Loaded zucchini hummus is a fun way to use up summer’s surplus of seasonal zucchini! Blend chargrilled zucchini into a garlicky hummus recipe, and top with a chopped Mediterranean salad of cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, Kalamata olives and dill in a lemon-olive oil dressing! Perfect served with toasted pita.
A few years ago, my husband was on a green office space committee at work, and as part of that, they planted a community garden. Whoever was in charge of buying the plants overbought zucchini, and the hubs, never one to turn down free stuff, offered to take the baby zucchini plants home.
Although I told him that zucchini gets REALLY big and produces a TON of vegetables, he decided to test that theory by planting ALL 16 zucchini plants in our backyard. We have a big backyard, but guys, it was completely dominated by zucchini! I would have to go out and harvest every single day, and if I skipped a day, I’d go out to find zucchini the size of my forearm! We had so much zucchini, basically everyone we knew and all my clients were getting giant take home bags of it.
That summer we got real creative with zucchini recipes. I discovered with my summer spaghetti that zoodles are actually enjoyable when you toss them with noodles. We brought my grilled Mexican zucchini boats to every single potluck/pool party/barbecue. We made this recipe for zucchini fritters in tomato sauce pretty much every week until our zucchini ran dry. And we mixed zucchini into basically everything, including hummus - and that’s how we got this recipe!
While it’s an easy thing to make a tub of hummus and pita chips a meal, this recipe for loaded zucchini hummus turns it into an actual balanced meal, by filling the zucchini hummus with a chopped salad, plus feta and chickpeas for more protein. Serve it with toasted pita for scooping!
While loaded hummus seems like a creation specifically designed for instagram, variations of it are actually pretty common in the Middle East. I first had loaded hummus almost 7 years ago on a trip to Turkey. It was topped with spicy lamb sausage and eggplant tomato sauce, and I honestly dream about it to this day. Loaded hummus is also a really popular Israeli dish, and there’s a few recipes in one of my favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem (affiliate link). There also used to be this incredible hummus stand at Chelsea Market in NYC that sold loaded hummus with the most perfect pita bread!
How to Make Zucchini Hummus
This zucchini hummus is made by blending chargrilled zucchini into a basic hummus recipe. It gives it a really light and creamy texture and smoky flavor. I also love the pop of green!
To grill the zucchini, cut it into 4 planks lengthwise, toss with a bit of oil to prevent sticking and season with salt and pepper. Grill about 4ish minutes per side until the zucchini is tender and well-marked. Then you’ll blend the gilled zucchini with tahini, canned chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and a bit of olive oil, plus herbs for freshness, and a bit of cumin to make it more smoky. If you have some extra time, pick the skins off the chickpeas, which will make your hummus extra smooth! It’s incredible if you have the patience for it, but I usually don’t ;)
Loaded Hummus Ideas
I love to use other people’s recipes as a template for getting creative, and I hope you’ll do that with my recipes too! Feel free to use this loaded zucchini hummus for inspiration for more loaded hummus dinners. Here’s a few ideas:
Double up the zucchini and fill it with my easy spicy turkey-zucchini meatballs in roasted red pepper sauce! Or try these lentil meatballs for a vegetarian version.
It’s also great served with falafel, like my baked green falafel, or save time using Trader Joe’s frozen falafel.
One of my favorite lunch spots in Columbia serves their creamy hummus bowls filled with roasted carrots. It would be delish with my recipe for roasted carrots with tahini, black olives and almonds.
Hummus can also serve as a bed for sauteed vegetables, like this recipe for lemon pepper sauteed summer veggies.
Serve topped with pesto and sun-dried tomato chicken roulades.
Loaded Zucchini Hummus
1 large zucchini, cut into 4 planks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1/4th a lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 large cucumber, seeded and diced
3/4 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 large radishes, diced
1/4 large red onion, diced
1/3 cup kalamata olives, halved
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Juice of 1/4th a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta
Chopped fresh herbs (try dill, parsley and/or mint)
Warmed pita bread
First, make the zucchini hummus. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Toss the zucchini with a teaspoon of olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Place zucchini on the grill, and cook 4-5 minutes per side until tender and well-marked. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
Place chickpeas, tahini, parsley, lemon, garlic and cumin in the food processor. Chop the zucchini and add to the food processor. Blend, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, until hummus is smooth and creamy. Blend in olive oil and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Set hummus aside while preparing chopped salad.
Toss cucumber, cherry tomatoes, radish, red onion, chickpeas and dill together in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, season with salt and black pepper, and stir to coat. Gently toss in crumbled feta.
Scoop hummus onto a plate with a large spoon. Using the back end of the spoon, spread it around the plate, forming a well in the center. Add a scoop of chopped salad to the well. Garnish with herbs, smoked paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with warmed pita.