Harissa mayo is going to be your new favorite spicy mayo dipping sauce. And the best part about this recipe is you only need two ingredients and less than 5 minutes to whip this up! No extra ingredients or extra steps. Simply mix the harissa paste with your favorite mayo and you’ve got a spicy and easy dipping sauce!
All about harissa paste
Have you heard of harissa paste? Harissa paste is a spicy paste from North Africa and the Middle East. The paste I used for this recipe is from Tunisia. The paste has a deep red color and is made from sun-dried hot chili peppers like cayenne or serrano peppers. It will also include some herbs and spices like garlic and cumin depending on the brand and recipe. It has a very deep flavor and much more complex than a typical hot sauce that you’d use on wings.
As you can see from the photo below, harissa is a paste, not a loose sauce like a hot sauce. It has a firmer consistency and visually it will have texture from the peppers and added spices, so it is not completely smooth. You can see all the delicious ingredients that go into making this amazing paste! It also has a deep smoky aroma with a subtle sweetness and spice. This stuff is seriously so good.
It’s spicy. Yea, it’s pretty spicy. If you’ve ever had sriracha sauce before I’d say it’s similar to that in terms of the level of heat. A little will go a long way in a recipe. So when you’re making a recipe that calls for harissa paste I recommend starting light, then adding more if you want it hotter. Nothing is worse than making something way too spicy and you can’t remove the heat! Trust me, I’ve made that mistake before.
While the heat intensity is similar to a sriracha, I’d say Harissa has a more complex flavor. For me, sriracha is straight heat, like a hot sauce. Harissa as a deep flavor profile from the sun-dried peppers and all the herbs and spices. Since I discovered harissa it’s been my new favorite spice ingredients to use! If you want to read a litte more about it check out this post on The Kitchn.
You should be able to find it in your grocery store in the International food aisle. But if your store doesn’t carry it you can also order it online.
One of my favorite easy ways to use harissa is to make this simple harissa mayo dipping sauce. And, one of my favorite things to dip in this is sweet potato fries! This is the perfect sauce for sweet potato fries!
Whether you choose to make your own fries or buy them from the grocery store, I love dipping them in something other than regular ketchup. They need something a little extra special, and something that can stand up to their warm flavors!
So if you’re looking for a dip for your sweet potato fries, give this spicy mayo a try! It would make a good appetizer, side dish, or party snack.
I mentioned above in the intro how easy this is. And it really is! Here’s how I made this. Take 2/3 cup of your favorite mayo and mix in 3 tablespoons of the harissa paste. Done! You just made harissa mayo. Now, if you want to make sure you don’t make it too spicy start with just 2 tablespoons of the paste and give it a taste. If you want more heat, go ahead and add the third tablespoon.
For me, I thought the 3 tablespoons was the right amount of heat! It definitely has a kick to it, but not so overwhelming where your eyes are watering and you’re getting a runny nose.
Other ways to use harissa paste
Maybe you’re like me, and when I find an ingredient I like in one dish I start thinking of all the ways I can use the ingredient in other recipes! I bet once you have this harissa sauce you’re going to want to think of new recipes to enjoy this spicy paste! Here are some ideas:
- Chicken Marinades
- Spicy Hummus
- Greek yogurt for a spicy yogurt dipping sauce
- On seafood like spicy shrimp
- In shakshuka for a spicy breakfast
- On grilled chicken or chicken wings
And, if you’re looking for ideas on how to use this harissa mayo for other ways other than dipping sweet potato fries, you might try:
- On top of burgers in place of regular mayo
- A dipping sauce for tater tots, waffle fries, or regular fries
- Dipping chicken tenders
- On breakfast burritos
- On sandwiches as a spicy spread
If you like spicy foods, I have a few other recipes you can check out!
Want more food photos, recipe tips, and photography behind the scenes? Find me on Instagram at Aseasonedgreeting!Print
Harissa mayo is a spicy and creamy dipping sauce perfect for dipping sweet potato fries! Just enough heat to add a spicy element, harrisa paste adds a depth of heat and spice to any recipe.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2/3 cup dipping sauce
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Stir
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
2/3 cup mayo
3 tablespoons harissa paste
1. Combine the mayo and harissa paste into a bowl and stir until the paste has blended into the mayo.
Start dipping and enjoy!
Keywords: harissa mayo, sauce for sweet potato fries