Best Harissa Paste

Harissa paste is a hot chile pepper paste originating from North Africa that is an integral ingredient in Tunisian, Algerian, Moroccan, and Libyan cuisines. It provides a fiery kick and rich flavor to various dishes and can transform them from mundane to extraordinary with just a spoonful.

Best Harissa Paste

Harissa's defining ingredients are hot red peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices like coriander, caraway, cumin, or mint. It can be made fresh at home by grinding chiles, herbs, spices, and oil into a paste. However, store-bought harissa paste is more common, providing convenience without compromising on taste.

When shopping for harissa paste, it is important to check the ingredients list and flavor profile. The best pastes contain high-quality spices and oil. They provide complex, layered heat ranging from mild to spicy hot. Lower-quality products can taste flat, bitter, or too vinegary. This guide covers how to choose an excellent harissa paste and recommendations for best brands and uses.

Harissa Condiment In Tube - Spicy Dea

Harissa Condiment In Tube - Spicy 120 Gr

    Harissa is a versatile Tunisian chili paste that can add a delicious kick of heat and flavor to many dishes. You can stir it into soups, stews, and sauces for an instant flavor boost. It's also great as a marinade or rub for meats, or try spreading it thinly on sandwiches for a spicy contrast.

    This harissa paste from Dea comes in a convenient squeeze tube, so you can easily portion out as much or as little as you need. It has a rich, aromatic blend of chilies, garlic, spices like cumin and coriander, and a touch of lemon. The paste is a nice smooth consistency and has a medium level of heat, making it very versatile to cook with.

    A little dollop stirred into a basic tomato sauce really wakes it up, adding sweetness and heat. You can also mix it with olive oil and spices to make a quick marinade for chicken or vegetables. Spread it on sandwiches or flatbreads, and you'll get a nice hit of chili flavor in each bite. It's delicious combined with tahini as a dip for fresh vegetables.

    Key features:

    • Convenient squeeze tube format
    • Blend of chilies, garlic, and spices
    • Adds heat and flavor to many dishes
    • Versatile cooking ingredient


    • Easy to dispense just what you need
    • Great flavor and aroma
    • Not too spicy for most palates


    • Some ingredients settle so needs stirring
    • Tubes can split if squeezed too hard

    Trader Joe's Harissa Hot Chili Pepper Paste Single Jar

    Trader Joe’s Traditional Tunisian Harissa Hot Chili Pepper Paste With Herbs & Spices, 6 oz Jar (Single)

    Looking to add some spice and North African flair to your cooking? This harissa paste from Trader Joe's is a flavorful and versatile option. It has an enticing aroma of chili peppers, garlic, coriander and warm spices like caraway and cumin. Just a small spoonful stirred into soups, stews or sauces really livens them up.

    You'll find this harissa has a smooth, spreadable texture thanks to the blended chili peppers and oil. It delivers a moderate level of heat that warms without overpowering. The complexity of flavors plays well in many dishes spanning North African, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisines. It can also jazz up more familiar foods like pizza, sandwiches, eggs, or tacos.

    Simply add a swirl into beef or lamb tagines along with ingredients like chickpeas, squash, and olives. Mix it with Greek yogurt to make a quick salad dressing or vegetable dip. Rub it on the chicken before grilling or roasting. The possibilities are endless for this versatile condiment. It comes in a glass jar, keeping the bold flavors fresh.

    Key Features:

    • Blend of chili peppers, warm spices and garlic
    • Adds flavor and moderate heat
    • Convenient glass jar
    • Jazzy addition to many types of cuisine


    • Great price for a quality harissa
    • A little goes a long way
    • Shelf-stable after opening


    • Settles so needs stirring before use
    • Only one size option

    PUR Spices Original Harissa Paste

    PUR Spices Original Harissa Paste I Middle Eastern Hot Sauce I Used for Cooking and Dipping I No sugar added, preservative and additive free, spicy chili pepper and garlic paste I 8oz single

      If you're looking to add some zesty North African flair to your cooking, this harissa paste from PUR Spices is a great option to have on hand. It delivers a delicious blend of heat and savoriness from its primary ingredients of chilies, garlic, and spices like cumin and coriander.

