Easy-Easy Hummus Salad

For anyone who's wondered if it's possible to pull dinner from a can of chickpeas, I'm here to promise: definitely! This might be the easiest, most satisfying vegetarian meal in my recipe collection. First, make a homemade hummus that's loose, spoonable and almost creamy, then top it with fresh Greek-salad style vegetables (you know, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, colorful peppers) and some tangy feta crumbles. Pile on some toast or some pita and opa! Dinner! (In just 20 minutes!)

Easy-Easy Hummus Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just a light, loose homemade hummus topped with fresh summer vegetables. So good!

Whole Food, Fresh & Inventive, Fast & Flexible. Pretty on the Plate, Mere Minutes to the Table. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Hearty & Filling. Not just easy, Summer Easy. A New Addition to Pantry Meals: How to Make a Meal with What You Have, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Easily Adapted to Your Family's Tastebuds. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Perfect When Cooking for One or Two. Potluck & Party Friendly. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian & Easily Converted to Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free. What're you waiting for?! So Good!!

Easy Summer Recipes ♥ KitchenParade.com, a seasonal collection of easy-to-remember and memorable recipes especially for summer. Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes
published every summer since 2009.
Watch for new "summer easy" recipes all summer long!
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!

Hot-Weather Summer Staples

This year, I'm leaning into no-cook suppers that call for more assembly than cooking. Luckily, summer produce makes that extra easy!

But the real star in this salad supper is the hummus, a special rendition of a long-time recipe that is much looser than the usual American-style hummus, definitely not runny, not quite soupy, but verging. I remember an Israeli chef coaching me that in his home country, hummus is a smooth and creamy breakfast staple, something akin to the consistency of warm cream of wheat.

Easy-Easy Hummus Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just a light, loose homemade hummus topped with fresh summer vegetables. So good!

What Is Hummus?

And not to be silly, but what is hummus, exactly?

First, the Arabic word for chickpeas is ... hummus. So if you call something "chickpea hummus" it's like stuttering "chickpea chickpea". 🙄

Second, in Arabic, the spread made with chickpeas is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna aka "chickpeas with tahini". In the U.S., all the many variations of chickpea spreads (and spreads made with other dried beans) are lumped together under the single word "hummus". I'm going with that too!

So. In the Middle Eastern tradition, authentic hummus is made with cooked chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), tahini (a sesame paste), lemon juice and garlic all ground together into a delectable paste that's often spread across a plate or platter and drizzled with a bit of olive oil, a few extra cooked chickpeas and a spice such as sumac or paprika or cumin, usually with warm pita for dipping.

In that tradition, hummus is one of the essential dishes in what's called a meze or mezze, a tableful of small appetizer dishes that might precede a meal or collectively make a meal. This is lovely, fun, communal food!

But like so many of the world's favorite foods, hummus has been adopted by and adapted into other food traditions. In the U.S., there is no single way to make hummus. Just me, I've tried pumpkin hummus, red pepper hummus, a lima bean version, even a cauliflower hummus, just check out my hummus recipes.

And of course, there are sooooo many store-bought hummus options. These sure are convenient but to my taste, they're too salty, too oily, too thick and too often, the wonderful chickpea flavors are overwhelmed by other tastes.

So I make my own hummus! Some times I use canned chickpeas to start, other times I cook dried chickpeas from scratch that works extra-well for hummus, see How to Cook Dried Chickpeas Especially for Hummus aka "Jerusalem Chickpeas". Either way, my homemade hummus is so much better and so much more nutritious.

ALTERNATIVE SPELLINGS humus + hommos + hummous + houmous + hoummos + humoi

A collection of seasonal Hummus Recipes ♥ KitchenParade.com.

