Smoky Red Lentil Hummus

Tired of the same old chickpea hummus? This smoky red lentil hummus dip is deliciously creamy and smoky. It’s also super easy to make and perfect for snacking and spreading.

This easy lentil hummus dip is a tasty twist on traditional hummus made with red lentils instead of chickpeas. It’s perfect as an appetiser with veggies or chips or use it as a spread in sandwiches and wraps.

Not only is this lentil hummus dip creamy and flavourful, but it’s also high protein, gluten-free and vegan.

I love my red lentil hummus with a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick and smoked paprika for that smoky depth. But, I also suggest alternative flavour combinations including roasted garlic or sun-dried tomatoes.

Close-up of the smoky red lentil dip sprinkled with smoked paprika and drizzled with olive oil.

Keep reading for tips and tricks, serving suggestions and substitutes. Or grab your food processor and head straight to the recipe to whip up a batch of the creamiest red lentil hummus you’ll ever try!

Why I love red lentil hummus

I love classic hummus, but I honestly prefer this smoky red lentil hummus. It wins every time, hands down.

  • Plant protein: Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, making this hummus a nutritious and filling snack or side dish.
  • Flavour: The smoked paprika adds a deliciously smoky flavour to the earthy lentils that sets it apart from traditional hummus recipes (at least in my books!).
  • Versatile: Just like classic chickpea hummus, spiced red lentil hummus is perfect for dipping pita chips or veggies, as well as spreading on sandwiches or wraps.
  • Quick and easy: With just a few affordable pantry staples and a food processor (or blender), you can whip up this delicious hummus in no time. Plus, dried lentils don’t require soaking like chickpeas!

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Red lentils: Split red lentils cook quickly and have a slightly sweet and earthy flavour. If you choose to use green or brown lentils, you’ll need to cook it for longer.
  • Tahini: This sesame seed paste adds a nutty and creamy texture to the hummus. If you don’t have tahini, you can substitute it with almond butter or cashew butter. Or make tahini at home from toasted sesame seeds.
  • Lemon juice: The acidity from lemon juice adds a bright and tangy flavour to the hummus.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic adds a savoury and pungent flavour to the hummus.
  • Spices: This recipe uses a combination of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper (optional), and freshly ground black pepper to add depth of flavour and a touch of heat. You can adjust the amount of spices to your preference. And, as always, taste and adjust the salt to your preference.
  • Cold water: Adding a small amount of ice water helps to aerate the hummus into a smoother and creamier consistency. You’ll also need water to cook the lentils.

To serve, top your red lentil hummus with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and another pinch of smoked paprika, za’atar, or red pepper flakes.

A bowl with super creamy red lentil hummus surrounded by sugarsnap peas and chickpea chips.

Optional flavour variations

  • Roasted garlic: Instead of mincing raw garlic, roast a few cloves of garlic in the oven until soft and caramelized. This will give your hummus a milder, sweeter garlic flavour.
  • Sun-dried tomato: Adding a few sun-dried tomatoes adds loads of umami and a deeper red colour.
  • Chilli paste: For a spicy kick, add more cayenne pepper. Or, try a flavour-packed chilli paste like gochujang or rose harissa.

How to make red lentil hummus

Making hummus has never been easier! This creamy red lentil dip recipe is even easier to make than traditional hummus.

Step 1: Cook the red lentils by simmering them over low heat until soft and the water has been absorbed. The mixture should look like thick porridge. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 2: Transfer the cooked lentils to a food processor bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Step 3: Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I usually add half a teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of black pepper.

Step 4: Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

Enjoy as a dip with crackers or veggies, or use it as a spread on sandwiches or wraps


This red lentil hummus dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can serve it fridge cold, or allow it to come back to room temperature.

Frequently asked questions

Is hummus made from lentils?

Traditional hummus is made from chickpeas, but you can make hummus from lentils. Red lentil hummus has a similar texture to traditional hummus but with its own unique flavour profile. And, split red lentils have a much quicker cooking time compared to dried chickpeas.

Do red lentils need to be soaked?

While you can soak red lentils to remove phytic acid and improve digestibility, it is not necessary. Unlike other legumes, red lentils have a thinner seed coat, making them easier to cook and digest without soaking.

Red lentil dip with healthy snacks.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve as a dip: Enjoy this creamy red lentil hummus as a dip for pita chips, flatbread, crackers, or fresh veggies. The smoky and spicy flavours make it a perfect addition to any appetizer platter or game-day snack spread.
  • Use as a spread: Slather this hummus on sandwiches, wraps, or toast for a delicious and protein-packed spread. Most mornings I spread it on toasted sourdough, top it with a soft-boiled egg and finish it with a sprinkle of za’atar.
  • Incorporate into meal prep: Red lentil hummus is a great addition to any weekend meal prep routine. Serve it throughout the week with roasted vegetables (like this buttery harissa cauliflower), grilled chicken skewers, or crispy Middle Eastern falafel for a nutritious and convenient lunch or dinner option.
  • Use as a sauce: Use any leftover hummus to make a flavourful hummus salad dressing.
A bowl with super creamy red lentil hummus surrounded by sugarsnap peas and chickpea chips.

Smoky Red Lentil Hummus

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
This deliciously smoky red lentil hummus recipe is a twist on traditional chickpea hummus. The creamy lentil dip is packed with plant protein and loads of flavour. It pairs perfectly with pita chips or fresh veggies.
Recipe byAdri
Yield2 cups
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes



  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice , from roughly half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • salt and black pepper , to taste

Optional toppings

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of smoked paprika , za’atar, or red pepper flakes


  • Bring the red lentils and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and gently simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cook until the lentils are soft and the lentils are soft and the water absorbed – about 15 minutes. It should resemble a thick porridge.
  • Allow the lentils to cool slightly – about 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cooked lentils to the bowl of a food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using) with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
  • Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. If the hummus is too thick, add more cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. But don't worry if the texture looks thin, it thickens as it cools down.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. I add about half a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper.
  • If you're not using it straight away, transfer the hummus to an airtight container and refrigerate. Or, to serve, spoon the lentil hummus into a bowl and (optionally) drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.


Store your homemade red lentil hummus in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2 tablespoons Calories: 63 kcal Carbohydrates: 8 g Protein: 4 g Fat: 2 g Saturated Fat: 0.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g Sodium: 76 mg Potassium: 131 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 0.3 g Vitamin A: 82 IU Vitamin C: 1 mg Calcium: 13 mg Iron: 1 mg

More condiments you might like

If you like this lemon tahini sauce, you might also like these tahini dressings and sauces


  1. 5 stars
    Wow – this red lentil hummus is so good! I doubled the amount of paprika for that smokey spicy taste and it was fabulous!

    1. Oh yum! That sounds nice and smoky, and it probably gave the hummus a beautiful red colour too. I’m so happy you loved it!

5 from 3 votes

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