      Just a small amount stirred into soups, stews, sauces, or dressings really livens them up. You can also use it as a marinade base by mixing with olive oil, or rub it directly onto proteins before searing or grilling. It's tasty spread onto sandwiches for a spicy flavor pop with each bite. The consistency is smooth and scoopable, making it easy to incorporate into recipes.

      This harissa contains no added sugar or preservatives, aligning with the company's healthy, natural ethos. The blend of guajillo and arbol chilies provides a warmth that builds but isn't overly spicy. You'll pick up delicious hints of lemon and garlic as well. It comes in a convenient 8 oz jar that keeps the fresh flavors intact.

      Key Features:

      • Chili, garlic and spice based
      • Adds moderate heat and savory depth
      • Smooth, scoopable texture
      • No sugar or preservatives


      • Quality ingredients
      • Balanced flavor with a kick
      • Easy to use in cooking
      • Good value for an artisanal product


      • Needs refrigeration after opening
      • Only one size option

      Mina Harissa Spicy 2 Pack

      Mina Harissa Spicy 2 Pack 10oz

        For an authentic Tunisian style harissa that's versatile in cooking, this offering from Mina is an excellent choice. Made with a blend of chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and vinegar, it packs a flavorful punch along with moderate heat. Just a small amount will spice up soups, stews, dressings, sandwiches and more.

        This Mina harissa comes in a twin pack, giving you plenty to experiment with in your cooking. It has a thicker, spreadable paste texture that adheres well to proteins and vegetables when used as a rub or marinade. You can also thin it with olive oil and lemon to make a bright, chili-infused salad dressing.

        The flavor profile is complex, with sweet and savory notes from the red bell peppers balancing the heat. It's versatile enough to use with beef, fish, chicken, or vegetarian dishes. For a quick meal, you can heat the harissa with chickpeas and olive oil, then serve over couscous. It also makes a flavorful schmear on flatbreads or sandwiches.

        Key Features:

        • Authentic Tunisian recipe
        • Chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and vinegar
        • Twin pack provides plenty
        • Sticks well as a rub or marinade


        • High-quality ingredients
        • Complex, balanced flavor
        • Good value for the amount
        • Very versatile in cooking


        • Settles so needs stirring
        • Moderate heat may be too mild for some

        Le Phare du Cap Bon Harissa Chili Pepper Paste

        Le Phare du Cap Bon Harissa red chili pepper paste 2.47 ounces (70 grams)

          For an authentic Tunisian style harissa made with quality ingredients, Le Phare du Cap Bon's offering is one to try. It contains just two main components - chili peppers and garlic, keeping the robust flavors simple. Just a small squeeze adds vibrant heat and savoriness to countless savory dishes.

          The texture is a thick, spreadable paste that adheres well to proteins and vegetables when used as a rub. It also stirs effortlessly into soups, stews, marinades and dressings to spice them up. You can mix it with Greek yogurt for a quick veggie dip, or smear it onto flatbreads with olive oil for an easy appetizer.

          The chili flavor is bright yet complex, with moderate heat that builds slowly. A little goes a long way, so you can make one small tube last for many uses. It's packaged in a squeezable tube, allowing you to easily control how much you dispense. Overall this harissa offers authentic Tunisian flavor in a convenient form.

          Key Features:

          • Just two main ingredients - chili peppers and garlic
          • Squeezable tube for easy portioning
          • Bright, moderately spicy flavor
          • Adds heat and flavor to many dishes


          • Authentic Tunisian recipe
          • A little provides big flavor
          • Easy to dispense as needed
          • Good value for the quality


          • Only one size option
          • Can dry out after opening if not used quickly

          DEA - Harissa, (2)- 4.23 oz. Tubes

          DEA - Harissa, (2)- 4.23 oz. Tubes

            Originally from Tunisia, this harissa paste made with vegetables and chiles seasoned with coriander, caraway, and garlic, is now produced in France, to meet the demand first among the French repatriated from Algeria and later among the many immigrants from northern Africa who have settled there. Unlike other hot sauces, harissa, due to the particular balance of flavors, must be mixed with a moist dish, typically couscous, for the full effect. According to Larousse Gastronomique, the French first discovered couscous in the reign of Charles X during the conquest of Algeria. Today, couscous is a mainstay in France's ubiquitous Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian restaurants! Enjoy! As seen on Food Network Television: slather on a thick steak before grilling. Slice serve in a hard roll sandwich. Delish!

