It’s a healthy dip that goes with almost anything but how long does hummus last? Find out how to store it properly so you can enjoy it whenever you want!
The next time you’re at a party and a smidgen of hummus splats onto your sleeve, remember one thing. No one is going to judge you if you take a swipe of that flavorful dip with your pita wedge so it doesn't go to waste!
Hummus is one of those foods that people hungrily (and guiltily) devour without realizing how healthy it is. Maybe it’s the rich, creamy texture that fools us.
This famous Middle Eastern spread is a smooth, zesty combination of mashed chickpeas, garlic, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, and spices.
Hummus boasts a heavenly taste but it also has incredible health benefits:
- Just one serving of your favorite dip (2 tablespoons) contains more than 2 grams of protein and almost 2 grams of fiber.
- Hummus is very low in sugar and cholesterol.
- It contains plenty of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats.
- It also provides key nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Hummus is an excellent source of protein if you are vegan, vegetarian, or looking for ways to introduce more plant-based foods to your diet. It is also a powerful food for weight loss or to lower cholesterol naturally.
And because it’s so popular, you can find all types of hummus in the refrigerated section of any grocery store.
Besides the classic version, you’ll see hummus combined with other fabulous ingredients like red pepper, artichoke, roasted garlic, avocado, or black bean.
Is your mouth watering yet?!
I also spotted a few uncommon blends, like Hope Foods’ wild Thai coconut curry hummus and Tribe’s dark chocolate hummus! I’m already looking through my pantry for the perfect crackers for that one.
Whether you recently discovered this wholesome treat or it’s already a staple in your house, I’m sure you want to dig into all the flavors.
And when you unpack five tubs of hummus from your grocery bag, you might wonder: how long does hummus last?
Let’s explore the best storage conditions for hummus, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and even a few recipes for making yummy hummus at home.
Does hummus need to be refrigerated?
Once you bring it home from the store, quickly stash it in your fridge. Hummus should remain refrigerated at all times, ideally at or less than 40℉.
Try storing it in the back or coldest part of your fridge, away from the door (the constant opening and closing will cause the temperature to fluctuate).
Let’s take a look at how long it will last in the fridge:
Store-bought, unopened hummus:
Most unopened plastic tubs will preserve the swirly goodness for up to 10 days past the “Best if Used By/Before” date printed on the package.
Store-bought, opened hummus:
Once you open the container (no one waits 10 days, right?!), you can enjoy it for up to a week with frequent trips to the fridge.
If you whip up a fresh batch in the kitchen, homemade varieties can last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
With either type, always use clean utensils to dip into the hummus to avoid contamination from other foods…or from that spoon that you’ve already licked!
Is store-bought better than homemade?
The biggest difference is how commercial types are preserved. For a long shelf life, hummus companies use one of these methods:
- Pasteurization - a heat treatment to limit bacterial growth
- Added preservatives like potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, or citric acid
- High Pressure Processing (HPP) - a cold treatment that some have found to be more effective
Brands like Hope and Ithaca use HPP for their hummus products and claim that they last longer than other brands, without using additives or heat treatments that possibly change the taste of the hummus.
There are so many delicious brands out there - find the one you love or simply make your own fresh hummus!
What type of storage container should you use?
If you’re making your own hummus, you can store it in any airtight container. Most people find plastic convenient but glass tends to be more eco-friendly.
For store-bought varieties, you can extend the life of the hummus by sealing the top of the hummus container with plastic wrap before you cover it with the lid.
How long does hummus last on your table?
Hummus was made for bringing family and friends together. But how long can it hang out with the crowd?
To prevent bacterial growth, the USDA strongly discourages leaving refrigerated food out for longer than 2 hours (and 1 hour on a hot day).
Perhaps you can serve it when the guests are ready to indulge or keep it on ice for a short while.
Also, to prevent cross-contamination, don’t allow guests to dip directly into it; provide a serving spoon and small plates instead. Or even better, take a look at this adorable cucumber hummus cup appetizer.
Can you put hummus back in the fridge after it has been sitting out?
