Cauliflower "Hummus" ♥

Cauliflower Hummus ♥, low-cal, low-carb and there's no telling the difference.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's low-carb "hummus" recipe, made with (surrrrprise!!) cauliflower instead of chickpeas. And I have to say, cauliflower has done the impossible again, converting itself into something it's not, this time lower-calorie, low-carb hummus. Really, there's no telling the difference. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe updated, first published way back in 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~

Cauliflower, It's a Real Chameleon.

Cauliflower mimics the texture of rice in Cauliflower Spanish "Rice" and Mexican Cauliflower "Rice" and the heft of potatoes in both Lighter Mashed 'Potatoes' and Cauliflower "Potato" Salad. Now here is cauliflower in hummus, a low-calorie, low-carb substitute for high-calorie, high-carb chickpeas. See what I mean? Cauilflower is a chameleon!

But Does Cauliflower Really Substitute for Chickpeas?

And yes, side by side, someone paying extra-close attention would notice. But otherwise? I think not. Cauliflower fools our sense of sight, our sense of taste, even the all-important mouthfeel. This stuff is good, deserving of make-it-now status.

For the Word Dancers

My dear friend Pille of the Estonian food blog Nami Nami, whose fresh, seasonal Nordic sensibility sends me s-w-o-o-n-i-n-g AND a reader both alerted me that in Arabic, "hummus" means "chickpeas" not "chickpeas mashed with tahini, garlic and a little oil". In deference, I've changed the recipe name to Cauliflower "Hummus" – in quotes. Thanks for the tip!

Who Else Likes to Play with Variations on Traditional Hummus?

I'm addicted to my traditional but Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus but just look at the color in Pumpkin Hummus with Honey. Once upon a time in the early days of food blogging, a blogger made so many different kinds of hummus we all laughed that her blog should be called "Hummus Heaven" or somesuch. Ha! Over the years, I may well have created my own heaven-like collection of hummus recipes! Do enjoy!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes but with a few hours for flavor melding
Makes 2 cups

About 1 pound (450g) cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons (62g) tahini
2 tablespoons good olive oil (or more to taste/texture preference)
Zest and juice (about 4 tablespoons) of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste

STEAM CAULIFLOWER Bring about 1/2" water to boil in a large covered pot with a steamer basket installed. Once it's boiling, arrange florets in a single layer, stems pointed down to take the heat more directly. Cover and let steam until a knife can be easily inserted into the thickest stem. Lift from water and let drain and cool for a minute or two.

WHIZZZZ Meanwhile, in a food processor, collect remaining ingredients. Add cauliflower and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

graphic button small size size 10 After the fact, I noticed that my two favorite recipes for hummus also include garlic. That would be a great addition here too. Use 1 to 2 cloves and process them first with just the salt, before adding the other ingredients for processing. graphic button small size size 10 To yield a whole pound of cauliflower florets, you'll need to start with a head weighing 25-33% more. graphic button small size size 10 Would a one-pound bag of frozen cauliflower work? It just might! You'd only save about 2 minutes of prep time, it's really easy to clean and trim a head of cauliflower (photo tutorial). But still.

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~ Roasted Cauliflower ~
~ Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Vinaigrette ~
~ One-Skillet Cauliflower with Cheese ~
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Cauliflower Salad with Fresh Herbs ~
~ Quick Cauliflower Soup or Quick Broccoli Soup ~
~ Lighter Mashed 'Potatoes' ~
~ more cauliflower recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2013, 2018 & 2019 (repub)
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. And I totally agree--what can cauliflower NOT do?!?

  2. Another awesome recipe for cauliflower! Love love love hummus, can't wait to try this!

  3. Looks like I have to do a comparative cauliflower "hummus" testing - I had just bookmarked a lovely-sounding roasted cauliflower hummus/Paleo hummus recipe, when I saw this. Will roast some and steam some and then compare them :)
    Hugs! x

  4. What can't cauliflower do? Be hummus. "Hummus" is the Arabic word for chickpea. It can be cauliflower with tahini.

  5. Alanna,

    Are you still on the Medifast diet? I'm considering starting and would love an update on your experience. Thank you.

  6. Love this idea. I use cauliflower in call kinds of ways - put hadn't thought of this one. I'll try with some z'tar, too!

  7. Spiced it up with some green salsa and a bit of srichacha sauce....tastes pretty good! Is cauliflower the new tofu?

  8. Thanks for letting us Pin this! So generous.

  9. Hi Anonymous ~ I hope you do come back to see my response. I do so apologize - you are of COURSE welcome to pin this recipe and all others. The "copyright violation" notice you have received (as did I, because I pinned my own recipe) was directed at a single pinner who copied the entire recipe into the pin's description. Pinterest has gotten very aggressive with intervening with copyright violations (which is what copying a recipe onto Pinterest would be) but this, I fear went a little far. If you'd like to visit with me about this more face-to-face, just email me. The address is below my photograph on every page.

    Yikes - social media, copyright stuff, it's all so confusing anymore.

  10. silly question, but if i were to make this, could i freeze it? or is that just asking for a nasty mess the next time i go to eat some?

  11. Ashley ~ Hmm, freezing hummus. it strikes me that it might not work well, that the texture would change as the cauliflower especially forms ice crystals. But then again, maybe it would be just fine? Maybe freeze a small portion, just to see? I’d love to know too!

  12. I've heard that resturants freeze normal hummus..but..chickapeas are a lot different than cauliflower.I'll make up a batch & test it out for us this week:]

  13. Ashley ~ Cool! And I will freeze some regular hummus today too! I made the creamiest smoothest EVER hummus yesterday, amazing.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna