Ways to Enhance the Flavor of Store-Bought Hummus

Store-bought hummus is popular and convenient. It comes in countless flavors, but you can always customize hummus by adding different toppings and ingredients to make it truly unique. There are so many varieties at the grocery store, such as classic hummus, roasted garlic, or roasted red pepper. A range of sizes is available, from large tubs to smaller options or individual servings, so you can truly buy it based on your needs, family, taste, and preferences. Hummus is smooth and usually made with pureed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and salt, but you can integrate your own add-ins to switch up the flavor, consistency, and texture. These additions can breathe new life into your standard hummus, taking it to a noteworthy level.

From tart and tangy fresh cranberries to sinus-clearing horseradish, we share some hummus additions that can help boost the taste of any store-bought hummus. Pair your personalized hummus with meat dishes, stews, and vegetables. Add it to sandwiches, wraps, pastas, salads, and more. The options overflow when it comes to how to utilize this legume-based dish, so you’ll always want to keep it stocked in your fridge. Whether you like it sweet, savory, nutty, or spicy, there are many ways to enhance your hummus.

Give it zing with wasabi

Freshly ground wasabi root

Spice up store-bought hummus with wasabi. While spicy versions of hummus might be available at the grocery store that are made with jalapeño, red pepper, or another type of hot pepper, you might be in the mood to mix things up with a hint of wasabi instead. 

You’ll often see wasabi in Japanese dishes and as a condiment for sushi. This green root is related to horseradish and mustard, and may also be referred to as Japanese horseradish. Thanks to the family resemblance, it has a slightly similar taste to hot mustard or horseradish, with a touch of heat and a kick that’ll clear your nose.

Wasabi pairs well with the creamy richness of a classic store-bought hummus, but if you’re willing to experiment with flavor combinations, you can add other flavors such as garlic or pepper. Make it super spicy by grabbing the red-pepper or jalapeño hummus at the store, and then mix in your wasabi. The wasabi will alter the color of your hummus depending on how much you put in. If you happen to have fresh wasabi, that’s great, but prepared wasabi, wasabi powder, or wasabi sauce from the store will all work just fine. 

Get tangy with dill pickles

Jar of pickles with seasonings

Pickles have always had a cult following for their unique flavor and crisp texture. Give your hummus a pickle twist with chopped pickles, fresh dill, garlic, and cumin. Make this using classic or garlic hummus for extra pizzazz. Dill pickle hummus is delicious and savory, perfect for any pickle lover out there. You probably have most of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry, so this can be a quick upgrade to any store-bought hummus. To keep it simple, you can add pickles, dill, and garlic only. For a touch of hotness, include spicy pickles. 

Drop in a couple tablespoons of pickle juice from the jar to give it an extra pickle kick while thinning out the consistency of the hummus. A thinner hummus is great to spread on a sandwich, whereas a thicker one works well for dipping. If you don’t want to alter the consistency, simply add a couple of drops of pickle juice to the surface of the hummus. Top your hummus with additional chopped pickles and dill, and you’re ready to dig in with crackers or cucumber slices. Dill pickle hummus might be the star of your next potluck.

Mix in some zucchini

Whole and sliced zucchini

Transform the color of your hummus and get some extra veggie zest in it by adding zucchini to the mix. Zucchini won’t completely change the flavor profile like some other vegetables, since it’s a bit more neutral than, say, broccoli or Brussels sprouts. This can be great to serve to kids who like hummus, but might not be so inclined to eat their veggies. To make this spin on zucchini hummus you will need zucchini, cumin, salt, pepper, and sriracha, as well as your supermarket hummus. 

Chop and then blend your zucchini in a food processor. No need to cook or bake it, but you certainly can if you want an elevated level of dimension in your dish; if so, allow it to cool before mixing it with your hummus. Incorporate the ingredients together in your prepared hummus. Top with finely chopped zucchini to make it an eye-catching dish. This hummus is also nutrient-packed thanks to the chickpeas and zucchini. Serve with chips, pretzel sticks, or preferred dipping veggies like cucumbers, radishes, or carrots. The more vegetables you choose, the more colorful the platter that looks incredible on a tablescape.

Add toasted spices and seeds

Peppercorns in a bowl

Synergee/Getty Images

Cumin and pepper are often added to hummus, but have you tried toasting the spices first? Try adding toasted cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, sesame seeds, or fennel. Toasting your spices allows you to unlock aromatics, flavor, and color. You will need whole dried spices or seeds to create this hummus since pre-ground and prepared spices won’t be as potent. Toast them in a pan over medium heat. Make sure the spice is spread in a single layer so it can reach the heat evenly. Stir regularly for about two to four minutes, depending on the seeds and spices used. Sesame seeds, for example, won’t need as much time since they’re small and burn easily. 

