roasted sweet potato with Harissa in a bowl

Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Harissa

In Sides by sarawalkenbachLeave a Comment

If you haven’t tried harissa, it’s time. This delightful spice is sweet, smokey, citrusy, and slightly spicy. You can buy it as a dry spice blend, or as a paste. Either way, these simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Harissa are full of flavor.

If you like this full of flavor side dish, you’ll love Spinach Salad with Easy Pesto Dressing.

The name Harissa comes from the Arabic verb harasa, meaning ‘to pound’, or ‘break into pieces’. It’s full of flavor, with the following ingredients:

  • Dried Chiles
  • Garlic
  • Citrus
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Caraway Seeds

You can find the dry spice at most grocery stores these days, local spice stores (like Flavor in Kansas City), Middle Eastern or African markets, or of course on Amazon.

In the paste form, there is olive oil and fresh citrus juice mixed into the spices. My favorite place to buy Harissa paste in Kansas City is Baba’s Pantry. Chef Kamal and his family make all the Palestinian pantry staples from scratch, and it’s the best. Everything is made with love from some of the nicest people.

Harissa Also Goes Well On…

…just about anything you want to be a savory, smoky, citrusy flavor. Pretty much any protein is delightful with this unique spice. Here are several options:

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Skirt Steak
  • Beans
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Stews & Soups
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Meatballs

You get the idea. This will be your new favorite spice, as there are lots of options. Don’t fret over another spice in your spice rack. You’ll be reaching for the harissa more than you think.

roasted sweet potato with Harissa in bowl
Sweet, spicy, smokey, and absolutely delicious! Roasted Sweet Potato with Harissa makes a perfectly healthy side dish.

Like tators, you’ll love this Lemon Dill Potato Salad.

Roasted Sweet Potato Ingredients

Only 4 ingredients are needed for this simple and delicious recipe.

Sweet Potatoes

A healthy complex carbohydrate, sweet potatoes are an excellent choice to incorporate into your diet. One cup of sweet potatoes contains 213% of the daily value needed for vitamin A! Vitamin A is essential for immunity. Other health benefits of sweet potatoes include:

  • Great source of Fiber
  • High in Vitamins C & B6, Copper, & Manganese
  • Excellent source of Beta Carotene
  • Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage DNA and trigger inflammation. 6 Surprising Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes by Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT

Sweet potatoes are such a great side dish for pretty much any meal. This Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Harissa recipe is a savory one. If you would like to try a sweet recipe using sweet potatoes, try this Sweet Potato Crisp.

Harissa & Olive Oil

The warm spicy blend of ingredients in Harissa is a match made in heaven with sweet potatoes. Antioxidants can also be found in harissa, specifically: capsaicin. Capsaicin is the component in chiles that brings the heat. Capsaicin is why eating spicy foods increases your metabolism.

Some Harissa blends may contain salt. If they do not, add a sprinkle of salt to the mix of ingredients.

Since we are roasting these sweet tators, a little healthy fat is needed. Olive oil or avocado oil will work in this recipe.

Both (olive oil and avocado oil) contain heart-healthy fats and have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease.

Avocado Oil vs. Olive Oil: Is One Healthier? ( Kaitlyn Berkheiser

Fresh Lemon Juice

Just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is all that is needed to finish off these tasty roasted sweet potatoes with harissa. Fresh is best. There is a true tasty and nutritional difference in what comes out of the plastic lemon versus the real deal. A half a lemon will do. Squeeze on after they come out of the oven.

sweet potatoes with Harissa on a sheet pan ready for the oven.
These little gems can be roasted in the oven or air fryer.

How to Make Sweet Potatoes with Harissa

This easy side dish won’t take too long to prep. These gems can be made in the oven or air fryer. Here’s a brief synopsis of how to make it:

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes (reserve the peels for a tasty snack, see below)
  2. Cube up sweet potatoes
  3. Drizzle with Olive Oil, stir to ensure they are coated
  4. Sprinkle with Harissa, stir to coat
  5. In the oven: Roast at 420 degrees F for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  6. In the air fryer: Cook at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, giving it a few shakes throughout cooking.

