Whether you’re a loyal harissa devotee like myself or you’re standing with your first jar of homemade harissa paste in hand, you’ll love our collection of recipes with harissa paste.

Think buttery harissa roasted cauliflower for dinner or harissa shakshuka for brunch, and easy harissa vinaigrette for every meal throughout the day.

I’ve curated a selection of harissa recipes I know and love – that I know you’ll love too – with a few extra iconic recipes we all need in our repertoire.

So, are you ready to turn up the heat? Grab your harissa jar and prep that apron. And let’s get into the flavourful world of harissa.

A slice of sourdough topped with glossy rose harissa tomatoes and labneh.

Where to get harissa paste?

North African harissa typically comes in three forms. It is best known as the fragrant harissa paste – a condiment made from red peppers or rehydrated dried chiles blended with toasted spices, fresh garlic and olive oil. But it is also available in harissa sauce (a fiery ready-to-use sauce) and harissa powder (a dry harissa spice blend).

The harissa dishes in this collection use harissa paste.

You can make your own harissa paste or rose harissa paste (harissa with rose petals) from roasted red bell peppers. But you can also rehydrate dried chile peppers or harissa spice to make quick and easy harissa paste (see instructions for making harissa substitute from powder). 

Close-up of homemade rose harissa paste in a bowl with gold spoon.

If you have a runny harissa sauce, you can reduce it in a non-stick frying pan over low heat until you have thick, concentrated harissa paste.

And if you’re not in the mood to make the red pepper paste from scratch, you can find harissa paste in most grocery stores. For my favourite store-bought harissa paste, look for the Belazu rose harissa paste (Amazon affiliate link).

A jar of rose harissa paste and a tube of Tunisian harissa paste.

Our favourite harissa recipes

A tablespoon of harissa paste can boost the flavour of any dish. I add the spicy condiment to soups, stews, sauces, dressings, marinades, dips and spreads. You could say it’s my not-so-secret weapon.

Close-up of harissa roasted cauliflower.
Harissa roasted cauliflower
Treat cauliflower as the star in this indulgent buttery harissa roasted cauliflower. Serve harissa cauliflower as an indulgent vegetarian main meal with a zesty salad and crusty bread. Or pair it with grilled meat for the perfect side dish.
Try the harissa cauliflower recipe
A close-up of a spoonful of harissa vinaigrette.
Harissa vinaigrette
This harissa salad dressing is a zesty flavour-packed salad dressing. And it’s super easy to make – no chopping required. Simply measure and mix. The vinaigrette is spicy and tangy with a hint of sweetness that’s perfect for salads, roasted vegetables, and grain bowls.
Try the harissa dressing recipe
Labneh dip topped with harissa-spiced cherry tomato sauce and pine nuts, served with flatbread wedges.
Labneh dip with harissa tomato sauce
The easy stovetop harissa-spiced tomato sauce is the perfect accompaniment to creamy labneh. And the crunchy pine nuts and earthy nigella seeds turn this labneh dip into an instant crowd-pleaser.
Try the labneh dip recipe
Harissa shakshuka with bright red roasted pepper sauce with soft-cooked eggs and visibly runny yolks topped with feta and parsley in a cast-iron skillet.
Harissa shakshuka with feta
An easy harissa shakshuka with eggs poached in fragrant harissa, red pepper and tomato sauce, topped with black lime-infused feta and fresh parsley. This harissa shakshuka with feta is the perfect brunch recipe or easy one-pan dinner.
Try the harissa shakshuka recipe
Harissa hummus in a small bowl viewed from above.
Harissa hummus
This spicy harissa hummus is a flavour-packed Moroccan-inspired twist on traditional hummus. The easy recipe uses canned chickpeas and harissa paste (with a few tips and tricks) for the creamiest hummus.
Try the harissa hummus recipe
Harissa roasted carrots with chopped pistachios and a dollop of dill yoghurt in a brown ceramic serving plate.
Harissa roasted carrots
These harissa roasted carrots are an easy and flavour-packed side dish. The sweet and spicy harissa marinade creates deliciously caramelised roasted carrots. They pair perfectly with a creamy dressing or a dollop of yoghurt.
Try the harissa roasted carrot recipe
Shaped harissa butter on a small plate sliced with a knife.
Easy harissa butter
This fragrant harissa butter is the perfect condiment to add a touch of spice to grilled or roasted meats, vegetables, and seafood. Or enjoy the harissa-infused compound butter spread over thick slices of warm bread.
Try the harissa butter recipe
Top down view of a baking sheet with roasted cherry tomatoes in a harissa marinade.
Roasted cherry tomatoes with harissa
These roasted cherry tomatoes are a versatile condiment, pasta sauce, salad dressing, bruschetta topping or side dish. It is delicious served hot or cold.
Yields about 3 cups.
Try the harissa tomato sauce recipe
Barley pilaf with harissa, cherry tomatoes and olives topped with parsley on a white plate with an antique silver serving spoon.
Harissa barley pilaf
This barley pilaf is a flavourful one-pan dish, spiced with rose harissa and enriched with olives, tomatoes, and leafy greens. It's a great side dish or vegetarian grain bowl base. Top it with leftover veg, avocado, and nuts for a more substantial meal.
Try the harissa pilaf recipe
A brown ceramic bowl with bright red harissa lentil soup with a scoop of yoghurt and dots of green salsa. The bowl is on a dark surface with pieces of flatbread visible on the side.
Harissa lentil soup
This Moroccan-style lentil soup adds rose harissa for a fiery, floral twist. Top the red lentil soup with yoghurt and cilantro salsa for a zesty, spicy kick. It's a flavour-packed, quick and easy, pantry-friendly dish – the perfect emergency comfort food.
Try the Moroccan soup recipe

This harissa recipe roundup would not be complete without a few of my favourites that got me hooked on harissa in the first place.

