Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta

38 reviews / 4.9 average

Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta! Perfectly spicy/saucy/tomato-y chickpeas smothered in creamy, garlicky whipped feta and served with naan, lemons, and cucumbers. Your next weeknight wonder!

Please hear me say this: I don’t love chickpeas but I REALLY love this recipe.

So if you’re seeing this and you’re like, nah, no thanks, chickpeas aren’t my thing… just give me a chance to serve you up some spicy, saucy, garlicky smashed chickpeas over a piece (or two) of soft flatbread with a dollop of whipped feta and a crunchy little waterfall of cucumbers over the top. Yeah? Can we do this?

Here’s How To Make Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta

Okay, there are two parts to this recipe.

Part one: make the chickpeas. This is easy:

  • harissa paste
  • garlic
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • canned chickpeas

I like to lightly smash the chickpeas to help them not feel so chickpea-y, if you know what I mean? (My fellow chickpea skeptics do know what I mean.) So I use a potato masher to just give them just a few good smooshes and make the texture into something more sticky and saucy.

ALSO: for something a little fun and unexpected, I’ve been adding golden raisins in just at the end of the simmering, so they get kind of plump and juicy and then you have these little secret bites of sweetness tucked in between all the heat.

Harissa chickpeas in a pan with a wooden spoon and parsley sprinkled on top.

These chickpeas… I mean, I really like them. They are super meal-prep friendly and can be served with flatbread, rice, roasted vegetables…

I will be revisiting them again.

Speaking of revisiting, look who’s back for more time in the spotlight: WHIPPED FETA!

Harissa chickpeas with whipped feta in a bowl with cucumbers, a fork, lemon, and naan.

We just couldn’t quit her, could we?

You Have Options Here

On a real SOS night (which is, hmm, most of my life?), you can use a store-bought tzatziki or a plain yogurt as your creamy element here which will save you the time and the dishes from the whipped feta.

But on a night when you can handle blitzing that little container of feta into something of a salty miracle sauce, you shall be rewarded with the most tangy, creamy, punchy dollop of creaminess that there ever was. It is optional, but is it really ever optional? It’s WHIPPED FETA.

Harissa chickpeas with whipped feta in a bowl with cucumbers, lemon, and naan.

This combination of things on a plate got rave reviews from my family – the chickpeas were the exact right amount of spicy to keep things fun for the adults, and even though our two-year-old wasn’t into the spice, she thoroughly enjoyed a more toddler-friendly mezze situation with the cucumbers, whipped feta, bread, olives, and some hummus from the fridge. The leftovers, which were short-lived due to popular demand, made for a really happy lunch situation the next day.

This is a weeknight wonder. Mwah!

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Click here to watch step-by-step stories to make this recipe!

Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta: FAQs

This looks amazing! Any other ideas what I can pair with this?

For sure add in the naan or pita bread if that’s your thing – just the perfect vehicle for scooping up all of that yum. This is also great with rice or cauliflower rice, or other roasted vegetables like sweet potato or cauliflower.

How spicy is this dish?

2 tablespoons of harissa paste would bring this to about medium-level spiciness. If you prefer a bit less, just drop down to 1 tablespoon of harissa paste instead.

Can I meal prep this recipe?

Sure can! Just store any of the extras (like the cucumbers and lemons) separately.

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Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Harissa Chickpeas with Whipped Feta! Perfectly spicy/saucy/tomato-y chickpeas smothered in creamy, garlicky whipped feta and served with naan, lemons, and cucumbers. Your next weeknight wonder! 


Units Scale

Whipped Feta:

  • one 46 oz. container of feta
  • a knob of cream cheese or a spoonful Greek yogurt
  • 1 small clove garlic

Harissa Chickpeas:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 23 cloves garlic
  • 12 tablespoons harissa paste (2 tablespoons would be medium spicy)
  • one 14-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • two 14-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (optional but sweet and yummy)


  • 4 pieces pita or naan
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup olives


  1. Make the Whipped Feta: In a small chopper or food processor, pulse the feta, cream cheese, and garlic until mostly smooth and creamy and “whipped.” Add a little water as needed to loosen it up.
  2. Make the Chickpeas: Add the olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and harissa paste; sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Mix and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Using a potato masher or similar tool, mash some of the chickpeas so the mixture becomes a little more creamy. Season with lemon juice, salt, and parsley. Stir in the raisins. Add a little bit of water if you need to to keep everything nice and saucy.
  3. Serve: Serve harissa chickpeas on a plate with all your faves. Top with whipped feta and anything else you like (aka all of it. everything.). IT’S JUST SO GOOD.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean-Inspired

Keywords: harissa chickpeas, whipped feta, harissa recipe

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Learning To Love Chickpeas? Here Are More Chickpea Recipes!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What can be substituted for the Harissa paste for those who can not handle much spice?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      You could try Thai Chili Paste which tends to be a lot milder than harissa.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    … is there a brand of Harissa Paste that you recommend? I looked to see if you had a recipe for it but didn’t find one. Can’t wait to make this! I make garbanzo bean curry with Brussel sprouts, sweet potato and spinach! Love me some spicy chick peas!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Great question! You could skip the whipped feta or try a dollop of dairy free sour cream or plain dairy free yogurt as a substitute.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      It could be the same! The sauce may be a bit more liquidy, but I think it’d still work out wonderfully in this recipe!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Yum – perfect weeknight dinner. Low effort, yet super flavorful, satisfying, and healthy. I made a few changes based on what I had.

