Vegans eat lot of hummus. A LOT. Because when you’re at non-vegan restaurants or parties, it’s often the only veg option. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve been subjected to some pretty lame hummus over the years.) So when I make hummus at home, not only do I skip the oil, I like to play around with the flavors. This Spicy Oil Free Hummus with its Mexican flavors is a nice change-up from the classic Middle Eastern version.
Is hummus vegan?
Usually, but not always. Traditional hummus made with ingredients like chickpeas, tahini and olive oil is vegan. However, to make the hummus smoother and creamier—and probably as an easy way to stretch the ingredients—some restaurants add mayonnaise. Most mayo is of course made with eggs, and not vegan.
Also, it’s not uncommon for restaurants to drizzle yogurt over their hummus. So to make sure the hummus you’re eating is vegan, it’s a good idea to read labels and check with the chef. Or make your own.
How to make oil free hummus
While most hummus is vegan, it’s not always easy to find no oil hummus. So, if we want a truly healthy, whole food plant-based no oil hummus, we often need to make our own. (Read about the health benefits of hummus here.) I have 2 oil free hummus recipes on the site—this spicy oil free hummus, and my classic Oil Free Hummus. They’re both light, smooth and creamy—even without oil.
If you check out other oil free hummus recipes, you’ll notice they often just skip the oil. This is fine, but I’ve found it makes for a rather thick and less appetizing dip. As a substitute for the oil, in both of these recipes we use a combination of aquafaba (the reserved chickpea liquid) and mellow white miso paste. The result is a smooth, creamy and tasty oil free hummus.
Low fat hummus
In this no oil hummus recipe, most of the fat comes from the tahini. At only 3 grams per serving, it’s a relatively low fat dip. However, if you want to decrease the fat even further, you can skip the tahini and just increase the miso and aquafaba a bit. The taste won’t be exactly the same (tahini gives hummus its unique flavor), but it will still be quite good. Of course, you’ll also want to skip the optional pine nuts.
What to eat with hummus
Pita bread, falafel and hummus are a classic combination. But most of us vegans find all kinds of ways to enjoy hummus. Here are just a few:
On a sandwich. I first shared this spicy oil free hummus recipe as an ingredient in my Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich. If you want even more ways to slather hummus on a sandwich, check out this Ultimate Collection of 40+ Vegan & WFPB Sandwiches.
As a dip. This spicy oil free hummus is pictured with homemade oil free baked tortilla chips. (Of course!) I simply cut up tortillas, brush them with a little lime juice, sprinkle on a bit of salt, and bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
But probably my all time favorite—and the healthiest—way to enjoy oil free hummus is as delicious, high fiber, high protein accompaniment for raw veggies. (This may just be the prettiest option, too.)
As a dressing. I don’t have any recipes on the site (yet), but I know may people thin down their hummus with a little water or lemon juice to make a quick and easy salad dressing.
With so many ways to make healthy, oil free hummus—and even more ways to enjoy it—we vegans should probably be showing folks, THIS is how hummus gets done.
Spicy Oil-Free Hummus
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas LIQUID RESERVED, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cup well cooked chickpeas)
- 1-2 jalapenos seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 1/4 cup mellow white miso paste
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tahini or more, to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- Optional: 1/8 cup pine nuts
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor, and process until completely blended and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add reserved chickpea liquid ('aquafaba') and/or water as needed to thin to desired consistency.