This healthy Harissa Chicken with Lentils recipe is one of my favourite back-pocket recipes. It’s spicy (but not VERY spicy), great to eat by itself, or to be paired with rice or bread, and delicious!
I first started making this harissa chicken and lentil dish while I was still at university. At the time, it didn’t taste as good (I mean, I was still figuring things out in the kitchen!), but over the years, I feel like I’ve really gotten this recipe down. It’s not super fancy, and honestly, it’s not even super pretty. But it is a good ol’ fashioned hearty and healthy meal.
And what’s even better? It’s a one-pot recipe! Less clean-up, and most of the cook time is letting the stock cook and absorb, so you don’t need to stand around stirring (just don’t wander too far away. Kitchen safety and all that!).
What is harissa chicken
Harissa is a spicy chili paste that originated from North Africa and has become popular all over the world. This vibrant and bold ingredient is what makes this dish a perfect combination of heat, and earthiness. In the case of harissa chicken recipes, the harissa paste is used to flavor chicken which is then grilled to perfection. In other versions, harissa paste is used as part of a marinade.
For this recipe, the tender and juicy chicken is cooked alongside hearty and nutritious lentils, making it a complete meal that is both filling and healthy.
- Olive oil
- Chopped red onion
- Crushed garlic clove
- Harissa paste
- Chicken thighs
- Dried puy lentils
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chicken or vegetable stock
How to make harissa chicken with lentils
In a large saucepan or pot, fry the chopped onion over low heat for 5-6 minutes, until it’s sofetened. It’ll have a translucent look to it. Add the crushed garlic and cook, stirring together, for about a minute more.
Stir in the harissa paste, followed by the chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken is browned. Add in the carrots, lentils, chopped tomatoes, and the stock. (I typically use chicken stock, but vegetable stock will work fine.) Make sure that the stock completely immerses the chicken and lentils.
Making sure you are using a low-heat, and cook the dish uncovered for 35-45 minutes, until the chicken has completely cooked through, and the lentils have absorbed the stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve it up any way you like!
What to serve with harissa chicken
I’ll be super honest with you, bestie. I’m lazy. And when it comes to this harissa chicken and lentil recipe, I usually just eat it as is – no side dishes. I find that the lentils and chicken together are filling enough for me.
However, if you’d like to add some sides, here are a few simple suggestions:
- A side salad is an easy and light option.
- Rice is fantastic with most things. Prepare some white rice, and use the harissachickenlentils like a curry!
- Flatbread is a great way to enjoy this recipe as well.
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If you like the sound of this recipe but feel like it’s missing a little something, here are some variation suggestions. I use a few of them when cooking at home.
Add greens like spinach or kale to the recipe. This is the easiest variation and the one I do the most. I cook a handful or two of kale, until just about wilted in a separate dish, and add it in to the final harissa chicken recipe. (Of course, this means it’s no longer a one-pan recipe.)
Switch up the lentils. This dish uses puy lentils, but you can easily switch it up for red or brown lentils, if you prefer.
Bump up the flavours! If you’re accustomed to spice in your meals, you can add more spices when cooking the chicken and lentils. Ground cumin is a great place to start. If you prefer a thicker stew, you can consider adding a little Greek yogurt into the mix.
More easy dinner recipes
If you enjoyed this harissa chicken recipe, then you should definitely check out:
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You don’t need any fancy kitchen tools for this recipe – this is simple homestyle cooking. As this is a one-pot recipe, I’d recommend having a nice pot that you can cook in. I use a Dutch oven at home.
And that’s it for today. What did you think? Have you tried harissa chicken with lentils yet? Let me know in the comments below.
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Harissa Chicken with Lentils
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 1 pot 1x
- Diet: Halal
This (mildly) spicy Harissa Chicken and Lentils recipe takes 45 minutes to make, and the results are healthy, and filling. What’s more? It can all be made in one-pot!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50g harissa paste
- 500g chicken thighs, skinless, boneless, and chopped
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 200g dried puy lentils
- 800g chopped tomatoes (2 x 400g cans)
- 1.2l chicken stock
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- In a large saucepan or pot, warm the oil over low heat, add and fry the chopped onion over low heat until softened, approximately 5-6 minutes. Add the crushed garlic glove and cook, stirring together, for about a minute more.
- Stir in the harissa paste, followed by the chopped chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken is browned. Add in the grated carrot, lentils, chopped tomatoes, and stock. Ensure that the stock completely immerses the chicken and lentils.
- Still on low-heat, cook the dish uncovered until the chicken has completely cooked through, and the lentils have absorbed the stock, approximately 35-45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve it up any way you like!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: harissa chicken with lentils, harissa chicken lentils, harissa chicken,
Hi Riz, I made this a couple weeks ago and it was so good! But I used two cans of petite diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes so it came out a bit soupy. I added a little extra harissa paste to kick up the spice a little. I tagged you on the photo on instagram but I don’t think you saw it because my account is private. I will make this again!
Hey Aileen! So glad you enjoyed this one! I just double-checked and I’m afraid I don’t see it so it may be a privacy issue! Just in case, my IG is @yamisohungry, and #chocolatesandchai