Harissa Hummus Recipe: Here is How!

Harissa is a North African chili pepper paste that adds vibrant flavors and heat to any dish. Made with Middle Eastern spices, it has a rich, thick texture reminiscent of a chutney. The signature blend of spices like coriander, caraway, garlic and cumin are simmered in olive oil with hot chili peppers to create the iconic rich red paste.

The mix of warm spices and smoked hot chili peppers gives harissa its distinctive deep flavor profile. It can range from mildly pungent to intense heat depending on which type of peppers are used. For those wanting less heat, harissa made with roasted red bell peppers delivers bold flavor without overwhelming spice. A blend of red pepper flakes provides a medium heat level, while some varieties packed with jalapenos or habaneros crank up the fire. Beyond flavor, harissa adds visual appeal wherever it’s dolloped – its vibrant crimson color alone is appetizing.

Its versatility makes harissa a kitchen staple. Use it as a spread, dip, sauce or rub. A dollop dresses up simply cooked chicken, seafood or veggies. Stirred into soups, stews or grain bowls, harissa layers in flavor. It also stands in for other condiments, giving hummus or tzatziki a Middle Eastern twist. And perhaps no dish better showcases harissa than shakshuka – eggs poached in a tomato-pepper sauce. For those who like it really fiery, a dash of harissa brings sriracha to its knees. However you use it, this North African staple is sure to become a new favorite pantry item.

Making your own harissa hummus at home is so easy, and it allows you to control the heat level to your liking. For me, harissa gives such vibrant flavor that I love having it on hand to add a pinch of brightness to basic dishes. When I want a snack with bold Middle Eastern flair, a small bowl of creamy hummus swirled with a tablespoon or two of harissa fits the bill perfectly. Depending on my mood, I’ll sometimes also stir in a clove of roasted garlic for added tangy notes. No matter how I customize it, a dollop of this harissa hummus is the perfect easy dip to enjoy with veggie sticks or pita chips.

Harissa Hummus Recipe

Now that we’ve discussed the highlights of harissa hummus, it’s time to look at creating this special recipe from beginning to end. With the ingredients and methods explained earlier in mind, the following section outlines the straightforward process for bringing this zesty dip to your own kitchen table.

You Should Make This – Why? (3 Reasons)

1- So Easy: Throwing together this harissa hummus couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is combine the main ingredients like chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil right in a food processor or blender and let it blend until smooth. Then it’s just a matter of seasoning it with harissa to taste before calling it done.

2- Healthy Snack: As a legume-based dip, this hummus provides a nutritious no added sugar snack that’s also low in calories yet high in protein.

3- Make-Ahead: You’ll love having this harissa hummus ready to grab as an easy portable snack. It will easily last for several days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Consider doubling the batch so you can enjoy it not only for afternoon snack the rest of the week but potentially for the next few days too.


Chickpeas (rinsed and drained)1 15oz can
Harissa paste2-3 teaspoons (depending on preferred spice level)
Olive oil1/4 cup
Tahini1/4 cup
Salt1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)
Water1/4 cup (plus more if needed to thin consistency)


1- Place the chickpeas

Place the can of chickpeas in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute to dry them out slightly.

2- Transfer to blender

Transfer the warm chickpeas to a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend on high for 20 seconds to break them up.

3- Add ingredients

Add the remaining ingredients except for the harissa paste. Continue to blend for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy.

4- Taste and adjust

Taste and adjust seasoning as desired, adding up to 1 additional tablespoon of harissa paste to amp up the spice.

5- Transfer to serving bowl

Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl. For vivid color, gently swirl in the extra harissa paste.

6- Serve or store

Serve the hummus right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Stir in an extra tablespoon of water before serving if the hummus starts to thicken from being chilled.

7- Tips for perfect harissa hummus

By heating the canned chickpeas before blending, the end texture will be smoother and more velvety. The residual heat helps the hummus blend into a lush, creamy consistency rather than something grainy or lumpy.

8- Adjust the Harissa Amount

Don’t be afraid to really play around with the amounts of harissa paste used. If you started with just 1-2 teaspoons stirred in and it’s not very spicy, feel free to add additional harissa to taste.

9- Season Carefully

The amount of salt needed will depend on your chickpeas – if they were already salted , you may want to begin with less added salt and then start with just 1/4 teaspoon to season, tasting and adding more only if needed. My crazy promise is this will work!

How to Serve Harissa Hummus

With Vegetables

This hummus is so delicious spread on sliced veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrot chips for a healthy snack.

With Pita or Naan

Use it as a dip by tearing pita or naan into triangles to scoop up the vibrantly flavorful hummus.

As a Sandwich Spread

Let the hummus take a savory toast or sandwich to the next level when slathered on as a condiment.

For Breakfast

For a spicy breakfast changeup, dollop some onto falafel or pita and enjoy with your morning coffee. It’s sure to jumpstart your day!

The versatile harissa hummus makes an excitement addition to salads, grain bowls and more. Get creative with how you pair and enjoy it!

How to Store

Store in the Fridge

Place any leftovers in an airtight container and it will keep fresh in the fridge for about one week.

