Sometimes, after I’ve had an incredible meal at a restaurant, I either try to re-create it … or it inspires a related recipe. Inspiration coupled with a renewed focus on fast, easy recipes resulted in this Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken and Vegetables. Just one pan to wash, limited prep time, only 30 minutes in the oven … and voila! A tasty dinner I’d gladly serve for a regular family dinner or a special occasion dinner. Heck, I’d make it just for myself!
Harissa Paste Is The Secret Ingredient
If you haven’t tasted and/or cooked with Harissa paste yet, you are in for a treat! Harissa, (pronounced ha-ree-sa ) is a rich, Moroccan chili pepper sauce or paste made with chillies, garlic, olive oil and spices. You can make it homemade, but I love the Harissa paste made by Mina so much that I don’t. I prefer their spicy version, but they make a mild one too. Mina Harissa paste is also non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher and Paleo-diet-friendly. You can find it at healthier grocery stores like Whole Foods, Central Market and more … or buy it online at Mina’s website (note: their shipping fees are kind of steep the last time I checked, so I opt for buying it at the store).
Easy Sheet Pan Harissa Chicken and Vegetables Recipe
Ask anyone in my family, and they’ll tell you that I’m a bit of a tornado in the kitchen. Unless I’m making a one-pot soup or stew, something in a crockpot or an Instantpot meal, I typically dirty more than your average home cook’s amount of dishes. Why? I don’t know. It’s definitely not because I love doing dishes or because someone else does them for me! I think I just accept the fact that to cook is to clean and don’t worry about the kitchen disaster I’m making (until after). 😉
So, I haven’t created a lot of sheet pan meals. And now I’m wondering: WHY!? Seriously. ONE PAN TO CLEAN!
Harissa Chicken and Cauliflower: The Restaurant Dish that Inspired This Recipe
I recently dined at Souk, a restaurant in the Trinity Groves area of Dallas that serves Mediterranean cuisine. It was my second visit (a restaurant review is coming soon), and I ordered their Harissa Chicken. The menu item came served with risotto, but because of my dairy allergy, they suggested roasted cauliflower instead (to which I said, OH YES, even better)!
It was delicious (and beautiful)! I’m assuming that they used Harissa spices as a rub, not a Harissa sauce or paste. And then I remembered that I had a jar of Harissa paste sitting in my pantry at home. It was just siting there, waiting for inspiration to hit me …
Rather than trying to re-create the Souk masterpiece (some dishes are best enjoyed at a restaurant), I opted to pull out the boneless skinless chicken breasts in my refrigerator, cut them into smaller pieces (so they’d bake faster), drizzled them with olive oil, spooned about a teaspoon of Mina Harissa paste on top of each and sprinkled sliced onions around and on top of the chicken. I baked them for 10 minutes, and while they baked, I washed and chopped a whole head of cauliflower. I added the cauliflower to the pan, tossed them in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and continued to bake it all for 20 minutes. Then I topped it all with a bit of fresh, torn parsley.
The result? An easy, delicious, satisfying, crowd-pleasing meal that had me going back for seconds. The chicken is juicy and flavorful, and the roasted cauliflower soaked up just enough of the juice created by the Harissa paste and chicken to add flavor without making it soggy.
One final tip to save time (and dishes to wash): I used kitchen scissors to cut the chicken into pieces. One, it’s faster (at least for me) than using a knife and cutting board. It also saves you from needing to use and wash two cutting boards. If you’ve never used kitchen scissors, I highly recommend them.
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