A few foods have permanent real estate in my refrigerator, including a box of baking soda that sits in the far corner (to absorb odors), a mostly untouched jar of Dijon mustard (that I often forget exists), and a solid supply of cold brew (because, survival). Along with these three items lives a giant tub of hummus that sits front and center that I nosh on throughout the day when I’m looking for a quick and easy snack. It’s hanger’s worst enemy and a non-negotiable refrigerator staple in my house.
Aside from being a crowd-pleasing dip, hummus is packed with a bevy of health benefits, which is one of the reasons why it’s one of my favorite spreads to put on just about everything (toast, bagels, crudite, crackers, you name it). But if you’ve exhausted your options of new ways to consume your gigantic tub of dip before the expiration date and can’t fathom taking another pita chip-dunked bite, we have the perfect solution for you. Next time you’re making pasta, try adding a scoop of hummus to the sauce—it’s a brilliant dairy-free way to add creaminess and tons of protein to your dish. Trust: It’s a real game changer.
Health benefits of hummus
Aside from its delicious flavor, most hummus is made of a combination of six ingredients (chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and tahini) that pack a boatload of nutrients. Chickpeas, the star and base of hummus, is a great source of protein and fiber, which is essential for gut health. Plus, the humble legume is filled with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, folate, phosphorus, vitamin B6, vitamin K, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, choline, and selenium, that support just about every bodily function.
Hummus also contains three superstar anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich ingredients: olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. “[Antioxidants] act as a scavenger for harmful free radicals and has been shown to reduce chronic disease,” dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, previously shared with Well+Good. To hone in on each, olive oil contains the antioxidant oleocanthal, which is acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function. And finally, garlic has a compound called allicin that can help boost your immune system due to its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
Lastly, if you haven’t cooked with tahini before, you might want to start…immediately. That’s because tahini—a paste made from sesame seeds—has an incredibly delicious rich, nutty flavor and is loaded with amino acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, trace minerals, zinc, and fatty acids.
How to make a creamy hummus pasta sauce
In a recent TikTok video by @kathrinekofoed, we learned that hummus is a brilliant ingredient that will add dairy-free creaminess to pasta sauce. Best part? Hummus pasta sauce takes about two seconds to whip together and is nutritionist approved.
@kathrinekofoed for all my dairy free girlies #nutritionistsoftiktok #emotionaleater #wellnesstok #nutritioncoaching #foodfreedomjourney #emotionaleatingcoach ♬ Prickly Pufferfish – galen tipton
After boiling and straining a pot of rotini pasta, health coach Kathrine Kofoed adds a few tablespoons of Sabra roasted garlic hummus into the pot and stirs it together until it’s fully melted and well combined. Seriously, that’s it. This two-ingredient dish is ideal for effortless last-minute dinners—it’s truly as easy as dumping in a jar of marinara.
Pro tip: If you find that the consistency is a little too thick and chunky, reserve some of your pasta cooking water to thin the sauce to perfection. And for added flavor, choose a hummus that’s already flavored, like roasted sun dried tomato or roasted red pepper. *Chef’s kiss.*
A registered dietitian spills the beans (literally) on why chickpeas are not only delicious but good for you too: