Homemade Muhammara Dip

5 from 119 votes

Muhammara is a Middle Eastern vegan dip that's made with walnuts, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs, olive oil and spices - easy to make in ONE simple step!

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Have you heard of muhammara? It’s the most delicious dip that you’re probably not eating already. I love adding this to my holiday spread along with hummus and guacamole to round out some fun colors for a snack board. This muhammara dip is all made in one easy step of throwing all the ingredients in a food processor. It’s vegan, low-carb and insanely tasty!

top down shot of Homemade Muhammara Dip in a bowl with pita chips

Table of Contents

  1. What is muhammara?
  2. Recipe at a glance
  3. Ingredients you’ll need to make muhammara
  4. Popular substitutions & additions
  5. How to make muhammara dip
  6. Tips for making the best muhammara
  7. What to serve with muhammara
  8. How to store leftover muhammara dip
  9. Frequently asked questions
  10. For more Middle Eastern dip recipes, check out:
  11. Homemade Muhammara Dip Recipe

What is muhammara?

Muhammara is a Middle Eastern dip that’s basically made with walnuts and roasted red peppers. In Lebanon this dip is very popular as part of our mezza menus and it’s often served with toasted pita or pita bread. I always grew up thinking it was a Lebanese recipe, but it actually originated in Aleppo, Syria. It’s very popular all over the Middle East though.

In Arabic, the word is pronounced “mhamara.” We don’t actually pronounce the “u” in there and the “h” sound is actually a different sound in Arabic that sounds similar to h, but not quite. The word muhammara means “red” and it very adequately describes the vibrant color you’ll get from making the dip. And it just so happens to be a very festive color around the holidays. But, just like hummus, this dip is popular all year round and loved by many all around!

“This recipe was such a big hit today at a party. Folks had not previously heard of this MidEastern dish and simply LOVED it. I had to text several friends the link to this recipe after the party. Thanks Yumna!” – Fahed

Recipe at a glance

Cuisine Inspiration: Middle Eastern
Primary Cooking Method: Blending
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Rich and nutty with a hint of pomegranate
Skill Level: Easy

Summary

  • Quick and easy prep: An easy straightforward preparation of blending the ingredients in a food processor makes this dip so easy and quick to make by anyone.
  • Versatile serving options: Serve your muhammara dip with so many different options like pita chips, pita bread, or other ways like a spread on a sandwich or on kebabs.
  • Nutrient-rich ingredients: Roasted walnuts, red peppers, and olive oil are all really nutrient-dense. Full of omega-3s, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Customizable texture: The optional toasting of walnuts and breadcrumbs adds a layer of customization to the texture, whether you like a crunchier texture or a smoother mouthfeel. 

Ingredients you’ll need to make muhammara

overhead shot of ingredients for Homemade Muhammara Dip
  • Walnuts – you can buy them raw or roasted (or roast them yourself on a pan or in the oven)
  • Breadcrumbs – this is what thickens the dip. You can buy breadcrumbs or make them from stale bread.
  • Jar of roasted red bell
  • Extra virgin olive oil – A high-quality EVOO should be used
  • Pomegranate molasses – the only exotic ingredient (but you can substitute with lemon juice & honey)
  • Garlic clove – Fresh garlic cloves as best for the freshest flavor, but jarred minced garlic can be used as well.
  • Blend of spices like cumin and cayenne pepper (and aleppo pepper if you have it!)
  • Aleppo pepper: Swapping out cayenne pepper for Aleppo pepper can help to reduce the level of heat.
  • Pomegranate Molasses: If you’re having trouble finding pomegranate molasses, it’s not too much work to make your own. A combination of pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar simmered to create a thick and flavorful molasses.
  • Zesty flavors: To impart a slight tang or flavor of citrus to brighten up your dip, you can add sumac, lemon zest, or even tamarind paste.
  • Red Bell Peppers: Easily roast your own red bell peppers instead of using store-bought peppers. Gently roast them on a pan, rotating until the skins have darkened and blistered.

How to make muhammara dip

Then you literally throw all those ingredients into a food processor all at once and blend it on high for 1-2 minutes. The muhammara recipe quickly and easily comes together in that one easy step!

Here are all the ingredients before and after blending. You’ll want a consistency that’s pretty smooth with all the ingredients equally blended. The amount of time in the food processor will depend on how strong your food processor is and how chunky you want it. It’s ready in a couple minutes though because none of the ingredient need much (if any) prep.

collage of ingredients being blended in a blender

“Absolutely delicious! It was loved by all my guests over the Christmas break. I’ll make this again and again for sure.” – Lucy

Tips for making the best muhammara

  1. Toast the walnuts and breadcrumbs. If you have some extra time, I would highly recommend toasting the walnuts in a pan, and then toasting the breadcrumbs in that same pan separately. The toasted flavor of the walnuts and breadcrumbs really elevates the flavor of the dip. But it’s totally optional and the dip will still taste amazing regardless!
  2. Try your best to use pomegranate molasses for this recipe. It’s at all Middle Eastern grocery stores, but even sold at Whole Foods and sometimes in the ethnic Mediterranean isle at major grocery stores. I use it to make fattoush and I even add it to my roasted chicken. It has a sweet and tart flavor that just gives a unique taste to the dish. If you can’t find it, you can try reducing some pomegranate juice in a pan. Or you can substitute with lemon juice (for the tartness) and honey (for the sweetness).
  3. Let it chill before serving. This dip definitely gets better as it chills and the flavors meld. You can serve it immediately, but if you have time to chill it even for an hour and allow the breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture, it gets even better.
overhead shot of Muhammara Dip in a bowl

What to serve with muhammara

Well, it depends if you call it a muhammara dip, muhammara spread or muhammara sauce. It can really be any and all of the above.

