Harissa Hummus

This Harissa Hummus is smoky, spicy and tangy. A perfect party dip! | platingsandpairings.com

This Harissa Hummus recipe will have you hooked with its spicy, smoky, and wonderfully aromatic flavor.

This Harissa Hummus will have you hooked with its spicy, smoky, and wonderfully aromatic flavor. | platingsandpairings.com

Last September during the International Food Blogger’s Conference we had a breakout session discussing the up and coming food trends. Among those? Cultural fusion, cauliflower (“It’s the new kale!”) and harissa.

The first two were right up my alley – I made these Korean Bulgogi Kimchi Tacos and this Miso Roasted Cauliflower. But, harissa? That one threw me for a bit of a loop.

In all honesty, I’d never even tried harissa.

Harissa is traditionally a blend of hot chili peppers (which are often smoked), garlic, olive oil, and middle eastern spices such as cumin, coriander, mint and caraway. It sounded right up my alley.

I picked up a jar at my local market, dipped a spoon into in, and gave it a good sample. It’s definitely got a heat level to it, and it’s a bit pungent, it was a flavor that I couldn’t easily relate to anything I’d tried before. The flavors are a bit reminescent of sriracha, but the texture is totally different. Harissa is more like a thick paste, almost similar to a rich chutney. To me, its tangy notes were just begging for it to be swirled into a bowl of my go-to creamy hummus.

I’ve had my go-to hummus recipe for a while now. The usual lineup of ingredients is all there: Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. What’s different with my recipe are the ratios – I like a good amount of citrus in there. This recipe uses the juice from 2 whole lemons! I don’t, however, love a ton of garlic. You know when you eat something garlickly, and you can still taste it the next morning? No thanks. I’m adding in a good amount, as in, you’ll know it’s there, but it won’t fend off vampires while you sleep.

The prep is simple – Just pop all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. You’ll have this on the table in 5 minutes flat!

This Harissa Hummus is smoky, spicy and tangy. A perfect party dip! | platingsandpairings.com

Game plan time: How much harissa to add?

  • I started with 2 teaspoons. It gave a faint flavor, and a tad bit of heat, but I wanted more.
  • 1 tablespoon gave it a great color, and the garlic, chili flavor was more noticeable, but it wasn’t quite there yet.
  • 2 tablespoons was my happy spot. It was just enough to add in more of that heat and let those spices shine through. (I think 3 tablespoons would have been pushing it on the heat level)

The result was a spicy, smoky, and wonderfully aromatic hummus that I couldn’t stop eating. Harissa had me hooked!

This Harissa Hummus is smoky, spicy and tangy. A perfect party dip! | platingsandpairings.comHarissa Hummus Recipe

This Harissa Hummus is smoky, spicy and tangy. A perfect party dip! | platingsandpairings.com

Harissa Hummus

Course: Dip
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: harissa hummus, spicy hummus
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 116 kcal
Author: Platings & Pairings
This Harissa Hummus will have you hooked with its spicy, smoky, and wonderfully aromatic flavor.
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Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas drained (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 5 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chickpea liquid or water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons harissa

Instructions

  1. Turn on the blender and toss in the garlic through the lid. Process until minced.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Nutrition Facts
Harissa Hummus
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Sodium 787mg 33%
Potassium 157mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 0.5%
Vitamin C 7.7%
Calcium 3.6%
Iron 6.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Hummus Wine Pairings: 

  • Try a dry-Riesling or Gewurztraminer with this spicy dip. Their bright acidity and balanced sweetness play nicely off the harissa.

Looking for more ways to use that harissa? Try tossing some vegetables with it before roasting them in the oven, mixing it into some yogurt for a sauce that’s perfect with grilled meats, or adding a spoonful to a bowl of olive oil for bread dipping perfection.

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44 comments

  1. Lorena

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous as always!! Will have to give Harissa a try now. You’ve made me super curious!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Lorena – I hope you give the harissa a try. It really has such an amazing flavor!

      Reply

  2. Jasmine

    I could just eat this with a spoon!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Confession Jasmine – I did!

