People Kitchen

16 hyped-up hummus ideas

Tara Fitzpatrick | Jun 23, 2017

A healthy dip with Middle Eastern origins, hummus appeals to just about everyone. See how chefs create signature hummus variations with cross-cultural flavors, rainbow colors, in a savory parfait, in dessert form and even in a cone(!).

  • Edamame hummus. Duke Dining has six different takes on hummus. First up, edamame hummus with nori on banana leaf has bright and clean flavors. It’s served alongside sushi-grade salmon or tuna.
  • Black-eyed pea hummus. Next from Duke is black-eyed pea hummus with crispy pancetta and prosciutto, a savory mash-up of soul food and Italian charcuterie, proving that hummus isn’t just for vegetarians.
  • Sweet potato hummus. Served with toasted pumpkin seeds, Duke’s sweet potato hummus makes use of the state’s favorite root vegetable. Sweet potatoes make a velvety smooth addition to hummus.
  • Salted caramel hummus and chocolate fudge hummus on pretzel tuille. This dessert hummus from Duke is made with just a little sugar and a lot of protein for a smarter way to indulge.
  • Snickerdoodle hummus. Another sweet hummus from Duke, this one has the flavors of the classic cookies, with a zip of cinnamon. It can be scooped into ice cream cones for the ultimate crazy hummus dessert. 
  • Classic hummus with roasted red peppers. At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., Executive Chef Jonathan Pye, American Dining Creations, serves hummus in a beautifully simple presentation with grilled pita and also on wraps and for catering with crudité displays. From there, things get interesting. Pye, who’s known for his fearless catering, creates wide-ranging flavor possibilities with such hummus mix-ins as roasted poblano peppers, kalamata olives, roasted garlic, basil pesto, fresh herbs, roasted beets, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and curry powder.
  • Hummus in pate au choux pastry. Another cool hummus idea comes from Dawn M. Richer, chef manager for higher education at Aramark. “You can fill pate au choux (cream puff dough) with hummus,” she says, describing a one-of-a-kind appetizer. Richer also likes to repurpose hummus as a spread on sandwiches, pita pockets and wraps. This way, the flavor profile of an otherwise plain sandwich can be transformed by mixing in pesto, cilantro or sambal into hummus.
  • 3 new ways to hummus. “Hummus has evolved from its traditional roots of being made with almost all beans [to] some versions have no beans at all,” says David Stoltzfus, corporate executive chef with Flik Lifestyles (senior dining), who makes yellow lentil and jalapeno hummus, no-bean hummus and sweet pea-mint hummus. “With the great benefits of legumes, olive oil and lemons, it’s the perfect appetizer, especially on a hot summer day.” No-bean hummus gets its texture and light-green color from raw zucchini and then traditional hummus flavors of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and tahini.
  • Savory yogurt-hummus parfait bar. This savory yogurt parfait station by Morrison Healthcare features creamy yogurt hummus made with garbanzo beans, oil, lemon juice, Sriracha and cumin.
  • Make your own parfait. Guests can add roasted vegetables, bold spices, chilies and global crunch blend. The station, which Morrison developed with General Mills, can meet the needs of those eating paleo, gluten-free, veg-centric or high-protein diets.
  • Rainbow hummus wraps. Unicorn-tinted food has taken over Instagram feeds lately, and this rainbow hummus wrap is a bit of a more natural nod to that trend. The rainbow comes not from artificial colors, but from vibrant veggies in this recipe from Wanda White, chef with the Humane Society of the United States, who teaches plant-based cooking to school foodservice operations around the country.
  • Spicy sesame hummus. Sesame chili oil takes this hummus from the Middle East to the Far East, in this recipe from Meatless Monday and the Running with Tongs blog.
  • Spicy watermelon hummus. This hummus is perfect for summer—it’s low fat, low calorie and bursting with the sweet flavor of watermelon, the zip of paprika and the superfood powers of turmeric. 
  • Greek yogurt hummus. All the creaminess of Greek yogurt (not to mention the probiotics) merges with a classic hummus in this recipe from Dannon Foodservice. It can be customized with the addition of avocado, lime, jalapeno honey, harissa, mango, everything bagel spices or za’atar.
  • Avocado hummus. If guac and hummus had a baby, this would be it. 
  • Watercress hummus. Just a half cup of watercress adds a gorgeous green color to this otherwise- traditional hummus.

*Originally appeared in Food Management, June 23, 2017.