Harissa Chickpea Stew with Lemon and Garlic Yoghurt Drizzle

Harissa is one of those ingredients that can completely transform a dish with just a couple of teaspoons. Harissa’s smoky, fragrant chilli heat gives this chickpea stew a hit of warmth and deep flavour. The lemon and garlic yoghurt drizzle is the perfect cooling accompaniment to swirl through. A warming dish to tuck into on a cold night, this harissa chickpea stew is hearty and filling thanks to the protein-packed chickpeas. Serve simply with toasted sourdough to dunk or pair with rice for a warming dinner.

Close up of harissa chickpea stew garnished with yoghurt drizzle, chilli flakes and chopped parsley

What is harissa?

Harissa is a paste originating from the middle east made from red chilli peppers blended with a mix of herbs, spices and oil, usually including garlic and some kind of citrus. It has a spicy, smoky flavour and the type of chillis and peppers used in the paste can affect the levels of heat. You might want to taste your harissa before cooking this recipe to check the spice level. You can adjust the amount of harissa to suit you personal preference. My preferred harissa is Belazu Rose Harissa: I used it for this chickpea harissa stew.

Where can you find harissa?

You can find harissa in most large supermarkets, either in the world foods section or near the herbs and spices. Some supermarkets sell own-brand harissa which is usually slightly cheaper. Jars of harissa are normally quite small but you should be enough for a couple of recipes. It keeps well in the fridge, usually for up to 4 weeks.

Do you have to use chickpeas in this harissa stew?

Chickpeas aren’t essential for this dish. If you have an allergy, intolerance or just don’t like them, don’t worry! While chickpeas work brilliantly in this harissa stew, they can be subbed for any white beans such as butter beans, cannellini beans or haricot beans. Lentils would also work well as an alternative.

What do you serve it with?

I usually serve this harissa chickpea stew on its own, with some toasted sourdough to soak up the deliciously spiced tomato sauce. You can also serve it with some brown rice or quinoa on the side if you prefer.

Harissa Chickpea Stew


  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 stock cube

For the drizzle

  • ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened dairy-free yoghurt
  • 1 clove of garlic

To serve (optional):

  • Chopped parsley
  • Chilli flakes
  • Toasted sourdough


  • Finely slice the red onion and garlic. Add to a pot with a splash of oil. Soften for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the harissa and chickpeas and stir for a couple of minutes until the chickpeas are well coated.
  • Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and crumble in the stock cube (or mix in a mug with a splash of hot water and pour in, whatever’s easiest).
  • Bring the mix to a simmer and then simmer for a further 10 minutes to reduce the liquid, stirring occasionally.
  • For the drizzle, crush, grate or finally chop the garlic and add to a small bowl. Add the yoghurt, zest and juice of the 1/2 lemon and mix. Season to taste.
  • Serve the stew and drizzle over the yoghurt. Add other toppings if using and enjoy!

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