Harissa Hummus

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

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!

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, may I suggest trying your hand at making these Baked Tortilla Chips? Or, give these Air Fryer Tortilla Chips a try! They’re the perfect dipping vehicle for that yummy hummus.

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

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.

More creamy dip recipes:

Harissa Hummus Recipe

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

Harissa Hummus

This Harissa Hummus will have you hooked with its spicy, smoky, and wonderfully aromatic flavor.
4.34 from 9 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • 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


  • Turn on the blender and toss in the garlic through the lid. Process until minced.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 787mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.1mg

45 thoughts on “Harissa Hummus”

  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 5 stars
    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.

  9. 4 stars
    This hummus was very tasty 😋. However, I think 3 teaspoons of salt for the 2x recipe was a little too much. Otherwise, 👌🏾


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.