Sesame-Free Hummus

sesame-free hummus

Sesame-free hummus

My father is violently allergic to sesame seeds. When I was a kid, my brother and I — well, I like to think it was mostly me — would sit at the kitchen table, scanning the bottoms of bagels for hitchhiking sesame seeds. We knew from ugly experience that eating even one sesame seed could send my father into scary gagging spasms.

Back then, it was a highly unusual allergy — whoever heard of being allergic to tiny sesame seeds?! Recently, however, I started hearing of more kids being diagnosed with sesame allergy. One doctor even called it the new “hot” allergy.

I wrote a story about the increase in sesame allergy for the June/July issue of Living Without, a national allergy magazine. If you’re not familiar with Living Without, it’s a great resource for people with food allergies and sensitivities, especially for those on a gluten-free diet. The story included my recipe for sesame-free hummus, which is also naturally gluten-free.  

Not that Dad would eat hummus anyway, even if I swore up and down that it was sesame-free. But my husband and kids eat hummus, so I made it for them and served it with gluten-free pitas from Rose’s Wheat-Free Bakery. (FYI, Rose’s pitas are flat; they do not open like pocket pitas.) We were grilling out that day, so we brushed the gluten-free pitas with olive oil and heated them briefly on the grill — perfection!

Sesame-Free Hummus

By Gluten-Free Nosh
(gluten-free, sesame-free, dairy-free)
printable recipe

Recipe originally printed in the June/July 2010 issue of Living Without magazine.

Most hummus contains tahini, a sesame butter. This allergy-friendly dip is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that can be whipped up in less than five minutes. Serve it with gluten-free pita bread, chips or veggies.


    1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    ¼ cup water
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Dash paprika, for garnish


    1. In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt and oil. Process for 2 full minutes, until mixture is smooth and creamy.
    2. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with dash of paprika.

Yield: 1 cup



Filed under appetizers, Recipes

3 responses to “Sesame-Free Hummus

  1. Rose

    I meant to say I love this recipe as I am allergic to nuts and sesame seeds. Thanks for posting.


  2. Kurgan Nazzir

    I just read your article about your father’s sesame allergy while, once again, doing research. I am also allergic to sesame and for me, it began when I was 22. It took me 6 years to figure out what was going on because I didn’t always have a reaction to sesame in the beginning. Now I try to always read ingredients but one time I didn’t and I ate a candy bar that had sesame oil; that was my first and last reaction to sesame oil because there’s no way I’ll make that mistake again.

    One thing I recently saw that had me very excited was a food product that had a sesame seed allergy warning because of possible cross-contamination. I have never before seen a warning for sesame and I was so pleased that I wrote to the company and thanked them.

    I may be much younger than your father, but I’m also glad to find sesame allergy is actually more common than people realize because I sure never heard of it until it happened to me. Thank you for the article.


    • Kurgan,
      Thanks for your note! Canadian food products carry an allergy warning for sesame, and sometimes we get those products here (like my favorite Glutino gluten-free pretzels). I always appreciate clear labeling for allergens. I’m glad, too, that awareness is increasing for sesame allergy. That makes it much easier for those with the allergy.

      Happy and safe eating!


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