Harissa Chickpeas

Delicious braised Harissa Chickpeas with Greek yogurt and pickled red onions. An easy vegetarian Mediterranean meal, ready in just 35 mins (including instruction to make on Stove Top or Instant Pot)

Harissa Chickpeas
Diet Info: DF GF F LF Na LS VG V Fa

Braised Harissa Chickpeas recipe with side of Greek yogurt, pickled red onions and couscous. An easy vegetarian Mediterranean meal, ready in just 35 minutes. Perfect for weeknights or whenever you are craving a bold-flavor spiced and creamy vegetarian dinner. 

I'm always looking to serve vegetarian meal using chickpeas. If you like me, you will love many Chickpea Recipes I have on blog - Chickpea Quinoa Salad, Sweet Potato Chickpea Feta Salad, Vegan Chickpea Curry in Pressure Cooker, Chickpea Cauliflower Curry, and Apple Chickpea Salad.

Also including instructions to make Harissa Chickpeas on Stove Top or Instant Pot. Gluten free when served without couscous. Vegan when served with non-dairy yogurt. That's the magic of home cooking! Isn't it?

Harissa Chickpeas

This is a very simple yet bold-flavor recipe of braised Chickpeas with harissa and spiced herb stock. The resulting chickpeas come out melt-in-mouth tender with subtle heat of harissa, balanced with the sweetness of tomato paste and wine, and bursting with flavor of spices. When served with Yogurt, it gives chickpeas the creaminess that I highly recommend.

Creamy Chickpeas with Harissa, Yogurt and Pickled Red Onion

Harissa Chickpeas is also self-sufficient dish. Any given day, I love to have a bowl of Harissa Chickpeas with dollop of sour cream or yogurt for lunch. In-fact, I specially braise chickpeas with harissa over weekend and use it for at-least two meals on weekdays.

Harissa Chickpeas are great option if you following Mediterranean Diet. To serve as a meal, I recommend one or all of the following accompaniments:

  1. Couscous (recipe in notes) or Cauliflower Rice (if looking for low-carb option)
  2. Pickled Red Onion (recipe for quick pickled red onion in notes)
  3. Greek Non-fat Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream

Harissa Chickpea Recipe

What Do You Need For Harissa Chickpeas?

The ingredients to make Harissa Chickpeas are easy to find in pantry-staples.

Here is what you need:

  1. Chickpeas - Canned or cooked at home
  2. Harissa Paste (including quick recipe and replacements)
  3. Tomato Paste
  4. Stock
  5. Onion
  6. Garlic
  7. Olive Oil
  8. Cumin
  9. Thyme or Oregano
  10. White Wine

Harissa Paste

The most important ingredient in this recipe is Harissa. Harissa Paste is a spicy chili paste made with chilies, spices such as cumin, caraway, coriander, lemon and olive oil.  If you can't find Harissa Paste, either make quick Harissa paste at home or use a Harissa Paste replacement.

To make Harissa Chickpeas, start by sweating the onion and garlic with spices. This helps build good flavor base. I also sauté the pastes to awaken the spices of paste, and for sweetness, good color.

Next, deglaze with wine, add liquids and drained chickpeas. Braise chickpeas in fortified liquid until chickpeas are tender. Taste for seasoning and fold in fresh herbs.

That's it! Harissa Chickpeas are ready to serve!

Chickpeas braised with Harissa and Spices

To serve as a Mediterranean Meal:

First, spoon couscous into a large serving platter and top it with few dollops of beaten Greek yogurt. Next, ladle hot braised Harissa Chickpeas on the top of yogurt. Garnish with herbs.

Best when serve immediately. Serve pickled red onions on the side. (yum!)

Harissa Chickpeas with Couscous and Yogurt

Quick Homemade Harissa

When out of Harissa paste, I often make quick Harissa Paste from powder chilies. To make Harissa from powdered chilies:

  1. Mix equal part sweet paprika, and cayenne.
  2. Add equal parts dry roasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds.
  3. Add 1 minced garlic clove, 2 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice.
  4. Mix to make a paste and use as desired.

TIP: Quick Homemade Harissa also works well to make Spiced Harissa Yogurt. Swirl a teaspoon of Harissa (or more per preference) in Greek yogurt. Add more lemon juice or salt to taste. Enjoy! You can thank me later.

Harissa Paste Replacement

Here are my favorite Harissa Paste replacements for this recipe:

  1. Replace Harissa with equal amount of Chipotle Paste (tubed) or half quality of Chipotle Adobo
  2. Replace with quick homemade Harissa (recipe above).
  3. Replace with Asian Chili Garlic Sambal with 1/2 tablespoon of dry roasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds.

Creamy Braised Harissa Chickpeas recipe

Harissa Chickpeas in Instant Pot

To make Harissa Chickpeas in Instant Pot, cook aromatics at Sauté Setting in Instant Pot (Step-2 and 3). Pressure cook everything in Step-4 in IP on high pressure for 5 minutes and quick release. Remaining recipe steps and serving suggestion stays the same.

