Harissa Sauce

Rated 5.0 based on 3 customer reviews
Harissa Sauce
Harissa Sauce


  • 5 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 chile de arbol, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for storage
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced


  1. Put guajillo, pasilla, ancho, and de arbol chiles into a large, tempered-glass bowl; pour enough hot water over the chiles to cover completely. Place a plate atop the chiles to keep submerged. Soak chiles until rehydrated, about 20 minutes; drain, reserving the soaking liquid.
  2. While the chiles soak, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in the skillet until fragrant and toasted, about 2 minutes; remove to a plate to cool.
  3. Grind the rehydrated chiles and the garlic with a food processor until completely crushed; add achieve the right consistency.
  4. Grind the toasted seeds in either an electric spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle; toss with the smoked paprika, dried mint, sea salt, and black pepper; add to the chile paste and pulse until combined. Process the mixture on Low while slowly streaming the olive oil and vinegar into the mixture; transfer to a bowl.
  5. Stir lemon juice and zest into the chile mixture; season with sea salt.
  6. Transfer sauce to an airtight container. Pour a layer olive oil over the top of the sauce and store refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Mealthy tip:

You can omit the chile de arbol to reduce the amount of heat in your harissa. That's the best part of making your own blend, customizing it to fit your palate!


5.0out of 5 Stars

(3 Reviews)

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What others are saying

Image of Elise Ballard

Elise Ballard says:

This sauce is a great complement to just about everything! I love it stirred into hummus or infused blended with olive oil to drizzle over a fried egg. The many different types of chile give it a well-rounded, complex flavor, but if you can't find all of them, make it with just one or two. I found my dried chiles at a Mexican grocery store.

Image of Aja A

Aja A says:

There's a lot of ingredients used, but it felt really good to make my own harissa sauce. So flavorful, I've put it on practically most things I have cooked recently. Made some lamb meatballs and added some harissa to greek yogurt. So good!

Image of Caro Hodgin

Caro Hodgin says:

I buy harissa from trader joe's almost everytime i go - that's how often i use it! i stir it into greek yogurt to make the easiest most addictive sauce that we end up using a couple nights a week. serve it alongside grilled chicken, drizzle it over roasted veggies, etc. i never even THOUGHT of making my own at home until i saw this recipe and realized i actually had a lot of the dried chiles already from my favorite bon appetit beef chili recipe. i didn't use the dried mint because i couldn't find any. WOW, i love this recipe! i want to start giving it away as a gift!