Easy Spicy Harissa Hummus

Harissa hummus is loaded with flavor without weighing you down with a calorie avalanche. Fiery harissa paste nestled in a bed of smooth chickpeas and tahini. It’s a flavor fiesta that’s low-cal and low-effort. This homemade hummus with harissa is perfect for your next veggie platter party or just a casual “me and my hummus, chillin” night.

Harissa hummus in a bowl with fresh vegetables, pita chips and crackers on a platter.

Ditch the store-bought tubs of blandness and get ready to become a hummus hero. This might soon become your go-to hummus recipe.

Recipe video

Ingredients

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Labelled ingredients for harissa hummus recipe.

The main ingredients can be made easily at home if you can’t find them at the supermarkets. You’ll need:

  1. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): you can either use dried chickpeas or canned ones.
  2. Harissa: You can either use store-bought harissa or make your own (check out this harissa recipe). 
  3. Tahini: Again, you can either buy or make your own. (it is roasted sesame paste).
  4. Olive oil: I use regular olive oil for roasting garlic and extra virgin olive oil for topping. You can use either, according to your preference.
  5. Paprika: For a spicy kick and color. 
  6. Other flavor makers: garlic, lemon juice and salt.

How to make harissa hummus

1. Cook chickpeas

Canned chickpeas

Even if you use canned ones, boiling them ensures that your hummus is smooth and creamy.

Drain the chickpeas and add them to a pot of cold water. Boil them for about 10 to 15 minutes until they are completely soft.

Dried chickpeas

Soak the chickpeas in cold water (water should cover the chickpeas by about 3 to 4 inches).

Let them soak overnight or at least for 8 hours. ½ cup of dried chickpeas will plump up to about 1¼ cups when soaked.

How to cook chickpeas on stovetop

Chickpeas can be cooked without a pressure cooker or instant pot. Ensure that you soak them overnight or even up to 12 hours.

Drain and pour soaked chickpeas into a large pot of cold water (water level should be 3 to 4 inches above chickpeas). Do not cover.

Bring it to a brisk boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 to 1½ hours until the chickpeas are completely soft.

If the water dries out, top up with boiling water. For quicker results, cook chickpeas with ½ teaspoon of baking soda.

How to cook chickpeas in an instant pot

Drain the soaked chickpeas. Add them with 2 cups of cold water into the instant pot. Set the mode to pressure-cook for 12 minutes.

Wait for natural pressure release. Drain and let the chickpeas cool down.

How to cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker

Drain and place the chickpeas in the pressure cooker with 2 cups of cold water. Cook on high flame for 2 whistles.

Reduce the flame to low, and cook for 10 minutes (or up to 5 whistles).

Turn off the flame and let the pressure release naturally. Drain the chickpeas and let them cool.

Reserve

Whatever method you use to cook chickpeas, remember to reserve about ¼ cup of the chickpea water. It emulsifies and helps in making your bowl of hummus smooth and creamy (like pasta water for pasta sauce).

Also reserve a handful of chickpeas for garnish. (Hope you don’t forget like me 🙂 )

2. Roast garlic

Thinly slice garlic cloves. Heat olive oil in a small pan.

Add the garlic slices and stir until they start to brown. Turn off the heat.

Sliced garlic roasted with olive oil in a small pan.

3. Blend

Pour the roasted garlic slices along with the oil into a food processor or high speed blender. Add harissa, tahini, lemon juice and salt.

Process until the mixture emulsifies.

Harissa, tahini, olive oil and garlic in a food processor jar.

Add chickpeas and paprika. Process until smooth.

Chickpeas with blended harissa, tahini, olive oil and garlic in a food processor jar.

While the processor is running, drizzle the chickpea liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. (Like how you add olive oil while making pesto.)

Blended spicy hummus with harissa in a food processor jar.

4. Garnish

Transfer the harissa hummus to a serving bowl. Swirl a spoonful of harissa on top. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

This spicy hummus with harissa is like a blank canvas. Feel free to add your favorite toppings:

  • chopped parsley
  • toasted pine nuts or other nuts
  • reserved chickpeas
  • paprika
  • sumac
Spicy harissa hummus in a bowl with fresh vegetables, pita chips and crackers on a platter.