Vegan Harissa Chickpeas

It is very easy to veganize this recipe. For vegan Harissa Chickpeas serve with non-dairy yogurt or non-dairy feta cheese. 

Tips for Success

  1. Use low-sodium canned chickpeas, drain before use.
  2. Braising time varies. For best result, braise until chickpeas are tender to your personal preference. I like chickpeas very tender, almost melting in mouth.
  3. Even though this recipe is not spicy but if you don't like heat, use half of the suggested Harissa Paste.
  4. I highly recommend serving with Greek yogurt or Sour Cream.
  5. For more flavor, use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. 
  6. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Since store bought harissa paste, stock and chickpeas can have varying amount of salt. It is always best to start with less salt and then adjust per taste before serving.

Friends, serve something different for dinner tonight! This delicious vegetarian Harissa Chickpea recipe is easy to prepare and makes a perfect comforting weeknight meal. Highly recommend the side of couscous and quick pickled onions (recipes in notes) and Greek yogurt. 

Happy Cooking! -Savita x

Harissa Chickpeas

5 (4 reviews)
Harissa Chickpeas
Total Time: Prep Time: Cook Time: Cuisine: Mediterranean () Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 4.5 Cups - Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • Harissa Chickpeas
  • 4 Cup Chickpeas (32 ounce canned chickpeas)
  • 1 Cup Yellow Onion (medium onion, small diced)
  • 2 tsp Garlic (2-3 cloves, minced)
  • 1.5 tbsp Harissa Chili Paste
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 4-5 sprigs Thyme (or oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Stock (low sodium. See Note 2)
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine
  • 2 tbsp Lemon (juice, adjust to taste)
  • Salt and Black Pepper (adjust to taste)
  • For Garnish and Serving
  • 4 tbsp Fresh Herbs (such as cilantro and mint)
  • 1 Cup Yogurt (plain Greek yogurt)
Smart Swap: Serve with non-dairy yogurt for vegan Harissa Chickpeas.

Directions

  • 1. Prepare Ingredients Dice onion and mince garlic. Drain canned chickpeas (discard liquid). Set aside. Additional Notes: If planning to serve with couscous, see Note 1.
  • 2. Sauté Aromatics Heat half of the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add onion, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook stirring often until onions are soft and translucent. (about 2-3 minutes) Don't let garlic burn.
  • 3. Cook Harissa and Deglaze Add harissa paste, cumin powder, and tomato paste. Cook stirring often until pastes darken and are aromatic. (about 2-3 minutes) Next, add white wine, stir to combine. Cook until liquid reduces to half.
  • 4. Cook Chickpeas Add drained chickpeas, stock, thyme sprigs (or oregano if using), and remaining olive oil. Mix well. Bring to boil on high heat then simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until chickpeas are very tender and liquid has reduced to 1/4. Stir in the lemon juice, and fresh chopped herbs. Taste and adjust salt. Stir-in generous two pinch of black pepper.
  • 5. Season and Serve To serve, transfer to a serving platter. Serve Greek yogurt on the side or fold into with chickpeas just before serving. Alternatively, layer couscous (if serving) on platter, top with dollops of Greek yogurt followed by Harissa Chickpeas. Serve immediately. Pickled onions go great on the side. Additional Notes: Check Pickled Onions recipe in Notes.
Savita's Notes:
  1. Couscous - Boil 2 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock. In large bowl, add 1 cup couscous, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 garlic clove grated. Mix well. Add boiling stock. Cover the bowl with tight lid. Set aside for 20 minutes or until couscous absorbs all liquid. Fluff the couscous with fork. Serve as desired.
  2. For more flavor, use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. If using home cooked chickpeas, replace half of chicken stock with the cooking liquid of the chickpeas. 
  3. Pickled Onion - Thin slice 1/2 cup red onions. Add to a small bowl with 2 tbsp. of red wine vinegar or lemon juice, generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss to coat onions in vinegar. Set aside while cooking chickpeas.
  4. I highly recommend serving chickpeas with yogurt, Greek yogurt or thick plain yogurt (i.e. water drained). If you can't find yogurt, use sour cream or crumbled feta cheese.
  5. To make Harissa Chickpeas in Instant Pot, cook aromatics at Sauté Setting in Instant Pot (Step-2 and 3). Pressure cook everything in Step-4 in IP on high pressure for 5 minutes and quick release. Remaining recipe steps and serving suggestion stays the same.
  6. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Since store bought harissa paste, stock and chickpeas can have varying amount of salt. It is always best to start with less salt and then adjust per taste before serving.
Disclaimer: Recipe inspired from Foodnetwork
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @SAVITACHEFDEHOME on Instagram and hashtag it #SAVITACHEFDEHOME

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7 Responses

  1. I love how flavorful this is! My kids enjoyed it too! Thanks!
    Thanks for letting me know.
  2. This looks saucy and delicious. My family loves anything with harissa so Ill have to try these chickpeas!
    You will enjoy the sauce, it is exceptionally tasty.
  3. I love harissa and it was so good on these chickpeas
  4. This is perfect for meatless Mondays! Love how easily it comes together.
    Thanks.