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Homemade Green Harissa Sauce

Green harissa sauce is a flavorful spicy condiment, used for roasted vegetables, any kind of protein, salads, bowls or soups. This harissa recipe is a real metabolism booster, healthy and vegan and a great addition to any meal that you want to add some heat to.

Green harissa in a bowl with a spoon closeup

What is harissa?

Harissa is an amazingly flavorful spicy condiment, which makes roasted vegetables, meat, fish, soups, and couscous taste great. 

Moreover, it can be used as a spread for bread or as a dip for anything you like (if you like spicy dips, of course). It makes a rich and zesty barbecue marinade, too. 

Harissa comes from Tunisia, but good things spread very fast, and it’s become popular in the Maghreb countries like Morocco and Algeria and all around the globe.

A spoonful of green harissa

Green Harissa vs Red

While classic Harissa is red (made of chilli peppers) and tastes red-hot, green harissa is less spicy and more tangy in taste, thanks for the herbs that are added in it. 

Green Harissa is made of herbs like peppermint, cilantro, parsley, in addition to olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, chilli and garlic, which makes it really good for your health, and not too spicy. 

You can even make it less hot by reducing the amount of chilli pepper if you’re going for more flavor than spice. 

Ingredients for Moroccan harissa

Spices in harissa

Traditional spices in harissa are cumin and coriander. Sometimes, caraway seeds are added.

You can experiment with adding smoked paprika, or your favorite type of chili peppers.

If you want the sauce to be hot, use serrano chilies. For a milder taste, use normal red chilies or jalapeño peppers. 

What does harissa taste like?

Harissa is the North African version of sriracha sauce and tastes very much like hot peppers, but with a richer flavor profile due to the herbs and lemon juice added.

The good thing is that you adjust the heat as you wish. Green harissa is all about mellow heat and aromatic and rich flavor.

The herbs add fresh and zingy notes to the flavor missing in other hot sauces.

Green harissa dip in a bowl

How do you use green harissa?

Harissa, as noted above, makes an excellent dip and marinade.

But you could also use it as a salad dressing. You could add a little more lemon and oil to thin it out some and toss your favorite fresh vegetables in it…or add some to your favorite Buddha bowl or pita pockets with roasted veggies.

Adding it into hummus will amp up the flavor and spice in your favorite spread.

Sprinkle it atop your eggs, mix it into your favorite casserole to give it more flavor, or spread it on bread.

Use it as a spicy condiment for veggie burgers, roasted vegetables, falafel, rice, lentils, couscous dishes or even pasta.

Harissa paste in a bowl with a spoon

How to store harissa

While the oil and lemon juice are used for the liquid consistency of the recipe, they also help preserve the sauce so you can make it up ahead of time and enjoy it for weeks.

You can store it in the airtight jar in the coldest part of your fridge for up to one month. Don’t forget to cover the top with a good layer of olive oil before you put it in the fridge to protect the other ingredients from air and bacteria.

Green harissa paste in a bowl

How to make green harissa

You can make green harissa in a food processor or go oldschool and use mortar and pestle for a more coarse texture.

Gather the ingredients and remove stems from herbs.

If you want the sauce to be hot, use serrano chilies. For a milder taste, use normal red chilies or jalapeño peppers. 

Transfer all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

You can adjust the consistency by adding more olive oil or a bit of water.

See this green harissa story for the step-by-step instructions.

Top tips for the best harissa

  • The reason this green harissa recipe has so much flavor is the quality of the herbs, the combination of aromatic spices and fresh greens, and the lemon and olive oil to hold it all together.
  • Be sure to use fresh spices and herbs for the best taste.
  • You can use food processor or mortar and pestle for a more coarse texture of the paste.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce.
  • Use green harissa as a dip, marinade, salad dressing or bread spread. Add it to hummus, buddha bowls, pita pockets, eggs, casseroles, veggie burgers, roasted vegetables, falafel, rice, lentils, couscous dishes or pasta.
  • Store harissa in the airtight jar in the coldest part of your fridge for up to one month. Cover the top of a jar with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresh.

