Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)


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Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) is a savory, smoky vegetable-based dip. With roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, garlic, and spices, it’s perfect for serving everyone at your table – naturally vegan and gluten-free

red pepper dip in a bowl with vegetables on a white plate

With the weather warming up, this delicious dip has become a staple in our kitchen. We’ve been using it on sandwiches and wraps, served on the side of a fresh green salad, and for dipping absolutely everything. Because it has a hint of smoky sweetness, even the kids can’t resist it. Once you taste this dip, I’m sure you’ll find endless ways to use it!

There are a few specialty ingredients used in classic Muhammarra including Aleppo Chili Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses, but you can still make a delicious version using substitutes that you already have in your pantry. And if you’re worried about spice, don’t be. You can make this without any spice at all. See below for everything you need.

What is Muhammara?

Muhammara (also spelled Mhammara or Mouhammara) is a vegetable-based dip made with roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, garlic, and spices. It is savory, smoky, slightly sweet, and can be a tiny bit spicy. Muhammara originated in Syria. Similar dips are found in the cuisine of many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries.

How to Make Muhammara

Don’t buy this delicious dip at the store – it’s easy to make it yourself!

  1. Toast walnuts. While you can use raw walnuts, you’ll get the most flavor if you toast them first.
  2. Roast Red Peppers. You can roast your own red peppers or use an easy shortcut and buy roasted red peppers in a jar.
  3. Saute aromatics. Cook onions, garlic, and spices in olive oil until fragrant and tender.
  4. Blend. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse / blend until smooth.

How long can I store red pepper dip?

Roasted red pepper dip can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for a week (and even longer if stored properly). It will taste even better a day or two after making as the flavors and spices have time to develop. You can freeze this vegetarian dip for up to 6 months.

roasted red peppers in a strainer over a clear glass bowl


  • Toasted Walnuts – While raw walnuts are fine, taking a few minutes to toast them in the oven will add tons of flavor.
  • Roasted Red Peppers – You can purchase roasted red peppers in jars at the grocery store and they are wonderful in this recipe. If you prefer to roast your own, I use this method.
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil gives the dip rich flavor and helps the ingredients to blend. 
  • Onions and Garlic – Add savory flavor. Cook these first to mellow their flavor.
  • Spices and Seasonings – Ground cumin, Aleppo Chili Pepper, Pomegranate Molasses add so much flavor. See below for substitute ideas. 
  • Lemon Juice – Don’t skip the lemon juice. It brightens all of the flavors.
  • Tomato Paste – A small amount of tomato paste helps to give the Muhammara a creamy texture. The dip won’t taste like tomatoes but they will help enhance the red pepper flavor. 
ingredients for red pepper dip in a food processor

Substitute for Aleppo Chili Pepper

Aleppo Chili Pepper is smoky, citrusy, and moderately spicy. You can make a good substitute using a combination of smoked paprika, lemon juice or zest, and a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. 

Substitute for Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is sweet and fruit-forward with a thick consistency similar to syrup. If you don’t have it, use honey or maple syrup as a substitute.

What to Serve with Roasted Red Pepper Dip

  • Pita Chips
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Meatballs 
  • Falafel 
  • Raw Vegetables
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Chicken, Fish, Tofu, or Halloumi
  • Chickpeas
  • As a spread for Sandwiches and Wraps
  • As a sauce on Flatbread
red pepper dip in a bowl with vegetables on a white plate

More Recipes that Use Roasted Red Peppers

Favorite Tools

  • Food Processor – I’ve had this tool for 10+ years and it’s still going strong. Perfect for chopping and creating smooth sauces.
  • Silicone Spatula
roasted red pepper dip in a bowl on a white table

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muhammara in a bowl on a white plate with vegetables
5 from 2 votes

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) is a savory, smoky vegetable-based dip. With roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, garlic, and spices, it’s perfect for serving everyone at your table – naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups of dip. To adjust the servings in this recipe, click on the number next to servings.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 12


  • Skillet
  • Food Processor


  • 1 1/2 cups Toasted Walnut Halves (see note)
  • 1 16 ounce jar Roasted Red Peppers, drained
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced Onions
  • 2 cloves Garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo Chili Pepper (substitute smoked paprika)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses (substitute honey or maple syrup)


  • Drain roasted red peppers in a colander while preparing other ingredients.
  • Place a skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onions. Cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • To onions add garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, and tomato paste. Cook, breaking tomato paste apart, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a food processor combine onion-tomato mixture, walnuts, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Pulse and then blend until Muhammara is easy to spread but still has some texture. (Note: For a creamier sauce, blend further and add up to 2 Tablespoons of extra olive oil.)
  • Store dip in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Toasted Walnuts: For the best flavor, toast the walnuts before adding them to the Muhammara. Spread walnut halves out on a sheet pan and toast in a 350°F / 177°C degree oven until golden brown and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking. 
Vegan – If you need a vegan version of this dip, be sure to use pomegranate molasses or maple syrup as a sweetener. Honey is not vegan.


Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.00
Calories: 146
Keyword: easy appetizer, gluten free, roasted red pepper
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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