Muhmmara is a Middle Eastern walnut and roasted red pepper dip that’s all sorts of savory, sweet, slightly smoky, and just enough spicy! It is almost a cousin to Spanish romesco sauce. This muhammara recipe is easy to make, and I love serving it with warm pita as part of a Mezze platter, spread it on your sandwiches, or scoop it on top of grilled chicken or fish.

A couple of things make all the difference. Be sure to read through and watch my video below.

Muhammara roasted red pepper and walnut dip in a bowl, topped with walnuts and parsley for garnish

My love for muhammara began a few years ago. I was raving to a friend about roasted red pepper hummus when she asked, “have you tried muhammara yet?”  

She got me going on a muhammara hunt!

I have tried all sorts of it and have been playing around and perfecting this homemade muhammara recipe, which is now a constant on my table.

This is a different kind of red pepper dip–next level delicious. If you’re a fan of flavorful dips and spreads to serve with your veggies or pita, you’ll want to give this one a try. Leftover muhammara is great to spread on your sandwiches or serve with chicken or fish.

What is Muhmmara (or Mouhammara)?

Muhmmara is a hearty walnut and roasted red pepper dip or spread that’s all sorts of savory, sweet, slightly smoky, and just enough spicy!

The word muhammara is from the Arabic word ahmar, which literally means red. This red dip, originally from the Syrian city of Aleppo, this delicious dip made its way from the heart of the Levant to many parts of the world including Europe and the U.S. You may have even seen muhammara jars at the grocery store–word to the wise, make your own!

Muhammara in a bowl with a side of pita bread

What’s in this Muhammara recipe?

To get our heads around just how different and exciting this roasted red pepper dip is, let’s walk through the ingredients and what they each bring:

  • Roasted red peppers– I roast my own here, but you can use store-bought jars of roasted red peppers
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Walnuts (shelled)
  • Bread crumbs- this adds heft and texture giving muhammara a rustic finish
  • Pomegranate Molasses adds a certain acidity, tang and sweetness. In a pinch you can substitute with a mixture of lemon juice and honey.
  • Aleppo pepper distinctly Syrian chili pepper flakes from Aleppo. It is fairly mild and has the sweetness and roundness of the best sun-dried tomatoes you’ll try. Aleppo pepper is also slightly spicy, the heat will build slowly leaving a fruity flavor. Find Aleppo pepper at our online shop here.
  • Other flavor makers (this will vary somewhat from one recipe to another): tomato paste (I like this for added depth and color, but Turkish Red Pepper Paste works here as well), garlic, and sumac (for extra tang), and a little cayenne pepper for more spice.

The more you make muhammara the more you’ll adjust the spices to your liking. If you enjoy hot dips, you can absolutely kick the Aleppo pepper and cayenne up a couple notches.

What can I substitute for Aleppo chili pepper

I’m such a big fan of the sweet, tangy, and just enough spicy Aleppo pepper flakes. You’ve seen me use it in chicken kofta, shrimp and rice, white bean salad, and even on baked eggs. And it’s a key element in muhammara.

Some say you can substitute Aleppo pepper for a bit of ancho chile pepper mixed with a pinch of salt and some cayenne. I cannot personally vouch for how close a substitution that will be.

(Note: check our online shop for all-natural Aleppo-Style Pepper).

What to serve with muhammara?

You will typically find muhammara served as a mezze dish with other dips like baba ganoush and hummus, of course. I also like to add a salad like tabouli, fattoush, or chickpea salad.

Storage

Muhammara will keep in the fridge anywhere from 4 days to one week, if properly stored. Some say you can freeze it, but I haven’t personally tried that, we’ve always been able to wipe that bowl clean! 

My father, who has been to Aleppo, Syria some years ago, speaks of the hospitable culture and the vibrant flavors of the city. I believe this muhammara recipe is just a tiny taste of that.

You may also enjoy our collection of Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here

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4.82 from 188 votes

Muhammara Recipe (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

The Mediterranean Dish
Muhammara roasted red pepper and walnut dip in a bowl, topped with walnuts and parsley for garnish
Muhammara (roasted red pepper and walnut dip) makes the perfect addition to the mezze table next to other favorites like baba ganoush or hummus. Serve it with warm pita bread or pita chips. For a shortcut, feel free to use roasted red peppers from a jar if you don't have time to roast your own peppers.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Serves – 6 people
Course:
Appetizer