            Key features:

            • Originally from Tunisia
            • Now produced in France
            • Must be mixed with moist dishes like couscous
            • Adds flavor to meats, sandwiches, and more


            • Authentic North African flavor
            • Balanced blend of spices
            • Adds excitement to bland dishes
            • Long shelf life


            • Can be very spicy for some
            • Needs to be mixed into dishes

            Harissa Condiment in Tube - Spicy 120 Gr 4.2 Oz (4 PACK)

            Harissa Condiment in Tube - Spicy 120 Gr 4.2 Oz (4 PACK)

              This harissa condiment comes in a convenient squeeze tube for easy use in cooking. The harissa itself is a traditional Tunisian recipe made with a blend of hot peppers, spices like cumin and coriander, garlic, and olive oil. It's known for being pretty spicy, but also imparting a complex, exotic flavor. This is an authentic harissa recipe, so you can be sure you're getting the real thing. Just a dab will spice up couscous, tagines, chicken, fish and more. It also makes a great condiment for sandwiches. This pack comes with 4 tubes, so you'll have a good stock. Keep some in the fridge and freeze extras. Remember to mix just a small amount into moist dishes at first to gauge the heat level. A little harissa goes a long way!

              Key features:

              • Authentic Tunisian harissa recipe
              • Pack of 4 convenient squeeze tubes
              • Adds heat and flavor to many dishes
              • Just a small amount needed


              • Easy to dispense from tube
              • Long shelf life when refrigerated
              • Economical multi-pack
              • Authentic North African flavor


              • Can be very spicy if overused
              • Needs refrigeration after opening

              BELAZU Rose Harissa, 170 GR

              BELAZU Rose Harissa, 170 GR

                This unique rose harissa adds a new dimension to traditional harissa with its addition of rose petals. The results are a complex, exotic flavor with just enough heat. Unlike some harissas that can overwhelm a dish, this one blends seamlessly to elevate the overall flavors. Made in England by a woman-owned company using traditional techniques, so you can trust its authenticity. Just a small dollop stirred into hummus, mixed into salad dressing, or as a rub for lamb imparts deep, aromatic flavors. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way since it's concentrated. Store leftover in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. This harissa makes an easy way to add intrigue to simple dishes.

                Key features:

                • Made with rose petals for unique flavor
                • Just enough heat, not overwhelming
                • Woman-owned authentic English company
                • A little goes a long way


                • Complex, elevated flavor profile
                • Easy way to add excitement to dishes
                • Long shelf life refrigerated
                • Economical since only need small amounts


                • Not as spicy as traditional harissa
                • Needs refrigeration after opening

                PUR Spices Medium Harissa Paste

                PUR Spices Medium Harissa Paste I Middle Eastern Inspired Hot Sauce I Used for Cooking and Dipping I No sugar added, preservative and additive free, spicy chili pepper and garlic paste I 8oz single

                  This company focused on artisanal blended spices offers their take on traditional harissa paste. They've tailored it to have medium heat so it's accessible to more people. The blend of ancho and guajillo peppers provides warmth without being overwhelming. You still get the complex flavors—hints of cumin, coriander, garlic, and lemon. Made in small batches with no preservatives or additives, using high quality ingredients like olive oil. Use it stirred into hummus or yogurt sauce, as a sandwich spread, mixed into salad dressing, or as a rub for meats. A little goes a long way, so start with just a bit and add more as desired. Keeps a long time refrigerated. Try this harissa paste for adventurous flavors made approachable.

                  Key features:

                  • Medium heat level
                  • Small batch artisanal company
                  • Blend of ancho and guajillo peppers
                  • No preservatives or additives


                  • Nice balance of flavor and heat
                  • High quality natural ingredients
                  • Adds intrigue to many foods
                  • Economical since only need small amount


                  • Not as spicy as traditional harissa
                  • Needs refrigeration after opening

                  The Spice Way Harissa Seasoning - A Spicy Hot Spice Blend

                  The Spice Way Harissa Seasoning - A Spicy Hot Spice Blend to Create Paste and Sauce (Tunisian spice blend), Harissa Powder 2 oz

                    For those who want an authentic harissa spice blend, this is made by a small farm that grows and harvests their own herbs and spices. The ingredients are sun-dried then blended, with no additives or preservatives. You can trust it's the real thing. This blend offers a smokey spicy flavor with a unique combination of chilies, paprika, cumin, coriander and more. Use it to make your own harissa paste by adding olive oil, or sprinkle it on eggs, meat, fish and veggies. A little bit of this concentrated seasoning goes a long way, so start slowly. Store in an airtight container away from light. Discover how fresh spices can make good food great.

