Get ready to fall in love with food all over again and experience the healthy fat-free flavors of Tunisia and Morocco. If you’re in the mood for a bold and flavorful salad that takes your taste buds on a culinary adventure, then look no further. Our new recipe, Harissa Marinated Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds, is sure to delight your palate with its unique combination of ingredients and vibrant flavors. In this post, we’ll not only introduce this exciting dish but also shed light on harissa – the star ingredient behind its fiery charm.
Our content is reader-supported. When you buy through links in our posts we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. We do not accept money for reviews. Learn More
Harissa Makes Simple salads Exciting!
Let’s talk about the salad itself. This simple salad of baby spinach and mung beans may sound bland. But when combined with the other flavors prepare to be amazed. The salad base balances the heat of harissa with the refreshing sweetness of pomegranate and the nutty crunch of pumpkin seeds, all brought together with tender harissa marinated chicken. The result is a harmonious combination of flavors and textures that will leave you craving more.
What Is Harissa?
Now, let’s dive into the real heart of this dish – harissa. Hailing from the North African countries of Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Algeria, harissa is a flavorful chili pepper paste that adds a unique kick to any dish. It is notoriously revered for its fiery heat and isn’t for the faint of heart but is balanced out by complex earthy undertones and subtle smokiness.
Harissa is traditionally made by blending hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, spices such as coriander and caraway seeds, and sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers. The resulting paste forms the base of numerous dishes in North African cuisine, adding a distinct flavor and heat to stews, soups, couscous, and as in our recipe, marinades.
The origin of harissa can be traced back to the Berbers of North Africa, who developed the paste as a way to preserve chili peppers and prolong their use throughout the year. Over time, harissa has become an integral part of the region’s rich culinary history. Its popularity has spread worldwide, and it is now loved by food enthusiasts and adventurous eaters alike.
In our recipe, the boldness of harissa works wonders with the succulent marinated chicken. As the chicken soaks up the flavors of the harissa marinade, it becomes irresistibly tender and carries a delightful heat. The contrasting sweetness of pomegranate arils and the satisfying crunch of pumpkin seeds provide a welcome balance and refresh the palate from the heat of the spice, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.
So, whether you’re looking to expand your culinary horizons or simply satisfy your spice cravings, our Harissa Marinated Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds is a must-try recipe. Get ready to embark on a journey through North Africa, highlighted by the vibrant and fiery charm of harissa.
Harrisa Marinated Chicken Salad
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 oz chicken breast skinless, boneless
- pinch sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup baby spinach
- Place the 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tsp harissa paste into a bowl and whisk.1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp harissa paste
- Sprinkle a pinch sea salt over the 4 oz chicken breast. Add the chicken breast to the lemon harissa mix and coat evenly on both sides. Cover the bowl with a lid, or plastic wrap, and let stand 15 minutes.pinch sea salt, 4 oz chicken breast
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Select a large ovenproof pan and heat the 1 tbsp olive oil. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking. Add the chicken breasts to the hot oil and fry until lightly browned. This will take about 2-3 minutes each side.1 tbsp olive oil
- Transfer the pan to the middle rack of your oven and bake until chicken is just cooked. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
- While the chicken breasts bake prepare the salad. Wash the 1 cup baby spinach and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the baby spinach onto your dining plates. Arrange the 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts on top of the spinach.1 cup baby spinach, 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
- Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice each breast into 1/3 inch strips and place over the salad.
- Optionalsprinkle 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds and 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds over the breasts and salad. Serve!2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Harissa Chicken Salad FAQ
What is Harissa Marinated Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds?
Harissa Marinated Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds is a flavorful and vibrant salad recipe made with marinated chicken marinated in spicy harissa paste, fresh pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. It offers a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and nutty flavors, making it a delightful dish for those who enjoy a bit of heat with their salads.
How do you make Harissa Marinated Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds?
To make Harissa Marinated Chicken Salad with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds, start by marinating chicken breasts in a mixture of harissa paste and lemon juice. Grill or cook the chicken until it’s cooked through, then let it rest before slicing it into strips. In a large bowl, combine mixed greens, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Simple and delicious.