Food hygiene plays a huge role in how long hummus will last.
For snacking at home, you can safely transfer some to your plate (with a clean utensil) and return the original container of hummus to the fridge.
But for entertaining, take out only the amount you plan to serve because whatever is left out for more than 2 hours should NOT be refrigerated. Leftover hummus could be contaminated.
What about shelf-stable hummus?
Shelf-stable versions are sold for storage at room temperature but you still need to refrigerate them once you open the container.
Store the sealed container in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to open; then, keep in the fridge for 5-7 days like other commercial hummus. You can also freeze some or all of it immediately after opening it for the first time.
Let’s find out more about freezing hummus!
Can I freeze hummus without losing its texture?
Yes, you can! Most hummus experts suggest up to 3-4 months in the freezer for both store-bought and homemade hummus. Freezing for longer periods would give you a more bland version of the original.
How to properly freeze hummus:
- Choose the right storage container: Use airtight glass or plastic bowls, jars, or ice cube trays and muffin tins for small batches. Here’s an even easier way to make tiny portions: scoop hummus onto a tray lined with wax or freezer paper; when frozen, transfer to heavy-duty freezer bags and pull one out whenever you need!
- Leave space on top of the hummus: No matter what container you use, hummus will expand in the freezer. If you are using the original store-bought packaging, remove the plastic seal around the lid to give the hummus more room to expand.
- Add a thin layer of olive oil on top: This will seal the hummus and keep it from drying out. It may also help to keep the smooth consistency of the hummus. When you thaw the hummus, simply give it a good stir.
How to defrost frozen hummus:
To get the best quality of hummus, leave the frozen container in the fridge for 24 hours prior to using it. But once you thaw this glorious food, do not refreeze it.
You can then keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to tell if hummus has gone bad
What do you do when you see a strange mold growing on the hummus? Do you scoop it out carefully? Then, you start typing online to find out if it’s safe to eat moldy hummus?
Let me save you from some graphic internet photos of bad hummus.
Toss it out. All of it.
Any hummus will spoil in the fridge if old or neglected. The container of hummus is opened, air gets in, along with bacteria, and mold starts to grow.
But hummus could go bad even before there are visible signs, like a change in color (it gets darker) and texture (hardens). If you notice a sour smell or taste from the hummus, it’s time to part ways with the entire container of bad hummus.
Can expired hummus make you sick?
Companies calculate the shelf life of hummus from the time the hummus was made - for best quality, look for the latest shelf life when buying in the store.
It usually has a “Best By” date but that’s not the expiration date. You can still eat it past that date as long as you continue to test for smell and taste.
If you eat hummus that has gone sour or moldy, you may not experience any negative symptoms. Or you could be one of the unlucky few who suffer from food poisoning. Why risk it?
Also, because hummus is fiber-rich, you could possibly have digestive problems if you consume too much at one time. This does not mean that the hummus was bad. Your body simply needs time to get used to it. And I’m sure, soon enough, it will become one of your favorite meals!
Can I make hummus at home?
If you have a food processor, hummus is one of the easiest foods to make! The base is usually chickpeas (garbanzo beans) but many hummus varieties use other beans instead.
I have a few that I am excited for you to try (please note that these do not contain tahini):
Here are some that I’m anxious to try myself:
- Classic hummus with tahini
- Instant Pot hummus
- Black Eyed Peas hummus
- Green Goddess hummus
- Caramelized Onion hummus
What do you do with all this hummus, now that you know how to store it properly?
Hummus is most famously used as a dip for raw vegetables, pita bread, chips, breadsticks, or crackers. You can also use it as a condiment for your sandwich or wrap, making it a healthy replacement for mayonnaise. You can even make a refreshing hummus pasta salad!
So now you know how long hummus can last in your fridge, freezer, or on the table. And how to make your own fabulous version at home.
But the most important question remains: how long does hummus last on your plate?
More "How long does it last?" resources
- Does coconut oil go bad?
- Does nutritional yeast go bad?
- How long does quinoa last in the fridge?
- Does tofu go bad?
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