Herbs for green harissa spice

Recipe Variations

  • If you want the sauce to be hot, use serrano chilies. For a milder taste, use normal red chilies or jalapeño peppers.
  • Instead of fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder.
  • Replace olive oil with avocado oil or other neutral oils.

Recipes similar to green harissa

 

 

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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Green Harissa Sauce

Green harissa sauce is a flavorful spicy condiment, used for roasted vegetables, any kind of protein, salads, bowls or soups. This harissa recipe is a real metabolism booster, healthy and vegan and a great addition to any meal that you want to add some heat to.
 
Course Sauce
Cuisine Middle Eastern, North African, Tunisian
Keyword green harissa, green harissa dressing, green harissa paste, harissa dip, harissa paste, harissa spice, homemade harissa paste
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 107kcal
$5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-3 chili peppers see notes
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon about 3-4 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil + more to preserve the sauce
  • water to thin the sauce

Instructions

  • Remove stems from herbs. Transfer all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Alternatively, use mortar and pestle for a more coarse texture.
    Adjust the consistency by adding more olive oil or a bit of water.

Notes

Top tips for the best harissa

  • The reason this green harissa recipe has so much flavor is the quality of the herbs, the combination of aromatic spices and fresh greens, and the lemon and olive oil to hold it all together.
  • Be sure to use fresh spices and herbs for the best taste.
  • You can use food processor or mortar and pestle for a more coarse texture of the paste.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce.
  • Use green harissa as a dip, marinade, salad dressing or bread spread. Add it to hummus, buddha bowls, pita pockets, eggs, casseroles, veggie burgers, roasted vegetables, falafel, rice, lentils, couscous dishes or pasta.
  • Store harissa in the airtight jar in the coldest part of your fridge for up to one month. Cover the top of a jar with a layer of olive oil to keep it fresh.

Recipe Variations

  • If you want the sauce to be hot, use serrano chilies. For a milder taste, use normal red chilies or jalapeño peppers.
  • Instead of fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder.
  • Replace olive oil with avocado oil or other neutral oils.

Equipment

food processor
rubber spatula
chef's knife
measuring spoons

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 865IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Follow @happykitchen.rocks on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #happykitchenrocks!
Green Harissa Sauce Pinterest
Recipe Rating




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Christine Armstrong

Sunday 6th of May 2018

Oh duh! Of course now I see the chiles in the picture! Thank you. I will try it first with dried. I always like to follow a recipe closely the first time - to see how its originator thought best - then I start experimenting. Grilling sounds great with this stuff - do you put the sauce on after - or do you brush with sauce before grilling? Hope you don’t mind ll my questions!

Elena Szeliga

Monday 7th of May 2018

You can do both actually! Rub your meat/veggies before you grill them or serve harissa as a condiment. Please let me know how it turned out! I would appreciate your feedback :)

Christine Armstrong

Sunday 6th of May 2018

Can’t wait to make this green harissa sauce! One question: what kind of “chili peppers”? Fresh or dried? I’m guessing they should be green. Thinking fresh jalapeños - but your guidance would be very appreciated!

Thank you!

Elena Szeliga

Sunday 6th of May 2018

Hi Christine! Thank you for stopping by! I actually used dry chilies that are on the picture. But you can totally add jalapenos. You can start with one and add more if you like it hot :) Hope you like the recipe! I almost forgot that I have it on the blog, so thank you for reminding me about it. I should definitely make it again to be ready for the grilling season! ;)

Rosemarie Sandvik

Monday 18th of April 2016

Thank you so much, Love your Green harissa sauce xx

Elena Szeliga

Monday 18th of April 2016

Thank you, Rosemarie!

Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

Wednesday 11th of November 2015

I'm loving all the sauce recipes! Harissa is a beauty, and your green harissa is a keeper for the books. Thanks, Elena!

Elena Szeliga

Wednesday 11th of November 2015

You are most welcome! I'm happy that you like them! :)

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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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