No-Bean Paleo Hummus

I have actually bewailed the lack of hummus in my Paleo life before. I used to practically live on the stuff. Not only did I consider it healthy, I just adored the flavor. When I realized that I had to give up eating beans, pretty much my first thought was, “oh, no, not the hummus!”. I actually put off my mission to make Paleo hummus for quite some time, adamant in my mind that NOTHING could even come close. Man, am I kicking myself now!

No Bean Hummus #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

When I was in the process of making this dairy & egg free “almost Ranch”, I found myself blending soaked raw cashews into a paste as a thickener for the coconut milk based dressing. That’s when I realized, “it looks like hummus!”. Unfortunately, it really did not taste like hummus. But by now I was all geared up for a Paleo hummus experiment, former negativity be damned!

No Bean Hummus #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

How to make your own Paleo Hummus

First you will need to soak your raw cashews. I do this by putting them in a bowl and covering them with filtered water and leaving them in the fridge overnight. I’ve also run across recipes that call for soaking the cashews for only about 2 – 3 hours. The soaking is partially to get rid of the phytic acid and partially because it will soften the cashews so that they are much easier to blend. However long you choose to soak the cashews for your Paleo hummus, make sure to rinse them well and then drain them.

To make the actual hummus, use a food processor or mini food processor to blend together your raw soaked cashews, tahini and garlic. This will be a very thick paste, a little thicker than the image above. Next add the lemon juice, olive oil & seasoning. Give that another quick whiz together. Now you’re going to want to add the coconut milk until it reaches the consistency you like. I personally like my Paleo hummus using about 1/4 cup of coconut milk, but others like it thinner, so when making this for the first time you may want to add the coconut milk a little at a time. Now just give everything a final blend together and – lookit! – you have Paleo hummus! This is so close to the texture of real hummus that I positively “squee’d” with joy! It’s creamy and dippable just like the bean-based original and has all the right flavors: nuttiness from the tahini, tang from the lemon juice & a little extra oomph from the fresh garlic. Play around with the measurements of those things to really customize this Paleo hummus to your taste! I like to drizzle mine with a little extra olive oil and sprinkle on some smoked paprika before serving.

No Bean Hummus #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan

A note on storage: if you keep this in the fridge, it will thicken up (like anything with coconut milk in it) and become less smooth. Let it come to room temperature before serving and all will be well!

This recipe is suitable for the Whole 30 but NOT for Autoimmune Paleo.


No Bean Hummus

This Paleo hummus replaces the traditional garbanzo beans with raw, soaked cashews. All the flavors of traditional hummus, made creamier with coconut milk.

  • Author: Rachael Bryant / Meatified
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x



Optional, to serve:


  1. Add the raw soaked cashews, tahini and garlic cloves to a food processor or mini food processor and blend until the mixture is a thick paste.
  2. Add the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, fine sea salt and cumin. Add the coconut milk a little at a time until desired consistency is reached.

To serve:

  1. Spoon the hummus onto a plate or into a bowl. Drizzle with extra olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika to finish.


This recipe is Whole 30 compliant, but NOT suitable for Autoimmune Paleo.

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No Bean Hummus #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #vegetarian #vegan


    1. I’ve seen it claimed as a nut, a seed AND a legume in various places across the internet. A cashew is the seed of the cashew apple, even though the are called cashew “nuts” and are treated in cooking as a nut. According to the definition, a legume is either a member of the botanical family “Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant”. Given that a cashew apple is in the botanical family Anacardiaceae, I don’t believe cashew “nuts” qualify as legumes.

      Mark Sisson writes about why he considers cashews ok to eat in small amounts and even then only once they have been soaked to remove phytic acid. The phytic acid thing is pretty interesting. There doesn’t seem to be too much of an emphasis on soaking nuts in general before eating, which is strange when you consider that almonds (the love child of the Paleo world!) have 68.5% of the phytic acid per 100g serving of cashews.

      In short: I eat cashews pretty rarely and as a treat, even though broadly speaking I consider them Paleo. They are also approved by the Whole30 folks, I believe. Thanks for the question! 🙂

      1. Cashews are nuts in the culinary sense and seeds from a taxonomy standpoint. They aren’t legumes. They do have a high phytic acid content, as do almonds and sesame seeds. However, what you’re chiefly trying to remove by soaking or roasting is actually urushiol. Urushiol is the same toxin found in poison ivy which, not coincidentally, is also a member of the Anacardiaceae family cashews belong to along with poison sumac and mango (the leaves of the mango tree, as well as skin and seeds of the fruit cause severe allergic reactions similar to poison ivy in some people.). The shell of the cashew seed is toxic to the touch (urushiol, again) and causes poison ivy-like outbreaks, which is why you cannot purchase in-shell cashews. Almonds are in the Rosaceae family, genus Prunus, a family that includes cherries, plums, nectarines, roses, strawberries, apples, quince, blackberrries, raspberries, juneberries, etc. they do not contain urushiol, and so do not require soaking before consumption the same way cashews do.

