Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Snacks

Caramelized Onion Hummus

caramelized onion hummus

This caramelized onion hummus recipe was inspired by one in Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, and the endless hummus plates that I devoured in Israel. Recipe by Gadi Friedman, adapted from Sesame Kingdom, reprinted by permission. Photo by Marc Piscotty.

Caramelized onions

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly pepper
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar


  • Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup fresh tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped 
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste

Additional toppings

  • Reserved chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Paprika

For the caramelized onions, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add the cumin, salt, and pepper, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the onions are nicely caramelized. Drizzle in the agave, remove from heat, and cover.

For the hummus, reserve about 1/2 cup of the liquid from the canned chickpeas. Place in a bowl and add a few ice cubes.

Place the chickpeas in a food processor (set aside about 1/2 cup if you’d like to use them for topping; this is optional) and process for about a minute until they become a stiff paste (if too dry, add a bit of tap water).

With machine still running, slowly add the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and about 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions. Gradually add up to 1/2 cup of the chilled chickpea liquid. 

Continue processing until the hummus is smooth and creamy, then transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes if time allows.

To serve, create a wavy pattern in the hummus with the back of a spoon. Spread the caramelized onions over the top, along with the reserved chickpeas. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with paprika, and enjoy with fresh pita bread. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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  • Reply
    Carolyn Blakeney
    October 23, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Hi, love the idea of caramelized onions in and on hummus. What quantity of chickpeas are set aside for the topping?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Carolyn, the recipe didn’t specify, but I just added it to the instructions (it won’t show up for a while). I’d say about a half cup, not more than that. Enjoy!

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