Shrimp with harissa – A quick dinner that bursts with flavor. Pan-seared shrimp tossed with sautéed bell peppers in a flavorful harissa butter sauce, this dish comes together in just 20 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Whether served as a main course or a light appetizer, this versatile recipe is sure to become a regular in your cooking rotation.
Why You’ll Love Harissa Shrimp
You’ll absolutely adore this harissa shrimp recipe because it’s so easy to make and tastes next-level delicious. It’s my favorite choice for busy evenings when I want something extra flavorful. And trust me, everyone will love it!
This fool-proof recipe uses simple ingredients that taste amazing. It’s a perfect combo! If you’re keen on trying new flavors or want a delicious culinary adventure, give this amazing shrimp dinner a go!
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO or follow along on YouTube.
What is Harissa Paste?
Harissa Paste is a spicy chili paste from North Africa that’s also popular in the Middle East. It’s made by blending chili peppers, garlic, oil, and spices like cumin, coriander and caraway. This paste adds a smoky, fiery flavor to your cooking, perfect for enhancing both heat and taste in various dishes.
This versatile paste can be used as a dip, marinade, or in hearty recipes like stews, soups and roasted veggies.
If you want an easy way to add extra spice and flavor to your meals, try using harissa paste. It’s a fantastic ingredient that elevates your cooking. Once you start using it, get ready for a burst of complex, smoky-spicy flavors.
My simple harissa shrimp recipe is a great way to use this flavorful paste. It creates a delicious sauce and gives the shrimp a tasty boost. Perfect with rice, couscous or crusty bread. Pair it with a fresh salad, and you’ve got a delicious dinner.
What’s the Difference between Harissa Paste and Harissa Sauce?
Harissa paste and harissa sauce are quite similar, but there’s a small difference. Harissa paste is thicker and stronger in flavor. It’s made with dried chili peppers, garlic, spices and oil, used mainly as a marinade or condiment.
On the other hand, harissa sauce is thinner, smoother and usually has added ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar. It’s great as a dipping sauce or for cooking. If you prefer a milder flavor or an easier-to-spread sauce, go for harissa sauce.
What is a Good Substitute for Harissa?
If you can’t find harissa, here’s a simple substitute: mix 1 tablespoon of sambal oelek with added lemon zest. Then, include 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, ground coriander and ground cumin. While it won’t be the exact same taste, this mix can serve as a good alternative.
Ingredients Needed to Make this Harissa Shrimp Recipe
- Shrimp: Use larger-sized frozen shrimp (16-20 per pound). Make sure to thaw them before cooking.
- Harissa: This is the key flavor! I used mild rose harissa (about 4 tablespoons), but you can adjust the amount based on how spicy you like it. Choose a good-quality brand for a delicious sauce base.
- Bell Pepper: Adds a gentle flavor to the dish and complements the shrimp. You can choose your favorite color or swap it with spinach.
- Onion and Garlic: These ingredients boost the overall flavor.
- Lemon: Adding a splash of citrus enhances the harissa’s freshness and pairs excellent with seafood.
- Olive Oil and Unsalted Butter: Used for searing the shrimp and creating a rich, buttery sauce.
- Seasoning: Essential for flavor! Salt, black pepper, turmeric, garlic powder and smoked paprika add layers of deliciousness to every bite.
- Serving Style: Serve the harissa shrimp in the skillet with crusty bread, tapas-style with other small bites, or as a starter.
- Garnish Creatively: Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro for a fresh touch, or add chopped almonds or pistachios for some crunchiness on top of the dish.
- Side Dish Options: Consider serving with white rice, brown rice, basmati or jasmine rice, pearl couscous, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or pasta. Additionally, warm flatbread or crusty bread is excellent for soaking up the tasty sauce.
- Complete the Meal: Pair the dish with a side salad or roasted vegetables to round out your meal and add extra flavors and textures.
- Fridge: To keep leftovers fresh, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll stay good for up to 2 days.
- Freezer: You can safely freeze seared shrimp that were previously frozen. However, it is important to note that refreezing shrimp will affect their texture and flavor, they’ll become more rubbery. Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
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Cooking Video: How to Make Harissa Shrimp
- 1.1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 4 tbsp mild rose harissa more or less to taste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- chopped parsley for serving (optional)
- Get your prep done before you start to cook. Peel en devein the shrimp. In a bowl, combine shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and turmeric. Set aside.
- Finely chop the onion, mince the garlic cloves and slice the bell pepper as thin as possible.
- Heat oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium high in a nonstick skillet. Place shrimp in a single layer and cook 1 minute per side. Remove from skillet into a clean bowl.
- Add the remaining butter and bell pepper. Cook for 3 minutes until the pepper starts to soften. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and simmer for 2 minutes while scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of your skillet with a wooden spoon. Add harissa and lemon juice, stir to combine. Toss in shrimp and simmer for 1 minute.
- Finish off with chopped parsley. Enjoy!