Looking for an easy chicken recipe that's bursting with complex flavor? Look no further than this easy Harissa chicken recipe! With the bold flavors of North African and Middle Eastern cuisine, with a Greek-inspired twist, this dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds and spice up your next dinner.
Harissa is a spicy paste made from hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and a variety of herbs and spices. It's a staple in North African cuisine and can usually be found in grocery stores. In this recipe, we mix harissa and Greek yogurt to marinate our chicken and create a spicy, easy dinner everyone will love.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Roasted Red Peppers - We love Costco's huge $6 jar
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Harissa Paste - add more for extra spicy
- Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Kosher Salt
Add all ingredients (except the chicken) to a large jar and blend with an immersion blender. A standard blender or food processor would also work. Set some to the side if you like for a dressing or drizzled for finishing.
Cube chicken into small bite-size pieces. Add marinade to chicken and mix to thoroughly coat. You can marinade up to 24 hrs, but this can be used right away if you'd like.
Laying your harissa chicken single layer on a sheet tray and broiling is how we achieved this amazing color. I was careful to cut my pieces of chicken small enough that they would finish cooking with such direct heat. If your pieces are slightly larger, I would recommend baking at 400 degrees first and then broiling to finish so you still get that color and flavor!
Making sure your chicken is cooked all the way through to 165 degrees F is the most important. Small pieces do cook quickly, but I highly recommend an instant-read thermometer for anyone who has an undercooked chicken phobia.
Add on top of a salad, on a pita, or on top of your favorite rice. Finish with your favorite Greek toppings.
Make Harissa chicken thighs or drumsticks instead! While we prefer boneless chicken breast, chicken thighs have higher fat content and can result in more flavorful and juicy meat. You could also use a whole chicken and either roast or smoke it, adding another level of flavor. Just keep in mind you'll need to adjust the cooking time and use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 165!
Try using garbanzo beans or cauliflower florets in place of chicken for a vegetarian or vegan version of the dish.
What is Harissa
Used a lot in middle eastern cooking, Harissa sauce at its base is a spicy chili pepper paste seasoned with a variety of spices, garlic, and lemon. It can be mild to very spicy. Now, if you are worried this recipe may be too spicy for you, good news! You have full control. The marinade can be taste tested as you go, and the chicken will also only hold onto so much of it.
Don't forget the harissa can be purchased in a mild or spicy version. The power is all in your hands. Start light, and add as you go!
This is the Harissa paste I use for this recipe. It's spicy, bright, and delicious. It can be used as a garnish as well to spice up any dish.
Harissa chile paste is a spicy North African and Middle Eastern condiment that adds deep complex flavors to dishes. It's made from hot chili peppers, roasted bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, and a variety of herbs and spices such as coriander, caraway, and cumin.
You can find harissa paste in many grocery stores and can be used in a variety of ways to add a kick of heat and depth of flavor to dishes. It's commonly used to marinate meat or fish, as a spread on sandwiches or wraps, and as a dip or sauce for vegetables. The heat level of Harissa paste can vary depending on the type and amount of chili peppers used, so it's important to taste it before using it and adjust the amount to your preference.
Harissa powder is a dry spice blend that typically contains ground chili peppers, along with other spices such as cumin, coriander seeds, and caraway seeds. It can be used as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, or grains, or mixed with olive oil or water to make a paste or marinade. Note: We use harissa paste in this recipe, not harissa powder.
This homemade harissa recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, making it a convenient and delicious addition to your kitchen pantry.
- 6-8 dried chili peppers (such as guajillo, ancho, or New Mexico)
- Roasted Bell Peppers (preferably red)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Begin by soaking the dried chili peppers in hot water for 20-30 minutes until they soften.
- While the chili peppers soak, toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Drain the chili peppers and remove the stems and seeds.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the chili peppers, roasted bell peppers, toasted seeds, garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pulse until a thick paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Taste the harissa and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more salt or lemon juice if desired.
The Harissa Yogurt Marinade
To make this spicy chicken come to life, we need to start by adding all of our marinade ingredients to an immersion blender, food processor, or standard blender. Blend until smooth and taste. You may want to adjust your salt and pepper slightly. Everything is cooked and hasn't touched raw chicken yet, so it's safe. You can even add more Harissa to your yogurt sauce at this point if you'd like to add even more heat to your dish!
I also suggest setting some of this to the side as well as a dressing or drizzle for your final product as well. It's just so good...
Bases & Toppings
We use our Harissa chicken as the main ingredient and then use it across multiple dishes. As I'm sitting here thinking about all the ways this delicious chicken recipe could be used, and it just hit me a pizza with this Harissa Chicken + pickled red onions + pickled jalapenos + a sprinkle of feta & cilantro to finish might be something I need to do ASAP. One of my personal favorite ways to serve this harissa chicken is in pita bread loaded with all my favorite toppings.
Here are multiple ways you can serve yours...
Bases to Serve On or Over
- Cauliflower Rice
- Mixed Green Salad
- Pita Bread or Naan
- Feta Cheese
- Pickled Jalapeno
- Fresh Cilantro
- Extra Spicy Harissa Paste
To store leftover harissa chicken first let it cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months.
We also love to use it for meal prep. Adding it to our lunch salads, and wraps, or making greens and grain style bowls for a quick and easy lunch. It can be a fun spicy change to your lunch or dinner routine!
Roasted Red Pepper & Harissa Chicken
- 2 Chicken Breast
- ½ cup Roasted Red Peppers
- ¼ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 tablespoon Harissa Paste - add more for extra spicy
- 3 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Garlic
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Add all ingredients to a large jar and blend with an immersion blender. A standard blender or food processor would also work.
- Set some to the side if you like for a dressing or drizzled for finishing.
- Cube chicken into small bite-size pieces.
- Add remaining marinade to chicken and mix to thoroughly coat.
- Marinade up to 24 hrs, but this can be used right away if you'd like.
- Line a sheet tray with foil and spread out the marinated chicken. Roast at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Broiling to finish if you need some extra color on top.
- Add on top of a salad, on a pita, or on top of rice. Finish with your favorite Greek toppings.