Hummus With Roasted Garlic

Image of hummus and pitta bread

I know, another recipe for hummus, but this one has a secret ingredient that lifts it out of the ordinary. I got the idea from my friend Jane O’B, who makes the best hummus I’ve ever eaten. Her husband makes the world’s best meatloaf, too, but that’s another story.

So – the secret is roasted garlic. Roasting transforms the bulbs from eye-wateringly pungent to sweet, melting and subtle, so more-ish even a vampire would be tempted to switch diets. Try it and see.

If you’re roasting one head of garlic, you may as well do half a dozen.  I used loads in this hummus recipe but in any case the resulting paste keeps in the fridge for up to a week and can be frozen for up to three months. You can use it in salad dressings, sauces, dips or just spread it onto good bread.

Hummus With Roasted Garlic

  • Servings: makes 1 medium bowl
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Image of pitta dunked in hummus

Serious hummus aficionados would argue that you should use dried chickpeas, duly soaked and cooked, and in an ideal world I’d probably agree.

But one of the joys of hummus, for me, is that you can whip it up quickly from store cupboard ingredients (apart from roasting the garlic, which of course from now on you will always have on hand in the fridge). I prefer bottled chickpeas, which tend to be less slushy than the tinned variety, but use whatever works for you.

You can use old or new-season garlic. I stole some of the bulbs Him Outdoors grew, fresh from the garden.

Image of a tray of fresh garlic


200g tinned or bottled chickpeas

2 tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)

2 heaped tspn roasted garlic paste (or to taste)

1 tspn ground cumin

80-100 ml tahini paste (to taste – I prefer the smaller quantity as it’s not so overpowering)

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp good olive oil


To serve: a sprinkling of paprika or za’atar and a few whole chickpeas

Image of ingredients


First, roast the garlic. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.

Remove most of the papery bits on the outside but keep the bulbs whole. Slice the tops off the bulbs so the cloves are exposed, put them in a roasting tin and drizzle each bulb with 2 tspn olive oil. Let it sink in between the cloves, then re-anoint with another teaspoonful apiece.

Image of oil being drizzled over garlic bulbs

Cover tightly with kitchen foil and roast for around an hour. The cooking time depends on the size and freshness of the garlic, so start checking after 40 minutes. They’re done when they’re caramelised and golden and soft enough that you can pierce the heart of the cloves with the tip of a knife. Mine took 90 minutes. Like watching paint dry but with a better smell.

Image of roasted garlic

Allow to cool enough to  handle then squeeze the cloves and the roasted garlic should just pop out. Squeeze them into a bowl and mash them into a paste.

Now for the hummus. Before you start, stir any oil floating on the jar of tahini back into the paste.

Measure out your tahini into a bowl, then stir the lemon juice into it, a tip for which I’m obliged to Paula Wolfert via Felicity Cloake. The tahini will stiffen but your hummus will be the lighter for it. Don’t ask me how this works, but it does.

Put the tahini into a food processor with the remaining ingredients (except the paprika or za’atar). Blend to a puree – it’s a matter of taste whether it’s a rough puree or creamier – I like a bit of texture.

Check the seasoning and add more lemon juice, roasted garlic and salt to taste, then scrape into a bowl.

To serve, make a squirl in the centre of the hummus with the back of a spoon, drizzle with a little more olive oil and scatter with the reserved chickpeas (if, unlike me, you remembered to keep some back) and paprika or za’atar. Scoop it up with pitta or flatbreads or use as a dip with raw vegetables.

Image of a bowl of hummus



18 thoughts on “Hummus With Roasted Garlic

  1. This looks delicious, I’m definitely going to try it.. (I don’t have a food processor, I wonder if I might be able to mash them by hand?…) Thank you, Linda..

    • Mash the chickpeas? I don’t see why not though the hummus would be rougher in texture. I mean people have been making it in the Middle East since long before food processors (and probably before electricity)! It’ll give you great bicep definition ….

      • Well, you’ve inspired me to roast some garlic to go with some mushrooms, thyme and crème fraiche in a ‘chuck it together’ pasta sauce. The kitchen smells amazing 🙂

  2. What an inspired suggestion to roast the garlic – thank you for that and also to add lemon juice to the tahini with a little water although I quite often leave the tahini out because it is not subtle enough in hummus, it seems to dominate.

    Here are a couple of things I have found that improves chickpeas. I had not heard of Paula Wolfert but it is agreed that the texture and taste is much improved after skinning chickpeas – falafel and hummus are much lighter and tastier and worth the task orientated time of skinning.

    Also when making falafel I have found that mincing the ingredients 100% successful when deep frying – the falafel stay in one piece when put in the hot oil. When I used to put the ingredients through a food processor they would fall apart in the pan. So it seems like mincing chickpeas or crushing them makes them stickier and gives a stronger bind.

    On the subject of adding oil at the end that Felicity Cloake discusses in her article, I had hummus in the Arab quarter of Old Jerusalem quite some years ago and it was served on a flat plate with a dip made in the middle with the back of a spoon and the proprietor swirled a very generous helping of olive oil and sprinkled paprika and chopped coriander on top.

    It definitely helps to have eaten the real McCoy in the country of origin – the Tel Aviv falafel are like no others.

    Thank you very much for all the tips.

    • Hi Jovie, I’m glad you found the post useful. I have roasted garlic in the freezer as I type – I’ve discovered that freezing it in ice cube trays before decanting into a bag works a treat and you can take out whatever quantity you need.
      Thanks for the falafel tip … I really should make some, I love them. It’s years since I’ve been to Israel but funnily enough the best falafel I ever ate were in Toronto. Go figure.
      Stop by any time! All the best, Linda.

  3. Good idea about freezing the roasted garlic I have been inspired to make hummus today.

    Btw I got the tip for mincing chickpeas together with the rest of the ingredients from “Taste of Israel” by Avi Ganor and Ron Maiberg. Some wonderful pictures in there and not just of the food.The pickle recipes are very delicious, but I guess you already have the book. When I read that they mince the ingredients it was obvious – of course 🙂

    Thank you again.

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