Spicy Harissa Pasta

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This creamy and spicy harissa pasta recipe is bursting with the rich, deep flavors of the Mediterranean. Naturally plant-based!

A plate of spaghetti garnished with chopped herbs and nuts, accompanied by a fork on the side.
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If you frequent this blog you may have caught onto the fact that I absolutely love spicy food. I also never turn down the opportunity to come up with creative ways to use some of my favorite spicy condiments. Enter this harissa pasta! It’s rich, spicy, satisfying and so quick and easy to make. Enjoy!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • You only need a handful of simple ingredients to create big flavor in this delicious pasta dish.
  • This recipe is for the true spicy food lovers! You get a punch of heat, but with the addition of depth and complexity in taste.
  • This pasta can be on the table in less than 20 minutes, making it a great weeknight meal.
  • This harissa pasta is naturally plant-based, vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and can easily be made with gluten-free.

A Word on Harissa

Harissa is a vibrant, fiery red paste typically made with a blend of red chili peppers, olive oil, lemon, and sea salt. It is native to Northwest Africa. Each spoonful of this delicious condiment is a testament to tradition, meticulously crafted to bring a burst of warmth and depth to your dishes. My personal favorite harissa comes from Casablanca Market. It is well-balanced and perfectly spicy.

Ingredient Notes

Pasta: I like to use spaghetti noodles, but you can use any shape or type of pasta you prefer. Use gluten-free and/or vegan pasta if necessary.

Harissa: I love to use my favorite harissa from Casablanca Market.

Coconut cream: Coconut creams pairs beautifully with harissa to create one ridiculously delicious dish. Having said that, if you are not vegan, heavy cream can be used in its place.

Sugar and salt: Salt brings out the flavors in this dish while a touch of sweetness adds depth and balance. I like to use coconut sugar, but any granulated or liquid sweetener will do.

Parsley: Parsley offers a fresh and cooling element to this spicy pasta dish. If you aren’t a parsley fan, fresh cilantro or fresh basil make great alternatives.

Pistachios: I love to top this creamy harissa pasta with a sprinkle of coarsely crushed pistachios for a bit of texture. Feel free to swap it out for pine nuts, hemp seeds, breadcrumbs, or omit them altogether if you prefer.

How to Make Harissa Pasta

  1. Start by cooking the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions. Reserve half a cup of the cooking water and set it aside.
  2. Blend the harissa, coconut cream, pasta water, salt, and sugar until creamy.
  3. In a skillet over medium-low heat, combine the pasta and the harissa pasta sauce.
  4. Cook until the pasta is warm and well-coated with the sauce.
  5. Garnish with parsley and pistachios before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

  • If you are not on a vegan or dairy-free diet, a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese works very well with the flavors in this dish.
  • Toss roasted or sauteed veggies into the pasta before serving.
  • This pasta works well served alongside this Mediterranean cucumber salad.

Storing and Reheating Harissa Pasta

You can store harissa pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat the leftover pasta, gently toss the pasta in a skillet over low heat until warmed throughout.

More Delicious Pasta Recipes You Might Love

Gigi Hadid Pasta

Rasta Pasta

Avocado Pesto Pasta

Oregano Pesto Pasta

Gochujang Pasta

A plate of spaghetti garnished with chopped herbs and nuts, accompanied by a fork on the side.

Spicy Harissa Pasta

This creamy and spicy harissa pasta recipe is bursting with the rich, deep flavors of the Mediterranean. Naturally plant-based!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrées
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean, Moroccan
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 16 ounces pasta of choice gluten-free if necessary
  • ½ cup harissa
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • ½ cup pasta water reserved from cooking the pasta
  • 1 tablespoon sugar I like to use coconut sugar, but any sweetener will do
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios coarsely crushed


  • Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water and set it aside.
  • In a blender, combine the harissa, coconut cream, reserved pasta water, sugar, and salt. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
  • In a large skillet or pot over medium-low heat, add the blended sauce and the cooked pasta.
  • Stir the pasta into the sauce, allowing it to simmer and thicken for about 5 minutes, ensuring an even coating.
  • Garnish with the parsley and pistachios before serving.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 816mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 568IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg

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