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Mediterranean Diet

It Turns Out That Sweet Potatoes Make for One Tasty Hummus

  These sweet spuds paired with chickpeas, tahini, and warm spices are a home run.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably seen stacks and stacks of hummus on grocery store shelves. Hummus is great! It’s nutty, bright, creamy, and nutritious. But these days everything is getting hummus-ed! What was once a tahini-chickpea dip has now transformed into some rather interesting flavors. Beets, peas, and black beans are incorporated into hummus now. 

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But what about sweet potatoes? OK. That makes sense. 

When I came across this Sweet Potato Hummus recipe in our More Mediterranean book, I was immediately intrigued. Sweet potatoes are starchy like chickpeas. They make a mean puree. Their subtle sweetness balances tahini’s slight bitterness. They’re übernutritious. Yup. I was in. 

Off to the grocery store I went! I passed the containers of Cool Ranch Doritos hummus and grabbed a pound of sweet potatoes, a can of chickpeas, and tahini (I had everything else waiting for me in my pantry). About an hour later, I dug my spoon into a bowl of creamy, neon-orange hummus and . . . wow. It was even better than I imagined.

If you’re looking for a tasty alternative to classic chickpea hummus, I urge you to try this recipe. For starters, it doesn’t take much time at all. The sweet potatoes do all their cooking in the microwave! It’s also the perfect balance of flavors. A scant amount of tahini is enough to stand up to the spuds without overwhelming the hummus. Paprika, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon provide warmth while the garlic and cayenne curb the sweetness. I think I’ll call this Home Run Hummus from now on.

Sorry, chocolate hummus. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Sweet Potato Hummus

Serves 6 to 8 

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Prick potatoes several times with fork, place on plate, and microwave until very soft, about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through microwaving. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, let cool, then scrape potato flesh from skin and transfer to food processor; discard skin.

2. Combine water and lemon juice in small bowl. In separate bowl, whisk tahini and oil together.

3. Process potatoes, chickpeas, garlic, paprika, salt, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With processor running, add lemon juice mixture in steady stream. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With processor running, add tahini mixture in steady stream and process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

4. Transfer hummus to serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until flavors meld, about 30 minutes. (Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 5 days; let come to room temperature before serving and stir in 1 tablespoon warm water to loosen hummus texture if necessary.) Drizzle with extra oil to taste before serving.

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