This Harissa Chicken has a super simple and tasty sauce that is thrown into your slow cooker or Instant Pot for the easiest weeknight dinner! Serve over rice or cauliflower rice for a dinner the whole family will love.
So Harissa sauce, do you guys love it like I do? Maybe some of you are new to Harissa, so let me introduce you…….This North African sauce was something I first tried on a visit to Morocco a few years back. I am ALL OVER food that is red, spicy, and full of tangy flavor. So when our guide took us to a restaurant that included some chickpeas, rice, veggies, spices, and a spicy red sauce all I could think of was, “GIMME MORE!!!!”
I could tell it was full of yumminess and could taste a few flavors I recognized like roasted red peppers, some spicy peppers, and some acidic taste like lemons or vinegar. So when I found some harissa sauce in my local grocery store, I was super excited to try it! And……not as good as I remember. So for awhile now, I’ve been working to make my own.
My criteria with the harissa sauce is that it I wanted to be able to throw everything in my Instant Pot or Slow Cooker for an easy weeknight meal. So here is the deal guys. I am pretty sure the one I tried in Africa did not have chipotle peppers, but out of the few different hot peppers I’ve tried, the version with chipotle peppers is my favorite!!! I also found that using roasted red peppers from a jar makes for a super tasty (and EASY) variation, as opposed to roasting red peppers in the oven.
I know you’ll love this easy dinner! Feel free to cut back the chipotle peppers by half if you like things less spicy. I served over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice (recipe coming soon). You can also serve with regular rice, in a tortilla for taco night, or with Cauliflower Spanish Rice.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Harissa Chicken
- 1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers should be about 2 peppers marinade or oil drained
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 tsp adobo sauce
- Juice of half lemon
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast or tenders
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by making your sauce: in a food processor or blender, blend red peppers, chipotle peppers, vinegar, lemon, spices, and garlic. While motor is running, add oil. Blend until smooth or no chunks remain.
- For the Slow Cooker:
- Add chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with chopped onion and sauce. Set your slow cooker for 4 hours on low.
- Shred chicken and serve with cilantro over rice, cauliflower rice, or potatoes.
- For the Instant Pot:
- Select the saute function on your Instant Pot. Once hot, add avocado oil or olive oil. Saute onion for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Select cancel.
- Add chicken, and top with sauce. Secure the lid on your Instant Pot and select the manual function. Pressure cook for 7 minutes.
- Once cooking is complete, use a quick release. Shred chicken with a fork and serve hot with cilantro.