October 25

Can You Freeze Hummus? Yes, Here’s How

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Hummus is a healthy, nutrient-rich snack that is also delicious and shareable. No wonder you like to keep it around! You may be wondering if you can store some extra hummus in the freezer for those snack times in between shopping trips.

Good news! Hummus freezes well and is easy to thaw. We just have a few simple tips for you to get the best quality from frozen hummus

Should You Freeze Hummus?


Is it Worth it?

A blend of chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and a little salt, this smooth, creamy paste goes as well with fresh veggies as it does with warm, crusty bread.

You can eat it as a dip, a spread, or a sauce. This incredibly useful food preserves its original flavor and texture well in the freezer, and it also lasts a long time. Manufacturers of hummus recommend freezing it no longer than four months for maximum flavor preservation, but it will remain reasonably flavorsome for up to six months in the freezer.

Once you thaw it, make sure to eat it within a week. Like most foods, it will go bad a little faster after thawing than if it were fresh.

Flavor/Textural Changes

Happily for nutrition-conscious snackers everywhere, hummus maintains its texture in the freezer without breaking, separating, or thinning too much (some brands are more affected by freezing than others). Starchy foods like chickpeas (the main ingredient in hummus) undergo very little structural damage from freezing because of the water-binding nature of their starch. 

However, occasionally a small amount of oil separates during freezing, but just give the hummus a firm whip with a fork, and it will immediately recombine with the other ingredients. 

Although the texture is mostly unaffected by freezing, the hummus’s flavor can dampen somewhat in the freezer. Taste your thawed hummus and decide if you want to boost the flavor intensity with a sprinkle of garlic salt, a minced clove of fresh garlic, or a further splash of lemon juice.

You may be entirely happy with the flavor (especially if you eat it within the 4-month mark) but don’t be afraid to make adjustments!

How to Freeze Hummus


The key to fresh-tasting hummus is an oxygen-free environment, and you can accomplish this with two necessary steps... 

First, package your hummus in a container that you know seals airtight. Store only the portion you expect to eat within a week because you should never refreeze hummus that has already frozen and thawed once. Also, remember not to overfill the container.  The hummus will expand upon freezing, so leave some extra room at the top.

Secondly, after you spoon the hummus into the container, drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the top. The olive oil will provide a fine coating of lipid molecules that protect the rest of the hummus from oxygen. Since olive oil is already an ingredient in hummus, this won’t affect how it tastes. Just don’t use too much, or you’ll thin out the consistency of the paste. 

When you’ve done this, seal the container well and label it with the date, so you’ll know when four months have passed. Place it flat in the freezer so the olive oil can continue to coat the top of the hummus. Once it’s frozen, feel free to move the container to a more convenient position. 

How to Thaw Hummus


Thaw hummus in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight, depending on the quantity. Never thaw it on the countertop because allowing it to sit at room temperature for several hours is a significant food safety risk. Hummus should always be stored at refrigerator temperatures. Thawing it in the refrigerator takes more time, but it eliminates the worry that pathogens may be growing.  

When the hummus has thawed enough to stir, mix it thoroughly to re-incorporate all ingredients. Don’t worry if it looks a little lumpy or separated before you stir it. It will all come back together. At this point, you should taste it and add any “flavor adjusters” that you’d like to include.

Enjoy the hummus while it’s cold, and if there are leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for up to seven days.

If you are one of the folks who prefer their hummus warm, try to warm only the quantity you think you will eat. You should not return hummus to the refrigerator after it has been heated.

Uses for Frozen Hummus


Hummus is most commonly used as a dip for vegetables, pita bread, or crackers. However, you may also find it as a sandwich spread (though often seen on a wrap or gyro, it works just as well on a traditional sandwich!). Some pasta recipes call for hummus as an ingredient in the sauce, and it can even be used as a soup thickener! 

Recently, varieties of dessert hummus have become available, opening up a whole new category of options for this beloved dip. With flavors like chocolate, cake batter, and caramel, dessert hummus combines well with fruit and pretzels.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long can you freeze hummus?

Frozen hummus is best within four months. However, it is safe to freeze it for up to six months. 

Can you freeze homemade hummus?

You sure can! Just remember that any home-prepared food is more susceptible to contamination and food safety issues than factory-prepared food. Hummus is a safe food, but in the case of homemade hummus, it would be best to stick closely to the recommended four-month frozen shelf-life and be sure to eat it within seven days after thawing.

Can you freeze Sabra/Hope/Tribe hummus?

Absolutely. Just freeze it in an airtight container with a coating of olive oil over the top, as recommended above.

Can you freeze hummus in the original container?

Yes, you can. If hummus is unopened, it should be in a container with an airtight seal perfect for freezing. It will expand slightly when it freezes; keep it flat in the freezer so that the seal does not break when the hummus expands. Once it has frozen, you can move the container if desired.

Conclusion


Follow the tips above to feel comfortable freezing this versatile and nutritious snack. You’ll never again find yourself without your favorite protein-rich treat!

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to leave a note below 🙂

Cheers!

Caitlin


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About the author

Caitlin is a Ph.D student and chocolate researcher at Colorado State University. Her research in the Food Science program focuses on chocolate fermentation (that’s right, it’s a fermented food!) and small-batch post-harvest processing techniques. When she is not acting in her capacity as resident chocolate guru, she researches other fermented foods and beverages like beer, sausage, and natto. Caitlin was drawn to fermented foods while living in rural Spain for six years, where she was exposed to traditional, time-honored practices of food preservation. At home, she practices Bollywood dance for fun and is followed everywhere by two small pet rabbits.

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