Recipe Overview: Easy-Easy Hummus Salad

  • This is a summery no-cook supper salad that combines a light, loose homemade hummus with the vegetables found in a traditional Greek Salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers plus a sprinkling of moist, tangy feta. The hummus is so light and lovely, it's part dip, part dressing for this salad. It goes on the bottom and is topped with all the colorful veggies. Yeah, it's quite pretty! Plus, it's very budget-friendly, essentially, we're making the most of an inexpensive can of chickpeas and turning it into dinner!
  • When to Serve = For a light summer supper when it's too hot to cook. In smaller portions, makes a great light lunch. In a large platter, makes a great fresh, healthy appetizer that's easy to carry (or assemble on site) and beautiful on the table.
  • Diet Choices = Vegetarian (as written) but easily converted to Vegan by omitting the feta. Gluten Free. Dairy Free by omitting the feta.
  • Distinctive Ingredients = Canned Chickpeas (including the Chickpea Liquid) + Lemon + Feta + Fresh Salad Vegetables
  • Short Ingredient List = all the above + garlic + tahini + olive oil + capers + fresh herbs
  • For Garnish = If possible, that bit of fresh herbs makes a difference in appearance!
  • Kitchen Tools = A food processor, for making the Simple Loose Hummus. I recently replaced a 40-some year old Cuisinart with a new model, the Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor (affiliate link). I just love it! Unfortunately, the looser hummus makes a lot hummus, it's too much for a mini food processor.
  • It takes about 20 minutes to make the Simple Loose Hummus and arrange salads for two people.
  • No special techniques are needed here. It's a super-easy, weeknight-doable dinner.
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe. Just keep cans of chickpeas on hand, some tahini in the fridge (it keeps for months) and all the other ingredients are ones good cooks often keep on hand all summer long, even all winter long.
  • This is a calorie-friendly recipe.
  • The Simple Loose Hummus makes about 3-3/4 cups of hummus. That sounds like a lot but remember, it's loose and light. For a main-dish serving, I allow about 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup of hummus, topped with all the vegetables.
  • This recipe works especially well for those Cooking for One or Two.
  • So good! I hope you love it!

  • We're passionate about hummus around here so I have quite a few different hummus recipes ready for exploration.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other recipes for salad suppers.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • What about cooking dried chickpeas to make the hummus? Yes! In fact, I have a special way to cook the chickpeas, see How to Cook Dried Chickpeas Especially for Hummus aka "Jerusalem Chickpeas" that I use to make Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus using three special techniques. I use the same chickpeas to make Roasted Eggplant “Hummus" an addictive mix of roasted eggplant and chickpeas that's a dip, a spread, a sauce. These would make an excellent Easy-Easy Hummus Salad.

  • What about using your own favorite hummus recipe? Of course. Just make the hummus looser and more spoonable than usual.

  • What about using a store-bought hummus? Maybe. The trick is to loosen and lighten the hummus, perhaps with more tahini? more lemon juice? more oil?
Easy-Easy Hummus Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just a light, loose homemade hummus topped with fresh summer vegetables. So good!

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most illuminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Process the Garlic with Salt Together This is a trick that can be applied to other recipes that call for fresh garlic too. Before putting any other ingredients in the food processor, process the garlic and the salt both at once. Just garlic, the blades can spin and spin without ever really processing the garlic. Together, the blades have something to grab onto so the garlic is minced, just like that. Perfection!

Look for Brick Feta Pre-crumbled feta is just too ... dry and tasteless. Instead, look for feta in what are called "bricks" that are soaked in brine and stay so moist and tangy and wonderful. Sure, you have to crumble your own but hey, nothing easier than that.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Easy-Easy Hummus Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just a light, loose homemade hummus topped with fresh summer vegetables. So good!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 20 minutes
Makes about 3-3/4 cups loose hummus (use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup for each serving)