        1. Oooh, I knew about cashew seed shells and mangos, but never realized it was the same substance causing the irritation / reactions, so thank you, I learned something from your comment 🙂

    2. I am inclined to think that cashews are not legumes. My rationale for that? I am allergic to legumes. I cannot eat peanuts, pistachios, soy or any other beans. I can however have nuts and cashews.
      Just my two cents added.

      1. You’re right, they’re the seeds of the cashew apple and come from a completely different botanical family, compared to legumes 🙂

  1. Interesting. I’ve seen paleo hummus made from cauliflower but never cashews. Although since I’ve tried to limit my nut intake, and since I can normally devour an entire tub of hummus in one sitting, this recipe might not be the safest choice for me…Then again, it looks awesome!

    1. Hummus is pretty addictive, it is true. But then again, we got 6 servings out of this batch and it uses 1 cup of cashews, so it’s not completely terrible in terms of the amount of nuts in it. Maybe make a half batch? I definitely save this as an occasional treat, that’s for sure!

  2. Sounds wonderful! I make a hummus with cauliflower that’s pretty good, but I’d definitely like to try this cashew-based version. Thanks!

    1. I find this one closer in texture than the cauliflower versions – let me know how yours turns out 🙂

    1. They definitely give the right texture, but I’m not sure that it really tastes “cashewy”. Yup, that’s the word. It’s really good, though, I just finished up that batch and am contemplating making another one haha! 🙂

  3. I also make cashew hummus and ‘stumbled’ on the idea in much the same way as you…” hey those blended cashews look very hummusy!!” I love it too but have to make in small batches cos I could eat the lot in one sitting too! Enjoying looking over your blog. I use blogger for mine..yours is far more attractive..what site did you use? Or is this a custom website blog thingy! 🙂

    1. I love having an excuse to make it when non-Paleo peeps are at my house, though! I’ve never used blogger, this site runs on a WordPress theme – I keep meaning to make it look pretty but never quite find the time!

  4. This is unbelievable! Oh lordy, I used to live off hummus as a vegan/vegetarian. Daily. It’s one of the things I miss the most (even over pizza!) Three years into this lovely adventure of eating, I still have yet to find a paleo-friendly recipe that I like…thanks for the recipe!

    1. ME TOOOOOOOOO! Next I want to figure out a bean free falafel. Don’t know if it’s possible, but I’m totally willing to try!

  5. I stumbled upon this blog while googling ‘paleo hummus’ and just had to giggle at the plate you used. I have the same one and use it often for my food photography – and dinners – as well. Great taste!

    1. I love that plate! 🙂 I hate the whole “white plates rule” that seems so common everywhere in food photos! But then again, I think I have a problem with buying too many plates…

  6. hmm this looks really good. I may just have to try this even though I have no dietary reason to not eat chickpeas.

    1. It’s more creamy than the usual chickpeas, I find. You can also use raw zucchini, which sounds NUTS, but does work. It turns out a little thinner, though.

  7. Hi, there! I am in the “exploration” phase of considering eating Paleo, and stumbled upon this recipe (I, too, LOVE hummus and am sad at the prospect of saying goodbye to it)… I happen to have oral allergy syndrome, however, which means I am allergic to certain raw fruits, vegetables and nuts (I can eat anything as long as it’s cooked in some way!). Do you think this recipe would work with roasted cashews? Otherwise this recipe is out for me, as I cannot eat raw cashews, unfortunately 🙁


    1. I think roasted cashews would give too much of an overpowering flavor. Could you perhaps soak them and then dehydrate the cashews? That might get around the raw issue without actually roasting them.

    1. I went with roasted red peppers and smoked paprika here! 🙂

  8. Just made this and brought to a party last night. It was a huge hit with everyone! It has the most authentic hummus texture and taste. The only problem with this recipe is the potential to eat too much of it in one sitting! I ended up need more than the coconut milk called for – I just kept adding a bit at a time until I was happy with the consistency.

    1. Awww, this made me do a little happy dance in my blogging chair 🙂
      I have to admit that I hear you on it’s dangerous properties! Glad you could get the consistency to suit you – thanks for stopping by to let me know!

  9. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for replacement of the cashews, as I am allergic! 🙁 But I REALLY want to try this…maybe with pecans or almonds?… I don’t know.

    1. I’m not sure about the pecans or almonds, I think they’ll come out too nutty. You *might* be able to use raw sunflower seeds, but I haven’t tried that. I’d recommend you take a peek at my nut-free version of “hummus” here, just skipping the cilantro and subbing lemon for the lime 🙂

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  12. THIS IS DELICIOUS. I have been eating Paleo for about 3 months and I am a bit burned out on califlower. This is a perfect alternative. I had it with crisp red peppers and a bowl of soup on the side for lunch. Perfect!

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