Say it with us: Fake it. Don't make it.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

Out of all the party dips—like spinach-artichoke, buffalo chicken, or retro seven-layer—hummus doesn't get much attention. The Mediterranean dip made from chickpeas is easily overlooked and seen as more of a weekday snack than appetizer spread standout. Creamy, crowd-pleasing, and generally easy, hummus actually makes the perfect appetizer for families or gatherings that need just a munch before the main course. 

Making homemade crab dip from scratch is nice and all, but what happens when you don't have time to make an elaborate baked dip for more casual drop-in company? Say it with us: Fake it. Don't make it. You don't actually need to take out the food processor to whip up a hummus appetizer that looks and tastes sneakily so much fancier than it was just seconds ago. Carrot sticks and pita wedges be darned. 

Smoky Field Pea Hummus

One of our favorite party hacks is to take a plain container of classic hummus from the grocery store and dress it up enough to be fit for a soirée. All you need is your spice cabinet and a couple snazzy accouterments of your choice, of which we'll give plenty of easy examples below.

First things first, get rid of that eyesore of a plastic container. If you can't do anything, at least dump it all in a nice-looking shallow bowl. Next, enhance the blank slate of flavor with a few squeezes of lemon juice, a sprinkling of garlic salt, a turn of freshly cracked pepper, a heavy-handed sprinkle of paprika, and a generous drizzle of your nicest olive oil. Bonus points if you have an herby olive oil on hand with a little color to it.

At this point, you're in the clear. By all accounts, this is a delicious bowl of homemade-tasting hummus. But for the overachievers out there, you can add on one or two more gussied-up accouterments. 

Roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes spooned generously into the center give a pop of color, while a swirl of pesto packs a flavorful punch (skip the garlic salt and olive oil if going this route). You can roast a whole head of garlic and drop a few whole-roasted garlic cloves over the top of the finished hummus, or even sauté rinsed canned chickpeas in olive oil, seasonings, and parsley to place over the top for a more jazzy display. 

If you need to make one container of hummus seem like more, simply whip a big scoop or two of Greek yogurt into the hummus before dressing it up for a heartier portion with tangy fluffiness. When we say the possibilities are infinite, we aren't lying. Once you learn these simple tricks, you won't ever have to feel stressed to make a time-intensive appetizer on the fly ever again. Consider your time thoughtfully not wasted—and deliciously so at that. 

Hot Tip: While Sabra and other popular brands work just fine, we're also big fans of the already more homemade-tasting Ithaca brand found at most grocery stores. Just make sure to get classic or plain, no matter the brand! 

Now that you're set with dozens of dip opportunities, make sure to have a signature porch cocktail to pair with them.