The Harissa Breakfast Bowl Experiment

Snow day Quinoa breakfast bowl morning.JPG

Harissa, I’m in love!  Over the course of the last year I’ve eagerly saved several recipes that highlight this North African hot pepper paste such as The Book Cooks’ one pan roasted chicken.  Some reading led me to the fact that each brand can have a slightly different flavor, and so I picked up a tube at a local Armenian grocery store.  I had no idea what I’ve been missing!  

My inspiration to finally pull the harissa out of the pantry comes from Jhuls over at The Not So Creative cook. A few days ago she posted this potato hash with harissa tahini sauce as I simultaneously learned we were having yet another snow day. Perfect timing! This meal turned out to be a mashup of two previous experiments- our potato hash and our first quinoa breakfast bowl experiment. The addition of potatoes and, of course, harissa resulted in a hearty, filling.and versatile dish that we are sure to keep in our brunch rotation.   

This meal could have been made in one pan, but we opted for two in order to vary the level of heat and flavor of the potatoes as compared to the veggies.  In one pan we sauteed the potatoes and onions, ensuring they became nice and crispy then added the harissa and cooked quinoa.  In the other pan we cooked up the bacon, drained it, and then sauteed all of the veggies with a dash of cumin.

process for cutting shaved brussels sprouts.JPG

The final bowls had a perfect variety of texture – from the crispy potatoes to the juicy tomatoes, to the runny eggs and crunchy bacon. The recipe below is what we used to feed two of us for brunch, but all can be adjusted.

Lastly, I recently had the realization that I can take cookbooks out of the library. Me oh my, how have I not realized this before! Even though this snow day pushes us one day closer to school in July, I am a happy camper here today.

Harissa Quinoa Breakfast Bowl.JPG


  • 2 red bliss potatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 cups of shaved brussels sprouts 
  • 1 small onion – diced
  • 4 pieces of thick cut bacon
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 2 teaspoons of harissa paste
  • 1 cup of largely chopped mushrooms
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes – halved
  • Cumin


Steps and Notes:

  1. Saute the bacon in a wide pan on high heat, reducing to medium halfway.
  2. In a separate pan, cook the onions and potatoes on high heat. Sprinkle with a hearty pinch of salt and, once brown, cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Remove the bacon once cooked and lay on a plate with a paper towel.
  4. In the bacon pan, saute the veggies, adding the mushrooms, peppers, garlic and brussels sprouts in that order. Space apart by 1 – 2 minutes. Add a few dashes of cumin.
  5. Add the harissa and 2 teaspoons of water to the potatoes and saute uncovered for 2 extra minutes.
  6. Cook 2 eggs for each person to your desired consistency
  7. Layer each bowl with the potato/quinoa mixture, then the veggies, crumbled bacon, eggs, and tomatoes.


Thoughts for Next Time:

  • Increase the amount of harissa by adding an additional teaspoon to the potatoes
  • Try a harissa-tahini sauce combination
  • Add fresh avocado on top
  • Use sweet potatoes as the base
  • Top with a dollop of greek yogurt

Harissa Quinoa Breakfast Bowl_2.JPG



  1. emilyshomecookedkitchen · · Reply

    Love this idea I’m always looking for healthy alternatives for breakfast ideas and what a kick start with the Harissa! Great pictures 😊


  2. I could eat this at any time of the day. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] the last year of writing the blog I’ve made/posted shakshuka, a green shakshuka variation, a harissa breakfast bowl, and a carnitas hash skillet.  I figured it was time to play around with a huevos ranchers […]


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