Red Lentil Hummus
If you love hummus, then you must try this red lentil hummus recipe! It has everything you love about traditional hummus but it's made with nutty and sweet red lentils instead of chickpeas. It’s lemony and creamy and quick and easy to make - perfect for a nutritious and satisfying snack or addition to any meal.
If you’ve made hummus before, you’ll recognize the ingredients - lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and spice. Many hummus recipes call for oil, but I don’t think it’s needed, so it’s not included here. Using lentils is a nice change from traditional hummus made with chickpeas. And because red lentils soften when cooked, I find this kind of hummus easier to make. You can still use a food processor, but because the lentils dissolve when cooked, I often just use my immersion blender to combine all the ingredients, making clean-up super easy.
Keep these ingredients on hand and you’ll have delicious hummus ready in no time. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, a good source of plant-based protein, and high in fiber.
Dried Red Lentils – Red lentils cook quickly and become soft and tender, creating a delicious creamy texture. They are low in sodium and saturated fat and high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Lentils contain slow-digesting resistant starch which delays the absorption of carbohydrates to lower blood sugar levels. Research has shown that lentils may improve cholesterol levels in people with diabetes and may protect against breast cancer in women.
Garlic – If you like your hummus garlic-y add an extra clove or two. Garlic is low in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium and contains several vitamins and minerals. Garlic has been used as medicine for thousands of years - Hippocrates prescribed garlic for various illnesses, and it was given to early Olympic athletes to enhance performance!
Tahini – Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. It’s a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Tahini is packed with vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. Most stores carry tahini, you can usually find it either with the nut butter or in the ethnic food aisle.
Lemon juice – I like to use fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Squeeze extra to thin the hummus to your desired consistency and give it a delicious tangy flavor. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, and the juice has been used for hundreds of years for virus prevention and to support healthy digestion.
Cumin – This is one of my favorite spices! It is a staple spice used in many different cuisines with its earthy taste. Research is still investigating the many possible health benefits of cumin, but we do know that it contains antioxidant properties, which help protect your cells. If you don’t like or are allergic to cumin, you can substitute smoked paprika (assuming you aren’t allergic to that too). It will change the flavor of the hummus but will still be delicious.
What to Serve With Red Lentil Hummus
Just like traditional chickpea hummus, this version is delicious with practically everything. Serve this lentil hummus with fresh vegetables or with pita chips or crackers. You can also spread it on some bread or a wrap as a condiment for your sandwich. Serve it with grilled or roasted vegetables or thin it with extra lemon juice and drizzle on a grain bowl or salad.
I shared this recipe with a client and here’s what he said:
“I just made your red lentil hummus for lunch. I had it in a wrap with tortillas, lettuce, and tomatoes. It was delicious!”
2 cups water
1 cup dried red lentils
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini paste
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
Prepare the lentils: Bring the water to a boil and add the lentils. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the lentils cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Make the hummus: Combine the cooked lentils with the rest of the ingredients. Blend either in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add extra lemon juice or water as needed to get to desired consistency.
Serve: Scoop the hummus into a bowl, garnish with herbs (such as basil, parsley. or cilantro), (smoked) paprika, pepitas, and/or sesame seeds. Chill until ready to serve.