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Easiest Harissa Paste Recipe

A peppery condiment from North Africa enjoyed by Algerians, Tunisians and now you! This easy Harissa recipe is made from jarred roasted peppers, spices and olive oil. You control the heat and tailor it to your own preference. Use this in marinades, use as a condiment or add to mayo.

A small bowl of Harissa paste.

Harissa Spices on a plate.

Whole spices in a spice grinder.
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So far, Harissa is my favorite condiment in my world culinary journey and I hope you have the time to give it a try.  I think you will be pleased, unless of course, you ONLY like bland food.

The first time I made this recipe, I roasted the peppers myself.  It wasn’t hard but did take some time with the extra steps.  If you choose to do this, you just roast peppers on a burner or under a broiler until they char and blister.

Place in a plastic bag and throw a kitchen towel on top to help them ‘sweat’.  This looses the skin.  Next take a crumpled piece of foil and scratch the skins off.  Cut them open, remove seeds and stem and you are done.

This time I used jarred roasted peppers.  I like this easy technique and now it is my go-to shortcut in the kitchen.

If you are really pressed for time you can always purchase harissa.

What is Harissa paste?

A paste that was invented in Northern Africa almost as soon as the pepper was introduced there by Spanish colonists in Tunisia.  This roasted pepper paste is mixed with local spices which differ from house to house.

Each family has their own recipe either because of preference or whatever pepper or spices they have on hand.

Common spices include cumin, coriander, black pepper, garlic and caraway seeds.

How hot is Harissa paste?

That depends on you.

A lot of Harissa recipes use hot peppers but there is so much heat in the spice mixture I like to use mild peppers.  If you are a fan of high Scoville scores, feel free to use Thai Prik Kee Noos, Ghost Peppers, Serranos, Jalapeños etc.  For us, it’s Sweet Bell Peppers and Anaheim chiles.

You can also adjust the heat by increasing or decreasing the red pepper flakes.  Since peppers have different levels of heat, even in the same family, if you want a more consistent heat level with each batch, this may be the way to go.

The way the recipe is written below will yield a medium hotness similar to a med-hot salsa.  If you want hotter, change your peppers or red chile flakes.  If you want milder, use half of the red pepper flakes in this recipe.

How to use Harissa paste

My favorite use for this condiment is in any egg dish.  You just add as much as your preference to scrambled eggs, egg burrito, egg sandwich…..SO easy.

Also try adding some to mayo or ranch dressing, this will give some oomph to your sandwich, wrap or salad.

Harissa paste is great as a marinade or added to existing marinades.  There isn’t any salt in this recipe so you have full control over the salt content of you dish.

You can make a sauce out of harissa paste by adding more olive oil to it.  You could also make a creamy Harissa sauce by adding to some cream that has been heated gently on the stovetop.

Possibly the most common technique for using Harissa is to use it as a condiment in Mediterranean foods.  Just scoop some up with your pita bread and maybe a little yogurt sauce along with the entree.  Yum!

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A small bowl of roasted red peppers.
Harissa ingredients in a food processor.
A food processor with harissa blended into a paste.
Smoother harissa paste in a food processor after oil has been added.
A spoonful of harissa paste.
An ice cube tray with harissa paste in it.

If you ever wondered how to store your Harissa Paste, freeze it.  Place in ice cube trays and freeze until solid.  Place in a freezer bag and place back in the freezer.  This will allow you to just take what you need when you need it and your Harissa paste will not go off.

A small bowl of harissa paste.

Dive in my peeps, I bet this will be your newest favorite condiment too!

Did you make this recipe?  Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below!  Take a picture and tag us @FusionCraftiness #FusionCraftiness on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Insta Stories:)

Bon Appetit!

Liven up your everyday fare by adding fiery Harissa!


Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A peppery condiment from North Africa enjoyed by Algerians, Tunisians and now you! This easy Harissa recipe is made from jarred roasted peppers, spices and olive oil. You control the heat and tailor it to your own preference. Use this in marinades, use as a condiment or add to mayo.


  • 1 Tbs cumin powder, may use whole cumin seed and grind in spice grinder
  • 1 Tbs coriander seed
  • 1 Tbs fennel seed
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tbs chile flakes
  • 12 oz jar of roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 anaheim chiles
  • olive oil
  • Keep in fridge for 1 week, cover with olive oil if desired.


  1. Grind fennel and coriander seed in spice grinder or mortal/pestle, set aside.
    Drain jar of peppers.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend.
    Add olive oil until you reach a medium thickness consistency, like mayo.


Pro Tips

  • To make this hotter either use more red pepper flakes or hotter chiles.
  • To prevent the paste from going off, freeze in ice cube trays and store in a freezer bag in the freezer.  Just thaw out as many harissa cubes as you need.
  • Add to may or dressing to add some zing to your lunch.
  • May use ground spices instead of grinding your own.   I do suggest you get a spice grinder (dedicated coffee grinder) and grind your own.  Whole spices don't go stale like the ground spices in jars that you buy at the store.  Plus, you never know how old they are.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1 Tbs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 27Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 23rd of March 2018

I've been wanting to make my own harissa paste at home for so long but never have! Definitely going to now after seeing this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing.


Tuesday 27th of February 2018

I love being able to control the spiciness to your personal preferences in making condiments like these at home. I am a total spice lightweight, and while I love the flavor of harissa, I often find that some of the commercially-prepared versions are just way too spicy for me! Thanks for this recipe, I'll definitely be making it with sweet peppers and Anaheims. :)


Monday 26th of February 2018

I love Harissa, but have never made my own. Now that I know it is so easy I definitely need to give it a go. Love the tip about storing in the freezer tray as well, I don't make use of this hack nearly enough!

Amy Nash

Monday 26th of February 2018

This sounds like such a wonderful sauce! I bet it would add a lot of body and flavor to put some in soups as well. And I appreciate being able to control the levels of spiciness for my family (who are still learning to appreciate the heat that I love)!


Monday 26th of February 2018

This is ah-mazing. I love homemade spice blends, dressing, and pastes, and I totally nerd out when I come across recipes for them. I never want to sound smug about it, but homemade is SO. MUCH. BETTER. But you don't really know this until you try, do you? I'll definitely have to give this recipe a whirl. I've only ever used harissa spice, never paste. You can tell this is just PACKED with flavor!

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