5 Easy Ways to Dress Up Store-Bought Hummus for a Party

updated Dec 6, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Come to my house for a get-together and it’s all but guaranteed you’ll find hummus on the table. It’s my go-to because the hummus I serve looks fancy and is easy to make. But I don’t spend a bunch of time digging up recipes or hand-blending chickpeas: The hummus I serve is store-bought. So how do I help it look (and taste) its best before guests arrive?

After I spoon it out of the plastic tub into a bowl (always do this), I give it a tiny upgrade that adds a pop of flavor and makes it look seriously impressive. There are dozens of different ways you can upgrade hummus, but some work better than others. Here are five of my favorite low-effort ways to turn a tub of hummus into a delicious and fancy-looking appetizer.

1. Olive Oil + Dukkah + Fresh Parsley

If you’re not familiar with dukkah, it’s an Egyptian blend of nuts, seeds, and spice (read more here). Typically the mix includes hazelnuts or almonds, sesame seeds, cumin, and coriander, although there are other variations. You can find it at Trader Joe’s, or online here, but if you’re stuck and need a substitute, za’atar is pretty widely available and works just as well.

After scooping the hummus into a serving bowl, give the top a little swirl with the back of a spoon, then drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle the dukkah (or za’atar) on top, and give it a pop of color with chopped fresh parsley (or any fresh herb).

2. Pesto

Stir a spoonful of pesto (store-bought or homemade) into the hummus, and add a little extra dollop on top. It gives it a punch of herby, garlicky flavor and adds color to the bowl.

3. Sweet Potato Purée

For those of you who meal prep, you can make your own purée easily: If you’ve got roasted sweet potatoes lined up, add one more to the batch the weekend before. Then, right before everyone arrives, take it out, purée the flesh in the food processor, and mix it in the hummus.

If meal prepping isn’t your thing, you can roast some frozen butternut squash, then purée it as well. And if you don’t want to bust out the blender at all, buy a can of pumpkin purée (not the pie filling) and you’ll have a similar effect that’s no more complicated than opening a can. No matter how you do it, the purée adds an earthy, creamy sweetness to the nutty flavor of the hummus.

4. Greek Yogurt

You won’t regret blending a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt into a tub of hummus. It gives the dip a subtle tang and a light, airy texture. To make it even airier, whip the yogurt and hummus together with a food processor. Chopped fresh herbs are also a nice finishing touch.

5. Antipasto Bar Toppings

While you’re at the store, pick up a small container of goodies from the antipasto bar — olives, marinated mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and marinated artichokes are all good bets. You can serve the hummus in a wide, shallow bowl or even a large plate, chop up the antipasto bar goodies into bite-size pieces, and spoon them over the hummus. It’s fancy and easy!

Your turn! What’s your favorite way to dress up a tub of hummus?