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Red Lentil Hummus

I’ve been known to use kidney beans, white beans, and black beans in hummus, and this recipe gets even more experimental with the incorporation of red lentils. They have a very mellow flavor, and this dip, while unassuming at first, becomes quite irresistible after a bite or two!
Course Appetizer, dips, hummus
Servings 3 cups


  • 1 cup dried red lentils rinsed (see note)
  • 2 cups water for cooking lentils
  • 1-2 medium-large cloves garlic see note
  • 3½ - 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon lemon zest see note
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Place lentils and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Cover and let cook until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are fully softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 1/2 hour or longer. In a food processor, add the cooked lentils, garlic, tahini, sea salt, coriander (start with 1/2 tsp), lemon zest, paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add more garlic, coriander, or salt to taste. This mixture is much looser than a traditional hummus. When refrigerated, it thickens considerably. So, you can enjoy it a little thinner, or wait until it is chilled. Serve with whole grain pitas or tortillas.

Recipe Notes

  • Lentils Note: You can make the lentils a day or two in advance, and then refrigerate until ready to use. They will already be chilled for this dip, and therefore the puree will be thicker.
  • Garlic Note: Adjust garlic to taste. I use one clove when serving for the family, but you can use more for adults.
  • Lemon Zest Note: While zest may seem like an unusual addition here, it truly adds some lovely flavor.
  • Ideas: Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to this puree for extra spice. You can bump up the garlic quotient for adults, and also try adding a punch of heat with hot sauce.
  • If you want to add fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or parsley, wait until the dip is cooled and then puree through.
  • Kitchen Tip: You can always make a double batch if you think you’d like to store portions of this dip in the freezer!