Do save the Chickpea Liquid that keeps canned chickpeas plump right in the can, it becomes a key ingredient.
  • 16 ounces (454g) canned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained (set aside a few chickpeas for the Hummus Salad and save the Chickpea Liquid to loosen the hummus)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic (6g), heavy outer skins removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (assumes Morton's Kosher Salt)
  • Drained Chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup (80g) tahini
  • Juice of a lemon or two (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chickpea Liquid, to loosen the hummus
    HUMMUS SALAD, per Serving
  • 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup Simple Loose Hummus
  • A few chickpeas, set aside from the can
  • Mini tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Mini cucumbers, chopped small
  • Mini bell peppers, chopped in thin rings
  • Capers, drained
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh herbs (dill is especially good), optional
  • Extra proteins such as grilled chicken, roasted shrimp (here's how, see Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce), smoked salmon, smoked trout, etc.
  • Grilled toasts or mini pitas, for scooping

MAKE THE SIMPLE LOOSE HUMMUS Open the can and drain the chickpeas but do save the can's Chickpea Liquid to use in a quick minute. If you like, set aside a few chickpeas for the Hummus Salad.

In a food processor, process the garlic and salt together until the garlic is very finely minced, scraping the sides of the processor if necessary.

Add the Drained Chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice, processing until well combined, scraping the sides as needed. Add the olive oil and process until smooth.

Stop here if you prefer hummus with a more typical thick texture: it's been my go-to Simple Hummus for canned chickpeas for more than a decade!

But for a much looser, spoonable hummus for this salad, add Chickpea Liquid a tablespoon or two at a time and process until smooth, using however much creates the texture that suits you, including, yes, 100% of the Liquid.

Simple Loose Hummus may be made a day or two ahead of time, just refrigerate it until ready to serve although it will thicken a little. For the loosest hummus, serve straight from the food processor. The "sweet spot" for me is to make the hummus, spoon it into the serving bowls, chill for 15-30 minutes, then add the Salad ingredients. Cold on cold is so refreshing!

MAKE THE HUMMUS SALAD Spoon 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup Simple Loose Hummus into individual shallow soup or pasta bowls. Sprinkle the hummus with the remaining Salad ingredients.


  • Make a big communal salad! Just fill a platter instead of individual serving bowls and plop into the middle of the table. Dig in!
  • Make it to go! Scoop it into a to-go container, keep cold if you can, eat within a few hours. This is a great option for park bench lunches, picnics, even pack lunch for work.
ALANNA's TIPS FYI I'm no fan of Trader Joe's canned chickpeas and instead stock up on cans of the Bush brand. (This mention isn't sponsored by Bush, it's just me, Alanna, paying attention.) I do like Trader Joe's tahini, however. This makes enough hummus that a full-size food processor is needed. This hummus is a little garlicky, scale back if that's not to your taste. I once tried using 100% of the Chickpea Liquid, it was slightly too loose but might work with some canned chickpea brands. How much tomato? cucumber? etc? That depends on individual appetites. We find that about a cup's worth of salad ingredients is good for smaller appetites, about two cups for larger appetites.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2024/06/easy-easy-hummus-salad.html .
Simple Loose Hummus is adapted from my recipe for Simple Hummus first published way back in 2007 with this summer staple, Chicken Greek Salad . My Easy-Easy Hummus Salad is inspired by a restaurant called firefly grill in Effingham, Illinois near where Interstates 70 and 57 intersect in central Illinois. Road travelers, you may well have seen ads / billboards as you approach the town and firefly grill is 100% worth planning a stop. They're 100 miles from our house but I'm already fantasizing a return visit, maybe an overnight just to make it extra worthwhile, dinner and weekend brunch, say. 😍 Sooo good, everything!

More Super-Simple Summer Salad Suppers
(Say That Six or Seven Times)

~ salad suppers ~
Southwestern Chicken Taco Salad Plates, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. No cooking, just assembly. Summery and adaptable.

Twenty-Minute Taco Bar, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com. Just four steps, then feast.

Kalamata Tuna Salad Bok Choy Wraps ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, tuna salad made with olives wrapped in peppery bok choy leaves. Weight Watchers Friendly. LowCarb. Naturally Gluten Free. Paleo. Whole30 Friendly.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.