After toasting, simply grind your whole spices or place them in the food processor, then add them to your store-bought hummus to reach a new level of flavor. Process them coarsely if you want more texture, or continue grinding until it’s a fine powder. Mix and match the toasted herbs and spices to your taste, omitting or adding them based on your personal preference. This is where you can really use your imagination to come up with some tasty combinations, like turmeric and pepper or cayenne and cumin.

Pour in some melted butter

Varied blocks of butter

Butter is divine. It’s versatile, easy to find, and pretty affordable. Instead of olive oil, give melted butter a chance to enhance the texture of your hummus. Traditional Turkish hummus is made with melted butter and served warm with fresh veggies and pickles. It’s one of the easiest ways to jazz up your hummus, because most people have butter or some sort of butter alternative already in the refrigerator. All you have to do is heat it up in the microwave and allow it to cool slightly so the butter’s not boiling hot. 

Grab an oven-safe bowl for your hummus and mix it in with the butter. Add tahini, lemon juice, and garlic to keep the recipe traditional. Now you’ll want to heat your hummus concoction in the oven for a few minutes until it’s warm. After removing the bowl, drizzle a generous amount of extra butter on top. It’ll provide a subtle but decadent richness that’ll leave you smacking your lips in delight. You can use this buttery hummus to enhance your meals, meats, wraps, and more. This distinctive departure from olive oil will give your hummus a comforting touch.

Blend it with butternut squash

Butternut squash on a cutting board

This tip comes from Gordon Ramsay’s YouTube channel. Ramsay makes a roasted squash hummus with butternut squash, garlic, olive oil, chopped fresh ginger, ras el hanout, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, mustard, fennel, and fenugreek. Add these to your store-bought hummus to make it seem like a homemade delicacy. Gather the ingredients, roast your squash, and then mix everything into your hummus. If you don’t have all the spices, you can omit them based on personal preference. They aren’t all imperative, but each one does amplify the flavor. The butternut squash is the essential ingredient, the star of the show, and the main attraction. 

This recipe would be perfect when hosting a dinner party or if you want to ramp up your date night. Since you aren’t making the hummus from scratch, start by roasting chopped butternut squash while you get the spices ready. Then blend and stir the squash and spices into your hummus. This butternut squash hummus delicately balances the sweetness of the squash, the creaminess of the hummus, and the warmth of the spices. Eat this with pita chips or a griddled pita. Give Ramsay’s hummus a go if you want a flavor-packed squash version of this Middle Eastern dish.

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Feel the kick of horseradish

Whole and grated horseradish

Try a zesty hummus variation with horseradish if you’re seeking something unexpected. It adds some excitement and gives your hummus a unique zing that pairs delectably with the creaminess of a classic hummus. For the biggest burst of flavor, use freshly grated horseradish. Finely grate 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh horseradish and stir it into your hummus. The amount of horseradish will depend on the size of your hummus container. You can also use prepared horseradish from a jar if you have it on hand. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top and serve with pretzels, broccoli florets, or carrot sticks for dipping. It’s a must-try on a roast beef or steak sandwich.

This hummus is spicy, but not in the same way that chilies or jalapeños would be. It has a bit more dimension and can clear the sinuses, so it might not be up every eater’s alley. However, it’s certainly a bold and invigorating option to try if you enjoy interesting flavor combinations. Bring this spicy and creamy dip to a party and see if people can guess the mystery ingredient. For those with an adventurous palate, this makes for a memorable, complex hummus that you can eat with vegetables, chips, or as a spread for sandwiches.

Sprinkle in cocoa powder and sugar

Pile of cocoa powder

Transform your store-bought hummus into dessert. Have you tried chocolate hummus? It’s creamy, chocolatey, and slightly nutty thanks to the chickpeas and tahini. Brands like Boar’s Head, Target, and Walmart all have a version of it. If you’re at home craving something sweet but don’t want to make another trip to the store, jazz up the hummus in your fridge with cocoa powder and sugar. You can use brown sugar or white sugar, but make sure it’s more on the granulated side rather than something like turbinado sugar, so it doesn’t leave you with a chunky texture. 

You’ll want the most basic, plain, classic hummus to make this. You definitely don’t want any kind of garlic or other added flavors that would clash with your sweet chocolate hummus. Mix in your cocoa powder and sugar according to taste. The cocoa gives a depth of flavor and color, while the sugar sweetens it up. Eat this exquisite hummus with pretzels, potato chips, graham crackers, berries like strawberries or blackberries, or dried fruit such as apricots, persimmons, or banana chips. Spread a generous amount on toast for breakfast or a snack. It’s also a fantastic addition to a charcuterie board or for entertaining. 

