Skip to Content

Harissa Chicken Recipe

This Harissa Chicken Recipe is slightly sweet, smoky and packed full of flavor. The chicken thighs are cooked in a skillet to create tender, juicy chicken. You can have this dish on your table in less than 30 minutes.

Harissa Chicken Recipe in a white bowl.

Want to save this recipe?

Just enter your email & get this recipe sent to your inbox! Plus you'll get new recipes from us every week! 

Save Recipe

HARISSA CHICKEN RECIPE 

Harissa paste is something I enjoy cooking with and today’s Harissa Chicken Recipe is a great way to use it.

I know some people might not know what it is or used it before but it can be a great addition to an easy dinner.

You might be wondering what harissa paste is?

Harissa paste is a spicy, smoky and slightly sweet condiment often used in North African cuisine. It is often seen in countries like Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. 

It is made from a combination of dried red chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, spices, and sometimes additional ingredients like coriander seeds, caraway seeds, and cumin.

The paste has a complex flavor and helps create a spicy chicken.

I would describe it as a rich, smoky, and fiery flavor profile with varying levels of heat, depending on the type and amount of chili peppers used.

As with many recipes the exact recipe can vary depending on the regional variations of harissa. 

I love bold flavors which is probably why I love harissa so much. It is a comfort food for me.

We eat chicken at least one night of the week so it is nice to keep things interesting and use unique flavors in my recipes. 

We often rotate between this Harissa Chicken Recipe, Moroccan Chicken Thighs, Lebanese Chicken Kebabs, Coq Au Vin and this Margarita Grilled Chicken.

Harissa Chicken Recipe with a spoon.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Full of flavor – This delicious chicken is packed full of smoky and sweet flavors from the Harissa marinade. You will love the combination of flavors. 
  • Easy to make – An easy dish to make that can be brought together in less than an hour if needed. Ideal for those warm summers day when you want to use the BBQ. 
  • Simple ingredients – Six simple ingredients bring this recipe to life. If you are looking for an easy chicken recipe using minimal ingredients, this is the dish for you.
  • Introduce new flavors – A great way to introduce your family to new and exciting flavors. 

Harissa Chicken Recipe ingredients.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR THIS HARISSA CHICKEN: 

CHICKEN THIGHS

HARISSA PASTE

LEMON

HONEY

GARLIC CLOVES

OLIVE OIL 

Harissa Chicken Recipe with cilantro.

HOW TO MAKE THE HEALTHY HARISSA CHICKEN

Now that you have all your ingredients, it is time to make the simple and tasty harissa grilled chicken. 

MAKE THE MARINADE: In a large bowl mix the harissa chile paste, lemon, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. 

Harissa Chicken Recipe harissa paste in a bowl.

Marinade chicken thighs in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Harissa Chicken Recipe chicken with a marinade.

SEAR THE CHICKEN: Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Sear the chicken skin down in the skillet for 6 minutes.

FINISH COOKING THE CHICKEN: Flip the chicken and cook for another 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the heat.

SERVE WITH GARNISHES AND RICE: Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro and serve with brown rice or cauliflower rice.

Harissa Chicken Recipe with sauce over chicken.

RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS 

While I try and provide step-by-step instructions with the method, often there are recipe notes and tips that help you make the most out of the recipe.

Here are some of the essential tips and tricks to help you make this tasty Harissa Chicken. 

  • Marinade the chicken for at least 30 minutes. However, the longer you can leave it the better as the flavor is intensified. Since there is lemon juice in the marinade make sure you don’t marinade for longer than 2 hours or the citrus will break down the chicken. 
  • Make sure you are using a hot skillet or grill, or ensure the BBQ grill is hot. This will ensure the chicken is tender and juicy on the inside. 
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
  • Harissa is often found in the Middle Eastern or Mediterranean section of grocery stores. I also have seen it at Whole Foods and trader joe. If you have a local Middle Eastern market or store near you that will also carry it.
  • Harissa can be used to spice up couscous, grilled meats, stews and vegetables. It can also be added to soups, sauces, spreads, and dips to provide a bold and spicy kick.  

Harissa Chicken Recipe in a skillet.

WAYS TO MODIFY THESE HARISSA CHICKEN THIGHS 

Many recipes have substitutions and variations that help you customize your salad:

Things you can add or little changes to make it more suitable. So here are some of the best variations you might want to consider:

  • You can use store-bought Harissa Paste. Or make your own homemade harissa using this harissa sauce recipe here. 
  • This harissa marinade will work with other meats like steak or even just vegetables that you grill, roast, or BBQ. 
  • You can add this marinade to a whole chicken, skinless chicken thighs, chicken breasts, chicken tenderloins or wings. Just make sure to adjust the cook time depending on the cut of chicken. 
  • Instead of lemon juice you could substitute it with lime juice instead. If you want extra citrus flavor add lemon zest or lime zest
  • Fresh herbs would be nice to add to the marinade. Try adding chopped parsley or cilantro. 
  • If you want more spices try adding a touch of hot sauce.

Harissa Chicken Recipe with a fork.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS?

Leftover Harissa Chicken can be served in many ways. I like to chop up the leftover chicken and store it for meals throughout the week. 

You also could batch book by doubling or tripling the recipe for meal prep and use the chicken for lunches and dinners.

I like adding it to a hummus bowl, to a hummus platter, add it on top of this Mediterranean Zucchini Pasta Salad or this  Mediterranean Eggplant Salad

Chop up any cooked chicken and add it to a tomato pasta sauce and pair it with pasta. 

You could even create a creamy sauce for pasta or rice and serve the cooked chicken in that to balance out the flavors.

 HOW SHOULD I SERVE THE HARISSA CHICKEN?

The spicy, smoky chicken works great with a cool sauce to add on top or to dip the chicken in. Try yogurt sauce, this Creamy Dill Sauce or this Tahini Yogurt Dressing drizzled over the chicken.

This chicken works great with salads like this Summer Orzo Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Bean Salad, Tomato Cucumber Feta Quinoa Salad, Persian Tomato Cucumber Salad or this Easy Lebanese Salad. 

Other side dish I like to serve this chicken with are these Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables, 4 Ingredient Cheesy Orzo, Spicy Lebanese Potatoes or these Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms. 

Harissa Chicken Recipe with logo

OTHER CHICKEN RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

GREEK MARINATED CHICKEN KABOBS

SUN-DRIED TOMATO FARRO CHICKEN BAKE

RANCH CHICKEN THIGHS

YOGURT MARINATED CHICKEN TENDERS

AIR FRYER MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN THIGHS

CHICKEN SOUVLAKI 

CHICKEN KOFTA

Harissa Chicken Recipe in a white bowl.

Harissa Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes

This Harissa Chicken Recipe is slightly sweet, smoky and packed full of flavor. The chicken thighs are cooked in a skillet to create tender, juicy chicken. You can have this dish on your table in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 tbsps. honey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skin on (medium size thighs)

Instructions

      1. In a medium mixing bowl mix the harissa paste, lemon, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinade chicken thighs in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
      2. Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. Sear the chicken skin down in the skillet for 6 minutes.
      3. Flip the chicken and cook for another 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the heat.
      4. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro and serve with rice.

Notes

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

CommentLuv badge

41 Best Spicy Chicken Recipes To Bring The Heat - All Nutritious

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

[…] 2. Harissa Chicken […]

51 One Pan Chicken Recipes To Make For Easy Dinners - All Nutritious

Sunday 1st of October 2023

[…] 2. Harissa Chicken […]

Skip to Recipe