Go Back
This 5 minute, 5 ingredient marinade from the Zahav cookbook makes the easiest, most flavorful grilled chicken ever!

Harissa Grilled Chicken

This spicy harissa marinade comes together in minutes, and creates an addicting, semi-spicy sauce that's perfect for grilled chicken. Use boneless skinless chicken thighs - they are cheap, juicy and impossible to overcook. From the Zahav cookbook that I love so dearly.

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1/4 cup harissa Each jar or tube of harissa contains a different spice level. If you are sensitive to spice, start with 1/8 cup and add additional harissa to taste.
  • 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs


  1. Add all ingredients other than chicken to a blender and blend until smooth to create the marinade. 

  2. In a large freezer bag or dish, cover the chicken in the marinade. Marinade for as little as one hour, or up to 24 hours. In a pinch, I've marinated for 20 minutes and the chicken has still been delish.

  3. Preheat the grill to high heat. Shake off excess marinade, and grill 6-8 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Harissa is an African chili paste that can usually be found at specialty markets, Trader Joe's, or most reliably online at Amazon. Every jar or tube has a different spice level, so be judicious if you are sensitive to spice, but remember that the flavor of the marinade itself will always be more intense than the end result.

I like to serve this dish with simply grilled veggies, for a fuss-free dinner that's ready in 20 minutes.