This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our privacy policy.

Harissa sauce is a staple of Tunisian, Moroccan and much Middle Eastern Cooking, and while you can absolutely buy terrific harissa in jars you can also make your own fairly easily.  And in 20 minutes or so you will have bragging rights to this condiment and enough to use for weeks to come (and to share!).  It makes such a great gift for the cooks in your life.   

Harissa Sauce

Harissa Sauce: Homemade harissa sauce is easy to make, keeps for 4 weeks in the fridge, and adds a smoky heat to all kinds of dishes.

Tweet This

How to Make Harissa Sauce

Wipe the dried peppers with a damp paper towel to remove any dust.  Place them in a dry skillet over high heat and turn them every minute until they become a bit pliable and smell fragrant, about 4 minutes.  Break them into pieces and discard the stems and seeds.

How to Toast Peppers for Harissa Sauce

Place peppers and garlic with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, or to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.   Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, until the red pepper pieces soften. 

How to Toast Peppers for Harissa Sauce

Drain the peppers and garlic in a fine mesh sieve and discard the liquid (or taste and use a bit in a soup of a stew, noting the level of heat).  Dump them into a blender or food processor and blend them with the cumin, coriander caraway seeds (if using), 1/3 cup of the olive oil and salt and pepper.  

Transfer to a small container with a lid and pour in a bit of olive oil to cover the surface.  Store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

Harissa Sauce

How to Use Harissa Sauce

Harissa can be used as a marinade, an ingredient and a condiment.  Try it as a rub on different meat, from pork to lamb to chicken to firm fleshed fish.  Mix a bit into ground meat for burgers or meatballs or meatloaf.  Add some to vegetables whether you are sauteing, roasting or grilling them.  And use it as a condiment for everything from bread to stews to meat to fish and seafood.  

You can also stir some into any tomato-based dishes for nice kick. Anything from pasta sauce to chili will benefit from a dollop of harissa.  It is spicy, and the level of heat can vary depending on the peppers. Start with a small amount, taste, and add more as needed.

Harissa Sauce

Handling Hot Peppers

When you are cooking with hot peppers, whether they be dried or fresh, be very careful not to touch your eyes or mouth or any part of your face or body for that matter.  The heat can really burn.  Either use food-safe gloves or make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after you finish handling them.  You will likely need to wash your hands multiple times while you make the harissa; don’t stint on the soap or the frequency!

How to Toast Peppers for Harissa Sauce

Recipes with Harissa Sauce:

Harissa Sauce

Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite board on Pinterest.

Pin This

Harissa Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 people
Homemade harissa sauce is easy to make, keeps for 4 weeks in the fridge, and adds a smoky heat to all kinds of dishes.

Ingredients 

  • 8 dried ancho or guajillo peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (optional)
  • cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for storing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Wipe the dried peppers with a damp paper towel to remove any dust. Place them in a dry skillet over high heat and turn them every minute until they become a bit pliable and smell fragrant, about 4 minutes. Break them into pieces and discard the stems and seeds.
  • Place peppers and garlic with 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, or to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, until the red pepper flakes soften.
  • Drain the peppers and garlic in a fine mesh sieve and discard the liquid (or taste and use a bit in a soup of a stew, noting the level of heat). Dump them into a blender or food processor and blend them with the cumin, coriander caraway seeds (if using), 1/3 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper.

Notes

Transfer to a small container with a lid and pour in a bit of olive oil to cover the surface. Store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 78kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 71mg, Potassium: 265mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 3709IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 8mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!
PinYummly

Hello & Welcome

Sign up now and receive my recipe newsletter full of dinnertime inspiration.

Signing up for our newsletter means you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


Comments

  1. Hi,
    Love your recipe but thay would be nice if you could correct the mistake you made saying that harissa is Moroccan.
    It is purely Tunisian (actually recently recognized as a Tunisia UNESCO heritage) and it is used by a lot of arab countries.
    It may sound unimportant but Tunisian cuisine is very often overlooked, and something so representative of our country attributed to another is bothering.
    Thank you for taking time to read my comment.
    Wish you the best,
    Selim

Rate & Comment

Recipe Rating