  • What To Look For: Make sure to watch my video to see what this looks like if you haven’t done it before. The skin will actually be quite dark. But don’t worry, the flesh under won’t be. 

How to Peel Roasted Red Peppers

  1. Set in a Bowl or Board: Once your pepper is blackened on all sides, and is still hot, immediately set it into a bowl, or place it on a cutting board. Cover the bowl with a plate or with foil (I usually reuse the messy foil from the pan.) This will trap the steam in with the pepper. {Note: If you set your pepper on a cutting board, you can invert a bowl over it to trap in the steam. Set something heavy on it to make sure it seals down to the surface.} 
  2. Steam: Let the pepper steam for at least 5 minutes. Or you can leave it longer until it is completely cool. I am too impatient though! 
  3. Peel the Pepper: Then remove the skin by slipping it off the flesh. If it is too hot, or the charred skin is too sticky, you can peel it under cool running water. According to the chefs in my culinary school, peeling the peppers under water does “wash away” some of the flavor.  They told me that ideally, you’d let the roasted pepper cool completely and then take your time getting off all the black stuff without water. I don’t have time for that shit and my hummus came out great so whatevs.
  4. Clean the Pepper: Once the skin is off you can pull the stem right out. Sometimes this happens while your peeling the pepper since they become so soft during the roasting process. You can also pull out the ribs and seeds too. Again, I find running water helpful to get those sticky little seeds off. If the pepper is wet, blot it dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

Make the Homemade Hummus:

Once your pepper is roasted you are ready to make the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. For this I use a similar method to my other hummus recipes.

  • Chop the Garlic: I take advantage of my food processor, and skip chopping the garlic by hand. Instead I set up the food processor with the steel blade attachment, and I turn the motor on. Then I just drop the peeled garlic clove through the spout of the lid right into the processor bowl. The blade will chop it in mid air! It happens within a few seconds, and the garlic doesn’t get mashed up and bruised. I love this technique and even use it to make the chopped veggies for my Bolognese recipe too! 
  • Next Add the Pepper: Again, no need to do any chopping. Add the pepper to the processor with the garlic, and just turn it on. The pepper will chop up. Don’t worry if it is pretty roughly chopped, once you add the remaining ingredients it will chop up more. 
  • Add The Chickpeas: Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and salt next. I process it this way first because the pepper will help it get going and that way I can get away with less oil overall (which helps to keep the calories lower.) I just process it, and scrape it down a bit, then process it again. The hummus will be a coarse paste. 
  • To finish it off. Drizzle in the olive oil right through the tube as the motor is running. The oil will thin the hummus out a little more and make it easier for it to become smooth. Keep processing it as long as you like to make it smoother. 

How to Store Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

  • Keep this hummus refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. 
  • I keep this hummus recipe for 5 to 7 days in a pint sized glass snap lock container. (That’s an affiliate link.) Keeping it in glass helps because that way the kids see it, and remember that it is there. Plus we try not to store food in plastic if we can help it. 
  • Just make sure that nobody dips anything other than a clean spoon or spatula into the hummus, and it should stay fresh for 5 to 7 days. Tell the kiddos, no dunking veggies or chips right into the storage container!! Veggies, even those that have been washed, can contain spores that can cause the hummus to go bad sooner than it needs to. Remember, this hummus doesn’t have preservatives in it! 

Can you Freeze Hummus?

Yes you can freeze hummus. Just thaw it completely and then stir it very well before serving. If your Roasted Red Pepper Hummus wasn’t very smooth to begin with, and the freezing and thawing process makes it at all grainy, you can save it by putting it back into the food processor and adding 1 tablespoon warm water and 1 tablespoon olive oil and processing it again. It should smooth out nicely. 

hummus recipe from overhead with dipping a pita chip in

How to Serve Hummus For a Party Appetizer

If you’re making this recipe for a simple snack, you’re probably not going to go through the process of dolling it up with garnishes. But if you’re making this hummus to serve at a party, like for the Superbowl, or to bring to a potluck, it’s fun and pretty to garnish it up!

I pile the hummus into a bowl and don’t fuss with it too much or smooth it out. I just use my spatula or a spoon to create a channel for the oil. Then I add on the garnishes. 

I used the following garnishes for this hummus recipe:

  • Olive oil
  • Strips of Roasted Red Pepper (I actually roasted a second one for this purpose)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ground chipotle Chili (I love the way the smoky flavor goes with the smoky pepper. Smoked paprika would also work.)
  • Chopped parsley

Serve with Veggies and Pita Chips

I like to serve hummus with both pita (or pita chips) and fresh vegetables. I love having the healthy option of veggies, but I do love me some pita chips too! My kids love cucumbers, so I usually serve them in addition to carrots and cherry tomatoes (or whatever veggies we have on hand! Even strips of jicama or kohlrabi would be good! 

More Healthy Middle Eastern Inspired Recipes To Try

 
Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know by leaving a star rating and review. It helps so much! 
Happy Cooking!
~Katie 
 
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close up of roasted red pepper hummus

roasted red pepper hummus

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Appetizers and Snack
  • Method: Broiling and Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Description

Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with lemon and tahini, is a delicious and healthy vegan snack or appetizer for a party.


Scale

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

3 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Optional Garnishes: 1/2 additional Roasted red pepper, chopped or sliced, olive oil, smoked paprika or chipotle powder, sesame seeds or parsley


Instructions

  1. Set oven rack in upper third of the oven for broiling. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Set bell pepper on the baking sheet and set under the broiler. Broil, turning every 2 to 5 minutes until the skin of the pepper is mostly black, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer pepper to a bowl and cover with the foil and let steam for 5 to 8 minutes. Under cool running water, peel the blackened skin off the pepper with fingertips. Remove stem and seeds. Blot dry with paper towel.
  3. Fit food processor with steel blade attachment. Turn on motor and drop garlic through the feed tube. Allow the garlic to mince. Turn off motor and remove lid. Add the pepper, cover and puree until finely chopped. Remove the cover, add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and salt and process, scraping down once or twice, until it becomes a coarse paste. With motor running, drizzle in oil and continue processing until it is smooth. Chill, cover and keep refrigerated 5 to 7 days. Garnish if desired before serving.

Notes

Keep this hummus refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. I keep this hummus recipe for 5 to 7 days in a pint sized snap lock container.

If you prefer a creamier hummus, you can add up to 2 more tablespoons olive oil.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 70
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g

closeup of roasted red pepper hummus with text overlay

roasted red pepper hummus