If you think about it, the crossover between pesto and hummus is quite significant… They’re both simple purees made in a food processor, both ingredient lists call for lemon juice and garlic, they both include a creamy element (tahini or pine nuts), and they’re both spreads that go well on flatbreads. Why not take everything great about hummus, add the missing pieces of a pesto, and create one epic super-spread?

Inspired by the overabundance of basil in my garden, that’s what we’re doing today. We’ll first make a classic hummus, then throw in the remaining pesto ingredients (basil and pine nuts), and whip everything together to create an epicly delicious spread in less than 5 minutes. Plus, in typical One Ingredient fashion, the ingredient list is very simple and we’re omitting 100% of the oil that you would typically find in both spreads (you won’t even notice). Let’s do it…


Makes about 4 cups of hummus


  • 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


Step One

First, drain the cans of chickpeas and use a kitchen strainer to rinse them really well. Then, add them into a food processor with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and some salt. Pulse this several times and then add in a bit of water (1/4 cup to start) and allow the processor to run for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth.

Step Two

Now, add the pesto ingredients (2-3 big handfuls of fresh basil leaves and about 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts) and pulse for another minute or so, until no large pieces of basil remain and the whole mixture has turned slightly green.


Step Three

At this point, the hummus isn’t finished; use your own judgement to finalize the flavors. Give it a taste and add anything else you think it needs. If you feel it needs more pesto flavor, add more basil. Does it need more brightness? Add salt. More creaminess? Another tablespoon of tahini will do the trick.

When you’re happy with the flavors, transfer to a sealed container and allow to refrigerate for at least an hour or two, where the flavors will meld and intensify, before serving with pita chips, pita bread, sandwiches, pasta, or just a spoon ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: if you’re confused about the pesto you see in the middle of my hummus, it’s totally optional. I just happened to have regular pesto on hand as well (this is what happens when you plant too much basil…).