Learn how to make the best spicy & crispy oven roasted Harissa Potatoes recipe!
Our healthy vegan oven baked potato recipe features North African harissa paste, yukon gold spuds, shallots, garlic cloves, olive oil, parsley and lemon juice.
You can bake our quick & easy Harissa Potatoes in under 30 minutes. The healthy dish is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan.
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What Is Harissa?
Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste. It’s a popular condiment and sauce at restaurants in Tunisia and Morocco.
The name harissa comes from the Arabic verb harasa, meaning ‘to pound’, or ‘break into pieces’. It’s thought to originate from Tunisia’s bustling spice souks. Chili peppers were imported into Maghrebian cuisine by the Columbian Exchange, presumably during the Spanish occupation of Tunisia between 1535 and 1574.
The main ingredients in harissa paste are dried chili, garlic, caraway seeds, cumin, coriander, paprika, lemon juice and olive oil.
Traditional recipes for harissa vary according to the family and region. Variations can include the addition of fermented onions and lemon juice.
In Tunisia, harissa is used as an ingredient in the preparation of grilled meats like poultry, beef, goat, or lamb and fish stew with vegetables, and as a flavoring for couscous. In Morocco, home cooks often add harissa to tagines.
You can make homemade harissa paste or purchase prepared harissa paste if you’re crunched for time.
Travel to North Africa by Cooking Harissa Potatoes at Home
I love traveling to Africa and the Middle East.
My first visit to the region was a family road trip to South Africa. We fell in love with Africa while driving through Kruger National Park, The Panorama Route, Port Elizabeth, Tsitsikamma, Hermanus, Stellenbosch and Cape Town.
As a professional food and travel journalist I’ve had the opportunity to eat at some of the best restaurants in Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Namibia, Jordan, Israel, Turkey and Dubai.
What I found most fascinating is North Africa’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany and Italy, each town in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt serves its own local speciality.
After returning from a Moroccan adventure, prepare our healthy roasted harissa potatoes recipe for friends and family to share a spicy taste of North Africa.
My Family Loves Vegan Harissa Potatoes
My family loves spicy harissa potatoes because they’re healthy and quick & easy to make last minute.
I fell in love with harissa when on a road trip of Morocco with my dad. We spent 2 weeks driving from Casablanca to Marrakech, making stops to visit tiny towns, beautiful beaches and scenic mountain ranges.
Restaurants would typically serve a spicy harissa paste at our table as a condiment we could spoon over fragrant couscous or steaming tagines. Me and my dad fell in love with North African food culture and now enjoy cooking crispy roasted Harissa Potatoes at home.
In Toronto, you can likely find harissa on menus at Fat Pasha, The Sultan’s Tent, Atlas Restaurant, Morocco House and Bar Sybanne.
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Harissa Potatoes Health Benefits
Our Spicy Roasted Harissa Potatoes recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Shallots are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Studies have linked potatoes to a variety of impressive health benefits, including improved blood sugar control, reduced heart disease risk and higher immunity.
An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.
Paprika is rich in vitamin A, capsaicin, and carotenoid antioxidants. These substances may help prevent inflammation and improve your cholesterol, eye health and blood sugar levels.
How To CookHarissa Potatoes
This homemade roasted potato snack recipe is quick and easy to make at home.
- We’ve used Yukon Gold Potatoes in this recipe but you could also use white potatoes, fingerling potatoes, red-skinned potatoes. Starchy potatoes work best.
- We’ve used shallots in this recipe but you could substitute for Spanish Onions, Red Onions or sweet Vidalia onions.
- We’ve used store bought harissa paste for this recipe but you could also make homemade harissa paste.
- We’ve garnished these crispy Harissa Potatoes with parsley but you could substitue chives or cilantro.
- We often spritz Moroccan roasted potatoes with lemon but you could use fresh limes. They add a nice kick of acid to the finished dish.
What To Serve with Crispy Moroccan Potatoes
Harissa Potatoes can be enjoyed as a snack or side dish. They keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days. Store in an airtight container and enjoy leftovers as a quick and easy meal.
This spicy vegetarian side dish is best served at a North African or Middle Eastern dinner party as the central starch or carb. We suggest pairing it with grilled meats, seafood or fresh salads.
Some of our favourite recipes to serve with this dish include Spicy Vegetarian Harissa Pasta, Healthy Roasted Vegetable Couscous, Mahalabia, Moghrabieh, Zeytoon Parvardeh, Mutabbal, Vegetarian Middle Eastern Spiced Pea Fritters, Chicken Shawarma Plate, Palestinian Chicken Musakhan, Sweet Lebanese Sesame Tahini Rolls, Mihlama Kuymak, Lebanese Toum Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce and Za’atar Butter Bean Dip.
The best Moroccan roast potatoes should be paired with a bottle of red wine, preferably from a local winery in Beamsville, Niagara on the Lake or Prince Edward County. The recipe also pairs well with a citrus-forward IPA craft beer. If you’re more of a mixed drink fan check our our guide to the best craft cocktails.
If you’re looking for a great dessert idea to enjoy after your Moroccan feast why not try our popular Blueberry Mango Crepes with Coconut Flour, Banana Oat Flour Pancakes, Apple Fritter Muffins, Sticky Toffee Banana and Date Muffins or Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies.
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How To Make Spicy Roasted Harissa Potatoes
Roasted Harissa Potatoes
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- baking sheet
- mixing bowl
- French knife
- 2 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 oz Shallots peeled and quartered
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 6 tbsp Harissa Paste
- 1/3 cup Parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice plus lemon wedges
- Heat oven to 400 F with racks in the middle and lowest position. Have rimmed baking sheets in the oven as it preheats.
- In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, garlic and shallots with the oil, salt and pepper.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven and add potato shallot mixture. Spread an even layer, ensuring potatoes don't touch and have plenty of room to roast.
- Roast on the bottom rack until the potatoes are well browned on the bottoms, about 20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through.
- Use a thin metal spatula to transfer the potatoes to the bowl. Don't forget to scrape up the browned bits, they're delicious!
- Add 4 tablespoons of harissa paste and toss until evenly coated. Return the potatoes to the sheet, spreading an even layer and reserving the bowl. Roast on the middle rack until tender, 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheet half way.
- Return the potatoes to the bowl, scraping up any browned bits. Add the parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons of harissa and lemon juice. Toss to coast. Serve with lemon wedges.
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