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This harissa honey chicken is the most delicious honey glazed chicken ever. The sweet and sticky sauce is spiced with harissa, a North African paste that is super flavourful. You'll be licking the glaze off your fingers!
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Can you remember the last time you were excited about leftovers? Be sure you make enough of this honey harissa chicken so that you have some to put a finger-lickin', happy-go-lucky smile on your face for lunch tomorrow, too!
This harissa honey chicken recipe is an excellent weeknight meal. And since the honey tempers the heat of the harissa, there's a great chance the kids will lick it up, too!
What is harissa honey chicken?
This dish is made with juicy chicken thighs that are smothered in a sweet, tangy, sticky glaze. The sauce is perfectly balanced with harissa and honey as the stars of the show, but backed up by apple cider vinegar and some garlic.
This is a baked chicken recipe, so you can put your favorite cast iron skillet to work. With just 5 minutes of prep time, and under an hour total cooking time, you'll be serving up everyone's new favorite chicken dish faster than you can say harissa honey chicken!
Is harissa honey chicken spicy?
We need to address what's on your mind if you haven't already cooked with harissa paste before.
Is harissa honey chicken spicy?
This is a reasonable question to ask since harissa is a chili paste. It does have some heat, but generally speaking, it isn't super spicy. It tastes peppery and smoky and also has some garlic and citrus notes.
But different brands of harissa can vary a lot in spiciness. We usually use Mina harissa, which is widely available and mildly spicy. Taste your harissa before adding it to the recipe and if it tastes too spicy, you can use less.
The best part about this harissa honey chicken recipe is that the harissa is balanced with honey so you get more of a sweet and spiced combination.
Turn this into Cava harissa honey chicken
Maybe you've tried the harissa honey chicken from Cava? Even if you haven't, here's how you can make downright delicious harissa honey chicken right at home!
- Prep and cook the chicken thighs: Season both sides of your chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then place them in an oven-proof pan. Drizzle the oil over the top and then bake the chicken until it is cooked through.
- Make the honey harissa sauce: Whisk the honey, harissa, vinegar, and garlic in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and then continue to boil it, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Drain fat: Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully drain off all the liquid in the pan.
- Glaze the chicken: Pour the harissa honey sauce over the chicken and then return the chicken to the oven and broil it for about 5 minutes, until the top of the chicken looks sticky and starts to darken.
- Garnish and serve: Serve the chicken with some cilantro over the top and enjoy!
The full ingredient list and recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
If your oven broils at higher than 500 degrees Fahrenheit, don't broil this chicken or it will burn. Simply turn your oven up to 500 degrees and put the pan on a rack in the top third of your oven. You may need to leave it in the oven for a few extra minutes.
What to serve with harissa honey chicken
Your options are truly endless, that's one of the reasons this makes such a perfect dinnertime protein! You can pair it with your family's favorite sides or pull on this list for some inspiration:
- Greens: you can easily serve this chicken with a salad and keep things light, like a cucumber tomato salad, or this roasted beet and kale salad.
- Starch: You can snuggle this chicken right up to any one of these starches, like grilled corn on the cob, roasted fingerling potatoes, or lemon butter orzo.
- Middle Eastern-inspired: since harissa has Middle Eastern roots (as well as North African) you can serve this honey harissa chicken with some pita and hummus or a beautiful basmati rice dish.
- Mediterranean- inspired: if you have Cava harissa honey chicken on the brain, this one's for you! You can slice up the chicken and add it to a rice bowl or wrap.
Can I use chicken breasts for harissa honey chicken?
Yep, you sure can. Chicken thighs tend to have more flavor and are less dry than the breasts. If you prefer breasts though, this recipe is definitely customizable so feel free to use them instead.
Can I use skinless chicken thighs?
You can remove the skin or purchase skinless chicken thighs for this recipe. The recipe as written uses skin-on chicken thighs, for added crispiness and flavor.
Can I marinate the chicken in advance?
Definitely! You can use the harissa honey recipe as a marinade and let the chicken sit, covered, in the fridge to allow the flavors to really develop.
Try these delicious harissa recipes
Easy chicken recipes
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup harissa
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 clove garlic (very finely minced)
- Minced cilantro (to serve)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Season both sides of your chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then place them in an oven-proof pan. Drizzle the oil over the top and then bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes, until it is cooked through. The juices should run clear and the internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.8 bone-in chicken thighs, 1 teaspoon EACH: sea salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Whisk the honey, harissa, white vinegar, and garlic in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and continue to boil it, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.½ cup honey, ¼ cup harissa, 2 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Turn the oven to broil – see notes. Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully drain off all the liquid in the pan.Minced cilantro
- Pour the harissa honey sauce over the chicken then return the chicken to the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, until the top of the chicken looks sticky and starts to darken. Serve the chicken with some cilantro over the top.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our dinner recipes.