Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemony Tahini & Greens

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 17 votes

Harissa chickpea bowl with potatoes, lemony tahini, and greens is a lightly spicy, totally filling weeknight dinner option.

Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Mess
Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Mess

It’s been a while! I feel like I keep saying that. Since I was last here, I went on a wonderful weekend trip to Portland with a friend, I celebrated my 33rd birthday, finished some books, and have just been doing some quality Winter nesting. Also very importantly: I fixed up this harissa chickpea bowl.

We ate so much great food in Portland! A nice mix of indulgent, some healthy and hippie-dip, so much great coffee and tea lattes, lots of good snacks and treats too.

We walked through the
Portland Japanese Garden, which was honestly the most wonderful thing. I had spent the day flying and wanted to be surrounded in trees, moss, nature sounds, the smell of vegetation, and just that living and breathing sense of life in real time. I always try to do something in nature at the end of a flying day as a way to happily adjust to the new surroundings. When I do this and take care to drink plenty of water and herbal tea on the plane, it’s all smooth sailing, energy for days, and sound sleep when the time comes.

We hit some great shops, my fave of them all was
Pistils Nursery. I came home with a gorgeous piece of labraodrite that glows like the northern lights, a new tarot deck, a sun catcher prism, and some very important hot sauce. We leaned on Alison Wu’s excellent Portland travel guide if you’re planning a trip soon ;)

Anyway! Now that you know my entire life story from that weekend (hehe), let’s jump to today’s recipe. We had these loaded fries the first night in Portland. They had tahini sauce, zhoug, fresh dill, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember. I loved them, but I also remember wishing that they were a bit messier/more saucy. Maybe it’s the Canadian built-in preference for poutine or something?

I don’t really fry at home, so this roasted potato and harissa chickpea bowl with za’atar, slightly saucy harissa chickpeas, greens, and tahini sauce is what I’ve happily settled on here. Definitely a bowl food vibe, and definitely simple enough for weeknight enjoyment.

Rather than making a traditional harissa paste, we kind of just build those same flavours as we cook the chickpeas. Also, just need to add that potatoes are pretty much the best wherever you find them. Hilariously, this is yet ANOTHER chickpea, stewed tomato deal from me (see here, here, here + here). Can you tell it’s still deep winter here?!

Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Mess

Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemony Tahini & Greens

Harissa chickpea bowl with potatoes, lemony tahini, and greens is a lightly spicy, totally filling weeknight dinner option.
5 from 17 votes
Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Mess
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 3 -4



  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic finely minced (or grated with a Microplane)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • 1 ½ lbs new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, fine dice (about ⅓ cup diced shallot)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (roughly one 15-ounce can), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup filtered water, plus extra if necessary


  • 4 big handfuls of chopped mixed greens
  • olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • za’atar
  • cup chopped flat leaf parsley


  • If you don’t have a spice grinder, use the same amount of ground cumin, coriander, caraway seed, and chili flakes. If you can’t find it in ground form, whole caraway seed is fine too.
  • I know that some people are kinda “meh” on caraway, feel free to leave it out!
  • The amount of chili here gives the chickpea mix a good amount of heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, I’d cut it back to half a teaspoon.
  • I like to make the tahini sauce first, so that I have it out of the way, and also the flavours get to marry a bit. You could fix it up while the potatoes roast if you’d like to save some time.


  • Make the lemon-y tahini. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once combined and seasoned to your liking, set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch thick wedges or cubes and transfer them to a large baking sheet. Toss them with the oil, za’atar, salt, and pepper. Place potatoes in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown, flipping them once at the halfway point.
  • Make the harissa chickpeas. In a deep skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin, coriander, caraway, and chili flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer spiced to a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind spices to a rough powder and set aside.
  • Place the skillet back on the heat and pour the oil in. Add the shallot to the skillet and sauté until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ground spice mixture and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas to skillet and stir to coat the chickpeas. Add the crushed tomatoes and water to the chickpeas and stir to combine. Season harissa chickpeas with salt and pepper. Bring the harissa chickpeas to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and let chickpeas cook for 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary. You want the chickpeas to be saucy, but not fluid like a soup.
  • While chickpeas are simmering, toss the greens with olive oil, lemon juice, pinches of za’atar, sale, and pepper.
  • To serve the harissa chickpea bowls, divide warm potatoes among plates. Top with harissa chickpeas, tahini sauce, piles of dressed greens, and chopped parsley.
Harissa Chickpea Bowl with Potatoes, Lemon-y Tahini & Greens - The First Mess

