While we at EatingWell are happy to dig into a salad during any season, there’s no denying that summer is peak salad season. So many of our favorite salad stars—like corn, cucumbers, tomatoes and berries—are in their best shape during the summer, right when a cool, crisp salad is the refreshing dinner you need.
The only thing left to decide is exactly how you’ll top and dress your salad—we’re fans of just about everything from creamy Green Goddess Dressing to tangy Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette. If you’ve got a case of salad dressing maker’s block, this super-simple recipe from Joy Bauer will definitely get your creative juices flowing. The dietitian and cookbook author hopped on Instagram this week to share her recipe for hummus salad dressing—and all you’ll need are four ingredients to make it your own.
For this “ultimate hummus hack,” gather your preferred store-bought hummus, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and paprika. Simply combine 1/4 cup of hummus with some water, oil, lemon juice, salt and paprika to create a thinner mixture that still has the creaminess of hummus—but with a little extra citrusy zip—and the consistency to be tossed with your pile of greens and chopped veggies.
Since the base of this dressing isn’t just the standard mayo or buttermilk, but one of our favorite healthy snacks, this salad dressing packs in some extra nutritional benefits. The 1/4 cup of hummus included in this dressing recipe adds 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, according to the USDA. Both protein and fiber can help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, so your al desko lunch has more staying power. Plus, hummus is usually vegan, which means this dressing is luxuriously creamy without any dairy products.
Since this hack uses store-bought hummus, folks who need to be cautious about their heart health may want to cruise the deli case for a hummus with low sodium content. (If you keep homemade hummus around, a recipe like our Garlic Hummus can help you snack wisely, even if you need to keep an eye on your sodium or saturated fat intake.)
Whether you pick up a tub of flavored hummus or some classic, simple fare, you can modify the flavor palate of your dressing when you start thinning it out. Swap the lemon for lime juice, if you happen to have fresh limes on hand, or add citrus zest to level up the flavor. You could even dig into your spice cabinet and add smoky chipotle powder or some freshly cracked black pepper to give the dressing some firepower.
However you put your own spin on this hummus dressing hack, you can’t go wrong drizzling some of this creamy, dreamy dressing over your next bowl of fresh salad greens. Heck, we’ve even been known to add a little hummus dressing to our baked sweet potatoes. Whatever you decide to make, just be sure you save enough hummus for your next batch of salad dressing—we have a feeling you’ll be coming back for more.