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Quick & Easy

This Harissa Lamb Skillet Takes Only 20 Minutes to Make

This protein-rich, one-skillet stew with lentils, chickpeas and lamb is uber satisfying and ready in just 20 minutes.

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When dinnertime is looming and you need a meal on the table fast, this one-skillet dinner is your answer. Ready in just 20 minutes from start to finish, this harissa lamb skillet with lentils and chickpeas is a crowd-pleasing and satisfying meal.

It’s all in the spices

Harissa is an African chile pepper paste that brings a bit of heat to this warming, harissa lamb stew. We suggest using Belazu Rose Harissa Paste, as it has an ultra clean ingredients list but any variety will do. In addition to harissa, this stew also uses spices that are typical in North-African cuisine such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon. It’s ideal to crush the cumin seeds rather than use ground cumin for this dish. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can evenly spread cumin seems on a cutting board and crush them using the bottom of a small, heavy pot, pushing the bottom edge back and forth.

Why a skillet?

This harissa lamb recipe uses just one skillet for easy clean up. This tool probably gets the heaviest use in most kitchens, so it’s helpful to have a couple on hand. A 10- to 12-inch skillet is a versatile size for most uses. In general, we recommend either a cast iron or stainless steel model. If going for stainless steel, make sure it has a heavy bottom for better heat conduction. When it comes to cast iron, remember that simmering acidic foods (such as tomatoes) for a long time may lead to a slightly metallic flavor in your dishes. That’s not an issue with this quick-cooking stew.

Customize it

If lamb isn’t your jam, you can easily substitute with any ground meat such as ground beef, chicken or turkey. Serve with your choice of whole-wheat pita, couscous or even rice to make it a complete meal. We suggest some options for garnish in the recipe, but you can use anything you have on hand – think yogurt, sour cream, sliced avocado and more.

Harissa Lamb Skillet with Lentils & Chickpeas

20 min


  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ lb ground lamb or lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2½ tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2½ tbsp harissa paste (TRY: Belazu Rose Harissa Paste)
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 13-oz BPA-free can unsalted cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint
  • Optional garnishes: Sliced red onion or radish, yogurt, pomegranate arils or lemon wedges


  1. In a large skillet on medium-high, heat one-quarter of the oil. Add ground lamb and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain and scrape into a bowl.
  2. Wipe skillet and heat remaining three-quarters of oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin seeds, coriander and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in harissa and cook for 1 minute.
  3. To skillet, return lamb and add chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, water and salt and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, mint and any additional garnishes.


Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ⅙ of recipe
  • Calories 259
  • Carbohydrate Content 27 g
  • Cholesterol Content 27 mg
  • Fat Content 10 g
  • Fiber Content 10 g
  • Protein Content 16 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 364 mg
  • Sugar Content 7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 86 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 1 g