These Sweet Potatoes with Harissa go great with Pretzel Encrusted Schnitzel.

Don’t Throw Out the Skins

My sister-in-law, Coach Kristen, taught me this trick awhile back. Air fryer potato skins for a snack (or appetizer). You gotta peel those tators anyway, might as well throw the peels in the air fryer so they don’t go to waste.

Here’s how to make crispy sweet potato skins to munch on while your tators roast:

  1. Put sweet potato skins in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt.
  2. Toss them to ensure they are all coated.
  3. Put them in a pre-heated air fryer for 10-15 minutes, stir or shake halfway through.
  4. They will be golden and crispy when done.
Sweet potato skins air fried
Don’t toss the skins! Air fry them up with a little olive oil and sprinkle of garlic salt.

Since potatoes are grown in the ground, it’s essentially to use a brush to scrub your potatoes clean under running water. Eating organic potatoes helps ensure you won’t be consuming pesticides.


I know some people aren’t real keen on leftovers. However, there are several ways to repurpose these lefties so you’re not eating the same thing again.

Buddha Bowl or Salad

Buddha Bowls are just a salad with less greens and added grains. They have veggies, protein, and a delicious dressing to top it off. Swap the grains for these Harissa Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

  1. Throw in some protein: rotisserie chicken (sub garbonzo beans or tofu).
  2. Add some veggies & greens: spinach and radishes.
  3. Drizzle with dressing: mix Greek yogurt, milk, Harissa & lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle with seeds: pumpkin or sesame.

I like to heat this up, and then add the dressing and seeds. Although, it’s good cold too.

Breakfast “Scuffle”

“Scuffle” is a term my husband, Chad, likes to use when he’s throwing everything and the kitchen sink into eggs for breakfast. His scuffle usually consists of eggs, leftover veggies, leftover protein, cheese, and some sort of spicy condiment. Scuffle or scramble, either way, leftover roasted sweet potatoes make a tasty addition.

It’s a Wrap

Wrap up the leftover goods into… well, a wrap. Spread a layer of hummus, cream cheese, or your favorite condiment on a whole grain wrap or tortilla. Layer in goat cheese or feta, dried cranberries, turkey, and these delicious sweet potatoes. Roll it up and enjoy.

Can I use Russet or Yukon potatoes with this recipe?


Do Sweet Potatoes cook faster than Russet Potatoes?

Yes, but depending on the size of the potatoes will determine the amount of time.

Why aren’t my Sweet Potatoes crispy?

Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet. The potatoes will steam themselves if touching each other. Make sure the sweet potatoes have enough room on the pan when roasting. This allows air to get all around the tators.

How long will they keep in the Fridge?

Roasted sweet potatoes are good for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.

thyme branch

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roasted sweet potato with Harissa in a bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Harissa

Sara Walkenbach
These sweet potatoes are simple to make. Harissa is sweet, smokey, and a little spicy, which compliments the sweet potatoes perfectly.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 141 kcal



  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes about 2 to 2.5 lbs
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 1-2 tbsp Harissa dry or paste
  • 1/2 of a Lemon for juice


  • Preheat oven to 420°F (or air fryer to 400°). Scrub potatoes with brush under cool water. Peel potatoes, reserve skins for air fryer potato skins (see post), or discard. Dice potatoes into 1" cubes. Put in bowl.
  • Drizzle olive oil over potatoes. Toss to coat. Sprinkle on Harissa. Measure with your heart. If harissa doesn't contain salt, sprinkle with desired amount of salt. Toss.
  • Place sweet potatoes on sprayed baking sheet. Spread out so they don't touch. Use 2 pans if you have to, to not overcrowd.
  • Roast for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven. Squeeze half lemon over the top of the potatoes. Stir and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Enjoy.


If you like a spicier side dish, add more harissa. 
Make sure to not overcrowd the pan. Use 2 pans if need be.


Calories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 96mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 16096IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword harissa, healthy recipe, healthy side dish, new recipe, roasted sweet potatoes
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