Hummus Crusted Chicken
Hummus Crusted Chicken is the latest episode in my love affair with chickpeas.
I’ve long been a devotee of these peculiarly shaped little beans, to the extent that I once wrote them a sonnet. A versatile and inexpensive source of protein and fiber, chickpeas are a simple way to transform any salad, hash, or veggie burger from a light bite into a filling main event, as well as a critical ingredient to a certain spread that you can always find in my refrigerator: hummus.
Hummus and I became an item the year I graduated college. After a few months in The Real World, I reached the unpleasant conclusion that, despite my fondest wishes and most ardent of attempts, one cannot subsist on scones and brownies alone. I began seeking healthy, approachable snacks and ingredients that would make it easy to bulk up my cooking in a healthy way, and hummus became a staple in my diet. A simple, scrumptious blend of my beloved chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), lemon, garlic, and olive oil, hummus is both absolutely delightful and nutritious too.
Since that first, post-grad year of figuring out what grown ups are supposed to eat, I’ve enjoyed hummus as a fast, wholesome snack and snazzy way to jazz up my sandwiches, but after visiting Sabra’s headquarters and factory in Richmond, Virgina two weeks ago, my appreciation for hummus’ quality and versatility has increased significantly.
I’m not sure if Sabra is taking applications any time soon, but their headquarters has to be one of the most refreshing, energizing offices I’ve ever entered. Every person I met on our tour had a tangible energy for and dedication to their product. From the test kitchen where Sabra is continually developing new flavors (Rosemary Sea Salt and Caramelized Onion are two new favorites of mine),to the factory line where product is closely monitored, controlled, and tested (even the hummus “ripples” are evaluated!), the folks at Sabra truly care about providing their customers a consistent and delectable product.
A few aspects of the tour surprised me. First: how quickly the ingredients enter and leave the factory. In fewer than five hours, the chickpeas, tahini, and other ingredients are processed from their raw form into the final, packaged hummus that’s shipped to your nearest grocery store.
Second: I was surprised by the fact that many Americans still aren’t quite sure how to use hummus and how many uses it has that I myself hadn’t even considered. For those familiar with hummus, an addictive, stuff-your-face-worthy dip is perhaps its most obvious purpose. The folks at Sabra, however, have far bigger imaginations and inspired me to use hummus in new ways, including this baked hummus crusted chicken.
Why I Love This Delicious Hummus Crusted Chicken
Oh my goodness—why have I not been making hummus crusted chicken every Monday night for as long as I’ve been responsible for feeding myself? It’s juicy, it’s healthy, and it takes only five minutes to prep. Many boneless, skinless chicken breast recipes have a nasty habit of being mouth-stickingly dry and undeniably blah, but this hummus crusted chicken is a complete taste palooza. The hummus acts like a super shield, locking in the chicken’s moisture and flavoring it at the same time.
You can use any flavor of hummus you love right out of the tub or take a few moments to stir it together with additional spices. In this version of hummus crusted chicken, I mixed roasted red pepper hummus with cumin and smoked paprika. The resulting dish is sassy, savory, and sporting an edgy Mediterranean flavor. It’s mild enough for kids but tastes interesting and special enough to serve to a table of grown-ups too.
What to Serve with Hummus Chicken
- Salad. Delicious Mediterranean Chickpea Salad would be great paired with this chicken.
- Vegetables. Pair this chicken with Roasted Zucchini for a healthy meal.
- Rice. A side of Moroccan Couscous would be a perfect side dish.
More Tasty Recipes Using Hummus
How do you hummus? If you have any favorite hummus flavors or ways to use it, I’d love to hear about them!
Hummus Crusted Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup hummus, — any flavor (I used roasted red pepper), plus additional for dunking
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Fresh basil — and/or parsley for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a medium-sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, then place the chicken in the pan in a single layer.
- In a small bowl, stir together the hummus, smoked paprika, and cumin. Coat the chicken with the hummus mixture, ensuring that each breast is well covered.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (time will vary depending upon the size of the chicken. Mine were about 9 ounces each and cooked in 22 minutes). Garnish with fresh basil and/or parsley as desired. Serve immediately with additional hummus for dipping.
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