DIY hummus – to make or to buy?

Is it always worth making your favourites from scratch? Our DIY series puts shop-bought and homemade to the test - this time, hummus…

Hummus and crudités

Beetroot, Moroccan, lemon and harissa - when it comes to hummus I think I've tried them all. But that's with one exception - it might sound ridiculous but I've never had homemade. Have I been missing something? To find out I decided to put homemade and shop-bought to the test…

The cost:

Hummus with tabbouleh and falafel
Cost of shop-bought hummus:
Supermarket own brand - £1.09 (100g)

Cost of ingredients for homemade hummus:
Ingredients - £3.47 (roughly 100g)

The hummus recipe I used:
Healthy homemade hummus

Buying all the ingredients for the hummus was considerably more expensive than the cost of the supermarket own brand. However, the taste was significantly better and there were plenty of leftover ingredients. That said, the tahini and yogurt have a relatively short shelf life so you would need to use them up within a week or so, and there were no real storecupboard ingredients involved.

Put those leftovers to good use in some of these recipes:
Carrot and sesame burgers
Grilled aubergine with creamy dressing
Moroccan roasted veg with tahini dressing

The making:

I was really surprised at how easy this was to make, in fact the speed it was ready in made me suitably embarrassed that I'd never done it before. The hardest part definitely had to be washing out the food processor afterwards. This is so simple, it really is just a case of tipping the ingredients in and whizzing them up. Adding a tablespoon of the chickpea liquid a little at a time gives you really good control over the consistency of the hummus so you can get it just to your liking.

The taste: 

Red pepper hummus with veg sticks
I loved it. I have to admit it tasted a little bit different to the shop-bought hummus I am used to, but definitely in a good way. I added more than a squeeze of lemon juice and it had a really fresh taste and just tasted light and healthier, yet the texture also felt more substantial than shop-bought. I had it with oatcakes, and used it again later to top off a falafel burger and it really made the meal feel a bit more special.


The verdict:

Knowing that you can literally whizz fresh, healthy hummus up in a few minutes is a great feeling, and I will definitely do it again because it does taste much better. I'm excited to get creative with it by adding extra ingredients like paprika or chilli. However, looking at the costs, I'm not sure if it's something I will do every time, unless I have ingredients like tahini and Greek yogurt in house anyway. That said, I'm not sure if shop-bought will taste the same to me anymore, so you never know...

Fancy having a go at making your own? Try one of our homemade hummus recipes.

What are your top tips for making hummus? Do you prefer making your own or buying it in?

Comments, questions and tips

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6th Oct, 2015
Homemade has to better than shop bought. Best to scale up the recipe to use a full jar of tahini and freeze in portion sizes.
TheEightHours's picture
24th Sep, 2015
The taste and actual benefits from using fresh ingredients and the control over making sure there's no 'extra' addictives should make it an easy decision. Plus it;s surprisingly simple to quickly make: Or if you fancy a change from the usual Pesto go-to then try our Kale & Cannellini Pesto, as Kale is one of the most nutrient dense ingredients on the planet it's packed full of benefits (plus it's easy to make and so tasty)
19th Sep, 2015
You mention that the cost is higher, but you're buying tahini (which is an expensive ingredient) instead of making your own. Just toast sesame seeds and whizz in a mini blender adding a little oil. That will chop the cost by half.
4th Feb, 2015
Read the ingredients in supermarket bought and I think you would always make your own. Maybe a bit more expensive but I know what is in it.
9th May, 2014
I'll try it this weekend. I have all the ingredients in the kitchen and it sounds delicious with tomatoes/roasted pepper.
8th May, 2014
Really love home made, however it can be difficult to get hold of tahini -really easy to make your own. Toast sesame seeds and whizz in blender with oil of choice, store in jam jar in the fridge, lasts for ages.
11th Mar, 2014
I have to agree with stooboy that home made is far cheaper and much tastier than shop bought. The recipe used is not very good for a comparison. Buy a 1 kg bag of dried chickpeas for €1.50 and store them. Use olive oil instead of yoghurt. Throw some cumin in for an extra depth. And tahini does last for ages. Making your own also allows for a bit of experimentation with sun dried tomato, roasted red peppers, coriander... The list is endless and the results are fantastic.
22nd Jun, 2013
Hello, I would argue the fact that home made is much cheaper than bought, yes the initial outlay of a jar of tahini is expensive but it lasts for ages in the fridge, compared to a tin of chick peas being 50p or so then it makes the cost of makeing far cheaper than store bought, so if you like humous and can take the 60 seconds it takes to open a can whizz in a processor then its far better method.
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30th Aug, 2013
I always add cumin to my homemade houmous before wizzing in the processor. Another nice addition is adding some shopped fresh coriander at the end and pulse it quickly. you could also add some chili flakes or powder. And ofcourse combination of all three are also very nice. Lastly I think the only initial expense is to buy the tahini, but that last for such a long time, so in my experience home made is not only healthier and better tasting but also a lot cheaper then shop bought
14th Jan, 2014
You dont even need to use Tahini, you can use toasted sesame seed oil as this lasts forever and is cheaper. You only need to use max 1 teaspoon though as it is extremely strong! Agree with Maeertjevdm..cumin is a given..also smoked paprika (not normal paprika) is lovely. Try also adding some chillies as well, it gives it a lift, and a kick!