      I didn’t have harissa and couldn’t find it at TJ’s, so I made up my own blend of Aleppo pepper flakes, cumin, smoked paprika, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Instead of the cucumber, I added a chopped zucchini as well to the simmering chickpeas, as it needed to be used. And served it with TJ’s frozen garlic naan!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Krista @ Pinch of Yum

        Great job winging it with your own blend of seasoning! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sarah | Well and Full

    You had me at harissa!! This bowl would be so delicious with some falafel 🙂

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Super yummy and easy! I had run out of harissa so I used a mix of chili powder, smoked paprika and turmeric instead. Not exactly the same but still good! Whipped feta is such a great idea!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad it worked out with a mix of dry spices! Thanks for the comment!

    2. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Made it this evening a d absolutely loved it. Only one question, I found the wipped feta too salty, is that normal?

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Krista @ Pinch of Yum

        Feta is a pretty salty cheese. And that, combined with the tangy cream cheese, might make it taste a bit salty!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wow, thank you so much for this recipe! I made it for my family of four, and we served a few kalamata olives on the side. Everyone loved it, and we actually looked forward to leftovers the next night. I think I just wanted an excuse to make/eat more whipped feta. Also, we served with little garlic naan circles of bread which were heavenly. Perfection, I would make this ever single week.

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Pretty darn delicious especially given the time required. I did invest in the whipped feta but I feel like some storebought tzatiki or even a spoon of greek yogurt would be almost as good. Topped with some crushed pita chips.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      So glad you enjoyed it, Sarah! Tzatziki or Greek yogurt would be great substitutes for the feta!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was soooooo good. My harissa had expired in the fridge 😭 but I had a jar of Calabria Pepper paste and used that instead. The addition of the raisins should be a must! A little burst of sweet. I served mine with garlic and herb riced cauliflower, diced cukes and of course that amazing whipped feta. A drizzle of good EVOO over everything. YUM!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Totally agree about the raisins! Sounds like one stellar meal, Leah! Thanks so much for the comment!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tessa Penwarden

    This is delicious! It’s winter here in Australia and I just made this for Sunday lunch on a cold and rainy day. The perfect meal!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Valerie Lemieux

    This is a quick-fix-me-dinner-and-I-want-something-tasty. We are keeping it to our favs. Super healthy, but is tastes like it is not if you know what I mean 😛 !

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    If I don’t have golden raisins, would you suggest I leave them out or use traditional raisins?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Krista @ Pinch of Yum

      Yes, you could use traditional raisins. Dried cherries or dried cranberries would work too!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo

        Yum! So easy and delicious. The raisins add a nice pop of sweetness,
        I used traditional raisins.
        I made this for lunch meal prep with brown rice and roasted veggies. This receipt will be on repeat.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was a great use of harissa paste I had in my fridge! I didn’t have cream cheese so subbed in sour cream which worked well with the feta. I’m also not crazy abt raisins, but thought something sweet would balance things out the salty and savory elements so I drizzled a little Mike’s Hot Honey over my bowl and it was phenomenal!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This recipe is AMAZING. I have warm food ready in 15 min after working all day. I LOVE how flavorful it and SOOO simple.
    I love it. And the whipped feta is a whole other amazing thing.
    Thank you thank you

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have been in search of easy week night recipes and this one is perfect! The whipped feta and spicy harissa are such a great flavor combo. We will be adding this to our regular rotation of meals.

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    LOVED this delicious flavor bomb. So easy to prepare & makes for delicious lunch leftovers! My local grocery store didn’t have harissa paste so I made my own with the harissa spice and a little water and olive oil. The raisins are a must add!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Lindsay l

    This is unbelievably good. I don’t even really like chickpeas and I loved this. I added olive oil to the feta dip to make it smooth. You can use cuke slices as a vessel if you so choose.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was super good and so easy too! Would have been even better with the roasted cauliflower that I broiled to ashes while being distracted eating it as is! I think it’s my favorite recipe of yours so far!

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    this was insanely easy and so good! the whipped feta is a must. I didn’t have golden raisins so I diced a few pieces of dried apricot and threw those in instead and it worked perfectly. definitely gonna make this recipe an sos staple!

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Diane 🇨🇦

    Love the recipe! Made it twice already and a third time tonight.
    But what exactly is a knob of cream cheese? Lol
    Canuck 🇨🇦

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This was a great easy, weeknight meal. I accidentally used a 28 oz can of the tomatoes but it still came out great!

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Only commenting because my husband said this was in the top 10 meals I’ve made, which means it definitely deserves a comment. You can take (or leave) the purposeful (and accidental!!!) changes I made:

    1. I used an immersion blender to mash some of the chickpeas and possibly over-blended, making it more stew-y.
    2. I used way more harissa paste — because I wanted it out out of the fridge — and added cayenne to the harissa mixture because my paste wasn’t that spicy.
    3. I added hummus I needed to use up.
    4. I forgot the raisins.
    5. I found the whipped feta definitely needed olive oil/water to get the right consistency. This could be because the liquid with the cheese splooged out when I opened it.
    6. Per the recommendation, I served with cucumbers, Trader Joe’s garlic pita, mixed Greek olives and lemon wedges. This was a good touch.

    Overall, we really liked this — I thought maybe there were too many layers of salty foods (which perhaps the raisins would’ve counteracted) and the husband said it needed a little more seasoning. Perhaps cumin? Za’atar?