I love roasted potatoes. Soft and tender on the inside, crispy and caramelized on the outside, what’s not to love? These spicy harissa roasted potatoes are all that and more. For a new take on the classic, you’ll toss the potatoes with harissa, a chili pepper spice blend, before they go in the oven. The result is everything you love about roasted potatoes, but with an extra kick of tangy, spicy goodness. These are especially good with a side of quick buttermilk dill dressing to cool things down a bit!
Spicy, peppery, tart and bright – when I got my hands on a jar of harissa, I couldn’t wait to try it out! I love experimenting with new flavors and I’d been seeing this North African chili paste everywhere, from cooking shows to magazines, even talked about on the radio (do you listen to The Splendid Table? I highly recommend it!). Seeing harissa on the shelf during my latest trip to Trader Joe’s convinced me it was now pretty mainstream, so I bought a jar on the spot. But what can you do with it? It turns out, pretty much anything from soups to roasted meats, to veggies and sauces. I decided to start with a simple roasted veggie, and these spicy harissa roasted potatoes are the delicious result.
Harissa has long been used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. It’s commonly used to season soups, stews, dips, you name it! The basic ingredients are dried or fresh red chilies, garlic, salt, coriander, caraway, and olive oil.
The harissa paste is spicy and pungent on it’s own and a little goes a long way. I added some extra olive oil and fresh lemon juice to thin it out so it would coat the potatoes well. The lemon juice also adds some nice acidity.
I like to use smaller white potatoes or Yukon golds for roasting. Because of their small size, the ratio of crispy, caramelized outsides to tender insides is perfect.
This is a super simple recipe. You’ll start by mixing the harissa paste with the olive oil, lemon juice and a little ground pepper.
Next you’ll cut the potatoes in half and pour the beautiful, bright red harissa mixture on top. Toss everything together so every potato is covered.
To get as much of those delicious crispy exteriors as possible, spread the potatoes out on your baking pan with the cut sides down. This is true for any veggie you want to roast, the more surface area that touches the hot baking pan, the more caramelized deliciousness for you to enjoy.
Prepare yourself for spicy, tangy, crispy awesomeness! I like to serve these spicy harissa roasted potatoes with grilled steak, or, since you already have the oven on, they’re also delicious with roasted chicken. If you want to keep it vegetarian, you can serve these with a simple quinoa side salad for a super flavorful (and healthy) meal.
Above all though, you won’t believe how perfectly these spicy potatoes go with a side of quick buttermilk dill dressing! The dressing is tart and herby and it cools down a bit of the spiciness. It’s really a match made in food heaven.
Spicy Harissa Roasted Potatoes
Potatoes are roasted until tender on the inside, yet crisp and flavorful on the outside. Rubbed with a flavorful spice blend before they go in the oven, these spicy harissa roasted potatoes are a new take on a classic. They are especially good with a side of quick buttermilk dill dressing to cool things down a bit!
Harissa paste mixture:
- 3 tablespoons harissa paste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced, about 4 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds small white or yukon gold potatoes
- Chopped Italian parsley or cilantro to garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Wash the potatoes and cut them in half. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine all of the harissa mixture ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the harissa mixture to the halved potatoes and mix well so that all of the potatoes are coated.
- Place the potatoes cut side down on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are browned and tender when tested with a fork.
- Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve with Quick Buttermilk Dill Dressing if desired.