Simple Muhammara Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts)

5 from 23 votes
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How to make simple, delicious muhammara dip, spread, or sauce with just a handful of ingredients – this smokey, sweet, savory, very lightly spiced roasted red pepper dip with walnuts is the perfect mezze, appetizer, or side and is packed with flavor and nutrients! Plus, this Arabic dip is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, and naturally vegan!

Homemade healthy Muhammara dip (roasted red pepper dip)

On days when I’m not inhaling hummus (or flavored varieties like beet hummus or pumpkin hummus), this muhammara dip (aka roasted red pepper dip with walnuts and pomegranate molasses) is one of my favorite simple options to prepare. It’s packed with flavor, simple to prepare, and can be served as part of a mezze platter, as an appetizer with pita chips or pita bread, a dip, spread, or even sauce!

Even better, this muhammara recipe requires just 9 ingredients and two simple steps. First, roast the peppers, and then chuck everything in a food processor or blender and process to your desired consistency. Finally, serve with your favorite garnishes (I love adding extra pomegranate kernels or pomegranate molasses and crushed walnuts with parsley).

You might also enjoy this red pepper hummus, eggplant red pepper dip (Ajvar), or roasted red pepper pasta sauce!

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What is Muhammara?

Muhammara (also called muhamara/mhammara) is a popular Mediterranean/ Turkish/Middle Eastern dip. It originated from Aleppo in Syria – named after the Arabic word “Ahmar,” which means “red”. That’s thanks to the vibrant red color of this roasted red pepper and walnut dip.

Homemade healthy Muhammara dip (roasted red pepper dip)

This simple dip traditionally uses a combination of roasted red peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and spices. However, this version is the Lebanese muhammara recipe I was used to as a child. It is breadcrumb-free (so naturally gluten-free). I’ve also used a combination of walnuts and almonds with pomegranate molasses to add a sweet and tangy depth of flavor.

Thanks to the combination of ingredients, this roasted red pepper walnut dip is also highly nutrient-dense. It’s packed with vitamin and antioxidant-rich peppers, omega-3 rich walnuts, and protein-dense walnuts. Best of all, this muhammara recipe requires just two simple steps. So let’s jump right in!

The Lebanese Muhammara Dip Ingredients

  • Red peppers: you can use regular large red bell peppers or other mild red peppers. I used long thin red peppers from my local market.
  • Nuts: I used a combination of raw walnuts and almonds in this roasted red pepper dip. Feel free just to use walnuts if preferred, though.
  • Lemon: use fresh lemon for the best flavor.
  • Spices: this Middle Eastern red pepper dip uses a combination of ground cumin, salt, chili powder (or cayenne pepper- adjust to taste), and smoked paprika (optional).
  • Garlic: while technically optional, I love the addition of fresh garlic cloves in this dip. Use garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Olive oil: I recommend using high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best results.
  • Pomegranate molasses: pomegranate molasses adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the red pepper walnut dip. I usually use homemade unsweetened pomegranate molasses (made simply with pomegranate juice – you can add a little sweetener if preferred). With store-bought molasses, you run the risk of it being overly sweet, so use with caution.
  • Garnish: (optional) you can decorate this Arabic dip with fresh parsley, extra chopped walnuts, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, or extra-virgin olive oil, pomegranate seeds, or even a pinch of red pepper/Aleppo flakes.
Ingredients for muhammara

Optional Add-ins and Variations

  • Aleppo chili flakes: adding 2-3 tsp of Aleppo pepper flakes helps to add a ton of depth to the vegan roasted red pepper dip – with a sweet, slightly spicy flavor (milder than the red pepper flakes we get in the UK). You may want to decrease the amount of chili powder used as well.
  • Red pepper paste: this is available in most Mediterranean/Middle eastern stores (often in the Turkish section) and can provide depth to the roasted red pepper flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs: I usually keep this roasted red pepper dip naturally gluten-free and leave out breadcrumbs. However, if you want to add more texture/body, combine the crushed nuts with dried breadcrumbs (about 2-3 Tbsp, use GF if preferred).
  • Sumac: a pinch of sumac can add extra tang to the red pepper and walnut dip.

