Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)
Published Nov 09, 2022•Updated Dec 06, 2022
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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.
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!
- Toast walnuts. While you can use raw walnuts, you’ll get the most flavor if you toast them first.
- Roast Red Peppers. You can roast your own red peppers or use an easy shortcut and buy roasted red peppers in a jar.
- Saute aromatics. Cook onions, garlic, and spices in olive oil until fragrant and tender.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Raw Vegetables
- Roasted Vegetables
- Chicken, Fish, Tofu, or Halloumi
- As a spread for Sandwiches and Wraps
- As a sauce on Flatbread
More Recipes that Use Roasted Red Peppers
- Red Pepper Jelly
- Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Bruschetta
- Chicken and Chickpea Stew with Roasted Red Peppers
- Lebanese Chickpea Stew
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Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.