The Secret(ish) Ingredient That Makes Store-Bought Hummus Taste Better


Some dishes are best if you cook them from scratch — homemade marinara sauce tastes much better than the kind that comes out of a jar, and Chips Ahoy! can't compare to homemade chocolate chip cookies. There are certain other things, however, that you really don't need to bother making at home. DIY crackers, pasta, and potato chips may all be more trouble than they're worth. Hummus may also be better left outsourced to a commercial manufacturer.

Some people swear that store-bought hummus can be just as good if not better than the homemade kind with the addition of one ingredient — olive oil. This type of oil, it seems, gives the hummus a richer texture and may even add some extra flavor. Many types of commercially available hummus are made with canola or soybean oil, which are both considered neutral-flavored oils and thus don't really add much to the taste. Meanwhile, many olive oils give off a buttery or slightly spicy taste. Olive oil will also add some extra healthy fat as well as other nutrients. A study performed by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health even suggests that boosting your consumption of this ingredient could help you live longer.

Here are a few more helpful hummus hacks

There's actually quite a bit you can do with store-bought hummus to add your own special spin and change it into something that could be considered at least semi-homemade. One of the things you can add aside from olive oil is some type of seasoning. Tajin, smoked paprika, cayenne, or chipotle powder will all help spice up your hummus, while a Middle Eastern spice mix called za'atar (typically a mixture of oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme) is an unexpected ingredient that can make the store-bought stuff taste even better. You could also stir some lemon juice or hot sauce into your hummus to give it more zip and zing.

Yet another route you can go when it comes to hummus customization is by layering other ingredients on top. Pistachios and pomegranate seeds pair nicely with the dip, while chopped cilantro or sauteed onions might also make great hummus helpers. Feta cheese, too, can help turn a rather plain dip into something extra special. If you add a drizzle of olive oil in addition to any of these extra ingredients, you'll enjoy an extra-silky texture and a nutritional boost as a bonus part of your totally transformed creation.