Harissa Paste Recipe

Make this easy Harissa Paste Recipe and add the spicy flavors of North Africa to your cooking! Great on chicken, vegetables, and more. Scroll down for a video to show you how!

Harissa Paste (pronounced ha-RISS-uh) is a North African (possibly Moroccan) blend of dried chillies, fresh herbs, garlic, citrus juice, tomato, spices, and anything else you want to add.

It’s spicy in the best possible way (you can make it mild or hot), customizable, and utterly delicious.

Put it on anything and everything: chicken you bake, pork your grill, vegetables on the side, everywhere. It’s accidentally healthy and my new favorite way to season EVERYTHING.

A clear bowl with the dark red harissa paste being served with a metal spoon. There is cilantro, red chilies, and a lemon in the background.

Harissa place first crossed my path in a box of Blue Apron meals. I’ll be eternally grateful to them.

MY LATEST RECIPES

However, and this might sound obvious: They included the harissa. So when I wanted to recreate their delicious meal, I had to figure out what on earth this harissa stuff was.

I quickly discovered that I could buy harissa paste (online or at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or wherever), but what’s the fun in THAT?!

A clear bowl with the dark red harissa paste. Next to the bowl, there is cilantro, red chilies, and a lemon.

Following a lovely tutorial over at The Kitchn, I began experimenting with Harissa paste. To my surprise and delight, it didn’t have to be so spicy, your face would melt.

I started with New Mexico dried chillies (mild) and have  also made versions with dried Anchos (mild, brown not red, similar to my Chipotle Chicken marinade) and Arbols (by far the spiciest version). See the recipe notes for dried chili ideas.

By the way, Harissa paste freezes well. So if you make a batch, you don’t have to eat it all in 5 minutes. Freeze some! Save it for later.

Here’s everything you need to know in 64 seconds about making Harissa.

Save this Harissa Paste Recipe to your “Sauces” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

A clear bowl with the dark red harissa paste being served with a metal spoon. There is cilantro, red chilies, and a lemon in the background.
5 from 2 votes
Print

Homemade Harissa Paste Recipe

Make this easy Harissa Paste Recipe and add the spicy flavors of North Africa to your cooking! Great on chicken, vegetables, and more.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 64 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces dried chilies (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 tablespoon oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place chilies in a large heat-proof bowl. Cover with boiled water and let sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, add caraway seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds to a dry skillet. Toast over the lowest possible heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Shake frequently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer toasted spices to a small grinder or mortar and pestle. Process until finely ground.
  4. Drain the chillies well. Remove the stem and seeds from each chili (wearing gloves is recommended) and transfer to a food processor.
  5. To the food processor, add ground spices, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mint leaves, cilantro, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and salt. Process until a thick paste forms, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  6. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze up to 2 months (see notes).

Recipe Notes

1. Dried Chili Heat:

Mild: New Mexico, red bell peppers

Medium: Guajillo, Ancho, Pasilla

Hot: Arbol, Puya

Smoky: Chipotle, Morita

2. If using fresh chillies, use 8 ounces instead of 4 ounces.

3. Because of the presence of garlic, I recommend using or discarding the harissa paste within 4 days to prevent the risk of botulism.

4. To freeze, portion the harissa paste into rounded tablespoons and freeze individually on a baking sheet. Then, combine in a freezer-safe container.

Adapted from The Kitchn.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information on my Affiliate and Advertising Policy, please click here.

Make this easy Harissa Paste Recipe and add the spicy flavors of North Africa to your cooking! Great on chicken, vegetables, and more.

More recipes you'll love...

2 comments

  1. Yum yum yum! Cant wait to make it! Thank you for the recipe

  2. Thank your site! information your share is useful to me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

thanks for stopping by!

y’all come back now, ya hear?