Harissa is a spicy North African paste made with roasted red bell peppers mixed with hot peppers and lots of spices. 

You can use this paste as a condiment, or add a spoonful to ground beef. Rub it on fish or chicken before roasting. Use it as a marinade. Mix a spoonful into mayonnaise as a spicy condiment. 

Once you taste harissa, you’ll want to use it on everything.


Harissa paste

Harissa (Hot Chili Pepper Paste)

This spicy paste is made with roasted red bell pepper and hot chili peppers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course condiment
Cuisine Mediterranean, North African
Servings 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 3 red chili peppers (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste


  • In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, and chilis and cook for about 10 minutes, until caramelized.
  • Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor and add the roasted red peppers, lemon juice, vinegar, coriander, cumin, caraway, paprika, salt, and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.


Harissa paste can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Keyword hot peppers, red pepper