How to Make Muhammara Dip? (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

If you plan to use homemade pomegranate molasses, you’ll first need to prepare that (set aside 30 minutes to do so).

Step 1: Prepare the peppers

First, preheat the oven to 430ºF/22ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Then, wash and halve the peppers lengthwise, removing the seeds (and optionally the stalks).

Transfer the peppers, skin-side up (inner side down) to the baking tray. Then, roast them for 12-15 minutes until softened and beginning to char. The aim is for plenty of charring without the skin becoming completely blackened.

Steps for roasting red peppers

After roasting the peppers, immediately transfer the peppers to either a glass jar or bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap/a plate. Leave them to steam for 10 minutes. Not only will this make removing the skin super simple, but the smoky flavor will infuse the peppers more.

Then, peel the skins from the peppers and discard them.

Step 2: Process the muhammara dip

Add the walnuts and almonds to your food processor or blender and process to a chunky crumb consistency. Then, add all the spices and pulse a few times to combine.

Be careful not to over-blend the nuts; otherwise, they can begin turning into nut butter.

Steps for blending muhammara dip

Next, transfer the peppers and all remaining ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses) to the processor and process until you achieve your desired texture. I like mine to be slightly chunky with texture, though you can make it more smooth and hummus-like if preferred.

This usually takes between 1 -2 minutes to blend into the perfect consistency.

Finally, taste the muhammara and adjust the spices, lemon juice, or pomegranate molasses to personal taste.

Homemade Muhammara mix

How to Store Muhammara Sauce

Make ahead: If you can, I recommend preparing this roasted red pepper dip a day in advance. That way, it has time for the flavors to meld overnight and tastes even better on day two!

Store: Allow the roasted red pepper spread to cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for between 3-4 days.

I recommend allowing the dip to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving as it tastes best (in my opinion) at room temperature.

Can you freeze muhammara dip? Absolutely. Transfer the dip to an airtight freezer-safe container or portion into a large ice-cube tray (freeze until solid, then transfer to a Ziplock bag/container)—store for up to one month. Then, leave the muhammara dip to thaw in the refrigerator before mixing well and enjoying!

Homemade healthy Muhammara dip ( roasted red pepper dip)

How to Serve?

You can enjoy this as a muhammara dip, muhammara spread, or muhammara sauce – meaning there are several ways to enjoy this versatile roasted red pepper walnut dip.

  • Bread to dip: You can serve with pita chips/ pita bread, crackers, pretzels, simit, flatbread (like garlic naan or manakish).
  • With vegetables: Use as a dip with fresh celery, cucumber, and carrot sticks.
  • Spread over bread: Alternatively, you can use this muhammara as a tasty sandwich spread, in grilled cheese, and wraps (or using this tortilla trend).
  • Muhammara sauce: I like to use this red pepper pomegranate walnut dip similarly to pesto as a simple sauce for pasta and zoodles. You can even thin it out and use it as a salad dressing.
  • With protein: You can also dollop the muhammara sauce overcooked fish, chicken, or even tofu.
Homemade healthy Muhammara dip (roasted red pepper dip)

You can also enjoy this roasted red pepper walnut dip as part of a mezze platter with other dips and dishes like falafel, tabbouleh (or lentil tabbouleh), fatteh, Middle Eastern Vegan Chickpea Salad (Balela Salad), moutabal, and more!

FAQs

Can I make muhammara without a blender/food processor?

Yes, though it will undoubtedly take a bit of arm power (and the results will be far ‘looser.’ First, you’ll need to crush the nuts (place them in a Ziplock bag and use something like a rolling pin to manually crush them to a crumb consistency). Then transfer all the ingredients to a mortar and pestle and ‘crush’ the peppers and ingredients into a loose muhammara dip.