Recipe tips

Homemade tahini: I store roasted sesame seeds for recipes like sesame chicken stir fry and honey garlic tofu. Whenever I make hummus, I just blend them and use.

For 2 tablespoons of tahini, I blend 4 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds with a splash of olive oil.

If you had stored tahini in a jar, give it a good stir before scooping. The solids tend to settle at the bottom.

Find this a bit hot? Alright, you made this spicy hummus recipe. It has great flavor but you find it too spicy.

No problem, just stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt and a splash of lemon juice. Whisk until well incorporated. (Remember to adjust salt.) You can also pulse in the food processor until combined and creamy.

If you’re vegan or cannot take dairy products, use tahini instead of yogurt.

Storage and make ahead tips

Storing: Leftover harissa hummus can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Making ahead: Hummus can be frozen for a couple of months. However, it tends to get a bit dry and salty when frozen. So if you’re planning to make it ahead, reduce the salt to ¾ of the amount mentioned in the recipe. (You can always add salt and pulse before serving.) Cover it with a layer of olive oil.

Before serving:  Leave the bowl of hummus outside the fridge for half to one hour to bring it to room temperature. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge and do the same.

Harissa hummus in a bowl with fresh vegetables, pita chips and crackers on a platter.

Variations

Sumac: It is a tangy Middle Eastern spice. Add ½ a teaspoon for more citrus flavor.

Paprika: I’ve used smoked paprika. You can play around with other forms of paprika like basic, hot, sweet, etc.

Hummus without tahini: Try skipping tahini, add more harissa and lemon garlic flavor.

More spicy hummus: Are you more of a spice person? Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, hot paprika or more harissa.

Making it for a crowd

This hummus recipe can be easily scaled up or down. Use the slider that will appear if you hover your mouse over the number of servings in the recipe card below.

What to pair with harissa hummus

Make easy appetizers by pairing harissa hummus with fresh veggies or tortilla chips.

Other pairing options would be soft and pillowy pita bread, crispy pita chips, flatbread, falafel or shawarma.

Serve it alongside other delicious dips like tahini yogurt dip and spicy feta paprika dip as part of a mezze platter.

Harissa hummus in a bowl with fresh vegetables, pita chips and crackers on a platter.

Why you’ll love this hummus with harissa

Hummus is a popular dip in Middle Eastern cuisine. Traditional hummus is smooth, creamy, and bursting with nutty tahini flavor. It is a timeless crowd-pleaser.

Harissa hummus takes it a notch up. Harissa adds a touch of Moroccan flair to the regular hummus dip.

Harissa is a North African spice paste, specifically part of Moroccan cuisine. It’s made of roasted red peppers, garlic, red chili peppers and other spices.

If you love this harissa hummus, chances are you might love harissa pasta, too!

There are many reasons you’re going to love this spicy hummus recipe:

  • Flavor party in your mouth: Spicy flavor from harissa strikes a perfect balance with nutty tahini and creamy hummus!
  • Low-cal, protein-packed goodness: It’s a perfect way to fuel your body without weighing it down.
  • Customizable Heat: Adjust the spice levels to your liking – from a subtle hum to a full-blown fiesta, it’s in your hands.
  • Zesty Citrus Twist: A splash of lemon adds a burst of citrusy freshness, elevating the classic hummus to a whole new level.
  • Roasted garlic: Gives a unique twist to this hummus recipe, as in roasted garlic pasta sauce.
  • Quick and Easy: With 7 ingredients and a food processor in hand, you’re just moments away from dipping into a world of deliciousness.
  • Versatile Pairing: Whether it’s veggie sticks, pita, or your favorite crackers – this easy harissa hummus recipe is the perfect partner for all your snacking adventures.
  • Anyone can master this: Whether you’re a make-from-scratch person or one who doesn’t mind shortcuts for a delicious homemade harissa hummus, this recipe is for you!

More sauces and dips

1 2 3 4 5
Harissa hummus in a bowl with fresh vegetables, pita chips and crackers on a platter.

Spicy Harissa Hummus Recipe

Harissa hummus is loaded with flavor without weighing you down with a calorie avalanche. Fiery harissa paste nestled in a bed of smooth chickpeas and tahini. It's a flavor fiesta that's low-cal and low-effort. This homemade hummus with harissa is perfect for your next veggie platter party or just a casual "me and my hummus, chillin'" night.
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, condiment, dip
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 4
Calories 121.7 kcal

Ingredients
  

STEP BY STEP IMAGES

Scroll back to find detailed recipe photos!

