I adore hummus, especially as a picnic dip. But what if you want to mix it up a bit or maybe add a seasonal twist to your fall picnic finger food and appetiser repertoire? Smoked pumpkin hummus is the answer.
Actually, smoked pumpkin hummus is the answer any time of year. It’s incredibly creamy, a little sweet and subtly smoky. Of course, you can make it super smokey, but I tend to lean towards the less is more approach when it comes to smoke.
What to Serve With Smoked Pumpkin Hummus
Much like hummus, this smoky pumpkin dip lends itself to mezze plates with roasted vine tomatoes and grilled peppers, anything with pita, focaccia and fresh bread, or even as a side dip to a cheese platter with crostini.
Serve pumpkin hummus as a side to bbq meats with pita and salad. Marinated kebabs are the perfect picnic bbq food for this.
While it may sound strange to have double smoke, making a whole smoked chicken at the same time gives you loads of picnic menu options. Pair the smoky pumpkin hummus with cold-smoked chicken pieces.
The sweetness of the pumpkin and subtle smokiness works wonderfully with the smoked chicken without being too much. Serve with fresh bread and a light yoghurt based coleslaw for an easy and healthy picnic lunch.
How Long Will Pumpkin Hummus Keep
The same as our homemade hummus recipe, pumpkin hummus will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Divide into portion size containers for freezing. Don’t fill the containers all the way to the top as the hummus will expand.
Place the frozen hummus in the fridge the day before if possible to defrost and give a good stir before serving to bring the creaminess back.
How to Make Smoky Pumpkin Hummus
What Pumpkin to Use
Some people will shortcut and use a tin of pumpkin puree (along with smoke flavourings mentioned below). While this is fine if you are really short on time or don’t have the facilities to smoke pumpkin, using fresh pumpkin, smoking and roasting will result in a much better flavour and texture.
For this recipe, I used a small kabocha squash or Jap pumpkin because of its sweet flavour and texture similar to sweet potato. I have also used butternut squash for this recipe for the same reasons. Either is fine.
Getting The Smoked Pumpkin Flavour
Using Smoke Flavourings
It will take some extra time but is very little effort and worthwhile for the resulting flavour and texture of the hummus.
If you must use smoke flavourings, add 1/2 a teaspoon of either to the hummus when blending the pumpkin in. Oven roasting the pumpkin is preferable to puree or boiling as roasting will give more flavour from caramelisation.
Smoking the Pumpkin
Cut the pumpkin in quarters. I leave the skin and seeds as they are easier to remove when cooked. You can also use the smoked pumpkin seed for garnish if you like.
Using a gas bbq with a closing lid, there are two ways you can smoke the pumpkin.
If you don’t have a smoker box, you can also place about half a cup of wood chips into foil and fold it into a packet. Place a small hole in the top of the packet for the smoke to escape and place it on the grill next to the pumpkin with the bbq lid closed.
We recommend this same method for adding smokey flavour to eggplant for making baba ganoush.
Place the quartered pumpkin on the bbq and cook at 275 ℉ | 135 ℃ for about an hour. You can use a basic thermometer probe if your bbq doesn’t have a temperature gauge. As I mentioned, we usually smoke the pumpkin while we are doing a whole smoked chicken so find a thermometer very handy.
A whole smoked chicken is excellent for a picnic lunch of cold chicken pieces and salad or picnic sandwiches such as our fig and chicken baguette where we often use smoked chicken breast to compliment the sweet figs.
After an hour, if your pumpkin is still not soft enough (you want it to be very soft) finish it off in the oven.
If you don’t want too much of a smokey flavour, just a subtle smokiness, pull the pumpkin off earlier, maybe after half an hour, and finish in the oven.
Finishing the pumpkin in the oven also gives the pumpkin some of that lovely caramelisation you get from roasting. All of this will make the hummus even more delicious.
Making the Smoked Pumpkin Hummus
Make Your Base Hummus First
I like to make my base hummus first (recipe below) to get those flavours and textures right first. (Pumpkin recipe instructions to follow below).
See the full post on this easy hummus recipe here for more notes and tips on homemade hummus.
Note: Because the pumpkin is so soft and moist, it will make the consistency a lot wetter than normal hummus, so allow for this when adding liquid to your base hummus – Lean towards the thicker side.
Making Your Hummus into Pumpkin Hummus
- Once the pumpkin is cooked, allow it to cool.
- Remove the seeds and scrape the flesh from the skin.
- Add the pumpkin flesh to your pre-made hummus and blend well.
- Depending on how much hummus you have made will depend on how much pumpkin you will add.
- For the hummus recipe given, I would add half of the whole pumpkin I have smoked. If you don’t want that much pumpkin hummus, half the base hummus recipe and halve the pumpkin again so you have a batch of smoky pumpkin hummus and traditional hummus. The rest of the pumpkin can be used for other dishes – add as an alternative to spiced pumpkin to our pumpkin and quinoa salad, add it to mini frittatas or even make a smoked pumpkin risotto. There is so much you can do with smoked pumpkin.
- Finish as you would any hummus with a good drizzle of olive oil and preferred garnish such as smoked paprika, sesame seeds, smoked pumpkin seeds, or parsley.