07/03/2018 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, chickpeas, creamy, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, roasted, salad, side dish, spicy, spring, summer, tahini, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Sheila

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Awesome flavours and it came together quickly and easily. I will for sure be making this again and again!

  • Ewa

    5 stars
    The chickpeas and potatoes are delicious, and I loved the tahini sauce. Is there another sauce you could recommend to go with it for those (like my kids) who didn’t care for a tahini=based one?

  • K S

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it took me ~45 minutes, and that included cleaning up most the kitchen while the potatoes finished baking. It was relatively quick, easy, and absolutely bonkers delicious. Would recommend. I used gochugaru chili flakes and thought it had a nice, easy heat. I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers, if that’s any indication of my esteem.

  • Samantha

    5 stars
    This recipe absolutely slaps! Perfect balance of hearty richness and nutritional benefits. Absolutely perfect for a cold Canadian winter night.

  • Katie

    5 stars
    This recipe is truly incredible! My family and I fell in love with this meal the first time I made it, and now we make It almost once a week. As always, the flavors are incredible and perfectly balanced. I have the potatoes in the oven as I write this ;) Thank you so much!

  • Sarah

    I love your recipes! Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I used store-bought harissa as a shortcut. Currently eating the leftover potatoes and chickpeas for breakfast with a friend egg and some yogurt sauce – highly recommend!

  • Natasha

    Hi there! If I’m using premixed harissa powder how much should I use? Thanks!

    • Laura

      one tablespoon should be great!

  • Claire

    5 stars
    ANOTHER WINNER!!!! Straight up delicious and dead easy. I used tinned chickpeas and spinach because it was all I had. So simple and great! 

  • Jordan

    Looks delicious!! But am I missing something? I dont see where step 4 says to add the harissa. Is it before or after the boil? It says when to add onion, garlic, spices, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, and water (in that order) but I dont see when to add the harissa?

    • Laura

      Hi Jordan,
      Not sure if you read the blog post before the recipe (it’s cool, lots of people don’t!), but we don’t use actual harissa paste in this recipe. We build the flavours of typical harissa mixtures while we cook the chickpeas. Hope that makes sense.

  • Brittany

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and almost did not add the canned tomatoes. Let me tell you……I am GLAD I did! This dinner was amazing! Flavorful, delicious and an overall enjoyable meal. I added some cayenne pepper to the tahini dressing, omitted the Za’tar from the potatoes but still added it to the greens (I used kale and massaged it in along with lemon, salt and olive oil) and I really enjoyed the taste of it. Everything comes together so beautifully. This dish is definitely a new favorite of mine. 

  • Rachel

    Yum! I made this mostly as described (I skipped the caraway) and it was delicious. I wish I had doubled the recipe! I did fresh baby arugula for the greens and it was perfect. 

  • Crista

    Hi! I made this last night for dinner and it was SO GOOD! Thank you for this easy, inspiring recipe.

  • Sara Forte

    so so good, Laura! We all loved it. Well, I made the beans a bit spicy for the kids but generally speaking! I loved how easy this was and how the final dish was greater than the sum of it’s part. Bravo

  • Julie

    Holy cats! This is so scrumptious. It reads as though there are a lot of steps, but none take very long. The ingredients are all things I always have on hand, so that did make it easier. I used kale for the greens, and that added crunch was a nice contrast with the other components. We ate two of the four servings tonight, and I can’t promise there will only be one left tomorrow.

  • Uspeed Io

    Is there anything I can use instead of tahini?

    • Laura

      You could use raw cashew butter, or any raw and mellow-tasting nut/seed butter that you like.