      Reply

  3. Regina

    LOVE hummus – especially homemade. And living in Asia has worked up my spice tolerance to level where I crave heat if it is missing from a dish. You’ve convinced me that I need to give Harissa a try

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Yay – Introducing the world to hummus, one spicy food lover at a time… 😉

      Reply

  4. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    Ah so good! I love making harissa hummus! The ultimate middle eastern dip 😉

    Reply

  5. Kristina

    this sounds amazing, and the photos – stunning!

    Reply

  6. Diana Cote

    this looks super tasty, I will try it soon. 😀

    Reply

  7. Brettni Brumfield

    I’ve never heard of harissa, but I love spice and I love hummus. This sounds so tasty. Adding it to my grocery list.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It’s really delicious Brettni! I’m so glad that I’ve finally become acquainted with it. My new favorite condiment!

      Reply

  8. Amy@wholesomelicious

    I love harissa, but hadn’t had it with my hummus! Perfect idea, can’t wait to try!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Amy – Cheers!

      Reply

  9. Meredith{MarthaChartreuse}

    Harissa is a favorite of mine!! This would be a great addition to a sandwich.

    Reply

  10. Mary

    I love changing up my hummus recipes. This sounds fun, and not too spicy that my kids wouldn’t eat it. Pinning it so I remember to pick up some harissa so I can make this soon!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Enjoy Mary! I’ll bet your kiddos have very experienced palates! I can definitely picture them eating this.

      Reply

  11. brita

    I used to make hummus all the time but haven’t made it in a couple years. I should fix that! 🙂 Also, I’ve never has harissa before but I’m definitely intrigued!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hummus is so easy to make, but I often fall out of my routine. I was happy to find this version to twist things up a bit!

      Reply

  12. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife

    What a great giveaway! And this hummus looks amazing.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Good luck to you Marlynn!!! I absolutely adore my Vitamix!

      Reply

  13. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

    Hi Erin!
    I saw this yesterday morning and my jaw dropped at the vibrant colors in the dish. I’m such a fan of harissa and have plans to cook with it again very soon.
    I love integrating international flavors into my every day recipes. Love the ease and simplicity of this healthy snack and your photography is so lovely!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thank you so much Robyn – I appreciate the compliments 🙂

      Reply

  14. julia chapman

    your recipes and ideas look lovely. looking forward to trying more of them.

    Reply

  15. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    This is it – I must go buy some harissa to try!

    Reply

  16. Erin

    I’m all about the harissa these days, so this sounds extra awesome. Great idea.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Erin – Cheers!

      Reply

  17. courtney tait

    Wow, harissa sounds delicious! Keeping my eye out for this next shopping trip. My husband was just saying the other day he prefers just traditonal hummus over ‘flavored’ ones, but I think this might sway him.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Give it a try Courtney 😉

      Reply

  18. Beth

    Beautiful photos. It’s making me hungry.

    Reply

  19. Jenni Bost

    I’d never heard of harissa either but I feel a little sad that I hadn’t because it sounds so much like something I’d love. I like that you created a hummus dip with it!

    Also, can I just say… your ability to post so often with such great content is blowing my mind. Gorgeous photos, great recipes and at such a consistent rate. Such an inspiration.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Awww – Thank you so much for the kind words Jenni! I really appreciate it 🙂

      Reply

  20. Vicky @ Avocado Pesto

    Very interesting hearing about the food trends – I am definitely very late to the game as I have never even tried harissa before and before this post with your explanation would not have even been able to list the ingredients. I do hate hate hate caraway though – hopefully it’s not super strong in the harissa otherwise it’s a no go for me! This hummus sounds delicious and LOVE your extra addition of citrus. Happy to be hosting this giveaway with you. Pinning, tweeting, yumming!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much Vicky!!!

      Reply

  21. Trish

    I just recently tried harissa too! I’m totally hooked now! Gorgeous photos, Erin.

    Reply

  22. Billy


    I’ve never made a harissa hummus before! This looks delicious. Definitely want to try making this one at home. Harissa adds such an interesting flavor to dishes, i’ve been trying to include it more! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Of course – Enjoy Billy!

      Reply

  23. Ana


    I made it with 2 harissa tbsp and it’s delicious!! 👨🏻‍🍳👌🏼😋 Thanks for the recipe!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So happy to hear that you liked it Ana!

      Reply

  24. KP


    This is going to work out nicely tonight! Made a batch of Harissa this weekend and it needs to go for a test drive!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Yay! I hope you love it.

      Reply

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