Harissa chicken thighs are 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 just as no-fuss, too, as any sheet pan meal should be.
I've shared a few keto chicken thighs recipes (Chipotle air fryer chicken thighs! Sun-dried tomato and spinach chicken! Chicken shawarma plate!) but this harissa chicken recipe is a new favorite. The chicken and vegetables roast beautifully in the oven, all smothered in the harissa spice blend that adds a good amount of heat and smokiness. Add freshly-squeeze lemon, serve with a lemon-cilantro Greek yogurt and sprinkle of chopped cilantro. This chicken sheet pan dinner is flavor central.
what is harissa?
Harissa is a chili paste (or often found as a spice blend) that is commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. It's a fairly new ingredient for me and I have no idea why I've had 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 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.
what flavors go well with harissa?
For these harissa chicken thighs, I've made a few variations of the recipe, each time swapping in a different vegetable based on what I have on hand or what I need to use. 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 (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).
To make this sheet pan chicken dinner, you will need:
- 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).
- Season the veggies and chicken. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange the cut veggies on a large baking sheet. Drizzle them with the oil and use your hands to coat the veggies evenly. Place each of the chicken pieces on the sheet with the vegetables and drizzle oil over the chicken, using your hands to spread it around 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 temp should be 165°F). 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
- 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 don't have lemon, swap in lime juice and sliced limes.
These harissa chicken thighs with roasted vegetables are a must-try! It's all so easy to toss together in a pan, literally the prep takes minutes. Trade in weeknight dinner woes for something simple and 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.
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- 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.