Spicy Harissa Mayo
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This Spicy Harissa Mayo is easy to make and full of addictive spicy, smoky and creamy notes with a hint of tang! It can be enjoyed as a dip, condiment, or dressing and tastes great with Middle Eastern street food, kebab rolls, kofta, burgers, fries and more!
Spicy, smoky, creamy and with just the right amount of bright tanginess. This Spicy Harissa Mayo is great on AND with everything!
It’s easy to whip up in a blender and in just a few short minutes. You can also make it as spicy or as mild as you like.
Whether you use it as a dip for your fries, condiments for burgers, or dressing for salads, I think you’re going to love it!
Why This Recipe Works
- Wonderfully creamy! Using a combination of full-fat mayonnaise and some plain Greek style yogurt gives it the perfect consistency that’s not to chunky and thick or liquidy and thin.
- Adjustable spice level. You can customize the heat level to suit your preference. Make it as spicy as your heart desires or mild if you’re sensitive to spice!
- Tastes good on everything! It tastes fantastic in Middle Eastern food! Drizzle some over chicken shish in kebab rolls or over spicy lamb & chicken kofta with rice. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for spicy meat stuffed pitas (arayes), dressing for salads, dip for your french fries, or a spread for burgers and hot dogs.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutes
- Garlic: Just one clove to add some garlicky flavor. If you’d like to make the garlic flavor milder, you can briefly blanch the peeled garlic in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.
- Fresh Thai Bird’s Eye Red Chilies: Or you can use any small hot red chilies that you can easily find in your area. If using Thai Bird’s Eye chilies, note that they are quite hot so adjust the quantity to taste. I recommend 2-4 chilies if you’d like mild-medium heat in the spicy harissa mayo. You can also deseed the chilies for a milder flavor. If you’d like for it to be very spicy, use up to 10 fresh red chilies.
- Mayonnaise: Full-fat works best to yield the best creamy texture. I love and use Kraft’s mayonnaise in my home. However, any brand you love will work.
- Plain Greek Style Yogurt: To add a creamy hint of tang and loosen up the creamy and thick texture. You can use plain yogurt instead, but avoid using Greek yogurt. It is thicker than both Greek style and plain yogurt and not of the desired consistency for this sauce.
- Harissa Chili Paste: This is a spicy and smoky Tunisian chili pepper paste. It’s made with roasted red peppers, dried chilies, and other spices and herbs. It is available in squeezable tubes, cans, and small jars. I recommend DEA or Le Phare Cap Du Bon harissa as they are the most authentic. These two harissa pastes are also spicier than most other brands’ harissa paste. Some other brands may add tomato powder or paste to the harissa, which makes them sweeter in flavor. Look for it in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grocery stores, the Middle Eastern or international aisle of a well-stocked supermarket, or order it online.
- Ground Cayenne: Or use chili powder. Adjust quantity to taste.
- Sumac: This is a red wine colored Middle Eastern spice with a lemony flavor. If you’re in a pinch, you can leave it out and add an extra splash of lemon juice instead.
- Lemon Juice: To add a slight hint of tang to balance out the spicy and smoky flavors. Freshly squeezed is preferred for best flavor.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: For more heat! Again, adjust the quantity to taste or omit if less heat is desired.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Spicy Harissa Mayo
1. Combine all the ingredients: Prepare the ingredients and add everything to a blender jug.
2. Blend. Blitz until smooth and creamy.
That’s it! You can now enjoy the creamy, spicy harissa mayo goodness in chicken shish kebab rolls, burgers, hot dogs, with spicy meat stuffed pitas, kofta, drizzle some over salad, eggs, or your pizza or nachos even! Trust me when I say you’re going to want to have it with EVERYTHING!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Adjust spice level to taste. You may want to make this mayo spicier or milder depending on your heat level preference. To do so, adjust the quantity of fresh red chilies, ground cayenne, and crushed red pepper flakes. Harissa chili paste spice levels depends on the brand you use. If your harissa is on the spicier side, feel free to use less if needed.
