Muhammara (Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: September 25, 2020

Last Updated: December 7th, 20230 Comments on Muhammara (Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)

Muhammara is a luxurious Syrian and Middle Eastern dip celebrated for its harmonious blend of roasted red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, and spices. It’s a savoury, hearty and healthy meze bowl that is loved around the world. Ready to see why?


Muhammara is a thing of wonder and splendour. It's not very often that a dish so intensely flavoursome comes into your life, where you exclaim "Why has this been kept from me for so long!?" Muhammara originates from Aleppo, Syria and is enjoyed all across the Levant and Turkic regions. I first tasted this unassuming dish in Turkey on one of my trips.

It's usually served as part of a generous meze-style meal, where lots of small plates and bowls are brought to you in a seemingly endless parade of flavours, textures and colours. Each plate is interchangeable and marries happily in infinite combinations.

Muhammara is a salad, a dip, a puree - it's all of those things but it's perfection when combined with breads or raw vegetables as the vehicle to scoop and scrape every last mouthful of Muhammara from the bowl. Things might get a bit competitive towards the end of the bowl...

A small plate of Syrian Muhammara red pepper dip with a larger bowl next to it.

What is Muhammara?

Syrian Muhammara is a simple combination of peppers, walnuts and spices. It has a sweetness from the red peppers, an undeniable sourness from pomegranate molasses and a light hit of spice.

In Turkey, I tasted varying degrees of spice, from mild, to blistering chilli wildness. My muhammara recipe is a milder version. Some heat comes from fresh chilli (you can dial it down or up as you like), and also from the dried Aleppo Pepper or Pul Biber. It's fairly mild, but there is a hint of heat to remind you that you're enjoying yourself.

Similar dishes in the Turkic region include Acuka and Cemen which are both smooth purees using red peppers and nuts.

Why it works?

Bags of personality! - It's not shy in flavour which is wonderfully refreshing. A nutty, creamy spicy puree that is completely addictive when paired with flatbreads or vegetables.

A bowl of Syrian Muhammara red pepper dip

Stuff You'll Need

Introductory sentence + ingredients

  • Peppers - we use sweet red bell pepper and a couple of spicy red chillies (you can decide which types of red chillies to use as they can vary in spiciness).
  • Garlic - adds a little backbone to the Muhammara
  • Walnuts - for extra flavour, we roast the nuts first. They also act as a thickener.
  • Breadcrumbs - help create a pleasing texture along with thickening the Muhammara too.
  • Pomegranate molasses - brings a sweet and sour note to the dip.
  • Aleppo pepper - is a Syrian coarsely ground mild dried pepper. You can use Turkish Pul Biber too, which is similar.
  • Spices - cumin and coriander add a mild earthiness.
  • Extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice with a little salt & pepper finish off the dish.

Step by Step

Introductory sentence + process shots

  1. Step 1 - Heat oven to 200ºC/400ºF and place the walnuts, chillies and bell peppers on trays. Then remove the nuts after 5 minutes, the chillies after 10 and the bell pepper after 30.
  2. Step 2 - Remove the skins from the bell peppers (they should slide off easily) and place all the ingredients into a blender or jug to blend with a stick-blender.
  3. Step 3 - Blend until smooth then leave to cool completely.

Arrange in a bowl and garnish with a little parsley or cilantro and serve with flatbreads or raw vegetables to scoop up the Muhammara.

A bowl of Syrian Muhammara red pepper dip

Serving & Storage Suggestions

I like to serve mine with a selection of other Middle Eastern or Mediterranean small mezze plates. Muhammara pairs with so many other dishes. I have lots of recipes, so feel free to discover around the site. I have also added a few of my favourites below.

  • Refrigeration - Muhammara will be fine in the fridge for a week, covered well in plastic or in an airtight container - bring up to room temperature (covered) before serving.
  • Freezer - You can freeze Muhammara for 3+ months in an airtight container. Before use, be sure to defrost thoroughly and bring to room temperature (covered) for serving.
A small bowl of Aleppo Pepper flakes

Deep dive: what's Aleppo Pepper?

Aleppo pepper (from the exact place this dish was created in Syria) is a common ingredient in Turkish cuisine (sometimes known as Halaby Pepper or the similar Pul Biber). It's a coarsely ground dried pepper that is relatively mild in flavour. One of my favourite ways to use a sprinkling on my favourite Turkish Menemen - a wonderful start to any day! Aleppo pepper is widely available and helps to create the authentic Syrian flavour in Muhammara.

Ready to get cooking?

This dish is a perfect partner to so many other amazing Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes and should always be offered up as part of a feast; a source to dip and scoop flatbreads with abandon. It's really one of my favourite meze dishes to serve and works so well with other flavours. I'm sure you'll love it too... enjoy!

A bowl of Syrian Muhammara red pepper dip with flatbreads

Any Questions? (FAQ)

Have a question about Muhammara? Here's your place to ask... leave a question in the comments section below.

What is Muhammara?

Muhammara, pronounced "muh-ham-mah-rah," is a vibrant Middle Eastern dip that originated in Syria. It combines the smoky sweetness of roasted red peppers with the nutty richness of walnuts, the tangy zest of pomegranate molasses, and a hint of subtle heat from Aleppo chilli peppers. The result is a thick, spreadable dip that's both savoury and satisfying.

What are the health benefits of Muhammara?

Muhammara is a surprisingly nutritious dip, packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Roasted red peppers are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K, while walnuts provide a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for heart health and brain function. Pomegranate molasses is a natural sweetener with anti-inflammatory properties, and Aleppo chili peppers offer a touch of capsaicin, a compound known for its pain-relieving and metabolism-boosting effects.

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A bowl of Syrian Muhammara red pepper dip with flatbreads

Muhammara (Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)

Rate this recipe

4.67 from 3 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Syrian, Turkish
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 6
Calories (per serving) | 158



  • Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF
  • Place the red peppers and chilli in a small roasting tin. Place the walnuts in a separate tin. Put both trays in oven to roast.
  • 1. Roast the walnuts for 5 minutes then remove to cool completely.
    2. Roast the chillies for 10 minutes then remove stalks and leave to cool (you can remove the seeds too if you want to reduce the spice).
    3. Roast the bell peppers for 30 mins until soft and lightly charred. Remove and cover in plastic for 5 minutes to allow sweating (this helps the skins slide off easily). Remove and discard the skins and seeds, then roughly chop.
  • Place the peppers, chilli, walnuts and all the other ingredients into a food processor. Season with a little salt and pepper then pulse blend into a semi-smooth consistency. You can also do this with a stick blender.
  • Arrange on a serving platter or bowl and drizzle over a little more extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of fresh parsley if you like.


  • Muhammara pairs beautifully with an array of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean small plates. Its adaptability seamlessly complements various dishes. Discover more with my extensive Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes at
  • To maintain freshness, refrigerate Muhammara for up to one week, tightly sealed in plastic wrap or an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before serving for peak flavor.
  • For extended preservation, store Muhammara in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Allow it to thaw completely at room temperature before enjoying.


Calories: 158kcal (8%) | Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Fat: 12g (18%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Sodium: 47mg (2%) | Potassium: 204mg (6%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 5g (6%) | Vitamin A: 1484IU (30%) | Vitamin C: 77mg (93%) | Calcium: 28mg (3%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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