Spicy And Tender Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas

This quick and easy Moroccan harissa chicken recipe is a great one-pot dish that can be prepared in advance and cooked in less than one hour. Moroccan harissa pairs perfectly with chicken recipes, and this one, in particular, is elevated further by the tomatoes, chickpeas, and other Moroccan ingredients. 

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Recipe Information

Moroccan | One Pot Dish | Cooks in Less Than One Hour

What Is Harissa Chicken?

While visiting Morocco, I was inspired by many dishes, so I recreated many of them when I arrived home. This harissa chicken is one of those dishes and has remained a favorite in our house ever since. Although not based on traditional Moroccan cuisine, it uses all of the same flavors and is inspired by the dishes we ate during our trips to Morocco.

Harissa is a traditional Moroccan ingredient that goes perfectly with chicken. It adds a beautiful floral and slightly spiced, zesty flavor, which is light and unique. 

I kind of threw this dish together when I found a jar of harissa in my pantry that needed using up, and what I created turned out kind of like a tagine-type dish without using an actual tagine

We do have some traditional tagine recipes, if you want to give them a try. These include a Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine With Apricots or Moroccan Kefta Tagine With Eggs Recipe.

Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas
Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas Recipe

Using Harissa With Chicken

Harissa is one of my favorite ingredients when cooking Moroccan-style dishes, and I love it with chicken in particular. 

If you haven’t used harissa before, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its unique taste. It’s zingy and citrussy, with a hint of floral flavors and a tiny bit of spice. However, it will not make your dish too spicy. 

In Morocco, spices such as harissa and cumin are often placed on the table alongside salt, so that you can add them to any dish. We’ve whipped up a lot of harissa recipes since our last trip to Morocco, including Spicy Harissa Pasta With Black Olives & Capers and an Easy Spicy Harissa Aioli.

Since visiting Morocco, I always ensure we have a jar of harissa in the house. You can get it in many forms, such as a tube, jar, or powder version. Personally, I like the paste in a jar, but the powder does make a great dry rub and also makes an excellent falafel. 

This harissa roast chicken recipe is easy to make and tastes like it’s been cooking for hours. 

The thing I like about this roasted harissa chicken recipe is that there is no need to marinade your chicken for hours beforehand; of course, you can if you prefer. 

Ingredients For Harissa Chicken With Chickpeas

To make Moroccan harissa chicken, I find that chicken thighs work better than breast; they have much more flavor and are much juicier. I like to leave the skin on mine, but that’s just preference. They will work fine if you use skinless thighs or chicken breasts. 

Season your chicken quite generously with salt, pepper, and olive oil. You will also need a large yellow onion cut into quarters and some whole garlic cloves which you can crush with the side of a knife and toss in. 

The chicken is then rubbed with cumin, turmeric, and harissa, these three ingredients add nutty, earthy, and zesty flavors, and the turmeric will add a vibrant color. 

You’ll need tomato paste, chicken stock, and chickpeas for the rest of the ingredients. The chickpeas must be drained and rinsed before adding them to the pot. 

Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas with yogurt and lemon garnish

Moroccan Harissa Chicken Sauce

Whenever I make this Moroccan harissa recipe, I like to serve it with harissa yogurt, made using greek yogurt, lemon, harissa, salt, and pepper. 

You can prepare this while your chicken is cooking. Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl, combine, and leave to cool in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. It goes beautifully when topped with some fresh coriander before serving. 

Ingredients for Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas - onion, garlic, cumin

How To Make Roasted Harissa Chicken

Preheat your oven to 400 F and place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add your olive oil; when warm, add your seasoned chicken to the pan, skin side up. After a couple of minutes, turn the chicken over to brown the skin, and cook for another 5 minutes. 

At this stage, you’re only browning the chicken, don’t worry about it being cooked right through, as this will happen during the rest of the cooking process. If you overcook it initially, it may dry towards the end. 

Remove the chicken from the pan using a slotted spoon, and add in your onion and garlic; cook until just starting to brown. 

Add in the cumin and turmeric and mix well until the aromas of the spices are released. 

Next, add in the tomato paste, chicken broth, and harissa, and mix well before adding the chicken back into the pan, on top of the sauce, and place lemon wedges around the chicken. 

Place the skillet into the oven and cook uncovered for around 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and check that your chicken is cooked through.

Serve with the harissa yogurt and fresh coriander. 

Moroccan chicken with chickpeas

Roasted Harissa Chicken Recipe

This Moroccan harissa chicken with chickpeas recipe is straightforward to make and can be done in one pot, but it will taste like it has been cooking all day long. The use of Moroccan harissa accentuates the chicken perfectly, and the chickpeas and tomatoes add to the flavor. 

Yield: 4 Servings

Spicy And Tender Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas

Harissa Chicken With Chickpeas 19

This easy-to-make harissa chicken with chickpeas recipe is a great one-pot dish that can be cooked in less than one hour.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 yellow onion cut into quarters
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • ½ cup chicken broth 
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 lemons, sliced into three chunky pieces 
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice from the slices
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Fresh coriander 
  • 1 ½ cups greek yogurt


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. 
  2. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a warm skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken, skin side up, season, and cook for 3-4 minutes. 
  4. Flip over the chicken to brown the skin, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan, and add onion wedges and garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to turn golden. 
  6. Add turmeric and cumin, and mix well. 
  7. Add tomato paste, harissa, broth, and chickpeas, and combine everything. 
  8. Place the chicken back in the pan on top of the sauce, and surround it with lemon slices.
  9. Place the skillet in the oven, and cook uncovered for 30-35 minutes.
  10. Check that your chicken is cooked through, and serve with harissa yogurt and fresh coriander. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 629Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 1159mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 13gSugar: 14gProtein: 52g

This nutritional data is provided by a third-party source and should not be relied on if you are on a strict diet.

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FAQs – Harissa Chicken with Chickpeas

What spice can I use instead of harissa?

Harissa is readily found in most supermarkets or specialty food shops. However, if you have a recipe that requires harissa and can’t find it, don’t stress out. While harissa does have its own distinct flavor, spice sauces such as Tabasco, sriracha, and Indonesian sambal are suitable substitutes.

Are chickpeas a vegetable or protein?

Both. Chickpeas are considered by many to be a superfood. They are high in essential vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, E, and C. Because they grow on a plant, many people consider them a vegetable. They are a protein and as such a great substitute for meat.

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