Let's talk about hummus really quick — the best ones are silky-smooth with a creamy garlic flavor and the smoky hint of tahini. It's nice to find this in a grocery store hummus or in one made from canned beans, but this Instant Pot version makes hummus that hits all those high notes with very little hands-on work (no peeling off chickpea skins!) and yet it still turns out ethereally smooth.
The secret? Giving chickpeas a long overnight soak in a briny bath to soften the skins and then cooking the beans until they're incredibly tender in under an hour in the electric pressure cooker. The rest of the hummus comes together in minutes with just four other ingredients. This really is the best hummus you can make from dried beans using the Instant Pot.
Making Even Better Hummus from Dried Chickpeas
We believe there are two types of hummus you can make at home: an easy everyday version using canned beans that delivers a ton of flavor as quickly as possible and a super-lush version from dried beans that is so incredibly smooth and delicate in flavor that you'll break it out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This instant pot hummus is the second type, for sure.
Starting with dried chickpeas has more advantages beyond them being an even cheaper option than canned. With dried chickpeas we have the opportunity to cook the beans specifically to the point that leads to the perfect hummus texture. On top of that we can also season the beans twice — once while they're soaking and again while they cook. By simply starting with dried chickpeas you end up with a hummus that has a richer, more robust flavor and a smooth and dreamy consistency.
Softer Chickpeas Make Smoother Hummus
When you open a can of chickpeas for making hummus, you get chickpeas that are firm enough to be shipped and stored before cooking in soups or being roasted. But when you cook your own chickpeas for hummus, you can make sure they are soft and supple (the skins included) to make for easier blending into a super-smooth hummus.
In this recipe we're doing a few things that go against conventional wisdom for cooking chickpeas. These efforts are almost hands-off, but really do make a very big difference.
- Soak chickpeas in salt water: The first is soaking the chickpeas in salty water overnight. Most bean recipes recommend adding salt after cooking to prevent the salt from softening the skins of the beans while cooking. But for creamy hummus, softening the skins of the chickpeas (instead of painstakingly removing them) makes the resulting hummus much smoother.
- Cook chickpeas even longer: This was a hummus revelation! If you want creamy hummus, use soft chickpeas. We're going to cook the chickpeas much longer than we would for everyday eating — a totally of 55 minutes under pressure (25 minutes cooking, 30 minutes of natural release) versus 15 minutes for tender but sturdy beans from the electric pressure cooker.
- Blend and then whip the hummus. After you've drained the cooked chickpeas (save some of the liquid), you'll blend them with tahini, lemon juice, and more salt until pasty in a food processor. Then continue to process the hummus, adding the reserved liquid, until the hummus is ultra smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Storing and Serving Instant Pot Hummus
You can serve this hummus straight out of the food processor while it is still warm, but I prefer moving it to a serving bowl and drizzling with olive oil and a sprinkle of spices (za'atar, sumac, or cumin are classic, but everything bagel spice is as fun as it is tasty). I find the flavor of this hummus improves after a day in the fridge, but it keeps well stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How To Make the Best Hummus in the Instant Pot
Makes 3 1/2 cups
What You Need
kosher salt, divided
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
Spices, such as za'atar, sumac, or cumin (optional)
Rimmed baking sheet
6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker
Measuring cups and spoons
Sort and rinse the chickpeas. Spread the chickpeas out onto a rimmed baking sheet or plate and pick out any debris or broken beans. Transfer the chickpeas to a strainer and rinse under cool, running water.
Soak the beans with salt overnight. Combine the rinsed chickpeas and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot. Pour in 4 cups of cool water, cover, and soak 10 to 12 hours.
Drain the soaked chickpeas, but don’t rinse. Drain the soaked chickpeas and discard the soaking liquid. Do not rinse the soaked chickpeas. Return the chickpeas to the electric pressure cooker, add the garlic, and cover with 3 cups of fresh, cool water.
Cook the beans for 25 minutes under high pressure. Seal the pressure cooker and make sure the vent is closed. Set the pressure cooker to MANUAL, HIGH pressure for 25 minutes. The electric pressure cooker should take about 20 to 25 minutes to come to pressure.
Natural release for 30 minutes. When the 25-minute cook time is up, naturally release the pressure for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, release any remaining pressure by opening the valve. Uncover — the chickpeas should be incredibly soft, tender, and falling apart when pressed.
Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Before draining the chickpeas, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. You will use this later to thin the hummus.
Drain the cooked chickpeas. Drain the cooked chickpeas and remove any chickpea skins that have fallen off naturally — don’t worry about removing all the skins.
Purée the chickpeas. Place the cooked chickpeas and garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the hummus is mostly smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Thin and process the hummus with the cooking liquid. With the food processor running, drizzle in the reserved cooking liquid, a few tablespoons at a time, adding about 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid. Process until the hummus is ultra smooth and lightened in color, about 5 minutes. Discard the remaining cooking liquid.
Serve or store. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices such as za’atar, sumac, or cumin if desired.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.