How to Thicken Runny Hummus (9 Simple Fixes)


Whether store-bought or made at home, finding out your hummus is too runny is a common issue. Luckily, there are a few ways to fix the issue.

Each option has pros and cons. In the rest of this article, I will outline the different considerations when choosing the right remedy.

Each of these nine tricks can work well to help thicken hummus. The first four fixes will work on both store-bought and homemade hummus. The last five are specifically about fixing hummus you made yourself.

1. Add Instant Mashed Potato Flakes

Although this might seem like an odd suggestion, instant mashed potato flakes are an excellent idea for thickening up your hummus dip. Instant mashed potatoes have minimal flavor and become a creamy texture when combined with water. 

Adding a small amount of these instant mashed potato flakes to a runny hummus can instantly thicken the mixture without changing the flavor or consistency of the initial recipe. As an added bonus, most people have instant mashed potato flakes available in their pantries.

2. Toss in Toasted Nuts

The creamy, nutty taste of chickpeas makes hummus an excellent complement to any number of toasted nuts. Adding a handful of toasted walnuts or almonds is a unique method for thickening up your runny hummus. 

Whether you have toasted nuts that are store-bought or want to create your own toasted nuts, this addition can create a unique flavor and texture. This is also a good tip to keep in mind when you do not have any extra ingredients on hand.

Pro Tip: If you are interested in adding any variety of nuts to your hummus mixture, you will want to ensure that the nuts are toasted. Raw nuts are far too coarse and choppy to aid in thickening your hummus mixture. 

3. Create a Paste of Water and Flour

Flour is commonly known as a thickening agent for sauces and dips. If you find yourself in a pinch and need to thicken a batch of runny hummus, this is a solid option. 

It is essential to keep in mind that adding flour to your hummus dip will change the texture of the dip. Creating a paste out of flour and water can help combat the change in texture, although this will not eliminate the problem. 

Adding this paste to your hummus might also change the potency of your spices or flavor. It is a good idea to create a habit of tasting your hummus during each stage of the process to maintain the balance of flavor and texture that you desire.

4. Add Corn Starch

Corn starch should only be used if all other tricks are not an option. A little bit of corn starch can significantly absorb the runny juices in your hummus. But this solution may also create other potential issues for the hummus recipe.

The main issue is that the flavor and texture of the recipe can be altered if you add too much. Do not add large amount, or you will risk creating a hummus that is too thick and the consistency of dough. 

5. Allow Homemade Hummus to Cool

It may turn out that you don’t need to do anything special to thicken a batch of homemade hummus.

Before you begin adding thickening agents to a fresh batch of hummus, you might consider the simple act of cooling the mixture. Allowing the combination a few minutes to cool is one of the easiest methods for thickening the texture of your homemade hummus.

Most homemade hummus recipes will mention the use of freshly cooked chickpeas during the mixing process. Using warm, fresh chickpeas is one of the easiest methods to achieve a smooth texture, but warm ingredients also mean that your hummus will be warm once it is all mixed. 

Kate Williams from KQED.org mentions that homemade hummus can be served warm or chilled. However, as the dipping sauce cools, it will thicken up considerably. If your sauce has come out more runny than you initially expected, giving the dip time to cool might allow it to thicken up to your liking. 

Chill Out: You can also chill hummus in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Chilled hummus is not always a favorite method for serving hummus. However, the fridge tends to be the easiest cooling method that will significantly reduce the runny texture. 

6. Add More Chickpeas

One of the main ingredients in hummus is a creamy legume known as chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Once you have added all of the ingredients into your food processor, you should have a good idea about the consistency of your hummus dip. 

The most straightforward solution for a runny hummus dip is to add more chickpeas to the recipe. Chickpeas are thick and creamy and are the most natural solution for creating hummus with more solid consistency. 

Cool Fact: Adding more chickpeas to your hummus can also increase the nutritional value of the dip. According to WebMD, many different health benefits come with chickpeas to any recipe. This is a good excuse for adding more hummus to your daily diet in general. 

Although, it is essential to remember that adding more chickpeas to your hummus will dull the potency of any spices or herbs previously used in your recipe. For hummus recipes that include a particular spice or bold flavor, it might be necessary also to have additional spice if you add more chickpea to the mixture. 

Many people prefer a traditional hummus taste. If you are looking for traditional hummus, then adding more chickpeas will not significantly change or dull the flavor of your hummus. In fact, I find that it is always a smart idea to have extra chickpeas on hand when you are making hummus at home.

