This red pepper spread has the perfect balance of savory, sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors. Make this condiment recipe in only 15 minutes!
A combination of roasted red peppers with garlic, nuts, and a variety of spices goes into making this delicious homemade spread.
Originally from Aleppo, Syria, this hot pepper dip can also be found in Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries.
The texture is like a cross between hummus and pesto, but with a smoother consistency from the oils in the roasted peppers.
If you enjoy this red pepper walnut dip, try my Mutabal recipe. It’s another homemade dip, made with charred eggplant and tahini, with a topping of fresh pomegranate arils. You may also like to add this Baked Feta Recipe with Honey And Zaatar to your appetizer mezze platter, too!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Red bell peppers - Roast your own or use jarred roasted red peppers to save time. Just be sure to drain the jarred variety well so it doesn’t affect the overall texture of the dip.
- Walnuts - Make this Muhammara recipe nut-free by substituting hemp or sunflower seeds instead.
- Pomegranate molasses - A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, this is simply pomegranate juice that has been reduced down to a thick syrup. Find it at most Whole Foods store or Middle Eastern markets, otherwise you can make your own or find additional substitutes in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Aleppo chile flakes - These have a subtle heat as well as a slightly fruity flavor that’s similar to raisins and sun-dried tomatoes. If you can’t find this particular spice, replace it with half the amount of red pepper flakes instead.
- Panko breadcrumbs - Made from crustless white bread, these are lighter and crunchier than typical breadcrumbs. Substitute with an equal amount of ground almonds if you prefer or if you need to make a gluten-free version of this recipe.
How to make this red pepper spread
Once everything is roasted, toasted, and browned, blend it all together into a delicious dip and top with a drizzle of olive oil.
If you like it extra spicy, add more Aleppo chile flakes and a dash of cayenne.
If you’ll be roasting your own bell peppers, start with those since they take about 40 minutes in the oven.
Then, continue with the recipe or skip the roasting and use jarred instead. There will be a slight difference in smokiness, but either version is fantastic.
- Toast the walnuts: Add the nuts to a dry skillet and cook until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove and set aside.
- Make the base: In the same pan, saute the onion in oil until browned. Then stir in the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and chile flakes.
- Blend the dip: Transfer the ingredients from the pan to a food processor with the roasted peppers and remaining ingredients. Blend until combined, then add the toasted walnuts and blend again.
- Garnish and serve: Spoon into a shallow dish and top with oil, fresh parsley, and extra walnuts.
- Storage - Keep this red pepper walnut dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, if it even lasts that long!
- Texture - I like to leave the dip a bit chunky for a more rustic texture, but you can easily blend it until smooth if you prefer.
- Chill - While it’s delicious fresh, the flavors intensify once it has been chilled. So whip up a big batch to enjoy throughout the week or make it ahead of time for a social gathering.
Other uses for this muhammara recipe
Typically, the dip comes with a side of pita or fresh vegetables. However, there are many other ways to enjoy it! Try it in one of the following ways:
- Spread on toast and sandwiches
- As a sauce for grilled meat and fish
- Spooned over a salad
- In a mezze with other dips
Muhammara - Roasted Red Pepper Dip
- 2 lbs red bell peppers (See Note 1)
- 1 cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup olive oil divided
- 1 cup red onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes (See Note 2)
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (See Note 3)
- 1 ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses (See Note 4)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp walnuts chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- Toast the 1 cup + 2 tablespoons for walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Separate and set aside.
- Roasted Peppers: If using jarred, roasted red bell peppers go to Step 3 below, if making from scratch preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and oil the peppers. Place on baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, or until softened and charred. Turn once during roasting. Remove from oven, place in a bowl and cover with towel and cool for 15 minutes. When cooled, remove and discard the skin, seed and stems. You should have 14 ounces total weight.
- In a skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons oil and saute the onion until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin and chile flakes. Cook another minute. Spoon into a food processor along with the roasted peppers, 1 tablespoon of oil, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process for 30 seconds and then add 1 cup toasted walnuts. Process again for another 30 seconds to keep chunky.
- Transfer to a shallow serving dish, top with a drizzle of olive oil, reserved 2 tablespoons of toasted walnuts (crush with hands) and parsley. Great with warm pita to scoop or vegetables.
- Feel free to use jarred, drained roasted red bell peppers. I find them in 12 ounce jars at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, your local market or online. Use 14 ounces for this recipe, so buy 2 jars.
- If you can 't find Aleppo chile flakes, substitute 1 teaspoon of red chile pepper flakes.
- You can substitute an equal amount of ground almonds.
- Pomegranate Molasses can be found in most Whole Food Stores or Persian and Middle Eastern food markets and online for ordering. You can also substitute with the following: Fresh Pomegranate Seeds, Pomegranate Juice + Sugar, Lemon or Lime Juice + Sugar or Lemon Juice + Honey.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.