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This pesto hummus recipe is the best of both worlds! It's everything we love about classic hummus with a delicious Italian twist. It's an easy snack or appetizer, and it's ready in just 15 minutes!
Here's a flavorful recipe for pesto hummus that works as a dip, a spread, or a sauce. Call it what you like, it brings life to anything it touches. It's a fresh herbal spin on classic hummus, and it takes just minutes to make!
Pesto and hummus might sound like a strange combination, but we promise you that it totally works! With just a few fresh ingredients, you can turn classic hummus into this delicious pesto hummus.
Here's everything you need:
- Chickpeas: we use canned chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) for this recipe to keep things quick and easy. If you've got the time, you can also cook your own dried chickpeas (just be sure they're cooked until soft).
- Fresh basil leaves: fresh basil leaves give this hummus its pesto flair.
- Parmesan cheese: this Italian cheese adds its signature saltiness and bold cheesy flavor.
- Olive oil: extra-virgin olive oil helps emulsify the hummus to make it smooth and creamy. Like wine, olive oil has a variety of flavors so the one you choose will add its own unique taste.
- Sea salt: sea salt works as a flavor enhancer to make everything pop.
- Garlic: garlic is a key ingredient in both classic hummus and pesto. It adds flavor and helps bring this dip to life.
- Lemon juice: only fresh lemon juice will do here! It adds acidity and balances out the other flavors.
- Olive oil, pesto, toasted pine nuts, grated parmesan: optional toppings, for serving.
How to make pesto hummus
Grab your food processor and let's go! With almost zero prep time, this homemade pesto hummus couldn't be easier to make in just two simple steps:
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Taste and add more salt if desired. Garnish and enjoy right away or store it in the fridge until ready to serve!
For extra creamy hummus, try warming up your chickpeas. The heat helps them blend more smoothly, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. Warm them in a bit of water on the stovetop, or in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds before adding them to the food processor.
Variations to try
This basil pesto hummus is delicious as-is but there are so many ways you can mix up the flavors. Try one of these tasty ideas:
- Add in other fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, parsley, chives, or even dill.
- If you love a bit of heat, make it spicy by adding dried chili flakes to taste.
- Swap the fresh basil leaves for a dollop of your favorite store-bought pesto like sun-dried tomato pesto.
What to serve with pesto hummus
Serve this pesto hummus as a snack or appetizer with anything you can dip or dunk! Pita bread, pita chips, tortilla chips, hearty crackers, or slices of baguette are great options.
Use the leftovers as a spread on a sandwich or panini (bonus points if you use our no yeast bread with herbs and cheese!), as pizza sauce, tossed with pasta noodles, or alongside eggs for breakfast. You can even pile it on top of protein like baked chicken or baked pork chops.
Hosting a party? It looks stunning on a snack board with cheeses, nuts, dried fruit, and fresh veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and celery sticks.
I can't find fresh basil. Can I use store-bought pesto instead?
Yes, you can. If you're using store-bought pesto, omit the parmesan cheese and basil leaves and use two tablespoons of pesto instead.
Can I use basil paste instead of fresh basil?
Yes, use two tablespoons of basil paste in place of the fresh basil.
Should I use tahini?
Nope! While tahini is a must in most classic hummus recipes, we omit it for this pesto version.
Do I need to use a food processor?
A food processor is ideal for making hummus, but you can also use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Use the tamper to bring the ingredients closer to the blade, and add a small amount of warm water if needed to reach your desired consistency.
How do I store pesto hummus?
Store pesto hummus in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, this hummus freezes well. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The Pesto Hummus
The Pita Chips
- 6 pieces pita bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon Each: sea salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes
- Add the pesto hummus ingredients to a food processor and blend on high until smooth.2 14-ounce cans of chickpeas, ½ cup fresh basil leaves, ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼- ½ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 3 cloves garlic, Juice from 1 lemon
- Taste and season with extra sea salt, if needed. Top with any or all of the garnishes. Serve immediately or keep it covered in your fridge for up to 5 days.Optional garnishes: olive oil, pesto, toasted pine nuts, parmesan
Homemade Pita Chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the pita bread into triangles and tear them apart so that they are a single layer, instead of two triangles held together by the top seam.6 pieces pita bread
- Put the pita triangles on a baking sheet and toss them with the olive oil and spices. Spread them out in a single layer and bake them for 8-12 minutes, turning halfway through. If any are crispy when you turn them, remove the crispy ones from the oven.1 tablespoon olive oil, ⅛ teaspoon Each: sea salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.