  • The most popular way to eat it is as a dip. So you can serve it with pita chips, pita bread, or even pretzels and crackers, crudite, or vegetables.
  • As a spread, it elevates any sandwich you’re having to new standards. Try it with these roasted cauliflower pita wraps, or a grilled mozzarella sandwich.
  • As a sauce, you can actually use it to marinade chicken, shrimp or fish or add it to a bowl of pasta, or even in a salad. It’s pretty versatile like hummus.

How to store leftover muhammara dip

Leftover muhammara dip should be stored in an airtight container and then placed in the fridge.

How long will Muhammara Dip last in the fridge?
When stored properly, your dip should last for up to a week in the fridge.

Can I freeze muhammara dip?
In theory, this dip can be frozen, but with most things that contain a lot of moisture, the texture of the dip, once thawed, could change, resulting in a completely different mouthfeel than before. I recommend sticking to storing it in the fridge, it’s too delicious to have that much leftover anyway.

Frequently asked questions

What does Muhammara taste like?

A smoky sweetness of roasted red peppers mixed with a sweet tartness from the pomegranate molasses. Add in those layers of spices and garlic that combine together to make a creamy and smooth textured dip.

Is Muhammara the same as Harissa?

Hailing from the Middle East, Muhammara is a dip celebrated for its creamy texture and rich nutty taste featuring roasted red peppers, walnuts, garlic, and pomegranate molasses. On the other hand, Harissa, originating from North Africa, offers a bold and spicy kick with a mix of chili peppers, garlic, and an array of spices, offering a smokey intensity.

Can I use a blender instead of a food processor for muhammara dip?

While a food processor is ideal to create that creamy texture, a blender can work as well. It’s okay to blend in small batches, depending on your blender, to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Adjust the blender speed to reach the texture you’re looking for.

Close up of muhammara dip with a pita chip being dipped in

Insanely tasty spread that’s sweet, savory, smokey and spicy – yup, it all describes this muhammara recipe, and it all makes it so hard to stop eating it once you start!

For more Middle Eastern dip recipes, check out:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feelgood Muhammara recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

This Muhammara Dip was originally published December 19, 2019 and recently updated with new photography, tips, and substitutions.

Homemade Muhammara Dip

Muhammara is a Middle Eastern vegan dip that’s made with walnuts, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs, olive oil and spices – easy to make in ONE simple step!
5 from 119 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Appetizer
Calories 145
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Video

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients in a high speed food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture looks like a smooth paste.
  • Transfer to a small serving bowl and chill before serving. Create swerves with the back of a spoon, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with extra walnuts and chopped parsley. Serve with pita chips, if desired.

Notes

Recipe: This recipe is categorized under Lebanese recipes, but it originated from Syria. Still, it’s very popular in Lebanon, where my parents are from!
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 5-7 days in the fridge. Make sure to use a container that’s not too big so that it reduces any oxidation
Make Ahead Tips: If you choose to toast the walnuts and the breadcrumbs (which is an optional step), you can do this up to 2 days in advance. 
Sourcing: You can find pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern markets, natural-foods stores or even in large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is.
I have never tried this with any other nuts except for walnuts because that’s an integral part of the recipe. However if you have allergies you can try almonds or pecan. Let me know how it works!
Tips:
Toast the walnuts and the breadcrumbs. You can do this on the stovetop or in the oven for an enhanced flavor. If you’re toasting on the stovetop, cook on a non-stick skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you’re toasting the oven, bake at 350˚F for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Roast the bell pepper in the oven instead of using jarred. This will enhanced the smokey flavor of the peppers and create slightly less moisture in the dip.
If you can’t find pomegranate molasses, it’s best to substitute it with lemon juice. You can also add a teaspoon of honey to mimic the unique sweet and bitter flavor of pomegranate molasses. One other option is to make your own by reducing pomegranate syrup in a pan on medium-low heat until it looks like a balsamic glaze.
Equipment: I used the Kitchen Aid food processor to blend the dip. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a blender. This may require more stopping and scraping though to ensure even blending without any chunks.  
* Please note the nutrition label does not include the extra oil for garnishing or pita chips.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 145kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 59IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Appetizer

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Comments

    1. Hi Christine, you sure can! I would opt for molasses, the honey won’t have the same flavor profile, but if you only have honey, it will still be good! Let me know how it turns out!

      1. This recipe was such a big hit today at a party. Folks had not previously heard of this MidEastern dish and simply LOVED it. I had to text several friends the link to this recipe after the party. Thanks Yumna!

        1. That’s great to hear! I’m glad you introduced them all to this dish. Yay!! You’re so welcome.

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