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A bowl Harissa Paste
5 from 14 votes

How to Make Harissa Paste

Learning How to Make Harissa Paste, a flavorful chili pepper paste made from dried chilis, garlic, olive oil, and toasted spices, is fast and easy. Enjoy this totally addicting flavor explosion mixed into your favorite dips, stews, soup, and marinades.
Prep Time15 mins
soak time20 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 24 tbsp (approx.)
Calories: 63kcal



  • Transfer the dried árbol, guajillo, and ancho chiles to a glass bowl or cup (I used a large measuring cup). Pour boiling water over the chiles so that they are completely submerged and covered with water. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and allow the chiles soak for 20-30 minutes, or until soft.
  • Wearing gloves (if you have them), drain the chiles and remove the stems and as much of the seeds from the interior as possible. It will be impossible to remove every seed- that's OK. Discard the seeds and the stem.
  • In a clean, dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. This takes just 2-3 minutes (don't walk away!) To help prevent the seeds from burning, gently toss the skillet throughout cooking.
  • Transfer the toasted cumin and coriander seeds to a small food processor. Add the smashed garlic and process until the spices have broken up into smaller bits and the garlic begins to form a paste. Add the chiles and process, scraping down the sides as needed, until a coarse paste forms.
  • Add the lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste, smoked paprika, and salt. Process to combine, forming into a textured, yet smooth, paste. Make sure to scoop down the sides and under the blades to ensure that everything has been mixed evenly.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour 1/2 cup of olive oil into the mixture. Process until the oil is fully incorporated.
  • To store the harissa, transfer to a jar or container and cover with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.


  • Harissa may be stored for up to 1 month in a sealed air-tight container in the refrigerator.


Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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