Can I make muhammara dip without nuts?

You could try this recipe with a seed instead, like sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or possibly hemp seeds (shelled- and only added towards the end as they don’t need to be ‘broken down the same way as the other seeds)- or a combination of the two. However, the flavor will vary.

Can I use toasted walnuts?

I have never tried – but feel free to experiment. It should taste great and add extra depth to the vegan roasted red pepper dip. To do so, add the nuts to a dry pan and toast on medium heat until fragrant, stirring often. You can do the same with the bread crumbs if using some.

Can I use jarred roasted peppers?

This may risk becoming quite a ‘watery’ dip (And jarred peppers sometimes aren’t as flavorful). However, it should work. If using jarred whole peppers, then use the same amount (3 whole peppers) and pat dry with a paper towel before blending.

Can I substitute the pomegranate molasses?

You could potentially substitute the molasses with a similar cranberry juice molasses (add 1/2 cup to a saucepan and simmer until reduced by ½ or 1/3 and easily coats the back of a spoon). This will mimic the sweet and tangy flavor of pomegranate molasses. Some suggest a lemon juice/maple syrup combination, but I haven’t tried that, so I can’t guarantee results.

Homemade healthy Muhammara dip (roasted red pepper dip)

Recipe Notes and Top Tips

  • The nuts you use: I like to use a combination of walnuts and almonds, but feel free just to use walnuts.
  • Season in increments: Everyone’s tastes are different, so it can be a good idea to add half the amount of lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and spices to begin with. Then increase gradually to taste.
  • For extra texture: After blitzing the nuts to a thick crumb, you can remove some from the processor/blender. Then stir them back into the red pepper walnut dip at the end for a chunkier texture/crunch.
  • Experiment with red peppers: I’ve made this roasted red pepper spread with various mild red peppers, always with excellent results. This recipe is quite forgiving as to the exact weight of peppers used – so use personal judgment. You can also add the pepper in increments to the blender/processor until you like the taste.
  • If the muhammara dip is too thick/thin: If it’s too thick, add an extra tablespoon of olive oil. If it’s too thin, then a tablespoon of breadcrumbs could help bring it to the correct consistency.

More Simple Dip Recipes

If you try this simple Lebanese muhammara recipe (roasted red pepper dip), I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Simple Muhammara Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts)

5 from 23 votes
By: Samira
How to make simple, delicious muhammara dip, spread, or sauce with just a handful of ingredients – this smokey, sweet, savory, very lightly spiced roasted red pepper dip with walnuts is the perfect mezze, appetizer, or side and is packed with flavor and nutrients! Plus, this Arabic dip is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, and naturally vegan!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 red peppers bell peppers or other mild red pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts raw or toasted (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup almonds raw or toasted (unsalted); or omit and use all walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves adjust the amount to personal taste
  • 1 lemon juiced (2-3 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses I use homemade unsweetened. Adjust the amount if using store-bought.
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder

Check the Recipe Notes below for optional add-ins and variations!

Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the peppers

  • Preheat the oven to 430ºF/220ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Wash and halve the peppers lengthwise, removing the seeds (and optionally the stalks).
  • Transfer the peppers, skin-side up (inner side down) to the baking tray and roast for 12-15 minutes until softened and beginning to char. The aim is for plenty of charring without the skin becoming completely blackened.
  • After roasting the peppers, immediately transfer the peppers to either a glass jar or bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap or a plate and leave to steam for 10 minutes. Not only will this make removing the skin super simple, but the smoky flavor will infuse the peppers more.
    Then, peel the skins from the peppers and discard them.

Step 2: Process the muhammara dip

  • Add the walnuts and almonds to your food processor or blender and process to a chunky crumb consistency. Then, add all the spices and pulse a few times to combine.
    Be careful not to over-blend the nuts; otherwise, they can begin turning into nut butter.
  • Transfer the peppers and all remaining ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses) to the processor and process until you achieve your desired texture. I like mine to be slightly chunky with texture, though you can make it more smooth and hummus-like if preferred.
    This usually takes between 1 -2 minutes to blend into the perfect consistency.
    Finally, taste the muhammara and adjust the spices, lemon juice, or pomegranate molasses to personal taste.