                    Key features:

                    • Made from farm-grown spices
                    • Authentic North African spice blend
                    • Unique smokey, spicy flavor
                    • No additives or preservatives


                    • You control the heat level
                    • Economical concentrated blend
                    • Know you're getting unadulterated spices
                    • Makes great homemade harissa paste


                    • Strong aroma when jar is first opened
                    • Must be stored properly to retain freshness

                    Harissa Paste Buying Guide

                    When purchasing harissa paste, here are some key factors to consider for picking a high-quality product:

                    Ingredients - Check the label for chile peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices as primary ingredients. Avoid additives like preservatives. Good harissa relies on simple, pure components.

                    Chile peppers - The variety of peppers used significantly impacts flavor. African bird's eye chiles provide intense heat while guajillo or New Mexico chiles offer milder kick. An ideal harissa contains a blend of chile types.

                    Heat level - Harissa ranges from gently spicy to fiery. Assess your tolerance. Mild or medium-hot pastes suit most palates. If you enjoy aggressive heat, choose a "hot" harissa.

                    Texture - Thicker pastes have more body, while thin varieties are looser. Either can work well depending on the dish.

                    Oil - Extra virgin olive oil is best. Lower grade oils give less flavor.

                    Brands - Established North African brands like Les Moulins Mahjoub guarantee authenticity. But quality artisanal products from other regions can also excel.

                    Price - Pay more for harissas with all-natural, high-end ingredients. Cheap products often cut corners. Expect to spend $5 to $15 for an high-quality paste.

                    When used properly, harissa paste checks all the boxes - it adds savory depth, aromatic spice, subtle sweetness, and thrilling heat. With so many options available, sampling different styles from various brands is recommended.

                    Frequently Asked Questions About Harissa Paste

                    What's the difference between harissa paste and other chile pastes?

                    Unlike generic hot sauces, harissa boasts unique North African origins and flavor profile. It combines chile heat with robust spices like cumin, coriander, and caraway. Harissa also relies on olive oil for richness rather than vinegar. These characteristics set it apart from Asian chile pastes.

                    What types of dishes can I use harissa paste in?

                    Harissa brilliantly complements eggs, chicken, fish, lamb, beef, vegetables, pulses, and couscous. It is excellent in North African stews like tagines or Tunisian brisket. Other ideas are spicing up hummus, marinating meats, topping pizza, mixing into dressings or mayo, and stirring into pasta.

                    How should I store harissa paste after opening?

                    To retain freshness and flavor, store opened harissa paste in the refrigerator. Some separation of the oil may occur, but stirring or shaking the paste before use will recombine it. Properly stored harissa keeps for up to 3 months refrigerated.

                    What's the best way to control the heat level when cooking with harissa?

                    Start with a little paste and gradually increase to taste. Using more olive oil and spices balances the chile heat. For those very sensitive to spice, try a mild harissa labeled "douce". Avoid harissas described as "very hot" or "piquant" for milder heat.

                    Can I make my own homemade harissa paste?

                    Absolutely. While more time-consuming than store-bought, preparing your own harissa allows fully customizing ingredients and heat level. Good homemade versions feature briefly toasted whole spices, fresh peppers, and extra virgin olive oil. Adjusting the quantities of peppers, garlic, and spices provides personalized flavor.


                    Harissa paste is a versatile ingredient that brings addictive North African flair and fiery excitement to dishes across cuisines. With its complex medley of chile heat, savory depth, and aromatic qualities, harissa jazzes up everything from eggs to tagines. When purchasing, read labels and sample different styles to find a top-quality paste that suits your tastes. With the right harissa in hand, prepare for your cooking to ascend to new delicious heights.

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