This harissa chicken recipe is having a moment in my dinner rotation right now. I love, love, LOVE sheet pan chicken dinners and this one is... more.
Beyond your basic chicken dinner. And with minutes of prep, it's just as no-fuss, too, as any sheet pan meal should be.
I've shared a few keto chicken thighs recipes (in fact, there's a whole roundup dedicated to them that includes recipes like chipotle air fryer chicken thighs, sun-dried tomato and spinach chicken and this chicken shawarma plate!).
But this baked harissa chicken recipe is a new favorite.
The chicken thighs and vegetables roast beautifully in the oven, all smothered in the harissa spice blend, the main ingredient that brings a good amount of heat and smokiness to this meal.
Add freshly-squeezed lemon, serve with a cool lemon-cilantro Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. This chicken sheet pan dinner is flavor central.
what is harissa?
Harissa is a chili paste (that looks like hot sauce) but you can also find it as a spice blend, which is what I'm using in this recipe. It is popular in cuisine from North Africa and the Middle East. The main ingredients are hot chile peppers, garlic cloves, olive oil and warm spices.
Harissa is easy to find at most grocery stores but if you're feeling extra ambitious, you can also prepare your own homemade harissa mixture.
Spicy harissa is a fairly new ingredient for me and I have no idea why I've had such a late introduction. So I'm now catching up on all the missed time I could have been using it, throwing harissa in everything (meat, veggies, soups!) and so far, no regrets. It's wonderfully versatile and has a profound flavor. Once you try it, you'll be hooked.
what does harissa taste like?
It has a smoky, savory, spiciness that adds so much flavor (and heat) to dishes. You can find harissa in paste form or a dry seasoning- I use a spice blend but feel free to adapt this recipe with harissa paste if you'd like.
The best part? Adjust the heat of this spicy chicken based on your own preference. Add more for an intensely bold, medium-high heat or go with less harissa if you want to keep this dish on the mild side.
what flavors go well with harissa?
When testing this harissa chicken recipe, I made a few variations, each time swapping in a different vegetable based on what I had on hand or what I needed to use up.
Since harissa is spicy, it pairs well with sweet vegetables like zucchini, sweet potato, and squash. But I've found that it's pretty versatile and its savory side works well with onion, fennel and bell peppers, too.
Lemon zest or juice (or lime) add a brightness to the dish that helps cut through the spice. And harissa-seasoned meats are also delicious with the rich, creaminess of Greek yogurt (both regular or dairy free).
why you'll love it
This easy harissa chicken recipe is a wonderful, one-pan meal that roasts together on a large rimmed baking sheet. The chicken skin gets beautifully crisp in the hot oven and the vegetables are perfectly seasoned.
Plus, this recipe is so easy to adapt! While I like choosing bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs for maximum flavor, you can easily use chicken breasts or boneless and skinless chicken thighs, too. Simply adjust the cook time as needed (see recipe notes).
I roast the harissa chicken thighs with a medley of low-carb vegetables, but you can certainly swap in your favorites. The key here is to make sure that they're cut into bite-sized pieces and arranged on the baking pan in a single layer, uncrowded. This will ensure the veggies get nice and tender during the roast time.
To make harissa chicken thighs, you will need:
- yellow or red onion, cut into wedges
- fennel bulb, sliced (optional)
- zucchinis, cut into bite-sized chunks
- sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)*
- bell pepper, sliced
- chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
- olive oil or avocado oil
- lemon, one half juiced and the other half cut into slices
- fine sea salt
- ground black pepper
- harissa seasoning
- plain Greek yogurt (either regular or dairy-free, as long as it's a low in sugar like this one by Two Good or this dairy-free yogurt from Kite Hill)
- lemon juice
- chopped cilantro
*Note: Harissa chicken thighs are low-carb, gluten-free and also work on a keto diet. If sweet potatoes are too high in carbs for you, add in an extra zucchini or another low-carb veggie. I've also made this with asparagus and sliced cabbage (add them in during the last 10 minutes of baking since they don't require a long time to roast).
a sheet pan harissa chicken recipe
- Season the veggies and chicken. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange the cut veggies on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle them with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and use your hands to coat the veggies with oil. Place each of the chicken pieces on the sheet with the vegetables and drizzle oil over the chicken, using your hands to coat each piece. Squeeze half a lemon across the entire sheet pan and season it generously with the harissa spice blend.
