An easy muhammara recipe to keep in your back pocket for parties, picnics, and other snacking situations. Takes 10 minutes – made with pantry staples.
Muhammara is one of the easiest, yet most delicious and impressive, recipes I know. Every time I make it when people come over – which is, coincidentally, every time people come over – they go crazy for it. This reaction never ceases to amaze me since the dish requires so little effort and is literally made with pantry staples. It’s a win-win for all involved.
Muhammara (usually pronounced muh-HUM-marah) is a classic Middle Eastern appetizer. The roasted red pepper and walnut spread is said to have originated in Syria, but is also popular in Lebanon and Turkey. Generally speaking, though, red pepper dips/spreads are popular all across Europe and the Middle East – appearing as romesco in Spain, ajika in the Caucasus, ajvar in the Balkans, etc.
Nutty, tangy, a bit sweet, and rich but not heavy, this muhammara recipe is great with crudités, crackers, plantain chips, pita triangles, crostini… basically every vessel of the snacking universe. Let’s jump in!
What’s In This Muhammara Recipe
Muhammara is made primarily of roasted red peppers (I use the store-bought jarred variety), roasted walnuts, and breadcrumbs. In the flavorings department, there’s fresh garlic, ground cumin, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses*. Olive oil brings it all together.
How to Substitute Pomegranate Molasses
*Pomegranate molasses is a Middle Eastern staple. It’s a thick, gooey, sweet-sour condiment (reduced pomegranate juice) used to flavor stews, as a glaze, etc. It’s relatively easy to find in specialty stores, in the international foods aisle of many supermarkets, and online. However, it can be challenging to use up an entire bottle if you’re not familiar with it, so I substitute with reduced balsamic vinegar (instructions below).
Muhammara Recipe Step-by-Step
Reduce the Balsamic Vinegar: If using pomegranate molasses or an already-reduced balsamic glaze, skip this step. If not, pour plain balsamic vinegar into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Let the vinegar bubble away gently until it is thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully toward the end – it can go from syrupy to burnt pretty quickly.
Combine Everything: In a food processor, combine roasted red peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, and the reduced balsamic vinegar (or pomegranate molasses).
Puree and Season: Puree until everything is broken down. Then, with the motor running, stream in the olive oil; be careful not to over-process since muhammara should still have a bit of texture to it. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. (Depending on how your store-bought peppers were marinated, you may not need all the lemon juice.)
Muhammara can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It travels well (yay for picnics!) and is fine to leave out at room temp for an hour or two during a party.
Other appetizers to try…
- Mexican-ish Black Bean Dip
- Balsamic Caramelized Onion Crostini
- Tater Tot Nacho “Salad”
- The Ultimate Holiday Snack Board
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
An easy muhammara recipe to keep in your back pocket for parties, picnics, and other snacking situations.
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze or pomegranate molasses)
- 2 large jarred roasted red peppers (about 1 packed cup)
- 1/2 cup roasted walnuts* (see note below)
- 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- If using pomegranate molasses or balsamic syrup, skip to step 2. If not, pour 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Cook gently until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully toward the end – it can go from syrupy to burnt pretty quickly.
- Drain the peppers really well and add to a food processor (or Nutribullet/Vitamix). Add 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 tablespoon reduced balsamic/pomegranate molasses.
- Pulse until everything is broken down. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil and puree until homogenous but not completely smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Leftover muhammara can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To roast walnuts, preheat your oven to 350ºF, arrange walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 8-10 minutes – until they’re slightly darker in color and smell fragrant. Alternately, toast them in a dry skillet over a low flame, tossing occasionally.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 155
- Fat: 13.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.9 g
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 3.5 g
Keywords: muhammara, dip, roasted red peppers, walnuts