Pappardelle with rose harissa, black olives and capers

This hearty harissa pasta dish combines the spicy yet floral flavour of rose harissa with sweet, caramelised onions. Cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and capers turn this easy harissa pasta into a flavour-packed dinner. And you can prep the sauce up to three days ahead. Serve the pappardelle with a simple green salad for a cosy weeknight meal.

Try this pappardelle with rose harissa, black olives and capers recipe (from Ottolenghi).

Harissa honey chicken thighs

These harissa chicken thighs are a delicious, sticky, and flavourful dish. The chicken thighs are marinated in a blend of honey, harissa paste, apple cider vinegar, and garlic, and then roasted to perfection in the oven. The sweet and spicy glaze is the perfect accompaniment to the succulent chicken.

Serve the chicken with some minced cilantro for an extra hit of flavour.

Try this harissa honey chicken recipe (from The endless meal).

Grilled harissa chicken

This delicious grilled chicken with harissa is packed with smoky, tangy and spicy flavour. Marinate the boneless, skinless chicken thighs in garlic, red onion, coriander, black pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne and harissa paste. Grill it to perfection and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Serve it over couscous, with a side of veggies or a Mediterranean salad for a flavourful meal.

Try this grilled harissa chicken recipe (from The Mediterranean dish).

Harissa chicken traybake

This easy harissa chicken traybake is a zesty, one-pan recipe that transforms chicken legs into a flavour-packed feast. Spicy harissa paste, aromatic garlic cloves, and tangy lemon wedges add heaps of flavour, while cherry tomatoes and new potatoes roast to juicy and tender perfection. It’s an easy-to-make yet deeply satisfying weeknight meal.

Serve the harissa roast chicken traybake with warm pita bread and a green salad.

Try this harissa chicken traybake recipe (from BBC good food).

Slow-roasted harissa salmon

Roasting the salmon at a low temperature in a generous bath of extra-virgin olive oil ensures the fish remains tender. It is impossible to overcook the salmon. And the coating of harissa paste and grated garlic topped with roasted lemon slices, impart a spicy and aromatic flavour. Try the hands-off roasted salmon to impress guests at your next dinner party!

Try this slow-roasted harissa salmon recipe (from Bon appetit).

Harissa marinated chickpeas

These marinated harissa chickpeas are packed with flavour and perfect for a meal or snack. You only need eight simple ingredients to make these saucy, smoky chickpeas to prepare it in minutes.

Add the harissa chickpeas to your next pasta salad, grain salad, sandwich, buddha bowl and more! Enjoy the plant-based protein and fibre with a zing of harissa heat.

Try this harissa marinated chickpeas recipe (from Minimalist baker).

Smashed harissa potatoes

These harissa potatoes pack a serious flavour punch. The potatoes are boiled until just fork tender, smashed, then liberally coated in a harissa paste and olive oil mixture and roasted until crispy.

Serve the potatoes while hot with a cool and creamy homemade Greek yoghurt dip to balance the heat. Perfect as a snack or roasted potato side dish!

Try this smashed harissa potatoes recipe (from Barley & sage).

Harissa yoghurt marinated chicken with persimmons

This harissa chicken dish is a flavour-packed one-skillet winter meal packed. Marinate the skinless chicken breasts in a mixture of full-fat Greek yoghurt, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, harissa paste and salt, then sear and roast the chicken in a cast-iron skillet. Shallots, honey and persimmons add sweetness, while the harissa adds a spicy kick.

Serve it with fresh mint and an extra drizzle of honey (or hot honey more heat).

Try this harissa and persimmon chicken recipe (from Barley & sage).

Harissa roasted sweet potato salad

Harissa paste adds a serious flavour boost to any roasted vegetables. This harissa-roasted sweet potato power salad is flavourful and nutrient-packed. It’s great for make-ahead lunches or easy weeknight dinners.

Toss roasted sweet potatoes with harissa, kale, quinoa, avocado, and pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with a creamy parsley tahini dressing.

It’s plant-based and gluten-free. But you can easily customise it with extra protein, feta cheese, or roasted veggies. Perfect to enjoy hot or cold!

Try this harissa-roasted sweet potato power salad recipe (from Dishing out health).

Grilled lamb burger with harissa aioli

This grilled lamb burger with harissa aioli has everything you need for a memorable meal. The juicy lamb patties, made with garlic, onion, spices and salt and pepper, sing with Middle Eastern flavour.

And the harissa aioli adds a spicy tang, while the melty cheese, arugula, and pickled onions bring the flavours and textures together on a toasted brioche bun.

Serve it up with a side of fries for a truly indulgent feast.

Try this grilled lamb burger with harissa aioli recipe (from Feasting at home).

Frequently asked questions

What can you make with harissa?

You can use harissa to spice up soups, stews, pasta, couscous, salads and sandwiches. It’s an excellent way to inject some fiery flavour into your meals. Try harissa roasted cauliflower or an easy harissa salad dressing to get to know the flavour.

How does harissa taste?

Harissa paste has a rich, smoky flavour with undertones of red pepper sweetness rounded out with a spicy kick. Expect a well-rounded blend of spices, garlic, chillies, and a touch of citrus. Rose harissa also has floral notes from rose petals and rose water.

Is harissa mild or fiery?

The spiciness of harissa varies depending on its ingredients. But it tends to be moderately hot. For more control over the heat, make your own rose harissa paste and adjust the amount and type of chillies to suit your palate.