How To Make Harissa Paste

Martina Slajerova

|How To Make Harissa Paste

Harissa paste is one of the many low-carb basics I make at home. This popular North African spice blend adds fantastic flavour to vegetables and meats. I like using it for marinating chicken, spicing up cauli-rice, or even mixing it with olive oil or full-fat yogurt and use as keto friendly salad dressing.

There is no one way to make Harissa and you can control the heat by using different chilies and spices. I make mine with mild, smoky chilies, toasted spices, garlic, lemon, olive oil, roasted bell peppers and a few sun-dried tomatoes that will add sweetness.

Note for KetoDiet App: This ingredient has been added to the KetoDiet food database and will appear in the upcoming update.

Preparation time


Nutritional values (per serving/ 1 tbsp/ 15 g/ 0.5 oz):

1.8 grams 1.1 grams 0.6 grams 2 grams 0.3 grams 29 calories
Total Carbs2.9grams
Net Carbs1.8grams
of which Saturated0.3grams
Potassium & Magnesiumtrace

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (27%), protein (9%), fat (64%)

Ingredients (makes 2 medium jars/ ~ 2 ½ cups):

Spices for toasting:


  1. Use a combination of your favourite chilies. I used dried Guajillo, Ancho and Chipotle chilies and fresh sweet bell peppers. This combination results in moderately-mild spicy harissa. If you prefer more heat, add some Arbol chilies or skip the bell peppers. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  2. Start by roasting the bell peppers in an oven preheated to 175 C/ 350 F. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the skin is charred and the peppers are soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down. Put a piece of baking foil over the peppers and set aside until they are easy to handle. Then, peel the skin and remove the seeds. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  3. While the peppers are baking, soften the dried chilies. Place the chilies in a pot and cover with boiling water. Place a lid on top and let them sit for 20-30 minutes. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  4. Meanwhile, toast the spices. Place the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds in a hot pan and dry-roast briefly for just a minute or two. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  5. Drain the chilies, remove the stems and seeds. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  6. Place everything in a food processor or blender: chilies, roasted and peeled bell peppers, toasted and ground spices, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, turmeric powder, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  7. Process until smooth. |How To Make Harissa Paste
  8. Place the paste in a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week. |How To Make Harissa Paste Place any remaining harissa paste in an ice-cube tray and freeze for up to 3 months. |How To Make Harissa Paste

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