How to Store

  • Make ahead: if you can, I recommend preparing this roasted red pepper dip a day in advance. That way, it has time for the flavors to meld overnight and tastes even better on day two!
    Store: allow the roasted red pepper spread to cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for between 3-4 days.
    I recommend allowing the dip to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving as it tastes best (in my opinion) at room temperature. 
    Can you freeze muhammara dip? Absolutely. Transfer the dip to an airtight freezer-safe container or portion into a large ice-cube tray (freeze until solid, then transfer to a Ziplock bag/container) – store for up to one month. Then, leave the muhammara dip to thaw in the refrigerator before mixing well and enjoying!

Video

Notes

  • The nuts you use: I like to use a combination of walnuts and almonds, but feel free just to use walnuts.
  • Season in increments: everyone’s tastes are different, so it can be a good idea to add half the amount of lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and spices, to begin with, then increase gradually to taste.
  • For extra texture: after blitzing the nuts to a thick crumb, you can remove some from the processor/blender and stir them back into the red pepper walnut dip at the end for a chunkier texture/crunch.
  • Experiment with red peppers: I’ve made this roasted red pepper spread with various mild red peppers, always with excellent results. This recipe is quite forgiving as to the exact weight of peppers used – so when trying with new peppers, use personal judgment. You can also add the pepper in increments to the blender/processor until you like the taste.
  • If the muhammara dip is too thick/thin: if it’s too thick, add an extra tablespoon of olive oil. If it’s too thin, then a tablespoon of breadcrumbs could help bring it to the correct consistency.
 
Optional add-ins and variations:
  • Aleppo chili flakes: adding 2-3 tsp of Aleppo chili flakes helps to add a ton of depth to the vegan roasted red pepper dip – with a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. You may want to decrease the amount of chili powder used as well.
  • Red pepper paste: this is available in most Mediterranean/Middle eastern stores (often in the Turkish section) and can provide depth to the roasted red pepper flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs: I usually keep this roasted red pepper dip naturally gluten-free and leave out breadcrumbs. However, if you want to add more texture and body to the dip, combine the crushed nuts with dried breadcrumbs (about 2-3 Tbsp, use GF if preferred).
  • Sumac: a pinch of sumac can add an extra tang to the red pepper and walnut dip.
 
Check the blog post for more tips, serving suggestions, and answers to top FAQs!
Course: Appetizer, Side, Snack
Cuisine: Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Turkish
Freezer friendly: 1 Month
Shelf life: 4 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 246mg, Potassium: 299mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2551IU, Vitamin C: 103mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 23 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. Karina Wolff says:

    5 stars
    This is so good! I had a jar of peppers (in vinegar) that I didn’t know what to do with, so I used those and followed the recipe exactly (using only walnuts, no almonds). We put it on toasted baguette. So delicious. Thank you!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Sounds delicious with the peppers in vinegar. Thanks for sharing, Karina!

  2. gloria gallo says:

    5 stars
    Flavorful dip . Easy to make . Gluten free and vegan

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Glad you liked it!

  3. Nadia says:

    5 stars
    Looks great! How’s the taste like?

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Nadia,
      If you like roasted peppers, you would love this recipe, it tastes great 🙂

  4. Elreza says:

    Hi there,

    Just want to make sure, are those red chilli peppers or red bell peppers?

  5. Sisi says:

    Hi! What could I use to replace the molasses? Maple syrup? Sugar?
    Thanks!

    1. AlphaFoodie says:

      Hi Sisi, I would use maple for this recipe. I rather not add any sugar. The molasses I used is homemade without any added sugar just simply from pomegranate and is really great for salad dressings (recipe is on my blog). Hope you like it.