- Bake. Arrange the lemon slices on top of the veggies and chicken, then bake for 35-40 minutes at 425°F or until the chicken is done (internal temperature should be 165°F with a meat thermometer). Remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Make the yogurt dip. Place the Greek yogurt in a bowl and add the lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine. Set it in the fridge until it's time to serve.
recipe tips for the best results
- Always pat chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning and roasting. Removing any excess moisture will result in a more crisp chicken skin.
- Don't hesitate to use your hands to evenly coat the veggies and chicken pieces with the oil and the spice blend.
- This harissa chicken recipe is incredibly versatile and can be made with your veggies of choice! A more delicate vegetable like asparagus, broccolini or sliced cabbage will only need about 8-12 minutes of roasting so set them aside and add them to the pan toward the end of the cook time.
- If you're using boneless chicken thighs, you will not need to cook the chicken for as long. This cut of chicken cooks quicker than bone-in thighs so I recommend cutting the vegetables into slightly smaller pieces to help speed up the roast time.
- Try not to crowd the sheet pan otherwise the vegetables will steam. If needed, divide the ingredients between two sheet pans and roast them together in the oven, alternating top and bottom pans about halfway through.
- If you don't have lemon, swap in lime juice and sliced limes.
These harissa chicken thighs with roasted vegetables are a must-try! Inspired by Middle Eastern cooking, it's one of my favorite ways to enjoy chicken thighs.
This dish is so easy to toss together in a pan, literally the meal prep takes minutes. Trade in weeknight dinner woes for something simple to prepare yet boldly flavorful.
If you try it out, I'd love to hear what you think! Drop a comment below and give this little recipe a star rating- that helps others find the recipe and I know it's always helpful to read a review. Also, feel free to tag me on Instagram! I'd love to see what you're making.
you might also love...
- This easy keto chicken parmesan, Italian-inspired comfort food to the core!
- This braised pork adobo recipe is perfect for lazy weekends when you're craving something special.
- Shaved Brussels sprouts salad with mustard dill vinaigrette is lighter fare that is full of flavor!
- Whole chicken in the air fryer is another effortless way to prepare chicken and it won't disappoint.
- 1 yellow onion, cut into thick wedges
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced (optional)
- 2 medium zucchinis, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 small sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)*
- 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 2-½ pounds chicken thighs (about 5-6 pieces, bone-in and skin on)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 large lemon, half juiced and the other half cut into slices
- ½-1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons harissa seasoning
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (choose a low-sugar variety, either regular or dairy-free)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a large baking sheet, spread the cut veggies in an even layer, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or avocado oil). Use your hands to spread it around so the veggies are evenly coated.
- Nestle each chicken piece into the veggies and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil onto the chicken. Use your hands again to spread it around.
- Squeeze half of a lemon over the sheet pan. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper, then dust the entire tray with a generous amount of harissa seasoning. Use your hands to gently toss the veggies in the seasoning and evenly coat the chicken.
- Arrange the lemon slices on top of the chicken and veggies. Transfer the sheet pan to the oven and bake at 425°F for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove from oven and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- To make the lemon-cilantro Greek yogurt, spoon the yogurt into a small bowl and add the lemon juice. Whisk to combine. Toss in the chopped cilantro and gently fold it in.
- Serve the harissa chicken thighs with the roasted veggies and a spoonful of the Greek yogurt for dipping.
The chicken is done when the internal temperature registers 165°F.
This harissa chicken recipe is incredibly versatile and can be made with your veggies of choice! If you're keto and sweet potatoes are too high in carbs for you, substitute another zucchini or other veggies. A more delicate vegetable like asparagus, broccolini or sliced cabbage will only need about 8-12 minutes of roasting so set them aside and add them to the pan toward the end of the cook time.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 819mgCarbohydrates: 13gNet Carbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.