Get creative with herbs

Potted basil, chives, and rosemary

When in doubt, add herbs to season hummus quickly. Try freshly chopped basil, dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives, cilantro, mint, or sage. You can opt for dried versions as well, whatever works best for you. This is all about convenience, so use any herbs you have on hand. This is perfect if you have fresh herbs in the fridge that need to be eaten and you don’t feel like cooking. Fresh herbs can add a touch of color, texture, and aromatics to the hummus with minimal effort. If you want to be super fancy, you could make herb-infused olive oil and pour it onto the hummus with gourmet flair.

Dried herbs are convenient because you already have them in your pantry. No crushing, chopping, or grinding is necessary. You’re in charge here, so if there’s an herb you don’t like, don’t use it. Herbed hummus is available at some stores, but adding herbs yourself is a simple way to elevate any store-bought variety so that it looks homemade. Place it in a bowl or serving dish, and top it with additional herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Eat it with pita chips and fresh vegetables, or spread a hefty serving onto freshly toasted bread.

Double your legume goodness with black beans

A bowlful of black beans

Use those canned black beans from the back of your pantry to add even more protein to your hummus. Black beans also have plenty of fiber, calcium, and iron. Chickpeas and black beans make an epic combination. Mash, blend, or puree the beans, and then place them in a bowl. You can adjust the consistency here. Get texture and bite from moderately mashed beans, or keep it consistent with thoroughly blended beans. Use a classic hummus and then add garlic, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and cayenne to taste, or buy a flavored hummus like garlic or red pepper to eliminate additional seasonings. Mix the beans into your hummus and you’re ready to go.

A savory black bean hummus can be used in myriad ways. It goes well with pretzels, corn or bagel chips, and vegetables of all sorts. Try it with snap peas or radishes. This is also great on a sandwich or added to avocado toast. This extra-nutritious twist can upgrade your store-bought hummus from a dip into a wholesome, hearty dish. Not a fan of black beans? Swap them for other types of canned beans such as cannellini, kidney, pinto, or navy beans.

Try it tangy with cranberries

Close-up of fresh cranberries

Whether you’re looking to craft a snack for your family or for a function, cranberry hummus will pique the interest of foodies who want to try fun flavors. Use fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries to add a hint of red to your hummus. Adding cranberry will provide a blast of flavor and enhance consistency. 

If you use fresh cranberries, it’ll provide a looser consistency with a slight tang thanks to juices in the berry. The fresh berries will also alter your hummus into a stunning crimson color. Fresh cranberries contain fiber, potassium, and vitamin C for added nutrition. Blend or puree fresh cranberries and then incorporate them into your hummus. 

Give dry cranberries a shot if you’d like something sweeter. Chop them finely or put them in a food processor for even distribution. Cranberry hummus is the perfect mixture of sweet and savory. Garnish your dish with a few cranberries, tahini, and pomegranate molasses. Enjoy it with veggies, pita chips, and crackers, or try it on a turkey sandwich. This one ingredient will take homemade hummus to a new dimension, as it’s not something one usually thinks to add to a savory dip.

Spoon in some peanut butter

Jar of fresh peanut butter

It’s easy to sweeten up your hummus by swapping the tahini for peanut butter. It might seem like an odd choice for hummus, but it’s not when you really think about it. Hummus is made with tahini, which is a sesame paste. Both peanut butter and sesame seeds contribute a nutty, complex flavor. Peanut butter provides an oil base and a smooth consistency, just like tahini does. However, peanut butter can completely change the flavor from super savory to slightly sweet. You’ll want to use natural peanut butter, one without any additional ingredients or sugar. The natural oils play their part in the overall consistency.

You can also make it a sweeter hummus by mixing in maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, cloves, or vanilla. Check the ingredients of your store-bought hummus and find one without tahini if possible. This allows you to get the desired sweetness once you include the peanut butter. Eat this with fruit, on toast, or in yogurt or oatmeal. It’s a delightful choice for breakfast and brunch. If you can’t find hummus without tahini, you could still make a savory version of peanut butter hummus by including cumin, chili powder, paprika, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, or chives. 

Use roasted sweet potatoes

Roasted sweet potatoes on a cutting board

The caramelized taste and natural sugars of roasted sweet potatoes can give your hummus earthy layers of creamy flavor. Start by roasting your sweet potatoes in the oven until soft. Chop them to speed up this process, but you can roast them whole as well. Blend or puree them until they’re nice and smooth, then add the mash to your hummus. Save even more time by using canned sweet potato puree, since all you have to do is open the can and pour it into your hummus. It’s a pretty simple addition that upgrades your hummus with deep complexity. This root vegetable will give it a mild, earthy sweetness and cool color to boot. 

The sweet potatoes provide a melt-in-your-mouth type of creaminess while also boosting your meal with protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Try this version of hummus in a wrap, with pita chips, or dolloped on chicken or beef. It goes well with both meat dishes and vegetables. This hummus not only tastes heavenly, but looks that way too. The flavor and color are truly captivating, so it would be perfect to bring to a holiday potluck or a gathering amongst friends. 

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