If there’s no hummus at the party, I’m probably not going. Substituting the appetizer for another option isn’t in anyone’s best interest, so don’t assume the onion dip will suffice.

But why wouldn’t you want to serve hummus? The chickpea spread is addicting when paired with a toasted slice of pita, a flavored cracker, or just a few veggies. One piece inevitably turns into three, which becomes six, and ultimately leads to 10.  You might even forget the health benefits once you start chowing down, but it’s OK. If you’re going to spoil your appetite before the main meal, hummus is most definitely the way to go.

Not only is it delicious, but the dip is also having a moment in the spotlight. The trendy dish is a staple at restaurants, comes in portable sizes, and has a variety of different flavors because the chickpeas are just begging for other components. You can get savory, spicy — whatever makes your hummus-loving heart content.

But hummus’ counterpart, baba ganoush, remains under the radar and in the shadows of its rival. Both are so similar, yet hummus is feeding off the attention while baba ganoush gets very little.

So what’s the difference? For starters, baba ganoush is an eggplant puree of Levant descent whereas hummus is Arabic for chickpeas, though an exact Middle Eastern place of origin cannot be pinpointed. It is believed hummus was served as early as the 13th century and we certainly cannot blame our ancestors for wanting in on the chickpea action.

Baba ganoush, a popular dish in the Middle East, Brazil, and West India is (like hummus) enjoyed as a dipping appetizer with rice or pita and hints of other flavors such as garlic or lemon. This is considered a heart-healthy dish, whereas hummus gets the heart going, um, in other ways as a supposed aphrodisiac.

But anyway, if these spreads sound like a perfect fit for your next night in, have a look at the recipes below.

Cauliflower Hummus

Chowhound

L.A. chef Dakota Weiss puts a new twist on hummus by offering a creamy cauliflower alternative to chickpeas. Add in goat cheese, Boursin cheese, lemon juice, and tahini, and you’ve met your new favorite dip. Get our Cauliflower Hummus recipe.

Baba Ganoush

Chowhound

Try a classic recipe using Japanese eggplant, tahini, lemon, and garlic. This combo will give hummus a run for its money… and some competition at the holiday party. Get our Baba Ganoush recipe.

Spinach and Basil Hummus

Chowhound

This new take on hummus pays homage to pesto dishes we’ve all come to love. A little green is always the way to go, no matter what food is in question. Get our Spinach and Basil Hummus recipe.

Smoky Baba Ghanoush

The Rustic Foodie

Anytime “smoky” is thrown into equation, you know the food is going to be a hit at the Super Bowl party.  Things are taken up notch with a dash of smoked paprika in The Rustic Foodie’s recipe, so brace yourself for something simultaneously sweet and hot. Get the recipe.

Lentil Hummus Wrap with Pomegranate Molasses

Chowhound

Just because you hear the word “hummus” doesn’t mean a dip is required. This sandwich, which substitutes classic chickpeas for lentils, is the perfect blend of spicy and tangy. Your lunch break will not come fast enough with this baby. Get our Lentil Hummus Wrap with Pomegranate Molasses recipe.

Baba Ganoush with Pomegranate

Host The Toast

A sweet but bitter pop of pomegranate is one way to add flavor to the cool eggplant baba ganoush spread. Another win? Pomegranate is also another trendy food and a pretty hue if you’re looking to take a few snaps for Instagram. Let Host the Toast’s suggestions be your ganoush guide. Get the recipe.

Cucumber, Hummus, and Lemon Tea Sandwich

Chowhound

Having a tea party in the near future? This is one option that needs to go on your list. The cucumber-cream cheese team is joined by new members: oat bread, hummus, and lemon. These are best paired with scones (not really, but if you’re having a tea there needs to be sandwiches and scones). Get our Cucumber, Hummus, and Lemon Tea Sandwich recipe.

Roasted Red Pepper Baba Ganoush

Sound the alarms — it’s going to get hot in here. Adding a red bell pepper to your Baba Ganoush dish — as per Skip the Bag’s instructions — is a fun twist and perfect pairing for eggplant. Make sure crackers are at hand. Get the recipe.

Red Pepper Hummus

Chowhound

A little bit of sweet and spice are ever so nice. This hummus recipe will be tasty and worthy of a fall photo shoot thanks to its orange shade. Get our Red Pepper Hummus recipe.

Sweet Chili Beetroot Baba Ganoush

Thinly Spread

This ruby-colored dip is taking the baba ganoush we all know and turning it on its head with sweet chili beetroots, pine nuts, tahini and a splash of lemon. The bread cannot pop out of the toaster fast enough thanks to Thinly Spread’s dish. Get the recipe.

Danielle is a trending news writer at Elite Daily and a freelance contributor for Chowhound and Domino. When she's not working, she's probably reading a book or eating a bowl of gnocchi at Frankie's. Find her @dvwrites on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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