Easy Homemade Harissa (Whole30, Keto, Paleo)

Quick & Easy Homemade Harissa (Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto)

Harissa is fiery red-orange paste (or thick sauce) of North African origin. It’s a delicious condiment, and is often used as a flavouring cooking ingredient. It’s become very popular in the culinary world in the recent years, both for its flavour and its versatility in the kitchen.

You can find ready-made harissa in most supermarkets. It’s often sold in a tube or in a small jar. However, making your own not only ensures all natural, real food ingredients, but it also allows you to control the flavour and the heat of the sauce. In today’s post, I want to show you my super quick and simple recipe for homemade harissa.

There are many variations of harissa, so this is by no means an authentic version. It’s actually a more simplified recipe, made with ingredients that I thought most of you will have in your kitchen already. You could also add roasted red peppers or caraway seeds to the mix, to make it a little closer to the traditional recipe. Store harissa in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.

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My favourite ways to use harissa sauce


  • As a condiment with grilled steak, fish and poultry. Think hot mustard and ketchup combined together.
  • Stir it with mayonnaise for an amazing, spicy sauce to go over your burger patties or sausages.
    Mix with a little lime juice and honey and use as a glaze on baked salmon (see picture). Then bake in the 200 C/ 400 F oven for 15 minutes.
  • Harissa prawn skewers, anyone? Mix harissa with a little extra lemon or lime juice and olive oil to marinate the prawns before grilling.
  • Add to a dressing to drizzle over African or Middle Eastern-inspired salad; or mix with a little extra olive oil and salt, spread on a plate and top with roasted carrots and pumpkin.
  • Add to a beef or lamb chilli stew for extra kick and flavour.
  • Mix with coconut yoghurt for a lovely dressing or sauce over grilled meat.
  • Mix into a burger or meatball meat, or stir into chicken wings marinade.
  • Stir through scrambled eggs or add to baked eggs (a la shakshuka style).
  • Add to dips (e.g. harissa guacamole or babaganush) or stir into your next bowl of pumpkin soup.
  • Harissa butter – enough said!

Homemade Harissa Sauce Recipe

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Quick & Easy Homemade Harissa

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 8
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: North African
Print Pin Save
5 from 1 vote
Calories: 68kcal
Harissa is fiery red-orange paste (or thick sauce) of North African origin. It’s a delicious condiment, and is often used as a flavouring cooking ingredient. It’s become very popular in the culinary world in the recent years, both for its flavour and its versatility in the kitchen.


  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 long red chilli roughly diced (seeds in)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds or powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Handful of coriander/cilantro leaves


  • Add all ingredients to a food processor or a small blender (like NutriBullet) and process until smooth. Stir in an air-tight container for 2-3 weeks (in the fridge).


This recipe should yield about 1 cup of harissa. Nutritional information is calculated with that rough measurement, per 2 tablespoons.


Serving: 2 tablespoons | Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Keywords: Dip, Condiment, Sauces, Harissa, Spicy
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Quick & Easy Homemade Harissa (Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Keto)

Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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