Food, Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks, Vegetarian

Homemade Hummus with Za’atar and Sweet Paprika

Hummus with Za'atar and Sweet PaprikaI’ve always loved hummus, but I didn’t know it was possible to love it quite this much. I am seriously over the moon with how this turned out.

This was my third time making hummus from scratch, but my first time making it properly. I used to think you could omit the tahini but NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.

I mean, technically you can; there are recipes that exist without it. But if you want to love your hummus, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Hummus with Za'atar and Sweet Paprika 5The beauty of homemade hummus is that it has a basic formula, and once you’ve got that down, you can take the reigns and make it your own by flavoring it as you wish. Roasted garlic and chili oil? Go for it. Kalamata olives and pine nuts? BOOM. Delicious.

The options are pretty limitless.

While perusing the Internet for inspiration, I stumbled upon a few recipes that included za’atar. This was fantastic, because I happened to have some – and I happened to have no idea what to do with it.

Shortly after my husband and I were married we gave our spice collection an overhaul – matching containers and all. (Priorities!) One of the spices we picked up was za’atar because, I mean, it sounded cool and neither of us had ever heard of it so hey, why not? Unfortunately it just sort of sat there in our collection being overlooked for months.

Until, of course, it occurred to me that I could sprinkle it over hummus.

Za’atar is a blend of herbs – such as thyme, oregano, and marjoram – mixed with toasted sesame seeds, salt, and sumac. It’s pretty versatile in Middle Eastern cuisine, but it’s most commonly served alongside olive oil with pitas for dipping.

I can get down with that.

Hummus with Za'atar and Sweet Paprika 4I sprinkled some sweet paprika onto the mix – but any paprika will work. Smoked paprika would be wonderful here – especially with some chili flakes or chili oil if you like spicy, smoky goodness!

Hummus with Za'atar and Sweet Paprika 3

Hummus with Za'atar and Sweet Paprika 2

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Homemade Hummus with Za'atar and Sweet Paprika


  • 2 cups chickpeas reserve approx. 1/3 cup of liquid and approx. 1/4 cup chickpeas for garnish, drained
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup tahini both great, but 1/2 cup makes it extra creamy + dreamy
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Za'atar
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet paprika
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  • erve with pitas


  1. Put the chickpeas, tahini, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor (a blender will give you a much smoother hummus).
  2. Begin to blend and add the chickpea liquid as needed to create a smooth purée.
  3. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Garnish with za’atar, paprika, parsley, and extra chickpeas.

Recipe Notes

Makes approx. 2 cups. !If you want to create your own za'atar, simply mix the following1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds 2 tablespoons dried thyme 2 tablespoons sumac Kosher salt and crackled black pepper
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  • Reply Carolyn December 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm I have just recently discovered za'atar and I love it! CAn't wait to try this!
    • Reply Killing Thyme December 12, 2016 at 8:18 pm I'm with you, Carolyn! I can't picture my hummus without it now. Let me know when you give this a shot! I hope you love it :)
  • Reply Sarah@ Champagne Tastes July 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm I finally bought some za'atar (well mine says zahtar. If that's not the right thing just don't tell me haha)!! I'm totally gonna make this ASAP!
    • Reply Killing Thyme July 9, 2016 at 5:23 pm Totally the same thing! I've seen it spelled both ways too. Let me know what you think. I hope you love it :)
  • Reply Homemade Roasted Vegetable Hummus - Killing Thyme Eat-Zine June 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm […] kick and that’s becoming clear here at Killing Thyme. Not long ago I posted my dearly beloved Homemade Hummus with Za’atar and Sweet Paprika. It was so yummy, I had to make more […]
  • Reply Justine May 19, 2016 at 10:42 pm This looks so, so scrumptious Dana! I've been itching to make a homemade hummus lately. Just pinned this recipe -- your photos are extra gorgeous! I've never used Za’atar... I'll have to put it on the list of things to try!
    • Reply Justine December 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm And all this time later I FINALLY tried this, thanks to our Recipe Nod! :) I used smoked paprika, curry infused olive oil and garnished with some pomegranate arils and it's DYNAMITE! Currently devouring it with some fresh veg. Thanks for the inspiration, girl! Hope you're having a great weekend.
      • Reply Killing Thyme December 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm Justine! I absolutely *love* your adaptations! curry-infused olive oil sounds like a *dream*. Also, smoked paprika would go swimmingly with that! I'm making a batch this week and I'm totally going to put your spin on it. I don't have curry-infused oil but I'll work in some curry powder to get the essence of what you've done. We can call it a #RecipeNodNod. Ha. So glad you loved it :)
        • Reply Justine December 13, 2016 at 12:27 am Yes! I love the #RecipeNodNod! Haha. It was in fact Hot Paprika, not smoked, my bad. I made it again today but this time I refrained from eating almost the entire thing (somehow!).
  • Reply Suchi @elegant meraki May 17, 2016 at 11:25 pm It looks amazing! I recently got green zatar. I never make hummus because here in metro Detroit their are lots of middle eastern place but ntg with zatar. So I need to make some now
    • Reply Killing Thyme May 19, 2016 at 6:18 pm Thanks, Suchi! Let me know if you do make it! I really hope you love it :)
  • Reply Nicoletta @sugarlovespices May 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm We love hummus around here, Loreto is the one that makes it and, you're right, he never skips tahini. I found his version awesome...until now... when I think I've found my new favorite (but please, don't tell him ;-) ). Looks fantastic, so inviting!
    • Reply Killing Thyme May 17, 2016 at 7:56 pm I definitely learned the hard way about the tahini! Haha. How does Lorenzo do his? I bet it's amazing. And haha - your secret is safe with me ;) Thanks so much, Nicoletta!
  • Reply Sarah @ Champagne Tastes May 17, 2016 at 5:36 pm I LOVE homemade hummus and have somehow never heard of za'atar! I love middle eastern spices .. I'll have to blend up my own and try this version!! Yummmm
    • Reply Killing Thyme May 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm Thanks, Sarah! I was petty puzzled when I'd come across za'atar for the first time, too. I felt off my game. Haha. Let me know what you think!
  • Reply Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon May 17, 2016 at 5:32 pm What tasty looking pictures! That is a hummus I'd love to dig into right now. And I have some za'atar sitting in my pantry too.
    • Reply Killing Thyme May 17, 2016 at 5:50 pm Thanks, Annemarie! I think the fact that you have some za'atar kicking around might be a sign ;)
  • Reply Valentina May 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm Wow -- you've indeed brought hummus to a whole new level of deliciousness! And the presentation is absolutely stunning. Great for a party!
    • Reply Killing Thyme May 17, 2016 at 5:49 pm Thanks, Valentina! I'm definitely looking forward to sharing this one with friends. One day. This particular one is nearly gone. Haha. Oops.
  • Reply Silvia May 17, 2016 at 3:19 pm Oh my, this looks sooo delicious and appetizing, I love hummus very much. :)
    • Reply Killing Thyme May 17, 2016 at 5:47 pm Thanks, Silvia! Hummus really is great. I've been on a hummus kick for months - but I'd been buying it from the grocery store. Not anymore!

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