This creamy vegan harissa pasta is fragrant, slightly spicy and absolutely delicious! Ready in just 15 minutes, this is the recipe that’ll first come to mind whenever you look at a jar of harissa!
But nowhere does this spicy Moroccan condiment shine better than in a creamy pasta sauce.
This vegan harissa pasta is full of Mediterranean flavors and slightly spicy, just perfect for a fuss-free lunch or light dinner.
You can easily make this pasta as fiery as you like simply by adjusting the amount of harissa paste.
The creamy dairy-free sauce is also a perfect canvas for your favorite Mediterranean ingredients so you can truly make it your own.
Why you’ll love this creamy vegan harissa pasta
- It’s a deliciously spicy pasta dish loaded with Mediterranean flavors.
- You can have it on the table in 15 minutes.
- It’s super easy to make it your own by adding extra veggies.
What goes into harissa pasta
Olive oil — You only need a dash of olive oil to saute the shallot and garlic in.
Shallot — I prefer the mellow flavor of shallot in this recipe, but you can use red onion or even yellow onion.
Garlic — Freshly chopped or minced garlic brings the best flavor to this harissa tomato pasta sauce.
Tomato paste — Two tablespoons of tomato paste is enough in this recipe because you want the tomatoes to complement the harissa flavor, not overpower it.
Harissa paste — Use your favorite harissa paste here — I went for the rose harissa from Belazu, which has subtle hints of rose and is not overly spicy.
Coconut milk — You only need the creamy top part of a can of full-fat coconut milk for this pasta sauce. Open the can without agitating it and scoop up the creamy part.
Olives — Pitted kalamata olives bring loads of Mediterranean flavor to this harissa pasta.
Capers — You don’t need to rinse the capers before adding them to the pasta but make sure you drain them well.
Pasta — I used fusilli in this pasta with harissa, but any other short or long type of pasta would work here. Spaghetti is a good option if you want to use long pasta.
How to make harissa pasta sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water before draining.
Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and harissa paste and cook for another minute, stirring often.
Next, add the chickpeas and stir to cover them in the harissa sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the coconut milk and stir to combine.
Add a bit of the reserved pasta water, then stir in the cooked pasta. Add some more pasta water if it looks too dry.
Stir in the olives and capers, season to taste and serve immediately.
Leftovers and storage
- This creamy harissa pasta is best served immediately.
- If you have any leftovers, they will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Leftovers taste great at room temperature, but you can also reheat them in the microwave.
Recipe notes and tips
- Other toppings you can add to harissa pasta include chopped artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and grilled zucchini.
- Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts on top before serving for a bit of crunchiness.
- Add a splash of lemon juice at the end for extra brightness.
If you liked this creamy vegan harissa pasta, you might also like some of my other easy vegan pasta recipes:
- Vegan Chickpea Pasta Sauce
- Coconut Milk Pasta Sauce
- Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce
- Vegan Leek and Mushroom Pasta
- Vegan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Peas