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Here’s an easy way to make a hummus recipe without tahini: you’ll never believe the pantry ingredient stand-in! It comes out perfectly creamy.

Hummus without tahini
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All out of tahini? Or working around an allergy. No problem. You can still make hummus! There’s a secret ingredient that can pinch hit for tahini in a pinch. And it’s not what you might think. In fact: you probably already have in in your pantry. It’s…peanut butter! Turns out, it’s peanut butter that’s the key to a rich, creamy hummus recipe without tahini! Here’s why it works, and how to make the best hummus without this special ingredient.

First off: what’s tahini?

Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds often used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. It’s most famous for its use in hummus: but there are so many other uses! It’s great for making creamy sauces to drizzle salads and grain bowls, or desserts like tahini no bake cookies. Tahini has a slightly bitter flavor right out of the jar. In fact, it’s not sweet like most nut butters or seed butters.

Considering running to the store for some tahini? It’s absolutely worth buying and makes the best creamy hummus. Plus, you can use it in all these great tahini recipes. But if you’re working around an allergy or don’t have time to run to the store…you can use peanut butter!

Hummus recipe without tahini

A hummus recipe without tahini: here’s why it works

Peanut butter might not be the first thing you’d think of in hummus. In fact, it shouldn’t really be there. But here’s why it works: tahini is a seed butter that adds richness and a nutty flavor to hummus. What’s similar to seed butter? Yes, nut butter.

Peanut butter does the same thing as tahini in hummus: it adds richness and a slight nutty complexity. It’s perfect for a hummus recipe without tahini! In fact, we tried the recipe below without good old PB. It tasted good, but not nearly as full-flavored as with peanut butter.

Don’t want to use peanut butter? Here are more substitutes

Don’t want to use peanut butter in your hummus? Or got a nut allergy? No problem: here are some options!

  • Use almond butter or cashew butter. Both of these nut butters pair well flavor-wise in a hummus. Cashew butter is a little sweeter, and almond butter is a little more neutral. Just make sure not to use flavored butters (like ones with cinnamon and vanilla). Even better, make your own Homemade Almond Butter and Homemade Cashew Butter.
  • Leave it out altogether. If it weirds you out to put in the peanut butter, or you don’t have it: guess what? You can leave it out altogether. It still tastes good: just not as rich.
Hummus recipe without tahini

How to make hummus without tahini…a few tips

This hummus recipe without tahini is a breeze to whip up: once you know the magic tahini substitute! Here’s what to note about the method (or skip right to the recipe below):

  • A food processor is required. You probably already knew that. Homemade hummus blends up best in a food processor: a blender has a hard time with it.
  • Save the aquafaba! The aqua-what? Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. You’ll need to use it in this hummus: because it makes for the creamiest, best tasting puree. If you forget: that’s ok! You can use water.

Storage info

How long does homemade hummus last? Homemade hummus should last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. It does not freeze well, so you’ll want to eat it within the week timeframe.

Ways to serve this hummus without tahini

Serve up this hummus recipe without tahini in all the same ways you would with regular hummus! Here’s what we love most for dipping in hummus:

Hummus without tahini

Variations on hummus without tahini: more flavors!

You can make lots of flavor variations on this hummus without tahini recipe! Here are some ideas for interesting options:

  • Green hummus: Add ½ cup chopped cilantro, 2 green onions and 2 cups spinach leaves
  • Beet hummus: Add 1 cooked beet.
  • Red pepper hummus: Add 2 jarred roasted red peppers.

This hummus recipe without tahini is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Hummus without tahini

Hummus Without Tahini (Easy Recipe!)

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4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 ½ cups 1x


Here’s an easy way to make hummus without tahini: you’ll never believe the pantry ingredient stand-in! It comes out perfectly creamy.


  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 2 15-­ounce cans chickpeas
  • 1 large lemon (¼ cup lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup aquafaba (liquid from the chickpea can) or water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter)


  1. Peel the garlic. Drain the chickpeas into a liquid measuring cup, reserving the aquafaba (chickpea can liquid). Juice the lemon.
  2. Add the garlic to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add chickpeas, lemon juice, ¼ cup aquafaba (or water), olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, and peanut butter. Puree for a few minutes until very creamy. Eat immediately or store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Don Eisenbarth says:

    I don’t like the taste of tahini at all. I like Chickpeas, olive oil, and not much lemon juice. Very basic, without additional ingredients.

  2. Ilaria says:

    Hi! For a pregnant woman this is absolutely needed;) can you suggest to swap nut butter for sunflower seed butter? I think about it would be more neutral, do you?
    Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I think that would be good!

  3. Alissa says:

    I have a question actually could you use garlic powder instead of cloves, if so how much should I use? Thank you in advance

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Garlic is crucial for the hummus flavor, but you could try with garlic powder! Add 1/2 teaspoon to start.

      1. Alissa says:

        I’ll let you know how it turns out with the garlic powder I’m making it tomorrow for my mom, who’s vegan.

  4. Dina Larsen says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I never understood why I didn’t care for commercial versions of hummus, and this recipe confirms it — I don’t like tahini! The simple change of swapping out peanut butter for tahini is inspired, and means that I don’t have to buy expensive ingredients to have hummus. So, I have a better option for protein and complex carbs, which makes my doc happy, and hummus that I will actually eat and enjoy, which makes my tummy happy. Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  5. Calitini says:

    This was delicious! I love that I could use what I had in my pantry and did not have to buy Tahini. It was very flavorful and easy to make. I will be making it again.

  6. Ramie Streng says:

    Thanks for educating me about Tahini being slightly bitter. I had bought some which was refrigerated, but when I tasted the bitterness thought it was spoiled and threw it out. I am going to make your recipe with the nut butter! Thank you!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Absolutely delicious!!! Love the fact that the recipe is so versatile. We’re not big cumin fans, and substituted oregano/rosemary. Also left out the almond butter since mentioned it could be optional, though will try it next time. Can’t wait to try it again with different spices and toppings :))
    This recipe is a keeper.
    Thank you!!!!

  8. Meg says:

    Is it possible to share what the serving size is for the recipe?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      The nutritionals are based on 6 portions, or just shy of 1/2 cup.