7. Consider Using Alternative Beans

There are plenty of hummus recipes that utilize other types of beans aside from chickpeas. Most beans have a similar texture to chickpeas when they are placed in a food processor, and many people keep canned beans on hand in their pantry. If you find yourself in a pinch, choosing to add a few canned beans can aid in thickening your hummus. 

Chickpeas are similar in consistency to many other beans that may be sitting in your pantry. If you find yourself in a pinch for a thickening solution, you can consider adding one of these other beans to your mixture as a thickening agent. 

  • Try Black Beans: Some hummus recipes suggest black beans as an option for the mixture. Canned black beans are a great choice if you are searching for an easy option. However, you might want to rinse the beans before adding them to your dip. Black beans often come preseasoned. Rinsing the beans can reduce the impact of the flavor on your recipe. 
  • Try White Beans: White beans are also an excellent choice for tossing into your food processor in a pinch. They will also affect the flavor of your hummus. However, a canned white beans will have less taste than black beans and will not affect the color. 

8. Experiment with Tahini Potency

Tahini varies widely in terms of quality and consistency. Homemade hummus often turns out thicker or thinner than expected based on the quality of the tahini used in the recipe. Even store-bought tahini mixtures will vary in the thickness of their paste.

Because tahini varies so widely based on unforeseen factors, it might be necessary to experiment with the quantity added to your mixture. If you are working with is an authentic paste, then it may be helpful to add more as a thickener. However, more oily tahini may be a clue to the source of initial runny hummus.

Frequently Asked Question: What is Tahini? Tahini is the most mysterious ingredient in hummus recipes. Although tahini is the prized ingredient, most people have no idea what is made of. It is simply a paste made from grinding up toasted sesame seeds.

Most people purchase tahini already made from the store. However, you can make your own tahini at home if you want. 

9. Add Liquids Last

When it comes time to create your hummus dip, you should reserve liquid ingredients for the very last additions to the food processor. This will help you judge the necessary amount of liquid such as water and olive oil needed for your hummus. 

If you have chosen to use canned chickpeas in your recipe, you may also consider using the can instead of water. The juice from chickpeas’ can contain thickening agents that can help the mixture remain thick rather than runny.

Hummus FAQ

Is Hummus Supposed to be Watery?

Hummus should not be watery or soupy when made correctly. Traditional hummus should have a smooth, light consistency that is easy to dip with chips or pita bread. Runny hummus will be difficult to dip and maybe less than desirable in terms of taste and texture. 

Why is My Hummus Watery?

Once your hummus has been blended using a food processor, it should have a smooth, soft texture. If your hummus is runny, likely, one ingredient was not appropriately added to the mixture. 

One reason that your hummus may be too watery is a variation of ingredients. It is always a good idea to double-check that each component has been added to the mixture before you decide to proceed with other ingredients. Forgetting an element is the most common mistake when making homemade hummus. 

Ingredients like tahini can also affect the texture of your homemade hummus. Tahini is one of the main ingredients in every hummus recipe. However, tahini can vary in texture and consistency based on how it is made. Even high-quality tahini can create a variation in the texture of your homemade hummus. 

When your hummus is runnier than you anticipated, there are several possible solutions to thicken the mixture.

Is Watery Hummus Bad?

Watery hummus is edible as long as it has not been kept for longer than a week. However, watery hummus will likely be harder to consume as hummus is meant to be dipped using a chip or bread. Runny hummus might also be less flavorful. Creamy hummus is the ideal texture for taste and consumption.

Does Hummus Thicken in the Fridge?

Hummus will thicken when it is allowed to chill in the refrigerator. Like most dips and sauces, time in the fridge will allow homemade hummus to reduce significantly. Cold foods tend to be thicker after chilling for around an hour. 

However, some people prefer hummus after it has been warmed. Thickening hummus in the refrigerator is only a temporary solution if you intend to heat the hummus before eating it. Chilled hummus will lose its thickened texture once warmed. 

How to Thin Hummus?

Hummus that is too thick can easily be thinned using a few different methods. The following techniques can be used to thin hummus quickly: 

  • Add Water
  • Add Chickpea Broth after Boiling
  • Add Canned Chickpea Juice
  • Add Olive Oil

Any of the above methods will help to thin hummus that is too thick, to begin with. Remember, when adding more ingredients, you may also need to adjust the number of spices you incorporate into the mixture. 

Final Thoughts

Hummus recipes come with a certain amount of uncertainty. When in doubt, there is always an easy-to-follow solution to create the perfect texture for your homemade hummus recipe. 

I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for stoppin’ by!

For more, don’t miss Does Hummus Need to Be Refrigerated? | How Long Will It Last?.

Anne James

Hi, I'm Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page. I hope your visit here has been a sweet one.

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