  • Marie Carliste

    I made this chickpea bowl for dinner yesterday and I loved it. I love a dish that looks colorful and of course tastes good! I followed the recipe exactly except I did not have canned tomatoes so I used fresh ones. I roasted them in the oven first and crushed them to use it in the recipe.

  • Kim

    I made the recipe as stated *except* I left out za’atar because my jar looked clumpy and not right. DELICIOUS! The lemon tahini sauce brings everything together. And I particularly liked the touch of dressing the greens before adding to the rest of the components. I don’t usually think to do that. Thank you for so many delicious meals! And for introducing me to caraway seeds :)

  • Billy

    Your pictures are breathtaking. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to make this. Harissa is by far one of my favorite condiments and ingredients. So excited to try!

  • Lily

    This was good—warming, nutritious, and tasty. But gosh I had to add way more lemon zest and juice to get enough lemon-y flavor to contrast with the harissa. The zaatar was lost entirely. There is a lot of taste competition going on, and it seems that tomato and chili flakes win in the end. But still a yummy blend of things, and the creaminess from the tahini dressing was great.

  • Ella Frances

    This looks so delicious! I have recently fallen in deep love with harissa and put it on everything! I am excited to try this recipe. Have you made this ahead of time for prepared meals/lunches?

    Thank you for sharing,
    Ella Frances

  • Claire

    This looks delicious! This is an “I should know the answer to this” kind of question, but I’m not sure of the best pan to use for this: I have a regular nonstick skillet that isn’t very deep, a cast-iron skillet that isn’t very deep, and a Dutch oven that is quite deep (obviously). Yours looks to be nonstick, so I wonder if this would be my best option. I can’t wait to try this! I’ve had a craving for a chickpea bowl lately.

    • Laura

      Sorry for the late reply! I think either of the skillets would work just fine :)

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek

    Hope you had a great birthday and rest! This is the sort of meal I revel in this time of year. Half winter, half spring, these flavors and components are perfect for in between seasons! Thanks for sharing–I’ll be making this one v v soon :)

  • Ann

    Thank you for coming back. We missed you and your new recipes

  • Cassie Thuvan Tran

    A Japanese garden in Portland?! I’m so jealous of you! Back when I visited Japan last year, the gardens were my favorite part of exploring the country! So beautiful and tranquilizing.
    This Harissa chickpea bowl looks fantastic! I love the combination of potatoes, chickpeas, Harissa sauce, and plenty of other greens. Makes the perfect dinner for two as well!

  • Kaley

    Just whipped this up for dinner! So simple and delicious. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  • mich

    Awww such a nice recap of our #girlstriiiiiip. Can’t wait to make this next week – exactly what I want to eat right now.

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    I was following along with your adventures in Portland on IG and it looks fantastic. The Japanese gardens especially. Glad to have you back, this recipe looks killer! :)

  • Megan Hughes

    This looks so yummy and comforting! Oddly, since transitioning to vegan, I find myself eating potatoes LESS, in favor of rice, noodles, and other carbs/grains. I just never think to make them anymore. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Laura

      I went through a phase like that when I first went entirely plant-based as well! So funny. But then I remembered how amazing potatoes are haha.

  • Sonia

    Looks so good. Do you like the premium or organic version of the tahini? Everytime I buy tahini I’m disappointed by the bitterness, but from Soom’s website it sounds like theirs isn’t. Thank you!

    • Laura

      Hi Sonia!
      I get the organic version of Soom. It only has the tiniest edge of bitterness, which is kind of balancing in a way. Leaps and miles ahead of most tahini. It’s just nutty and smooth, and I honestly find ways to eat it with everything haha.

      • Sonia

        Thank you! I am definitely going to try it.

  • Sandra Lea

    This looks perfect for this snowy day in New England. I think I have all the ingredients on hand so will be making this tonight.

  • Patricia Scarpin

    What a beautiful dish! Give me anything with chickpeas and I am a happy camper! With all those spices I can only imagine the amazing smell your kitchen had when you were preparing this food!

  • Angela

    Sounds like you had a great time here in “P” town. Where did you have the loaded fries? looks amazing

    • Laura

      We had the loaded fries at Shalom Y’all! It was such a great spot in general too.