9 Harissa Recipe Ideas

From making a lemony salad dressing to whisking it into hummus, here are our favorite ways to enjoy harissa.

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing
Photo: © Dave Lauridsen

Harissa is a fiery and garlicky North African spice paste that's traditionally served alongside bread, stews, and couscous dishes. Recipes vary widely but it's usually made with spices including caraway, cumin, and coriander, and sometimes herbs, like mint. Harissa is easy enough to make your own, but jarred versions work equally well. Here are nine ways to use this flavor-packed spice paste.


Mix harissa paste into the burger meat itself or blend it into ketchup or mayo for a zingy condiment.

Roasted Vegetables

Harissa's heat is especially good with sweet vegetables like squash, carrots, and fennel; toss the chopped vegetables with the paste before roasting.


Mix harissa into store-bought hummus or make your own.

Salad Dressing

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing
© Dave Lauridsen

Add a spicy kick to salad by whisking harissa into a lemony dressing. It's delicious tossed with raw julienned carrots.


Southern Italy is not so far from North Africa, so using harissa in pasta dishes isn't a huge stretch. Try it in a basic tomato sauce or with roasted broccoli rabe.


Whisk harissa into yogurt to make a hot-and-cold sauce for grilled meats, like lamb chops.


Harissa-Crusted Pork Crown Roast
© Con Poulos

The spice paste becomes an instant rub for luxe cuts of meat like a crown roast of pork or a leg of lamb, or more humble chicken legs.

Chicken Wings

Any spicy condiment always ends up on a chicken wing, and harissa is no exception.


More complex than Tabasco and even everyone's beloved Sriracha, harissa is incredibly delicious on a breakfast sandwich.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

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