Whether you’re dipping, scooping, or spreading, this easy dip recipe for cauliflower hummus is a terrific healthy snack. What’s the secret for creamy cauliflower hummus? Steam the cauliflower florets, don’t roast them! Aside from being nutritious and delicious, this hummus fits with any diet, too – from keto to vegan and everything in between.
Honestly, I’ve been a bit worried about overkilling cauliflower recipes. Once milquetoast content creators start parodying something, you start to think its time has passed. There’s only so many times you can reinvent a recipe with steamed cauliflower before you, and everyone around you, starts to roll their eyes.
But I have receipts! I’ve long loved this veggie, sung its praises publicly, and used it in many a recipe (way beyond the basics of six ways to cook cauliflower). I love cauliflower so much that I even wrote a book about it. So I’m not ready to put this particular horse out to pasture.
Still, I almost didn’t revisit this old chestnut of a recipe until I was inspired by one of my favorite things at one of my favorite stores.
I have come to love a lil’ wonderland called Aldi more than I ever thought I would. And it’s not just because my kids are expensive (they are) and their prices are great (they are). It’s for my favorite aisle to ever grace a grocery store, and that is “Aldi Finds”. It’s a mild obsession.
Home organization systems, Instant Pot accessories, scented candles, rubber clogs… and those are just the “home goods.” Any acolyte has gone nuts over their insane Euro-Christmas goodies, but their seasonal groceries (not just holidays, but actual seasonal rotation) are delightful.
Which brings me to the fact that, right as I was about to stop trying to make “fetch” (i.e. cauliflower) happen, what do I spy in Aldi Finds just this week? Park. Street. Cauliflower. Dip. This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, that Aldi has inspired a quick appetizer and snack recipe, but it is the first time that I might be ahead of a trend. Boom!
We’re back in business, baby. And you’re about to be too. Thank me later (after you’ve made, and devoured, a vat of cauliflower tahini dip, of course).
For a shorter, condensed post with just the recipe ingredients and instructions, click here to view the web story for this recipe!
What Does Cauliflower Hummus Taste Like?
Steamed cauliflower, all by itself, it pretty darn bland, making it the perfect substitute for chickpeas (more on the below)! Cauliflower hummus tastes exactly like regular hummus.
The bland, blanket canvas of steamed cauliflower allows the classic hummus trio of tahini, lemon juice, and garlic to really stand out. My oldest son really enjoys hummus, and he didn’t notice at all when I swapped it for cauliflower – that, for me, is proof enough!
Why This Recipe Works
Cauliflower is a natural substitute for “other stuff” in so many recipes – many people know that it can act like rice (try our recipes for cauliflower rice and cauliflower risotto for proof); but it can also stand-in for other grains (try our cauliflower tabbouleh!); and if you read along and participate, you’ll learn that it can act like chickpeas too.
Cauliflower is a flavor sponge. It easily soaks up the other flavors in a dish, especially a recipe with steamed cauliflower. Using it here in place of chickpeas allows the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic (the classic hummus flavor profile) to shine through.
Cauliflower is a texture chameleon. Soft, mashable cauliflower can become many things (try out loaded cauliflower soup or cauliflower mashed potatoes if you’re cutting down on white potatoes). Properly steamed, it also has a shockingly similar consistency to chickpeas.
Do You Cook Cauliflower Before Using in Hummus?
Yes! Raw cauliflower is too tough to break down into a smooth and creamy dip, so it must be cooked first. There are two ways to cook cauliflower for hummus: roasting, or steaming.
This recipe is an upgrade from one I previously posted. In the original, I used roasted cauliflower, but after more testing, I realized that it’s really hard to get it soft enough without over-caramelizing. And too much caramelization means you’ll get a more sweet than savory cauliflower tahini dip. You can absolutely try roasted cauliflower, but know that you’ll get a chunkier, sweeter dip.
After revisiting the recipe, I can say with 100% certainty that steamed cauliflower will not only get you closer to “true” hummus consistency, but the flavor works way better.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for cauliflower hummus that’s just a touch sweeter, use roasted garlic! Make your own, or buy it pre-roasted (DeLallo offers roasted garlic in a jar).
