Hummus is a traditional savory Mediterranean dish of chickpeas, tahini paste, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and spices. It’s a great dip for bread, crackers, chips, and vegetables.
Whether you make your own delicious hummus or buy from a store, you may be curious to know, does hummus go bad?
Hummus does go bad, particularly if stored incorrectly. Store-bought hummus lasts around seven to ten days before opening, and a few days less than that once opened.
In spite of featuring many naturally preserving ingredients like lemon, garlic, and sesame (a feature of tahini), hummus doesn’t last as long as you’d imagine.
Hummus Shelf Life
Hummus recipes can vary greatly so there may be a bit of wriggle room in the shelf life of certain products. Recipes that have more lemon juice may last a bit longer than others with less, whereas specialty hummus with inclusions like spinach will spoil more quickly.
The garlic will be the deciding factor. Garlic gets sharper as it ages. While the tahini will go rancid over time, the zing of old garlic will destroy the flavor of hummus long before that.
Store-bought hummus will feature a ‘best by’ date, but generally, you can safely add at least a week to that date.
Home-made hummus lacks the extra preservatives of commercial varieties, so doesn’t last quite as long.
- Store-bought hummus, unopened – this should be good for up to 10 days past the printed date if stored in the fridge. It will stay good indefinitely in the freezer but will decline in taste and quality after six to eight months.
- Store-bought hummus, opened – once opened, consume with four to six days when stored in the fridge.
- Home-made hummus – best used within three to five days stored correctly in the fridge. As with store-bought hummus, it’s should be used within six to eight months if stored in the freezer.
Does Hummus Need To Be Refrigerated?
Hummus should always be refrigerated. Both tahini and garlic get their flavor from oil, and these oils can go rancid at room temperature.
Do not store hummus in a cupboard or leave it at room temperature for more than two hours.
Stored in the fridge, hummus will also get quite stiff and hard to stir after some time. You may notice your hummus relaxes a bit once it reaches room temperature, and many people prefer to let it “warm up” for half an hour before serving, to let the full flavor develop.
To get a few extra days from your hummus, store it in the coldest part of the fridge, away from the door.
How Long Is Hummus Good For After Opening?
Hummus will deteriorate more rapidly after opening, as oxidization creeps along. While it will last longer when stored in an airtight container, you really should eat it within one week of opening, for full freshness and safety.
Drizzling a thin layer of olive oil over the surface of your opened hummus before sealing and storing in the fridge may give you a few extra days; it helps reduce oxidization and keep it nice and moist.
How Long Is Homemade Hummus Good For?
Hummus is super easy to make at home and ensures you are getting super fresh and quality ingredients, as well as being able to tailor the recipe to your tastes.
Many store-brands add extra salt or other preserving ingredients to their hummus to help it last a bit longer.
Homemade hummus should be stored in an airtight container in the coldest part of the fridge, where it should last around five to seven days.
Make sure you always use a clean utensil when scooping out hummus, to avoid contamination and more rapid spoiling.
How To Tell If Hummus Is Bad
Eating spoiled hummus has the potential to make you sick, with the growth of bacteria and mold throughout.
Luckily, it’s easy to tell when hummus is bad by following the steps below.
- Use your nose – rancid tahini and garlic have a very distinctive and unpleasant smell. Fresh hummus has a light aroma. If you detect a sour smell, you should throw away the entire container.
- Check for separation – when hummus starts to turn, the oil will separate from the solids and start to pool. If you see this, it’s time to throw it out.
- Check the texture and color – old hummus will harden and start to change color, becoming darker. It is best not to risk eating it at this point.
- Check for mold – if you spot any areas of mold on the surface of your hummus, you will need to throw away the entire container, as it is likely to have spread throughout the mixture.
Can You Freeze Hummus?
Hummus can easily be frozen in small batches, but the texture may change a bit as it thaws. If you make your hummus with dairy products, be prepared for some separation. This extra liquid can be poured off or blended back in.
Be sure to allow some space at the top of the container; hummus will expand.
Dress hummus with a light coating of olive oil before freezing. If used within four months of freezing, you shouldn’t notice a significant change in flavor. Once it’s been thawed it shouldn’t be refrozen due to the risk of contamination.