Honey Harissa Chicken Bowls with Feta Mint Sauce
Delicious Honey Harissa Chicken Bowls loaded with roasted corn, fluffy rice, crisp cucumbers, buttery avocados, pickled onions, and a creamy feta sauce. The chicken is marinated in harissa paste, and smoky paprika then sautéed and drizzled with honey!
We’ve had Honey Harissa Chicken Bowls on repeat over here for the better part of a month!
And I’m telling you, once you give these a try, you’ll be adding them to the weekly rotation too. It’s something about the combination of Harissa (a North African pepper paste) and honey that makes the chicken so flavorful. And how do you take something like that and make it a full meal without having to make sides? By adding it to a bowl with veggies, sauces, and a base. You can turn this into a salad or a rice bowl.
Chicken breasts or chicken thighs marinated in a quick, fuss-free harissa marinade seared in a hot pan until it’s golden-brown. Drizzle it with that honey, and it’s a little spicy and a little sweet. I love pairing the CAVA-inspired chicken with a homemade crazy feta sauce, roasted corn, Persian cucumbers, and quick pickled red onions. You can serve this chicken as a salad over lettuce or with fluffy basmati rice.
Trust me; the fam is going to love this one!
Ingredients for Honey Harissa Chicken Bowls:
- Chicken: You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs for this recipe.
- Olive oil: The olive oil is a critical ingredient. We’ll combine it with harissa paste, lemon juice, and dry spices to create the marinade.
- Harissa Paste: is a chili paste or condiment from Tunisia that is now sold in lots of mainstream grocery stores. TJ’s carries one that works well for this recipe. You can also find it online here.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice is the acid used in the honey harissa chicken marinade.
- Seasonings: These are all easy-to-find ingredients like dried thyme, garlic powder, ground cumin, onion powder, and cayenne. Feel free to omit the cayenne if you’re worried about the heat level. Harissa already has a kick to it as well!
- Honey: Is drizzled in once the chicken is cooked. This helps tone down the heat in the chicken.
- Mixed Greens: I use this in my bowl with a combination of rice. However, you can omit the greens if you want to serve this as just a rice bowl!
- Rice: Fluffy basmati rice is the perfect base for these bowls. You can prepare the rice a couple of days ahead of time as well to cut down on prep time.
- Toppings: I love adding prepared hummus, roasted corn, Persian cucumbers, diced avocados, pickled onions, and my homemade feta sauce to this recipe. You can use as many or as few of these ingredients as you’d like for your bowl. The feta sauce is made with garlic cloves, Greek yogurt, crumbled feta, kosher salt, mint, and lemon juice. It’s almost like a feta and mint raita if you’re familiar with the Indian condiment! The mint really helps cool down the heat from the harissa and adds the most delicate flavor.
How to Make Harissa Honey Chicken:
- Marinate the chicken. Start by adding the oil, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons harissa, and seasonings to a bowl. Cube the chicken to make this super quick to assemble. If you plan on grilling the chicken, you can leave the pieces whole, grill, and then chop the chicken up! If you plan on grilling the chicken, I do suggest letting it marinate for at least a couple of hours. If you’re sauteing the chicken, the 30-minute marination is plenty to make this yummy! The other benefit of sauteeing the chicken in a bowl is then you end up with chicken that’s nicely coated in a delicious honey harissa sauce!
- Sear the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer and cook the chicken, stirring as needed to brown all sides evenly. When the chicken is done, drizzle the 2 tablespoons of honey while it’s still in the pan. Remove it to a plate. If you’ve got a smaller pan, I do suggest sauteeing the chicken in batches so that it sears and doesn’t steam! Feel free to garnish the chicken with a pinch of parsley for a little added color!
- Assemble your bowl! There are really no instructions for this! Just pile it all up! Start with your base. I like to add a 50:50 combo of greens or lean vegetables along with cooked rice as the bottom layer. I typically use plain white rice, but you could also use cilantro lime rice if you want even more flavor. Then I top it with roasted corn. Feel free to use canned or defrosted corn – I usually just grill some up over an open flame as the chicken cooks. You’ll also want a dollop of hummus – dips are amazing in bowls. Pickled onions, diced avocados, and Persian cucumbers add great texture and color. And finally, drizzle the feta sauce all over your bowl! You can serve this with pita chips on the side for some added crunch!
FAQs about this recipe
Yes! The honey harissa chicken is saucy so the flavors will blend as the chicken hangs out. And recipes that have rice are typically great for a few days in the fridge! Feel free to roast or saute broccolini or broccoli in the oven/pan and toss it into the container if you’re looking for ways to add another serving of vegetables to these bowls.
Unless you’re meal-prepping, each component of this recipe should be stored in a different container. You’ll want to top this fresh with the Persian cucumbers, feta sauce, and pickled onions after reheating the rice and protein.
If you’re looking to make this lower in carbs, swap the rice for a salad base or use cauliflower rice instead. You may also want to omit the roasted corn depending on your dietary needs.
In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, blend together a garlic clove, a pinch of salt, black pepper, greek yogurt, chopped mint, and lemon juice, and blend until smooth. If you want the lemon flavor to stand out more, feel free to add lemon zest as well. Pour the sauce into a small bowl, serve over honey harissa chicken, and anything else you like; it tastes so good! Use within 4-5 days.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:`
- Halal Chicken Rice Bowls
- Crispy Chicken Banh Mi Bowls
- Korean BBQ Bowls with Garlic Rice
- Steak Fajita Bowls
- 20 Minute Chicken Teriyaki
- 1 pound boneless chicken breast/thighs, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons EACH: olive oil AND lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons harissa sauce (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme AND garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon EACH: ground cumin AND onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, optional
- 2 tablespoons honey
- MARINATE: Combine the oil, lemon juice, harissa, smoked paprika, thyme, garlic, cumin, onion, and cayenne in a bowl. When mixed, add the chicken and mix until evenly coated. Allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or covered in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Prepare the rice while the chicken marinates.
- COOK: Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook it through for about 4-6 minutes, flipping as needed to brown all sides. When the chicken is almost done, drizzle with honey and cook for 1 minute before removing from heat.
- ASSEMBLE BOWLS: Add the greens, rice, roasted corn, hummus, Persian cucumbers, avocados, pickled onions, and prepared chicken to each bowl. Drizzle with the feta sauce (recipe in notes) and serve.
- Harissa Paste: Taste the harissa paste before using it in the marinade to make sure it isn't too spicy! The one I have linked is mild, but if you get the one from Trader Joe's, that one definitely has a kick to it, and I don't recommend using 2 tbsp unless you enjoy a heavy amount of heat!
- Feta sauce: add 1 garlic clove, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, a pinch of black pepper, ½ cup Greek Yogurt (or labne), 2 ounces feta, 1 tablespoon chopped mint, 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust with more lemon or salt as desired.