Cauliflower Hummus – Less calories, same great taste

Hummus is one of those dishes that shouldn’t really need any improvements made to it, however it does have a fatal flaw in that it is quite high in calories, but delicious at the same time. I haven’t found anyone yet that can stop eating it after just 2 tablespoons i.e. the recommend serving size. Hummus originates in the middle east and is a common meze dish and the origin of the word comes from the Arabic for chickpeas. However this recipe maybe shouldn’t be called hummus because it doesn’t have any chickpeas in it.

Cauliflower Hummus

Cauliflower Hummus

In recent years, the humble cauliflower has risen to ‘superstar status’ in the low-carb world with it being used to replace high-carb ingredients in recipes such as pizza, mashed potatoes, rice, nachos, etc. This recipe for cauliflower hummus is no different and uses cooked cauliflower florets instead of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) to cut the down the calories.

The humble cauliflower

The humble cauliflower

I’ve made this many times and served it to friends and family without anyone noticing that it isn’t ‘normal’ hummus. After everyone exclaims how good it is and can they have the recipe, they are shocked to find out the main ingredient that everyone expects to find in hummus is missing and has been replaced by something as strange as cauliflower.

The reason why this recipe for cauliflower hummus works so well is that chickpeas don’t really add a lot to the well know flavour of hummus, and that it is the tahini (sesame paste), garlic and lemon juice that do the heavy lifting when it comes to the familiar taste. Another thing to note that a lot of people don’t know about, is that the red powder on top of served hummus isn’t paprika (though you could use it for decoration), it is sumac, a middle-eastern spice made from flowering plants in the Rhus family of plants. Sumac not only adds decoration, but it has a distinct ‘lemony’ flavour that really compliments hummus.

When it comes to cooking the cauliflower you can either microwave or steam it depending on what you have. However if you have a bit more time, try roasting it for a sweeter finished flavour

Steamed Cauliflower

Steamed Cauliflower

Cauliflower Hummus Recipe


  • Half a head of a medium cauliflower
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp of Tahini
  • 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper


  1. Break the cauliflower into florets and add 3 whole cloves of garlic and either
  2. Microwave them with a little water for about 12 mins
  3. Steam them in a steamer basket for about 18 mins
  4. Roast them at 400F (200C) for about 25mins
  5. In a food processor or blender, add the cooked cauliflower and garlic, olive oil, tahini paste, lemon juice, 1 clove of raw garlic, and salt and pepper
  6. Blend until smooth. You may need to add a little water if the mixture is too thick.
  7. Check the taste and add salt, pepper and/or lemon juice to taste
  8. To serve place in a suitable bowl and decorate with a selection of pine nuts, parsley, sumac (or paprika if you don’t have any) and olive oil
  9. Enjoy with vegetable crudites, flatbread or pita chips
Cauliflower Hummus Recipe

Cauliflower Hummus Recipe

Essential Kitchen Supplies


    • Tina Von Buseck on June 21, 2018 at 5:33 pm
    • Reply

    I was so excited to find a cauliflower recipe without tahini, but this recipe has tahini despite saying “without tahini” in the title. Do you have another version without it?


    1. Try replacing the tahini with almond, cashew or brazil nut butters. The flavour won’t be the same, but you will get the creaminess. For a better flavour match to tahini try using sunflower butter in the cauliflower hummus.

    • Greta on August 16, 2019 at 8:33 am
    • Reply

    I replace the oil and even Tahini with a Toasted Sesame Oil. It is wonderful and smoky. I use it on a lot of things.

Leave a Reply

We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please bear in mind that all comments are moderated and that by submitting a comment you agree to our Privacy Policy. All fields are required.