This flavour packed dip is SO good and actually pretty easy to make too. Ever since trying harissa for the first time a couple years ago, I've been hooked! I love the spiciness and bold flavour, but if you don't like things super spicy, you can use a mild harissa. Either way, this creamy, squash and lentil dip needs to be on the menu.
Harissa is a blend of hot peppers, oil and various spices. It's a flavor base for curries and stews, as well as a condiment, in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, according to Middle Eastern food expert Paula Wolfert. The ingredients in harissa vary by neighbourhood, country, and ethnicity. The basic recipe calls for hot peppers, garlic, salt and lots of olive oil. Can you see why it's so tasty now?!
It depends! In the past, I purchased a mild harissa paste. It was ok, but not nearly as flavourful as I wanted, this is the brand I used. I think it's good as a base and especially if you don't want any spice. However, you can definitely find spicy brands out there if you want. Because I love the spice, I've found this one and I love it. I will say, it's very spicy! The mild one is also very good and still has a decent amount of heat.
For this harissa dip, feel free to start with a smaller amount and see how it works. Depending on your taste preference, add more.
This dip couldn't be easier to make! All you need to do is roast your squash and garlic (which can also be prepped ahead of time) until it's nice and browned. Because how good is roasted garlic?
Toss the cubed squash and garlic (wrapped in foil) onto a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. Let the garlic cool before squeezing it out. Squeezing out garlic may just be one of the most satisfying kitchen experiences, right!
Add all ingredients to a food processor.
Blend away until very smooth and creamy.
Transfer to a serving dish when ready to eat and drizzle with more olive oil, garnish with cilantro, flaky salt and toasted pumpkin seeds (if you'd like).
If serving this to a crowd, I think having more options is best. Here's what works with this dip:
If you're looking for more ways to enjoy harissa, check these ones out!
Looking for more appetizers, check these ones out!
Ready to make this? Let's get to it!
If you make this Harissa Dip with Red Lentils please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or leave a comment and/or review below. I truly love seeing and hearing form you!
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This flavourful red lentil harissa dip is made with squash and lentils for a fibre packed, healthy snack. Serve it with veggies, crackers or pita and watch it disappear!
Store in the fridge for up to five days
Harissa paste can vary in terms of spice, so depending on your preference, start with a smaller amount and add more as you wish.
Too spicy: if you added too much harissa and you want to cool it down, try adding some crumbled feta on top if you wish, or even mix a little yogurt into the dip.