Ingredients
  

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
  • 1/4 lb shelled toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Brush the bell peppers with 1 tbsp of olive oil, and place in a lightly oiled oven-safe pan or cast-iron skillet. Roast the peppers in the 425 degrees F heated oven for 30 minutes or so, turning them over once or twice.
    bell peppers roasted in a pan
  • Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap for a few minutes. This traps the steam from the roasted peppers, making them easy to peel. When cool enough to handle, simply peel the peppers, remove the seeds and slice the peppers into small strips.
    roasted peppers sliced into strips
  • Now in the bowl of a large food processor, combine the roasted red pepper strips with 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, garlic, walnuts, tomato paste, bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper, sugar, sumac, salt and cayenne. Blend into a smooth paste.
    muhammara dip in the food processor
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. You may cover the muhammara and refrigerate, but be sure to bring the dip to room temperature before serving.
  • When ready to serve, top the dip with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and garnish with a little more walnuts and fresh parsley, if you like. Serve with pita bread or pita chips. Enjoy!
    Muhammara dip in a bowl. A side of walnuts and pita

Video

Notes

  • Storage: You can refrigerate muhammara in a tight-lid container for 4 days and up to one week. A thin layer of extra virgin olive oil to cover the top of the dip will help preserve it. 
  • Find Aleppo-style pepper here and extra virgin olive oil here. 
  • Visit our Online Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including all-natural and organic spices, extra virgin olive oil and more. 

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 21.5gProtein: 5.5gFat: 22.6gSaturated Fat: 2.6gPotassium: 267.6mgFiber: 3.1gVitamin A: 1511.8IUVitamin C: 52.5mgCalcium: 48.4mgIron: 1.7mg
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This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2016 and has been updated with new information and media for readers’ benefit

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I’m Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I’m all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you’re here…
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4.82 from 188 votes (95 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Denise says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I was looking for something besides my standby harissa to serve with chicken and WOW did I ever hit the jackpot! Made it as written, using fresh bread crumbs, canned piquillo peppers that I put in a grill pan for some smokey flavor and a few less walnuts, as I was short of them. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      My pleasure, Denise! So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Soni says:

    I would love to try this out, but I’m gluten free. Can I just omit the bread crumbs?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Soni! You probably could try, but it would change the texture quite a bit. What about using Gluten Free breadcrumbs instead?

  3. Sandy says:

    5 stars
    i HAVE MADE THIS AND IT IS RELISH!. MY SUBSTITUTIONS: Trader Joe jarred roasted red peppers, drained, roasted almonds for walnuts, smoked paprika for aleppo pepper, no sugar, no salt, 1/2t cumin.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks so much for sharing, Sandy

  4. Diana says:

    This looks so yummy! Having never tried this dish, if you were to substitute the walnuts (which I am allergic to) with another nut which direction would you go? I have almonds and pecans on hand. Thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      HI Diana, I would say you can try this with pecans. Enjoy!

  5. Wendi Hauck says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night and it was a huge hit! Left out the bread crumbs and substituted for more Walnuts to thicken the consistency. Special ordered the Pomegranate Molasses and Aleppo Pepper and must say it made the dip. Try to get these if you can, if not order them online. You’ll be happy you did!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Wendi!

  6. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    This is so, so good.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Sarah!

  7. Christine says:

    5 stars
    I made this today for a social distance bbq with some family and I can already tell I’ll be adding this to “appetizers I can make when I invite people over on a whim” bc I feel like there are a few natural substitutes I’m always guaranteed to have on hand (no walnuts, I bet almonds would work… I have part of a red pepper and a whole orange pepper… no biggie, canned, fresh, who cares… and the neverending straggler jar of tomato paste – this is the PERFECT USE). Anyway, so amazing. Love it!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Christine!!

  8. Stella says:

    5 stars
    I made it last night for dinner and it was a success! Soo good, I didn’t have the Aleppo pepper so instead I use black pepper, but still, I think it turn out pretty good for a first attempt. I mean… I didn’t have to follow the “storage notes”… ?

    1. Suzy says:

      Ha! So glad this was such a hit!! 🙂

  9. Katie says:

    5 stars
    This is such a yummy dip! I love the use of pomegranate molasses!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Katie! 🙂

  10. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious, I can’t wait to make it again!

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Melissa!

  11. Lindsay Cotter says:

    5 stars
    Love this so much! Put it over our grilled chicken! Winner, winner chicken dinner!!!

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Thanks, Lindsay!

  12. Wilhelmina says:

    5 stars
    This is the best dip ever! So delicious. I won’t need any recipe other than this!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad!

  13. Kristyn says:

    5 stars
    I am excited to try this!! Got the pita chips all ready! Looks so tasty!

  14. Andie Thueson says:

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely amazing! I love all things red pepper flavored ?

  15. Beth says:

    5 stars
    My wife made this and I loved it! It was so delicious and so tasty! I’m asking her to make this again this weekend.

  16. Lauren Kelly says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much, I absolutely love the flavors in this dip! So yummy!