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How to Use Trader Joe’s Harissa Paste

how to use trader joes harissa paste

If you love grocery store chains that offer allergy-friendly, wide varieties of products, look no further than Trader Joe’s. Their harissa paste is beloved for it’s hot, herby, savory flavor. However, if it is your first time purchasing this product, you may be wondering how to use Trader Joe’s Harissa Paste?

Trader Joe’s Harissa paste is a paste made from hot chili peppers combined with several savory herbs and a kick of spice. It is usually used as an ingredient in dishes to enhance the heat of the dish or add to pre-existing pepper flavors.

In this article, we will go over not only a guide on how to use Trader Joe’s harissa paste, but what this ingredient goes best with, how to properly store it, and a few frequently asked questions on the subject! Let’s get right into the topic.

Suggestions for Using Harissa Paste From Trader Joe’s

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Whether you are a long-time spice fan or this is your first experience with harissa paste, you will be wondering how to incorporate Trader Joe’s harissa paste into your daily diet! Luckily, we have a few ideas for adding this paste to your meals, as seen below:

  • Marinades – A marinade is a mixture of liquid infused with various spices that meat is typically cooked in over long stretches of time. Adding harissa paste to your meal’s marinade will infuse the dinner with a smoky, peppery flavor and no small amount of heat.
  • Sauces – Combining harissa paste from Trader Joe’s with a creamy sauce or even an oil-based sauce can greatly add to the notes of flavor in either mixture. Be sure to note that while dairy-based sauces may dampen the heat, oil-based sauces will only enhance your spiciness!
  • Rubs – Because Trader Joe’s harissa ingredient comes in a paste form, it is also ideal for rubs on meat or even roasted vegetables. You’ll get a great taste of the peppers used to make the taste on whichever form of food you plan to rub down!

To check the current price and availability of Trader Joe’s Harissa Paste, click here to view the listing on Amazon.

Tips for Balancing Trader Joe’s Harissa Paste Flavor

The main component that harissa paste adds to a dish is definitely heat! The spiciness may be more than you are prepared for, especially if this is your first time trying to use Trader Joe’s harissa paste. For this reason, we’ve prepared a list of tips for balancing that spiciness with the paste. 

  • Add to Creamy Sauces – As previously mentioned, the spicy component in harissa paste can be lessened just slightly by forms of dairy. If you are making a cheesy cream sauce, for example, it may lessen the painful spice harissa paste can sometimes cause, making it more enjoyable to eat.
  • Adjust to Taste – You might think you are able to endure harissa paste’s spiciness, but rest assured, a little goes a long way! You can always add more harissa paste to a mixture if you feel it isn’t hot enough, but once the paste is incorporated, it is difficult to lower the spice! Always add a little at a time and adjust the amount according to taste.

Storage and Handling of Trader Joe’s Harissa Paste

Trader Joe’s harissa paste is delightful and adds that zing you may be looking for to savory meals; however, it will be much less enjoyable if it is stored improperly, causing it to lose it’s spice and kick. For this reason, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to how to properly store and handle harissa paste from Trader Joe’s!

  1. Wash Your Hands – In terms of handling, this one is important! Though the peppers in harissa paste may not be as immediately potent as something like raw jalapenos, when handling harissa paste, you definitely do not want to get any in your eyes by accident. To avoid this painful mistake, wash your hands very thoroughly!
  2. Replace Harissa Paste Lid – The Trader Joe’s container that the harissa paste came in is the best option when it comes to trying to keep the product from losing it’s flavor when you are finished using it. Make sure the lid is on good and tight before storing in a cool, dry area.
  3. Place in the Refrigerator – Speaking of cool and dry, why use the pantry when the refrigerator is ready and able to keep your harissa paste from oxidation and loss of spice? As long as the harissa paste’s original container lid is tightly shut, or it has been put in another airtight container, it should be safe to consume even after opening.

If your harissa paste is kept out in the open at room temperature with no lid, it may become unsafe to eat. If you find that your harissa paste is in this condition for more than three hours, definitely place it in the trash; better safe than sorry!

However, as long as it is in an airtight container and refrigerated, harissa paste should last for six weeks or more.

Potential Health Benefits of Harissa Paste

When you are enjoying your harissa paste, it may add to your experience to know that this product does actually come with some natural health benefits for you! For example, harissa paste is made with chili peppers.

Chili peppers offer a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, can even help with pain relief, and also drop your chances of cancer.

Harissa paste from Trader Joe’s is also made with coriander, which lowers blood sugar, is chock full of antioxidants, and is good for protecting the health of your brain. 

As great as these pros are, there are also some cons. Ingesting too much spicy food, like harissa paste, can cause irritation to the bowels and even allergic reactions, resulting in painful symptoms. Be sure to know your limits when it comes to this tasty food!

Frequently Asked Questions

Hoping to learn more? Check out our FAQ list down below!

Does Harissa Paste Need to Be Cooked?

The flavor of harissa does tend to deepen when it is exposed to heat, but it can be versatile and still used as a spice when eaten cold.

Can I Use Harissa Paste Instead of Seasoning?

Yes, harissa paste has a spicy, savory, peppery flavor profile that is versatile enough to be used as seasoning in its own right in most dishes. Bear in mind

that you should only use it this way if a distinct spicy, peppery flavor is what you are looking for!

Is Harissa Served Hot or Cold?

Harissa can be served hot as a marinade or rub, or it can be served cold to add a kick to appetizers!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, harissa paste is a spicy, savory paste that can be incorporated as a spice on most hot food dishes. It’s peppery flavor and spicy chili components make it suitable as a rub, marinade, or even sauce in dishes like roasted chicken, vegetables, or pasta. 

However, this is a very spicy paste. If you aren’t used to such heat, try mixing your harissa paste in with a little dairy to take the edge off.

Always remember that although spicy foods can cause digestive issues when overindulged in, harissa paste has some health benefits like lowering the risk of heart disease!


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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