Spicy harissa chicken with lentils

Spicy harissa chicken with lentils

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(28 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 4
This healthy one-pot from reader Sarah Oliver with chicken thighs, Puy lentils and harissa is packed with flavour - hearty, filling and low in calories

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal440
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre10g
  • protein39g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50g harissa



    This hot, aromatic paste made from chilli and assorted spices and herbs is spicy and…

  • 500g chicken thigh, skin removed, boned and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 200g dried puy lentils
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2l stock, made from 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • flat-leaf parsley, to serve (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onion on a low heat for 5-6 mins until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more.

  2. Stir in the harissa, add the chicken and cook until well browned all over. Stir in the carrot, lentils and tomatoes, then add the stock so the chicken is fully immersed.

  3. Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 30-35 mins until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, and the lentils are tender and have absorbed the liquid. Season well, scatter with parsley (if using) and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Apr, 2020
Easy and tasty one pot. I left the boneless thighs whole and added roasted red pepper as had some to use up. I added stock to cover as per comment below and simmered for about 45mins. Will be added to the regular recipe list.
1st Dec, 2018
Lovely easy recipe. I made exactly as instructed and did find it had a bit too much liquid. I simmered for 20 mins longer than stated, and it was yummy with crusty bread. Next time I will not add so much stock.
4th Sep, 2018
Thank you for sharing this quick, easy, tasty and healthy meal! It will definitely be made again in our home!
Katarzyna Skóra's picture
Katarzyna Skóra
21st Jul, 2018
I had mixed feelings about this recipe when cooking. It seemed too watery for our taste but once some of the water evaporated it came out amazing. We used double the amount of harrissa as we like our food to be very spicy and it came out perfect for our taste. We're moving this dish to our regular menu as it was so easy to make and tastes delicious.
3rd Sep, 2018
Hi Katarzyna I agree about the amount of liquid - it's my recipe - BBC Good Food published it in the magazine, so that amount of liquid is from their working of the recipe. It's not very scientific, but what I do is add enough stock to bring the level of the liquid to the top of the ingredients. Sarah
13th Feb, 2017
Proper comfort food. Whole family love this, it has a real heart family dinner vibe to it. Delicious
9th May, 2016
Very tasty and very easy to make, can see it becoming a favourite in our household.
6th Jun, 2015
This recipe is so tasty, it's even better the day after and is now a staple meal in our house!
29th Apr, 2015
Love this recipe, it has become a firm favourite in our household
26th Jan, 2015
Tried this for the first time this evening and husband and I both loved it. Not too spicy but loads of flavour, and really healthy. Added some sliced red pepper just before the carrot etc as well and served with broccoli. Will definitely make again!
Jo Fielding
5th Mar, 2019
I’ve made this early and I thought I’d warm it through tomorrow can you advise me the best method of warming it through
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest heating it through in a saucepan on the hob until piping hot throughout. Alternatively, you can use the microwave.
4th Sep, 2018
Could I do this in the slow cooker or would the lentils go a bit mushy?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Sep, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can do this in the slow cooker. Take a look at our guide for tips on how to adjust the recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-top-tips-using-slow-cooker
Sheila H
14th May, 2018
Harissa, does this mean 50g of harissa paste?
goodfoodteam's picture
15th May, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, this recipe uses harissa paste.
22nd Feb, 2018
If I needed to substitute regular green or red lentils for Puy, would I need to change anything about the recipe, like the cooking time or amount of stock?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Feb, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can use green lentils in this recipe but we would not recommend using the red lentils as they will become mushy. When you get to step 3, test whether the lentils are cooked, if not continue until tender.
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