- Use a good quality full-fat mayonnaise. It will give you the best creamy texture.
If following the recipe as written, this harissa mayo is quite spicy. However, you can adjust the spicy ingredients to taste to make it milder if desired.
Once the harissa tube has been opened, seal the cap tightly and store in the fridge for up to 30 days. Note that depending on the brand or type (tube, canned, or jarred) of harissa you use, there may be a different time period specified on the package for how long it will keep.
Aside from this spicy harissa mayo, you can use harissa as a marinade, condiment, or sauce for meat and veggies. It’s great to add some spicy notes and smoky depth of flavor in meat marinades in chicken shish kebab rolls, spicy lamb and chicken kofta, and spicy meat stuffed pitas. If you’d like to make a fusion dish, try my smoky harissa mac and cheese!
More Dips, Sauces and Condiments
- Cilantro and Mint Sauce (creamy-style)
- Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce
- Cooling Cumber & Mint Yogurt Dip
- Homemade Spicy Mayonnaise
- Or browse the entire Dips, Condiments, and Sauces recipe collection.
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Spicy Harissa Mayo
Full of addictive spicy, smoky and creamy notes with a hint of tang, this spicy harissa mayo is easy to make and so tasty with EVERYTHING!
- Prep Time: 5
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Blend
- Cuisine: Middle-Eastern
- 1 Garlic clove – roughly chopped
- 4 – 10 Bird’s Eye Red Chilies (substitute with any other small hot red chilies), to taste – deseeded if less heat is desired, roughly chopped
- ½ cup Mayonnaise (full-fat works best)
- 1 TBLS Plain Greek Style Yogurt
- 2 TBLS Harissa Chili Paste (note 1)
- ½ TSP ground Cayenne (or chili powder), to taste
- ¼ TSP Sumac
- ¼ TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
- 2 TSP freshly squeezed Lemon Juice, to taste
- ¼ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Roughly chop the garlic and red chilies if your blender is not very powerful.
- Blend: Combine the garlic, red chilies, mayonnaise, plain Greek style yogurt, harissa chili paste, ground cayenne, sumac, crushed red pepper flakes, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and kosher salt in a high-speed blender. Cover and blend until smooth. (You may need to uncover and push down the ingredients with a spoon 1-2 times in between if your blender is not very powerful.) Taste and adjust spices, salt, and stir in more lemon juice if needed.
- Serve: Use immediately or transfer to a sealed airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use. Enjoy with spicy meat stuffed pitas, kofta rice bowls, kebabs, shish rolls, salads, sandwiches, burgers, taco and use as a spread, dip, or dressing.
- Storing: Store in a sealed airtight container/jar in the refrigerator and consume within 5-7 days.
- Harissa Chili Paste: This is a spicy and smoky Tunisian chili pepper paste. It’s made with roasted red peppers, dried chilies, and other spices and herbs. It is available in squeezable tubes, cans, and small jars. I recommend DEA or Le Phare Cap Du Bon harissa as they are the most authentic. Their harissa is also spicier than most brands. Other brands may also add tomato powder or paste to the harissa and will be sweeter in flavor. Look for it in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean grocery stores, the Middle Eastern or international aisle of a well-stocked supermarket, or order it online.
- Adjust spice level to taste. Feel free to add more or less of the fresh red chiles, ground cayenne, and crushed red pepper flakes depending on your heat level preference. You can use less harissa too if you wish. Note that harissa comes in varying heat levels depending on the brand. Use less if you’re sensitive to heat and if you know the particular brand of harissa you’re using is on the spicier side.
Shop the Recipe
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 72
- Sugar: 1.3g
- Sodium: 91.8mg
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 1.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5.8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 2g
- Fiber: 0.3g
- Protein: 0.5g
- Cholesterol: 4mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.