Instructions
 

1. Cook chickpeas

    Canned chickpeas

    • Even if you use canned chickpeas, boiling them ensures that your hummus is smooth and creamy.
    • Drain 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas and add them to a pot of cold water.
    • Boil them for about 10 minutes until they are completely soft.

    Dried chickpeas

    • Rinse and soak ½ cup (100 grams) of dried chickpeas in cold water (water should cover the chickpeas by about 3 to 4 inches).
    • Let them soak overnight or at least for 8 hours.
      ½ cup of dried chickpeas will plump up to about 1¼ cups when soaked.

    How to cook chickpeas on stovetop

    • Drain and pour soaked chickpeas in a large pot of cold water (water level should be 3 to 4 inches above chickpeas). Do not cover.
    • Bring it to a brisk boil.
    • Once it boils, reduce the flame and cook on low heat for 1 to 1½ hours, until the chickpeas are completely soft.

    How to cook chickpeas in an instant pot

    • Drain and place the soaked chickpeas with 2 cups of cold water in the instant pot.
    • Set the mode to pressure-cook for 12 minutes. Wait for natural pressure release.

    How to cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker

    • Drain and place the chickpeas with 2 cups of cold water in the pressure cooker.
    • Cook on high flame for 2 whistles.
    • Reduce to low flame, and cook for 10 minutes (or up to 5 whistles).
    • Turn off the flame and let the pressure release naturally.

    2. Reserve

    • Drain the chickpeas and let them cool.
    • Whatever method you use to cook chickpeas, remember to reserve about ¼ cup of the chickpea water.
    • Also reserve a handful of chickpeas for garnish.

    3. Roast garlic

    • Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small pan. Thinly slice 3 cloves garlic.
    • Add the garlic slices and roast until they start to brown. Turn off the heat.

    4. Blend

    • Pour the roasted garlic slices along with the oil into a food processor or high speed blender.
    • Add 3 tablespoons harissa paste, 2 tablespoons tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and ½ teaspoon salt.
    • Process until the mixture emulsifies.
    • Add chickpeas and ½ teaspoon paprika. Process until smooth.
    • While the processor is running, drizzle the chickpea liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.

    5. Garnish

    • Transfer the harissa hummus to a serving bowl. Swirl a spoonful of harissa on top.
    • Serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Add your favorite toppings (see options in the notes below).

    Video

    Notes

    Optional toppings/garnish: 
    • chopped parsley
    • toasted pine nuts or other nuts
    • paprika
    • sumac
    Storing: Leftover harissa hummus can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
    Making ahead: Hummus can be frozen for a couple of months. However, it tends to get a bit dry and salty when frozen. So if you’re planning to make it ahead, reduce the salt to ¾ of the amount mentioned in the recipe. (You can always add salt and pulse before serving.) Cover it with a layer of olive oil.
    Before serving:  Leave the bowl of hummus outside the fridge for half to one hour to bring it to room temperature. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge and do the same.
    For more tips and tricks: See the post above.
    Nutrition Facts
    Spicy Harissa Hummus Recipe
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    121.7
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    11.1
    g
    17
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    1.5
    g
    9
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    2.5
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    6.6
    g
    Sodium
     
    420.4
    mg
    18
    %
    Potassium
     
    95.9
    mg
    3
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    5.2
    g
    2
    %
    Fiber
     
    0.8
    g
    3
    %
    Sugar
     
    1.6
    g
    2
    %
    Protein
     
    1.8
    g
    4
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    192.8
    IU
    4
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    6.9
    mg
    8
    %
    Calcium
     
    18.1
    mg
    2
    %
    Iron
     
    0.6
    mg
    3
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    ★★★★★Did you try this recipe? Please give a star rating in the comments below ★★★★★

    HUNGRY FOR MORE? Join over 1000 home cooks like you who subscribe to my weekly newsletter to get all the latest recipes right in your inbox. Or follow me on your favorite social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. Thank you and happy cooking!

    Author profile photo

    Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

    I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Rate this recipe




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.