Roasted beetroot hummus with walnuts and lemon zest

Truth be told, when I first made this roasted beetroot hummus, my primary motivation was its looks. What better way to give a platter of veggies and falafel wow factor than by serving it with the contrasting colours of herby cream and bright pink hummus for dipping? But as it is with judging a person by their pretty face only, I wasn’t giving this pretty dip enough credit. Because apart from looking good, it tastes amazing and it’s one of the healthiest snacks you could wish for. All the best reasons for wanting to make it immediately!

When you look at the recipe below, it seems like quite a time-consuming dish, because I’m giving the from-scratch description here, starting with raw beetroot and dried chickpeas. The beetroot needs roasting and the chickpeas need soaking and cooking. That does take its time, but it’s something they do happily on their own while you’re sitting down and having coffee, or doing lots of other stuff. If you start the recipe with a left-over batch of roasted beets and ready-cooked or tinned chickpeas, it’s suddenly a matter of whizzing everything together and taking the credit for all your hard work.

beetroot hummus

Whether to use dried or tinned chickpeas to make hummus is the subject of quite a heated debate. Since I had a big bowlful of dried chickpeas soaking already to make falafel, I used part of them to make this beet hummus. Freshly cooked chickpeas make for the creamiest, most full-flavoured hummus, without add-ins from the tinned liquid. But as you can see in my roasted red pepper hummus recipe, when more convenient, I take the tinned chickpea shortcut as well – just don’t tell the father of all hummus recipes….

Now the best thing to talk about is the flavour of this pink dip, which has the sweetness from the beetroot, but not the earthy, iron-y note which puts some of my relatives off when it comes to beets. It’s fresh and zesty with lemon, with deep flavours from walnuts and cumin and a nice kick of garlic. It makes a great side with my homemade falafel and the best dip with humble cucumber sticks, which is how the little bowl in the picture ended up seconds after snapping. In its turn, the batch I stacked in the fridge after taking its picure was gone within a day, because my eldest spread the lot on her packed lunch sandwiches to take to school with her. I’ll need to make some more soon.

I hope you’ll like it as much as we do!

beetroot hummus

Roasted beetroot hummus with walnuts and lemon zest – serves 4-6


  • 1 medium-sized beetroot (appr. 200 g)
  • 150 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in double their volume of cold water, or 1 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Plus: flat-leaf parsley and olive oil, to serve



Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

Wrap the beetroot in aluminium foil. Place it on a lined baking sheet and roast it for about 60 minutes, until easily pierced by a fork or thin-bladed knife. Leave to cool for a while, then rub off the skin under cold running water, or peel with a knife.

Meanwhile, if you’re using pre-soaked chickpeas, bring a pan of water to a boil. Drain the chickpeas, add them to the pan and simmer for 15-25 minutes. By that time the chickpeas should be tender and easily mashed between your fingers, but not yet mushy. Drain and rinse under cold running water to remove most of the husks, then leave to cool. As I said in the roasted red pepper hummus post, if using tinned chickpeas instead, I usually squeeze the chickpeas out of their skins before processing for a smoother finish, but of course it’s up to you if you want to go through the trouble of doing so.

Once cooled, put the beetroot, the chickpeas and the remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl of a food processor. Whizz until completely smooth, or leave it a bit chunky, if you prefer. Taste and add a bit more lemon juice, tahini or seasoning if necessary, and add a little water if you like it thinner.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and drizzle with a little olive oil. Enjoy as a dip with flatbreads and raw veggies, as a side with homemade falafel or as a sandwich spread at home or in a packed lunch.

Will keep in the fridge for a few days.

beetroot hummus