Anytime a large batch of hummus is prepared, there will likely be some leftovers. Hummus can only last so long in the refrigerator, so putting the remaining portion in the freezer seems like the best option. But can you freeze hummus?
You can freeze hummus, and it is a reasonably straightforward process to both freeze and defrost hummus. There are also ways to refresh and spice up thawed-out hummus so that it tastes just as good as it did initially.
In this article, I will explore a few different methods for freezing both homemade and store-bought hummus in detail. I will also discuss the best ways to defrost and restore the hummus to its original quality.
Freezing Hummus: Store-Bought vs. Homemade
The way the hummus freezes will first depend on how it was produced. If it is hummus made from scratch, it will have slightly different ingredients than a pre-packaged container of hummus would.
This will impact the freezing process only slightly but will still make enough of a difference in the quality of the frozen hummus.
Freezing Pre-Made Hummus Purchased from the Store
One positive attribute of pre-packaged hummus purchased from a grocery store is that it is filled with preservatives.
This already provides a massive advantage over homemade hummus because the added preservatives will keep the quality of the hummus higher while frozen. The texture and consistency should generally remain mostly the same when thawed out.
However, an extra step is important to remember when freezing pre-packaged hummus. Store-bought hummus should always be removed from the original container it was purchased in before going into the freezer.
The primary reason for doing this is that the hummus will expand slightly during freezing. If it were kept in its original container, the flimsy grocery store plastic would most likely crack or break as the hummus froze and outgrew the container.
Therefore, when freezing hummus that is not homemade, it should always be transferred from the original container to a solid plastic food storage container.
Freezing Homemade Hummus
If the hummus that is being frozen is made from scratch, the freezing process will be slightly different from that of the store-bought hummus.
Because homemade hummus has only the minimum ingredients required in the recipe, it will not have the added preservatives that hummus purchased from the store does.
The main difference this will have is in the quality of the hummus after it has been defrosted. It will not keep quite as well in the freezer and may come out a bit grainier and drier than the hummus with additives.
The best way to prevent the consistency change during the freezing process is by adding a thin layer of olive oil on top. Olive oil is already one of the main ingredients in most hummus recipes, so it will not change the flavor. It will keep the texture and consistency of the hummus the same.
Homemade hummus should also be frozen in a solid plastic storage container. The container should have some space at the top because, like the store-bought hummus, the homemade product will expand a bit during the freezing process.
Divide the Hummus into Smaller Portions Before Freezing
The following significant question to consider is how much hummus is being frozen at one time. If it is a large batch of homemade hummus or several containers of the store-bought kind, should it be kept all together in one container or split into smaller portions?
Splitting the hummus up can be beneficial because only the amount needed can be thawed, and the rest does not go to waste.
Here are a couple of ways to break the hummus down into smaller portions:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Spread out spoon fulls of hummus around the baking sheet
- Place the baking sheet into the freezer
- Freeze the drops of hummus until solid
- Transfer the solid pieces of hummus to an airtight container
- Place container in the freezer until ready to serve
Additionally, you can use the following method:
- Grab a clean ice cube tray
- Fill the cubes with the leftover hummus
- Freeze the ice cube tray until hummus is solid
- Transfer hummus cubes into a freezer-safe container
- Place the container in the freezer until ready to serve
No matter how the hummus is put into the freezer initially, the final frozen product must be protected inside an airtight storage container. The hummus will probably dry out a bit already during the freezing process, and keeping a lid tightly over it will prevent further damage.
It is also recommended that hummus is not frozen inside a plastic bag, even if it is marketed as being freezer-safe. If the hummus were crushed or pushed around too much inside the bag, it would cause the frozen product to fall apart.
This would make it extremely difficult to defrost and eat as usual afterward.
Proper Ways to Thaw Out Frozen Hummus
Hummus can be frozen for up to four months but should not stay in the freezer longer than that period. Otherwise, it can develop freezer burn and lose its taste.
There are two main recommended ways to defrost it when it comes time to thaw out the frozen hummus.
One method is to simply take the container the hummus is stored in out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator. If this is the chosen method, it should be done at least 24 hours before the hummus will be used or consumed.
The other option is to submerge the container of frozen hummus in cold water. When doing this, the water should be changed every half hour or so to allow it to thaw but stay cool enough to avoid bacterial growth.
This is a good choice for when the frozen hummus will be needed before 24 hours is up. However, the refrigerator method is often preferred because it gives the hummus plenty of time to defrost and return to the proper consistency.
How to Restore the Hummus Flavor Once It’s Thawed
Once the hummus is thawed out completely, it may taste bland or be too dry. There are a few ways to resolve these issues.
The first is to add some more olive oil on top and give the hummus a good stir. This will help add some moisture back into the defrosted hummus and mix the ingredients up again to freshen up the texture.
If it still does not taste like it did when it went into the freezer, adding in any number of herbs, spices, or vegetables can solve that issue. Mixing in herbs like thyme or parsley, spices like cumin or paprika, or vegetables like onions or garlic will bring back some flavor to the thawed hummus.
Properly Freezing Hummus – Final Thoughts
It is absolutely possible to freeze hummus and enjoy it at a later time. Several methods do an excellent job of keeping the hummus as fresh as possible and dressing it up again once it comes out of the freezer, so there is an option for any scenario.