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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 1½ cups

Harissa is a Tunisian red chile sauce made with red peppers, dried chiles, fragrant spices, and a squeeze of zesty lemon juice. Its bold flavor is perfect for punching up bland recipes and the heat level can be adjusted to meet your personal preferences. Infinitely tastier than what you’d buy at the store, our homemade version is also oil-free so you get all the flavor without any of the unhealthy ingredients. Need some ideas on how to use it? Blend a scoop with some tahini and lemon juice to create a delightfully creamy dressing that will jazz up even the most boring green salad. Or mix a spoonful into pre-bought hummus for a delicious veggie dip. Once you start experimenting with this tasty harissa recipe you’ll discover just how versatile it can be!

For more homemade sauces, check out these tasty ideas:


  • ½ cup jarred roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian or smoked paprika
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a blender combine the first 10 ingredients (through Aleppo pepper) and ½ cup water. Cover and blend until uniform.
  2. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Cook over medium 5 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Let cool to room temperature. To Store: Refrigerate in a glass jar up to 1 week. Or freeze in a freezer-safe container up to 2 months.

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.

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