Freeze for Longer

For longer storage of up to three months , package your hummus into ziploc bags and move to the freezer. This prevents loss of flavor, color and texture over time. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Storing this in an airtight container or freezer bag helps the delicious harissa flavor and creamy texture of the hummus last. Enjoy your leftovers for lunch all week!

Other Ways to Use Harissa

Roasting vegetables: Toss chunks of winter squash, brussels sprouts or cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and a spoonful of harissa before baking in the oven.

Yogurt sauce: Stir harissa into plain Greek yogurt for a creamy dressing or dip for lamb kebabs fresh off the grill.

Grilled meats: Rub a small amount of harissa under the skin of chicken pieces or directly onto steak or lamb chops before cooking for lush flavor.

Bread dipping: For an easy appetizer, serve harissa in small bowls alongside crusty bread for ripping and dunking.

Hummus recipe: Of course, try this hummus recipe as the best way to enjoy harissa. It’s a versatile and easy way to add deep spice to any meal.

Baked Hummus with Harissa

Baked hummus with harissa can make a delicious appetizer. Spread the hummus in a small baking dish, dot with harissa and a drizzle of olive oil. Top with toasted pine nuts or pita crisps. Bake until warmed through and served with crusty bread for scooping. The heat of the oven intensifies the spices in the harissa for an indulgent treat.

What to Serve with Hummus

  • Crisp fresh vegetables: The hummus makes a nutritious dip for colorful crudités like red radishes, English cucumbers, celery stalks or julienned carrots.
  • Homemade baked chips: Whether baked in the oven or air-fried, tortilla chips make a fun way to scoop up the creamy dip.
  • Naan or crostini: Soft naan bread or crunchy crostini toasts provide sturdy platforms for spreading generous servings of hummus.
  • Pita pockets or chips: Thin toasted pita wedges or pita chips add authentic Mediterranean flavor to complement the North African spices in the hummus.

The variety of textures and flavors from the serving items help balance out the richness of the chickpea-based dip.

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Wine Pairings

Dry Riesling

A semi-sweet or dry Riesling has the bright acidity to cut through the richness of the hummus dip. Its subtle floral notes and balanced fruit sweetness complement the spice of the harissa.


With aromas of lychee and rose, Gewürztraminer wine stands up to boldly flavored foods like this spicy hummus. Its medium-dry style provides refreshing balance to the dish.

The slight sweetness and low alcohol level of these whites makes them ideal for letting the flavors of the spicy harissa hummus really shine through. The acidity helps refresh the palate between bites of this flavorful appetizer dip.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2 tbsp
Servings Per Batch: 8

NutrientAmountDaily Value
Other Information
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%


This harissa hummus recipe provides an authentic and versatile way to enjoy the bright flavors of North African cuisine. The addition of spice paste adds layers of complexity to creamy chickpeas, resulting in a boldly-flavored dip that pairs well with pita, vegetables or baked into appetizers. Whether exploring new ingredients or spices, creating hummus is a wonderful way to incorporate healthy plant-based proteins and nutrients into meals in a delicious format. With some adjustments to levels of harissa or additional mix-ins, this recipe can be tailored to suit various heat preferences and palates. Overall, hummus acts as a blank canvas ready to be transformed with any number of global inspirations.

We hope this discussion has provided interesting insight and ideas for making nutrient-dense harissa hummus. Don’t be afraid to experiment adding your own creative twists. Most importantly, enjoy!


Should you peel the chickpeas when making hummus?

There’s no need to peel chickpeas when making hummus. The skins are completely edible and add fiber, protein and nutrients. Peeling them can make the texture smoother but the flavor is best when skins are left on.

Can you make hummus without tahini?

Yes, you can make hummus without tahini. It won’t be completely authentic but substituting an equal amount of Greek yogurt, aquafaba (chickpea liquid), or mayonnaise can result in a creamy texture.

What does aquafaba do in hummus?

Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It adds moisture and helps achieve a smooth, soft hummus texture when blended in.

Is harissa hummus spicy?

 Yes, harissa hummus is usually quite spicy due to the heat from the harissa paste. Harissa pastes can range from mildly spicy to very hot, depending on the amount of cayenne pepper used.

How to store harissa hummus?

 Refrigerate hummus in an airtight container for up to 1 week. The acidic lemon juice and olive oil help preserve it. Make sure it’s covered to prevent drying out.

Can you fix hummus that is too thick?

To thin thick hummus, blend in extra liquid like olive oil, water or aquafaba. Go slowly so it doesn’t become too runny. Refrigerate after making any adjustments.

What can I mix with hummus to make it taste better?

Squeezes of fresh lemon juice, a light sprinkle of garlic salt, and drizzle of best olive oil can enhance plain hummus. A sprinkle of paprika or mix of dried herbs like oregano or parsley is also tasty.

Why is my homemade hummus not creamy?

Add an extra tablespoon of olive oil or water and process the hummus longer, stopping to scrape down sides. A high-powered blender works best. Extra liquid helps it become light and creamy.

What spice is harissa made of?

Harissa is made from dried chiles, garlic, olive oil and warm spices like coriander, caraway, cumin. Different types contain various chiles and spice levels depending on the region of Tunisia.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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