Simple Muhammara Dip (Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts)
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!
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!
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 teaspoon 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!