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), 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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4.80 from 127 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 mins
Cook – 30 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Serves – 6 people
Course:
Appetizer

Ingredients
  

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
  • ¼ lb shelled toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove roughly chopped
  • 2 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses I used this one
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Brush the bell peppers with 1 tablespoon 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 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 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
Tried this recipe?

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect. The flavors are amazing. Mine came out a bit dry because my red bell peppers were dry. I added water to make it a bit runnier. Any tips on how to make it more “saucy”. Next time I will retain those red pepper juices.

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of the easiest and fastest recipes that I have found for Muhammara, especially if you start with preserved roasted peppers. Only takes a minute or two to make, and the flavor is spot on.

  3. I love most of your recipes, but this one, because of the large amount of breadcrumbs, turned into a bread dough consistency... Not very good. Im not sure what went wrong 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, Suzy - so delicious!!!
    I am LOVING your recipes and look forward to your weekly menu emails.
    I, too, am in the market for a food processor. I have a very small, VERY old, 2 or 3 cup processor which came as an attachment to a blender. Way too small for these kinds of recipes - although I did try! What size food processor do you use? Thank you!
    (I'm doing my "HW" and reading reviews now and will certainly let you know which one I choose and if I recommend it or not.)

    1. Hi, Patricia! I have 11 cup Kitchen Aid food processor, and I love it! Please do share what you decide to go with and what you think!

  5. 5 stars
    i *love* muhammara and have been wanting to make it myself for a while. i finally did today, and -- thanks to this recipe! -- i have a feeling i will be making it a LOT more. the dish came out so well, even without the aleppo pepper, i used smoked paprika with some cayenne mixed in, and omitted the optional cayenne. it tastes pretty perfect, but i definitely want to try to get some aleppo for the next batch.

  6. 5 stars
    Dad brought over a huge bag of ripe peppers from his garden, so I was excited to try this recipe. It turned out so delicious that we could not stop eating it! I just finished the last of it and am making another batch (with still more peppers.) Used a large pot with lid to steam the peppers; no need for single-use plastic or who-knows-what chemicals coming out of the hot plastic onto my peppers. Seemed like I needed more than 2 peppers; actually used about 12 very small peppers.

  7. Shalom/Salaam from Tel Aviv! My husband usually likes to prepare roasted pepper dip mixed with Tehina, but I tried your recipe this time and it came out GREAT! In Israel we have the same ingredients as in Egypt, but not commonly found in the West, such as sumac, so I was prepared, but I didn't have any pomegranate syrup. It was "silan" or date syrup to the rescue, and it worked just fine! Thanks for this beautiful recipe!

  8. The info on serving size and advise on how to store this dish are completely wrong! My husband ate the whole batch in one sitting. No left overs to store and I am making this DIP from HEAVENthe second time this week. 😁. Its sooo delicious!!

    1. Hi, Sandi. You can certainly omit it, but I find the Aleppo pepper to be not so spicy here. It just gives it a tiny kick. Less so than red pepper flakes would.

    2. That was the one other ingredient that I didn't have, besides pomegranate syrup...I read on line that in a pinch one can substitute a combination of Hungarian paprika and hot paprika...the proportions I guess should reflect how hot you like it!

      1. If you can't find pomegranate molasses, it reminds me of a good and slightly sweet'ish balsamic vinegar reduction. So, maybe, that's what you could try instead. It should be easier to source.

  9. Hi there! Quick q- if using a jar of roasted red peppers, should I use the entire jar or omit liquid and just use the peppers? Also curious if you have a good alternative for sumac? Thanks and excited to make this!

    1. Hello! I always start with just the peppers, and then add some of the liquid if I feel like the muhammara is too thick. As for the sumac, there really isn't a great substitute for it, unfortunately. It's a pretty unique flavor.

      1. Sumac actually grows in the US, and is thus used not only in Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern cooking, but also in some parts of the US. Don't know about other parts of the world.

        It isn't particularly expensive, and I have seen it in lots of "ethnic" grocery stores; but it also is available online. I know that Amazon sells it around the world, at least in the countries that it has a presence.

        But if none of that helps, then a substitute is the best you can do. The first impression that most people will get is that it tastes sour. So, anything sour will do in a pinch. Even just lemon juice would work. Something like tamarind would probably be even better, if available.

    1. Hello! The whole recipe can be divided by 6 to get the "serving size". The nutrition info here is our best effort and we use a program that calculates that for us based on the ingredient list. The exact serving size measurement (by weight, etc) is another layer that's harder for us to precisely calculate at this time.

  10. I've been trying to replicate the muhammara from a Syrian restaurant I went to in college, and this is the closest recipe yet! Didn't have sumac, so I subbed in za'atar, which still worked beautifully. In a pinch, you can use the aleppo sauce from Trader Joe's if you don't have aleppo pepper on hand. Definitely making this on a regular basis!

      1. Can you use dried breadcrumbs (waitrose essential ingredients) that are crunchy or should it be fresh soft breadcrumbs ?

      2. Hi, Lesley. I typically use the "dried" breadcrumbs sold in the can at the grocery store (fresh breadcrumbs that have been roasted in the oven).

  11. Approximately what weight in jarred roasted peppers would replace 2 fresh peppers? I imagine the proportion of walnuts to peppers makes a difference in taste and texture.

    1. Hi, Priya. The breadcrumbs are a pretty essential ingredient. There isn't a great substitute, but you can omit them and trying adding more walnuts. If this is gluten-related, I have make this recipe with gluten free breadcrumbs and it is still wonderful.

  12. Love this recipe! Our local Syrian restaurant serves muhammara— I loved it until I started making my own from your recipe. I have made many batches using red peppers from my garden and Turkish “pul biber” —red pepper flakes (Turkish hubby so we always have it). I freeze it in 4 and 8 Oz jars. Defrost in the frig- it’s still great.

    Fabulous recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      It’s a great recipe BUT wish you’ll give equivalent weights especially for roasted peppers
      I’d like to scale this up but it’s difficult to guess what the two peppers are in terms of Shepard’s Peppers.
      Any suggestion

      Doug

      1. Hi, Doug. I really just eyeball the size here as I've found that it's not really that important to have an exact weight for this particular recipe. It's quite forgiving.

  13. I love the simplicity of this most exotic dish. Today I am making it to a friend I will be seeing for the first time since the pandemic. Love what the pomegranate molasses adds.
    Thank you. Your recipe has better proportions than the NYT recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    Very good. Changed the proportions a bit (more peppers, less breadcrumbs and nuts), but overall excellent and Im keeping this one 🙂 I didn’t have aleppo peppers so i used chili flakes, and i loved that bit of a kick. Bit will order aleppos online now. Impossible to find in my city