Quick Smoky Red Pepper Hummus and Baked Pita Chips

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Quick Smoky Red Pepper Hummus and Baked Pita Chips

My hubby, Mike, who grew up in the Middle East, doesn’t go for any kind of “flavored” hummus.

No crazy additions of things like pumpkin (at the mention of that, he gave me a shocked/horrified look and muttered, Do people really do that?; my reply, Why yes, yes they do.), sundried tomato, pesto, or even roasted garlic (because of course garlic should be raw in hummus!).

The word “hummus” in Arabic actually refers to chickpeas themselves (and what we think of as hummus is called Hummous bil Tahina or M’sebaha), so of course chickpeas is the only legume that should be used. According to my hubby, none of these creative uses for other legumes like white beans, edamame, black beans, or red lentils.

Quick Smoky Red Pepper Hummus and Baked Pita Chips 2

Classic hummus should only consist of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, raw garlic, and a bit of water as necessary to thin it out (you can also add cumin, but this is optional; it’s for flavor, but according to my mother-in-law, it’s also to help with tummy troubles that beans and other legumes can sometimes cause). And then topped with a generous douse of good olive oil, hummus is ready to be dipped into with fresh flatbread. Period. (But as a tiny exception, there are a variety of acceptable hummus toppings in the Middle East…things like sumac, toasted pine nuts, or browned and spiced ground meat.)

That is all fine and well, but I am of the mind that if something tastes good and is healthy to boot, who am I to say it shouldn’t be done? I enjoy authentic hummus as much as the next girl, but I also like fun flavored varieties.

This version deviates a bit from a classic hummus not only in flavor, but also because this recipe is basically instant. Usually I will take the time to soak the chickpeas overnight and then cook them, removing as many of the skins as I can find without actually sitting down and painstakingly removing every single one (although I know – because my mother-in-law told me – that removing all the skins is the way to the smoothest hummus ever). But sometimes I just want a quick, flavorful hummus that comes together in less than the 8 minutes it takes to make my own pita chips. And that’s why this hummus, my friends, defies all the rules about what hummus should be. Except that it tastes amazing.

Quick Smoky Red Pepper Hummus and Baked Pita Chips 3

Quick Smoky Red Pepper Hummus and Baked Pita Chips
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 2 cups of hummus, or about 8 (1/4-cup) servings of hummus along with pita chips
Baked Pita Chips:
  • 2 large pita breads or 4 smaller pita breads, cut into about 1½-inch wedges or squares
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Quick Smoky Red Pepper Hummus:
  • 1 (16 oz/450 g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 roasted red pepper (about ½ cup), drained (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, plus a sprinkling more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
  1. For the pita chips, preheat oven to 400F. Toss together all pita chip ingredients, and arrange the bread in a single layer on two large baking sheets. Bake until the bread is golden on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the bread and rotating the baking sheets once halfway through.
  2. Make the hummus while the pita chips cook; to do so, combine all hummus ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and puree until smooth. To serve, spread the hummus in a shallow dish, drizzle the oil on top, and sprinkle on a little more smoked paprika.
  3. Serve the hummus along with the pita chips for dipping.
Storage: The hummus can be refrigerated in a sealed container up to 1 week.

Serving Tip: In addition to pita chips, the hummus can also be served with fresh crudités or fresh pita bread.

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  1. says

    I loveeeeee hummus. Funny how I was just looking what exactly hummus meant and how removing skin is so important- I probably should just link my post to your site. I made spinach hummus and absolutely loved it – Your husband will not like the thought of this but oh well…its delicious!!!

  2. Eha says

    Delightful! I am afraid I fully agree with your husband – add whatever and it is no longer real hoummos!! Love your recipe ‘in spite of’ the red pepper and shall try it within the next week just thus :) !

  3. says

    Although I’m in LOVE with traditional and plain hummus, I’m always open to new flavors. I think roasted red pepper is definitely a great ingredient to add into hummus! It gives a great color and I’m sure ita smoky flavor makes it even more addictive! Love the easy and quick way making it too! Would love to dip some pita in it right now!

  4. says

    Although I am an American living in Scotland and shouldn’t have a valid opinion on this, I am with your husband on the purity of hummus. Nothing beats the original, but sometimes a wee tweak, such as you have done, that is with a complementary ingredient (roasted pepper, smoked paprika) is delicious. I recently posted my own recipe that I have to follow as someone who really can’t digest the skins, recommending the best way to remove the skins. It really makes it all incredibly smooth, esp when you blitz the garlic, tahini, salt first then add in the warm skinned chickpeas chased with a splash of cold water. And a good reminder about homemade pitta chips. The bought ones have all kinds of rubbish and salt in/on them


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