Butternut Hommus

Time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yields Makes about 3½ cups
Butternut hommus.
(Photo by Andrea D’Agosto, Food Styling by Caroline Hwang, and Prop Styling by Nia Lee / For The Times)
Print RecipePrint Recipe

There seem to be endless variations on hommus these days, from what gets pureed to what goes on top. I love this version, a take on a classic Lebanese dish of pumpkin with tahini. We make ours with butternut squash — a perfect fall ingredient that’s a little easier to cook with. We also look for kabocha, honeynut, acorn or whatever seasonal squash happens to be at the farmers market in our neighborhood. With no chickpeas in this dish, maybe this is not technically “hommus,” which is Arabic for chickpea, but with its rich creamy flavor from the tahini, I love it all the same. We elevate this dish by garnishing it with za’atar, pepitas (a variety of pumpkin seeds) and intensely nutty pumpkin seed oil. Our photographer, Thomas Schauer, will tell you that the best pumpkin seed oil comes from his native Austria — I agree!

José Andrés spends much of his time contemplating the unifying nature of food, both in and out of the world’s most dangerous conflict and disaster zones.

April 10, 2024

These sauteed shrimp, served in an aromatic sauce of butter with lots of lemon juice and dill, are one of the most popular dishes at José Andrés’ restaurant Zaytinya in Washington, D.C.

April 10, 2024

This flavorful chilled yogurt soup from José Andrés’ cookbook “Zaytinya,” garnished with a spice blend of sumac and rose petals, gets its kick from garlic, onion, lime juice and optional feta brine.

April 10, 2024


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Split the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and reserve the seeds for another use. Season the squash with salt and rub the cut surfaces with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Place the squash cut side up in a roasting pan, then pour ½ cup water into the pan and roast until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool.


Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the squash flesh and put into the bowl of a food processor. Add ½ cup of olive oil and the tahini. Process until you have a nice, fluffy purée, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Add cold water if needed to get the right consistency, then taste and adjust salt to your liking.


To serve, spread the purée in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the crispy pumpkin seeds and za’atar, and drizzle with pumpkin seed oil.


Cover any remaining hommus and refrigerate for up to a week; bring to room temperature before serving.

From “Zaytinya: Delicious Mediterranean Dishes From Greece, Turkey and Lebanon” by José Andrés with Michael Costa (Ecco).