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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4.84 from 187 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 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
  • 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, 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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4.84 from 187 votes (95 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Priya Sen says:

    Can I substitute some other ingredient for bread crumbs

    1. Suzy says:

      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.

  2. JoShell says:

    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. Suzy says:

      Thanks JoShell!

    2. Doug says:

      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. Suzy says:

        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.

  3. Viva knight says:

    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!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you! I hope you and your friend have a lovely visit together!

  4. Maruta says:

    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

  5. Austin says:

    This stuff is soooo good! Thank you 🙂

  6. Jasmine says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe - it is delicious! I doubled the recipe because I needed to use my some bell peppers and I can confirm it freezes well.

    1. Suzy says:

      Wonderful! Thanks so much, Jasmine!

  7. Lisa Engel says:

    5 stars
    I was looking for a roasted red pepper dip that wasn't just hummus with red peppers in it and saw this. Never in a million years would I have thought up anything remotely close to this recipe. It is so good! The Aleppo pepper didn't get delivered in time but a bit of cayenne gave it a little kick. My husband just stood in the kitchen and ate it with a spoon.

    1. Suzy says:

      Lol! It IS good! So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Peter says:

    5 stars
    I made your Muhammara for the first time today and it is absolutely delicious!
    I used honey, lemon juice and mild chilli powder as I don't have the molasses nor the aleppo pepper but I will try to source some for the next time. Will have a look at your shop 😉
    Thank you for this recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Peter! Thanks for sharing your adaptations. I think you will love it with the molasses and aleppo pepper, too!

  9. Claudine says:

    5 stars
    I would love to make this recipe but I am horribly allergic to walnuts. What would you suggest as an alternative? Thanx! 🙂

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Claudine! Thanks for your question! So this is a very traditional recipe where walnut is a main ingredient; it simply won't be muhammara without it. But if you like dips with roasted red peppers, you might enjoy this easy roasted red pepper hummus instead: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/roasted-red-pepper-hummus-recipe/

  10. Neetu says:

    5 stars
    Loved it !! It’s perfect to the T. Thank you so much.
    I used maple syrup with lemon juice instead of the molasses as I didn’t have any. Came out really really well.

    1. Suzy says:

      Great! Thanks for sharing, Neetu!

  11. Patricia says:

    5 stars
    This is an easy, delicious spread. I leave out the salt. There is more than enough salt in the other spices and I think the added salt is too much. Wonderful recipe! Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for sharing, Patricia!

      1. Patricia says:

        5 stars
        Quick followup and Gluten free tip. I have some gluten free young relatives. So, I made the recipe with gluten free bread crumbs. After two tries where it was a too "crunchy", I came up with a way to make it as good as the original. The gluten free crumbs are crunchier then regular bread crumbs. So, to smooth things out, I put the entire recipe together, with the exception of the walnuts and pulse on high in the food processor until the mixture is smooth and not crunchy. Only then do I add the walnuts and pulse on low until well mixed--so you still have the lovely texture and taste of the walnuts without the texture of the GF bread crumbs. . You seriously cannot tell the difference between normal bread crumbs and GF bread crumbs if you do it this way. I serve it and don't tell anyone but my GF nieces that it is GF. Everyone loves it like the original. And my GF nieces are thrilled because they can't get enough of this AMAZING Muhammara dip!

      2. Suzy says:

        Thank you so much for sharing, Patricia! Very helpful!

  12. Kelly says:

    I am moving and packed up my food processor, so I had to use my magic bullet juice blender. It is really thick this time. Any ideas on how to thin it out? I’ve already tried 1 T of olive oil and 2 T of water. Still too thick. Still tastes great, but taking it to a dinner party and I would like it to be thinner. Thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hmmm... if you used jarred peppers, another reader had success using some juice from the jar. Otherwise, maybe just a little more olive oil?

  13. Tom C says:

    5 stars
    This is one of the only recipes I know that works perfectly as written. It reminds me of comfort food from my childhood. My family loves it and requests it for their birthday dinners. I’ve made it with a molasses/lemon mix and with pomegranate molasses and both are delicious. The molasses imparts a slight Smokey flavor which is intriguing. I also use walnuts and almond interchangeably or in a 50/50 mix.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Tom!!

  14. Ann says:

    5 stars
    Wow, is this delicious! Used the honey and lemon juice as I didn’t have the tamarind molasses. I could eat it all right now! I hope my husband gets home soon! 😉 This is going to become a staple. I did use less breadcrumbs and less oil.as I am back on Weight Watchers - still excellent.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Ann! So glad you loved it!

  15. Best Guy says:

    5 stars
    That was delicious. I can't say I've tasted anything like that. There's many flavorful layers to this dip. I used jarred peppers and maple syrup instead of the molasses. Otherwise, i followed the recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for sharing your adaptations! So glad you enjoyed it!!

  16. Leah says:

    Would silan be a good substitute for pomegranate molasses?

    1. Suzy says:

      That could work, Leah. It's a different flavor profile though. honey with a bit of lemon juice can work also.

      1. Jose Mendoza says:

        I live in Mexico and have found that tamarind molasses are an excellent substitute for pomegranate

      2. Suzy says:

        Thanks for sharing, Jose!