Despite dozens of easy hummus recipes at our fingertips, oftentimes, store-bought hummus is just too convenient to pass up. Paired with carrots, crackers, or cucumber, it’s the perfect healthy snack (for school lunches or mid-work breaks)—and requires zero prep time.
That said, hummus from the grocery store doesn’t always score as high as homemade hummus in the taste category. So how do we make store-bought hummus taste better? Luckily, all it takes to zhuzh up your hummus is a little time, some creativity, and a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
1. Add a Drizzle of High-Quality Olive Oil
The simplest way to improve store-bought hummus is to drizzle some high-quality extra virgin olive oil (you know, the kind that has a bit of a bite to it and can even cause a burning sensation in your throat) on top. I’m loyal to Lucini’s Organic Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and find myself putting it on my favorite store-bought pepper hummus, although it works great with any flavor. Lucini olive oil has that great pungency, which means that it’s chock-full of healthy plant compounds; plus it always seems to be on sale at my local Whole Foods.
Lucini Italia Special Edition Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $13.88 from Walmart
In case you can't find it in a store near you...
2. Spritz Some Fresh Lemon
If your store-bought hummus is lacking, try adding an infusion of acid, like fresh squeezed lemon or even a little bit of lemon zest. This is guaranteed to draw out the flavors and give your hummus some delicious tang. This is especially great if you’re eating your hummus with something simple, like raw veggies or plain crackers.
Related Reading: 11 Unusual Hummus Recipes to Try
3. Add Everything Bagel Seasoning
If you’ve got plain hummus in the fridge, it’s time to break out that bottle of Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning (we know you have it floating around in your pantry somewhere). Featuring crunchy sea salt, roasted garlic and onion, and sesame seeds, it’s the simplest way to pack your hummus with complex, satisfying flavors.
Brooklyn Home Goods XL Bottle Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend (10 ounces), $11.99 from Walmart
Other brands of bagel seasoning tend to be more affordable than TJ's when you're buying online.
Related Reading: How to Make Your Favorite Trader Joe’s Food at Home
4. Punch It Up with Raw Garlic
This might not be the move if guests are coming over, but if you’re spending the evening at home, finely diced raw garlic is a great addition to any hummus. This is particularly good with spinach and artichoke or sun dried tomato hummus—just don’t forget the olive oil drizzle at the end!
5. Finish It with Chili Oil
Whether you turn to this Easy Chili Oil recipe, or buy it from the store, chili oil is a great addition to any hummus. It adds a much-needed kick, thanks to smoked paprika, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Just drizzle it on top for a whole lot of flavor and spice.
6. Add Fresh Herbs
If you have some fresh herbs laying around, this is a prime opportunity to take your hummus to a whole new level. Just add the herbs—I recommend fresh parsley, rosemary, or basil—to a blender or food processor on top of the hummus and blend them together. All of a sudden, you have a green hummus that might as well be homemade. If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can always stir in a tablespoon of pesto for an interesting twist.
Related Reading: How to Make Hummus Even Healthier
7. Sprinkle on Some Sea Salt
Whatever strategy you use to make your store-bought hummus taste better, don’t forget to add a dash of sea salt. Sea salt amplifies the other flavors and ensures that your hummus will be the savory experience you’re hoping for.
We all opt for store-bought foods out of convenience, but that doesn’t mean we should ever have to settle for subpar taste. Try one, a few, or all of these strategies for tastier store-bought hummus today.
Related Video: When You Want to DIY, This Easy Hummus Has a Few New Tricks
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