Harissa Marinated Chickpeas

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Spoon in a bowl of Harissa Marinated Chickpeas

After experimenting with chickpeas in the Instant Pot, we had an abundance of chickpeas on our hands and plenty of ideas for what to do with them. The best, however? Harissa marinated chickpeas!

Think tender chickpeas marinated in a mixture of garlic, lemon, smoked paprika, and spicy harissa sauce

Just 8 ingredients, 10 minutes, and 1 bowl required! Let us show you how it’s done!

Spoons and dishes or salt, lemon juice, maple syrup, paprika, olive oil, garlic, harissa paste, and dry chickpeas

The main ingredients for this recipe are (we bet you can guess it!): chickpeas + harissa.

For chickpeas, our preferred method is cooking them in the Instant Pot. Here’s why:

  • Speeds cooking time – compared to cooking beans on the stovetop, the Instant Pot does so in a fraction of the time
  • More flavorful – compared to canned, we like homemade because you can season the chickpeas before cooking (with onion, garlic, herbs, oil, salt, pepper, etc.)
  • Less expensive – in our calculations, canned beans are about double the price of making beans from scratch
  • Minimizes exposure to BPA & other materials in can linings

However, we know beans from scratch aren’t always realistic. So canned, drained chickpeas will also work!

Spoon in a bowl of chickpeas with harissa, garlic, and smoked paprika

What is Harissa Paste?

Harissa is a hot chili paste that originated in Tunisia, North Africa. It’s commonly used as a dip, marinade, or ingredient to add to dishes like stews to add vibrant red color and heat. Chili peppers were originally imported to Tunisia in the 16th century during the Spanish occupation, and shortly thereafter, harissa quickly became a staple part of Tunisian (and Middle Eastern) cuisine (source).

For the harissa paste, you can either make a homemade version like ours or use store-bought. Find a more traditional version here! Just keep in mind that some brands are more concentrated than others. We recommend using a more concentrated one that resembles the consistency of tomato paste rather than sauce. Or, if using a less concentrated harissa sauce, you may need to use more of it.

Using a spoon to stir together chickpeas, harissa paste, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, maple syrup, smoked paprika, and olive oil

When you’re ready to make the harissa chickpeas, simply add the chickpeas and harissa to a mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and garlic for zing, salt for saltiness and flavor, maple syrup to balance the heat, smoked paprika for smokiness, and olive oil for creaminess and an herbal/pepper flavor.

The harissa chickpeas can either be used immediately or, to intensify the flavors, allow them to marinate for 1-2 hours.

Holding a spoon and bowl of harissa chickpeas

We hope you LOVE these harissa chickpeas! They’re:

& Delicious!

They’re perfect for bowl mealssaladswraps, sandwiches, topping soup, or anywhere you’re looking for some plant-based protein and fiber with a kick!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Spoonful of harissa paste next to a jar of Harissa Marinated Chickpeas

Harissa Marinated Chickpeas

Delicious harissa marinated chickpeas, ready in minutes! Just 8 simple ingredients required for these saucy, smoky chickpeas perfect for salads, sandwiches, bowls, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Spoon in a bowl of Harissa Chickpeas
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 (1/4-cup servings)
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, North African-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (preferably home cooked // try our Instant Pot recipe!)
  • 2-3 Tbsp harissa paste (or sub store-bought)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if oil-free, omit)


  • If you’re using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse. If using our Instant Pot Chickpeas, simply ensure your chickpeas are drained of excess cooking liquid and proceed as instructed.
  • To a large mixing bowl add chickpeas, harissa paste, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, maple syrup, paprika, and olive oil and stir gently to combine.
  • If you’re using canned chickpeas, they’ll likely need more seasoning at this point since they weren’t seasoned on the front end (I find canned beans to be less flavorful and fresh than home cooked). If using our Instant Pot Chickpeas or another method from scratch, you likely won’t need much more seasoning. In either case, taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more garlic for zing, lemon for acidity, harissa for heat, maple syrup to balance the heat, paprika for smokiness, or olive oil for creaminess or herbal, peppery flavor.
  • You can use your chickpeas immediately, or (our preferred method) transfer to a storage container and allow to marinate for at least 1-2 hours. Marinated chickpeas will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (depending on freshness of ingredients). We haven’t tried freezing them but suspect that they would be fine for up to 1 month.
  • These marinated chickpeas are perfect for bowl meals, salads, wraps, sandwiches, topping soup, or anywhere you’re looking for some plant-based protein and fiber with a kick!



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with unseasoned boiled chickpeas, the lesser amounts where ranges are provided, and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 quarter-cup serving Calories: 101 Carbohydrates: 13.3 g Protein: 3.9 g Fat: 3.8 g Saturated Fat: 0.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.75 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.11 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 113 mg Potassium: 134 mg Fiber: 3.7 g Sugar: 2.7 g Vitamin A: 1476 IU Vitamin C: 2.56 mg Calcium: 24.46 mg Iron: 1.36 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Amanda says

    These are extremely easy to make and they taste phenomenal. I made them last week to put on top of the 15-minute massaged kale salad and was not disappointed. Made another batch this week. I used sambal olek instead of harissa because my grocery store didn’t have harissa, but I expect it turned out pretty similar.

  2. Margot Frazier says

    This has become my favorite way to eat chickpeas. I made a few cups and keep them in the fridge and throw them in everything. I really like them smushed a bit in a grilled cheese.

  3. Heather says

    This recipe is amazing! I used 3 TBS of harissa paste from Tunisia and cooked 1 cup of dried chickpeas which is closer to 2.5 cups cooked. It pairs perfectly a garden paella.

  4. Angela Grace says

    I love Harrissa pasta and I love chickpeas so that really does sound like a match made in heaven. I’ve been looking at some recipes for chickpeas recently and found some on Pats Foods but none using Harissa paste. I bulk cook a whole bag at a time of dried chic peas and freeze them in portions so I’ve always got some ready to use. I am definitely going to try this recipe.

  5. Susan says

    I love Harissa! And, I recently discovered I love roasted chickpeas. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I was thinking about roasting a can of rinsed chickpeas and then adding the sauce. Or would you think marinade and then try to roast? Thanks!

  6. Kate Kennedy says

    I made the recipe with harissa powder. I mixed the marinade ingredients together, then added the beans to the same bowl. They were lovely! And even better today, as a topping for a baked sweet potato.

  7. Mary-Grace Ellington says

    Do you think I could try a small amount of molasses instead of maple syrup? I haven’t purchased some real maple syrup yet. Thanks for posting this. I am looking forward to making it this weekend.

  8. Deni says

    I will give this recipe a go over the weekend. What is the size of the WECK jar you used I in the picture. It’s looks a good size?

  9. Nicole says

    Hello, I’d like to give this a try and have harissa as a powdered spice but not as a paste. What adjustments would I need to do to make the recipe work? Thanks for your help!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’m not familiar with harissa not being a paste. Do you mean dry spices? In which case you can compensate by adding a little oil / water / and or maple syrup to rehydrate? Or, in the case you have harissa sauce vs. paste, it can be used but likely in a greater quantity because it’s not as concentrated.