Parties and cookouts of all kinds are on the horizon, and what better party snack to bring than hummus? Specifically, homemade hummus! The original Middle Eastern/Mediterranean dip with hotly contested origin stories simply combines chickpeas, tahini, lemon, salt and garlic to create a creamy, protein-packed spread for serving with all manner of crudité, pita chips or bread of any kind. In the recipes below, we’re deviating just a bit from the script, because this is hummus we’re talking about. And really, hummus can go anywhere you want it to.

Take inspiration from its chickpea form in any direction and find yourself in a world of perfect dips. Here are a few favorites from our archives to get you started.

Carrot Hummus, above. Yes, we understand there are no chickpeas in here! But this is a really great dip! Tahini, lemon, garlic and lovely toasted spices give it warmth and bite. Carrots lend their signature hue and a wee bit of char adds a slight smoky edge.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

Speedy Homemade Hummus. We know, we know. A classic spread needs to be honored with its original ingredients. But we can take a couple of shortcuts to get there, mainly with a can of chickpeas. Whir tahini in a food processor until sufficiently whipped, then dump a can of drained garbanzo beans right in. Five minutes and hummus is ready to go.

(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)

Whipped Hummus. You’ve got the shortcut mastered, so let’s take the slower route. Soaking and cooking the chickpeas yourself gives you more control over salt levels, and a better check on their creaminess. Then, roll them around to loosen and discard as many of their little skins as possible. The result? The most luscious hummus you can imagine.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post)

Beet Hummus. This bright pink hummus is certainly eye-catching. Its flavor doesn’t disappoint: Earthy beets, roasted until their sweetness comes to light and their texture mellows, marry wonderfully with classic flavors of tahini, garlic and lemon. Their electric hue will draw anyone closer.

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Artichoke Hummus. Keep the chickpeas, but this time, swap tahini for artichokes. Smoky spices boost this vegetable dip into a warm and smooth crowd-pleaser.

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