How to Make Cauliflower Hummus
Cauliflower hummus is creamy, nutty, and packed with flavor. It takes just 10 minutes to cook and another 15 minutes to come together, to it’s a quick and easy healthy dip to prepare for the week ahead. Steamed cauliflower is the perfect flavor and texture base for keto hummus made without chickpeas. Finish it off with a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and serve with your favorite dippers like raw veggies and grain free crackers.
- Steam the cauliflower using your preferred method until it’s very soft, and easily mashes once pressed with the tines of a fork (on the stovetop, this takes about 9 minutes).
- Combine the garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse several times, then allow to rest for 10 minutes. This is called macerating, and will remove some of the bite from the garlic.
- Add the steamed cauliflower, tahini, salt, and cumin.
- Pulse 10-12 times until the cauliflower is broken down.
- Flip the motor to continuous, then pour the olive oil through the feed tube. Continue blending until the dip comes together and is very smooth.
- Scrape into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and other garnishes as desired (we like fresh ground pepper and parsley) and serve right away with your favorite dippers.
- The cauliflower needs to be very soft in order to achieve that silky smooth texture.
- Add more olive oil than you think, and drizzle it with a bit just before serving.
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl frequently.
- Season liberally – remember, cauliflower sucks up flavor, so taste and season, taste and season, until it’s just right for you.
Is Hummus Keto? Whole30?
Regular hummus, prepared with chickpeas, is neither keto nor Whole30 compliant because it uses chickpeas (a legume) as a base; legumes are not included in keto and Whole30 dietary accommodations. Womp womp.
This hummus recipe replaces chickpeas with cauliflower, which makes this dip keto, low carb, Whole30, and paleo. It’s also naturally vegan, dairy free, nut free, and gluten and grain free (just mind your dippers!). Extra virgin olive oil and tahini incorporate healthy fats into this legume free snack.
Is Tahini Nut Free?
Yes! Tahini is made from from ground up sesame seeds – think of it as sesame seed butter. Tahini isn’t sweet, but it does have a strong nutty flavor and aroma. It’s a great way to incorporate healthy fats from seeds.
- Use a few tablespoons of infused oil for drizzling.
- Swirl in some extra herby flavor using 1-2 tbsp pesto or gremolata.
- Blend in half a cup of flavor boosters like roasted red peppers or caponata.
- Swap raw garlic for roasted garlic, then top with toasted pine nuts (about a quarter cup).
- Spice it up with a blend like Za’atar or Everything Bagel Seasoning.
What to Serve with Cauliflower Tahini Dip
- Sliced raw vegetables like cucumbers, celery, radishes or bell peppers.
- Keto seed bread (we adore this recipe from With Food and Love)
- Slice your favorite keto wraps into triangles and toast to make crispy “pita chips”
Cauliflower tahini dip will keep in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 5 days. This recipe doesn’t freeze well, as cauliflower has more water content than chickpeas and will be soupy after defrosting.
Did you make this cauliflower hummus? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
25-Minute Cauliflower and Tahini HummusPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- Food Processor
- Steamer Basket
- Fill a 6-quart dutch oven or pot with 2" water, then fit a steamer basket into the pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower florets to the steamer basket, reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer, then cover. Steam 8-9 minutes, or until you can easily mash the florets with the tines of a fork. Remove the steamer basket and set aside.
- Add the smashed garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until the garlic is minced. Let the garlic rest 10 minutes to reduce the bite and allow the flavor to mellow.
- Add the steamed cauliflower to the food processor, along with the tahini, salt, and cumin. Pulse several times to break up the florets.
- Flip the motor to continuous. With the motor running, pour 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil through the feed tube. Continue adding oil, 1 tbsp at a time, and processing until the hummus is smooth, stopping one or two times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Scrape the hummus into a bowl and drizzle with 2 more tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with chopped parsley and cracked pepper. Serve immediately with sliced vegetables or grain free seed bread. Store leftovers in a lidded container in the fridge for up to three days.