Sweet & Smoky Pumpkin Hummus


It’s a truth universally acknowledged that there are two types of fall.

There’s Fall. Otherwise known as Fall Fall.

And then there’s Less Cute Slightly Colder Fall That Comes a Little Later, Fall.

Fall Fall—only the most romantic, magical time of the year when rust-colored leaves rain from the sky and you go apple-picking and bake things and curl up and get cozy and it's the end and beginning of everything all at once—is currently upon us. And it's the greatest. We're pulling out our first pair of tights, we're kissing summer goodbye, we're listening to Frank Sinatra, and everything is peachy.


But in just a few weeks, swiftly and mercilessly and without warning, we *will* be ushered into the latter (at least here on the East Coast), and it *will* be rough. To say the least.


There will be many weeks left until Thanksgiving.

There will be many weeks left until it’s acceptable to even think about sipping a hot chocolate.

There will be many many more weeks left until I ever see Kacey Musgraves live because I completely missed ticket sales for her current tour and I’ll never forgive myself.

But I digress.


The point is, it’ll be dreary out there. Not charming-romantic-let's-go-for-a-walk-in-the-park-anyway dreary. Just dreary dreary. And there won’t be quite enough near-future things to look forward to or dream about.


Eat pumpkin-flavored things till the end of time, that’s what.

Consolatory best-ever half-spicy half-sweet pumpkin hummus recipe follows.


But first! Some notes on why you should make this orange masterpiece, besides the fact that it'll save you from existential doom: It also tastes just as good as it looks. Promise. It's bold and vibrant in both color and taste. A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, with this very interesting deepness thanks to a combination of smoked paprika and the tangy notes of tahini.

Paired with some flavorful pita chips (side note: I went with storebought jalapeño because they looked similarly orange and I loved how all the colors worked together, but you could totally make your own if you're a̶ ̶c̶r̶a̶z̶y̶ ̶p̶e̶r̶s̶o̶n̶ feeling particularly ambitious), it's everything good about the season in one sweet-smoky bite.

P.S. As you MAY have surmised from the cauldron and/or tiny broomsticks, this beauty is actually part of a larger series of Halloween Shabbat ideas comin’ to the blog THIS WEEK! Hold tight. Check back. Check back again. Maybe sign up for the newsletter. Maybe follow me on Instagram.


Sweet & Smoky Pumpkin Hummus

Total Time: 10 minutes
Makes enough for 6-10 guests
Recipe questions?
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What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about one lemon’s worth)

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) chickpeas, liquid reserved and set aside

  • 1 can pumpkin purée (15 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup tahini*

    *For the uninitiated: Tahini is a super delicious paste made from ground sesame seeds; available at most supermarkets and online here! Yes, you can skip this ingredient entirely if you don’t have it on hand; the hummus will be a tiiiiny bit less creamy and have a slightly more mellow flavor, but it’ll still be pretty phenomenal. Promise.

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1.5 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • One or more of the following garnishes (optional, but beautiful!): black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sprinkle of smoked paprika, chopped fresh parsley…etc.!

  • Pita or pita chips, for serving

What You’ll Do:

  1. In a food processor, combine the lemon juice, salt, and garlic until fine. Let the mixture rest at least 10 minutes to really make the most of the garlic flavor (I learned this fabulous trick from Cookie & Kate, whom I love!).

  2. Drain chickpeas in a colander, then rinse under cold water.

  3. Add chickpeas, pumpkin puree, tahini, brown sugar, paprika, and cumin to garlic-lemon mixture. Begin processing; slowly add in olive oil while the machine is running. Process until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper; adjust other seasonings as well (too spicy? Too sweet? Maybe you’ll want to add more lemon or more paprika at this point to emphasize this or that flavor—your call!).

  5. Transfer to a serving bowl (I used a mini cauldron for Halloween—pictured here—but any small or medium-sized bowl will work). Use the back of a spoon to swirl around the hummus in a circular motion; drizzle olive oil into the crevice you’ve created.

  6. Sprinkle with whatever garnishes you’ve chosen, working with a slow and deliberate hand! This part’s where you can really have fun and get creative with the dish. I prefer an asymmetrical half-moon look when I’m working with the final garnishes, but truly, anything goes.

  7. Serve with chips; enjoy right away or store in fridge for up to 7 days.

For Halloween, you can serve this in a mini cauldron like I did and pair with these very adorable witches’ brooms! Both available on Amazon.