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Overhead view of basil pesto hummus in a small bowl garnished with pine nuts, surrounded with veggies and crackers.



This basil pesto hummus is irresistible! Serve as a party dip with crackers and colorful veggies. It’s also a healthy sandwich spread, pizza topping, pasta sauce, or luscious garnish for chicken and fish.




  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems), firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper (freshly-ground), to taste


  • 1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper (freshly-ground), to taste


  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Pine nuts, for scattering
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lemon zest, for brightening
  • Flaky sea salt, for enhancing flavor
  • Basil leaf, for presentation


RECIPE PREP: Open the can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the liquid in a ramekin for later, in case it’s needed. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans in a colander.

  1. Mince garlic. Zest lemon (reserve for garnishing), then squeeze it for juice. Pinch basil stems off the leaves (discard stems). Grate  cheese. Measure out remaining ingredients. Have everything ready to go.
  2. Add basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10 times, or until basil is in small pieces. With the machine running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream. Pulse until oil is completely incorporated. Add cheese. Mix briefly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer basil pesto to a small bowl. There’s no need to rinse out the bowl of the food processor. Just continue with the recipe!
  4. Add garbanzo beans and tahini to the food processor. Pulse 15 times to combine. With the machine running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream. Pulse until texture is to your liking. About 30 seconds will create a nice smooth hummus. 
  5. Scoop 3/4 of the pesto back into the food processor, directly on top of the hummus. Pulse briefly to combine. If mixture is too thick, add in some reserved garbanzo bean liquid. Mix to incorporate. 

HOW TO GARNISH PESTO HUMMUS: Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. Add a wavy ribbon of pesto across the surface. Garnish as desired. Try a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkling of pine nuts, grated Parmesan, and fresh lemon zest. Add a pinch of flaky sea salt.


SHOULD THE CHICKPEAS BE PEELED? Removing the skins or leaving them on is a matter of personal preference. 

HOW TO MAKE HUMMUS EXTRA SMOOTH? The secret is removing the skins of the chickpeas, then briefly warming them in the microwave, or in a skillet on stovetop. Processing warm skinless beans is a chef’s trick for achieving hummus that’s super smooth and silky with a creamy texture. See the “Recipe FAQ” section in the body of the post for the easiest method to remove the skins.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Hummus, Pesto Hummus, Basil Pesto Hummus, Pesto Hummus Recipe