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Red Pepper Walnut Dip and the Joy of Cooking

Your holiday table is going to be a lot brighter if this roasted red pepper walnut dip (Muhammara) is in the center. This luscious dip, known as Muhammara, is a Syrian classic. And you’ll find a delicious version of it on page 53 of the newly updated Joy of Cooking.

red pepper walnut dip

The New Joy of Cooking

First, let’s check out this landmark new cookbook. This brand-new edition of America’s most enduring and trusted cookbook is a celebration of foundational recipes that have stood the test of time, and an introduction to over 600 new recipes that are bound to become classics.

The authors are Irma Rombauer’s great-grandson John Becker  and his wife, Megan Scott. Together they did painstaking research and recipe testing to bring classics up to date and integrate newer food trends.

We had a chance to meet Becker and Scott at a book signing and cooking demo at Melissa’s. From their presentation to their spectacular dishes, it’s clear that they have taken great care with this classic book.

In fact, our first experience trying this red pepper walnut dip was as prepared at Melissa’s from Becker and Scott’s recipe.

Red Pepper Walnut Dip Recipe

The red peppers naturally make it a beautiful orange-red color. However, the Melissa’s chefs kicked it up a notch by adding red walnuts. The result is a beautiful scarlet dip that has wonderful layers of peppers, garlic, and general nuttiness.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Roasted red pepper and walnut dip, also known as Muhammara, is a classic Syrian dip or spread. It can also be used as a sauce for grilled meats or fish. This recipe was adapted from the 2019 Joy of Cooking by John Becker and Megan Scott.

Course Appetizer, Condiment
Cuisine Syrian
Keyword dip, garlic, red pepper, red walnut, spread, walnut, walnuts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10


  • 2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded (We used 14 oz. drained roasted red peppers from a jar)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted (We used red walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (Or substitute 1/2 tbsp honey and 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or Aleppo pepper flakes, if available)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more or less to taste)

Garnish (optional)

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • toasted walnuts
  • parsley


  1. Combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Serve topped with additional olive oil, toasted walnuts, and parsley, if desired.

When we made our version of the red pepper walnut dip, we used Melissa’s red walnuts as well. We also cheated (took a shortcut?) by using roasted red peppers in a jar. You just have to drain them first.

walnut red pepper dip

This amazing dip goes with just about anything. For example, we served it with fresh veggies and crackers. It’s always delicious with warm toasted pita bread. But you can also serve it with chips or any other kind of bread you prefer (toasted baguette, anyone?). True story: We served it as a snack with apple slices, and it received a big thumbs up.

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This red pepper walnut dip (muhammara) from the new Joy of Cooking is a colorful addition to your holiday table.

This red pepper walnut dip (muhammara) from the new Joy of Cooking is a colorful addition to your holiday table.

P.S. If you love red walnuts, try this Sweet Potato Side Dish with Pomegranate and Red Walnuts. Also, if you love a great dip for a party platter, try this Butternut Squash Hummus (served in a butternut squash).

Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s treated us to lunch with the authors and a copy of the cookbook. We did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are our own. This post contains affiliate links to our Amazon affiliate account.

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