Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Yield: 2¼ + cups
This protein-rich dip offers a delightful appetizer or filling snack when served with veggies dippers, pretzels, chips, or pita bread. It also makes a lovely sandwich spread or sauce for chicken and fish and can be the base of a filling vegetarian meal when topped with roasted vegetables and served with a side of pita.

If you’d like to get fancy, you may use one or more of the optional toppings. That said, the dip will be delicious without them.


  • 2 whole roasted red bell peppers or ½ a 16-ounce jar (2-3 jarred peppers—they tend to be smaller— or about 6 ounces after draining well)
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can cannellini beans (may substitute chickpeas)
  • ¼ cup (64g) tahini (see notes for sesame-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus more to taste*)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon each smoked paprika and ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) harissa paste**
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped***
  • Optional for topping: crumbled feta, a drizzle of olive oil, toasted pinenuts, an extra sprinkle of smoked paprika, ground cumin, toasted cumin seeds, and/or sesame seeds
  • For serving: veggies dippers like carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell pepper strips (or mini bell peppers, halved); crackers, pretzels, pita chips or bread, or tortilla chips


  1. Helpful hint: rinse and drain the beans, and when doing so, reserve a half cup or so of the can liquid in case you’d like to use it for thinning the hummus later. Optionally, olive oil may be used.

    Add the drained beans, roasted red peppers, tahini, lemon juice, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, harissa paste, and garlic to the work bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Drizzle bean water (or olive oil), a few teaspoons at time, if a thinner consistency is desired, and process again. Check for seasoning, adding a touch more salt, lemon juice, or harissa, to taste.

    Transfer to a bowl for serving or storing.

    When ready to serve, garnish as desired, and serve with dippers of choice. Stored in the refrigerator, the hummus will keep for about a week.


*Feel free to add more lemon juice to taste. I start with 1 tablespoon when using jarred roasted peppers and 1½ tablespoons when roasting my own. The latter tend to be sweeter and benefit from a touch more acid. From this starting point, I taste and then often add an extra 2 teaspoons or so.

**Harissa paste adds a lovely smoky flavor and a little heat. If you don’t have it, you may substitute a similar chile paste like sambal oelek (or sriracha in a pinch) and start with 2 teaspoons if concerned about level of heat.

***If not a garlic fan, feel free to omit. Conversely, you may add two cloves to heighten the flavor.

Need a sesame-free hummus? I have successfully substituted cashew butter. Its neutral taste works well but also calls for a bit more lemon juice and harissa. Cashew butter doesn’t have an especially nutty taste, so to enhance that flavor you could use 2 tablespoons each cashew butter and peanut butter.

More recipes at