Harissa Chicken, Pumpkin and Avocado Salad with Mint Yoghurt Dressing

Harissa is a North African spice paste that packs a punch of flavour, making it an incredible marinade for just about anything, including juicy tender harissa chicken thighs like in this recipe.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Main, Soups and Salad
Servings 4
Calories 520 kcal
Diabetic, Gluten Free


Harissa chicken and pumpkin

  • 6-8 chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • ½ cup harissa paste*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 kg pumpkin peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 red onions peeled and quartered

Garlic mint yoghurt dressing

  • 1 clove small garlic finely minced
  • ¼ cup mint finely chopped
  • ½ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To serve

  • 4 handfuls salad leaves
  • 1 firm ripe avocado diced
  • ½ cup mint torn
  • ¼ cup pistachios chopped


  • Combine half of the Harissa paste with the chicken and leave to marinate for an hour (or overnight in the fridge).
  • Preheat oven to 200 degC/390 Fahrenheit. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  • Combine remaining Harissa paste with olive oil and honey and toss with pumpkin and red onion wedges in prepared tray. Season with salt and pepper and roast until caramelised, about 30 minutes.
  • Combine all yoghurt dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a fry pan (or pre-heat BBQ) on medium heat. Cook marinated chicken thighs for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  • To serve, gently toss salad leaves with pumpkin, onion, avocado, mint and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Divide between plates. Top with 1-2 chicken thighs. Dress with yoghurt dressing and garnish with pistachios.


*Harissa paste
In a small food processor, blend 3 cloves garlic, 1-2 large red chillies, chopped, 2 ½ teaspoons crushed cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds, 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, juice of ½ lemon and 1 teaspoon salt until well combined. Makes about ½ cup
Marinate overnight if you have time to really infuse the flavour, otherwise try to marinate for at least an hour. Harissa chicken is incredible when grilled on a BBQ as the marinade chars really nicely. Add the creamy pumpkin and avocado with a sharp tangy mint yoghurt and you’ve got a great casual dinner! Harissa paste is readily available at most supermarkets, but it’s also easy to make yourself – there’s a recipe below.