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.