This Harissa Potatoes with Whipped Tahini Sauce and Fried Pita recipe is unlike any appetizer or snack you’ve ever had before! Spicy air-fried potatoes are piled high over nutty, fluffy whipped tahini, and crowned with crunchy fried pita for an explosion of tastes and textures that will knock your socks off. 

A bowl of whipped tahini topped with harissa potatoes and air fried pita.

Everything You’ll Need 

Don’t let the fancy appearance fool you – this recipe may look like a culinary masterpiece, but the ingredient list keeps it refreshingly simple. We’ve got your back and we’ll walk you through everything you need!


  • Golden Potatoes – These are softer in texture than other potatoes and have a more buttery flavor. 
  • Salt and Black Pepper – Adjust to taste. 
  • Oil – We use olive oil to coat the potatoes and create a crisp exterior. 

Harissa Sauce

  • Olive Oil and Butter – These form the base of the sauce, adding depth and a rich flavor. 
  • Aromatics – Onion and fresh garlic cloves combine to add extra depth and a sweet, pungent taste. 
  • Harissa Paste – This is key to creating the bold, spicy flavor harissa sauce we love! Find it in the ethnic section of your local grocery store, or make your own homemade harissa paste instead. 
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Paste – This helps thicken the sauce and adds a tangy, savory flavor with notes of earthy sweetness. 

Whipped Tahini Sauce

  • Tahini Paste – This is a smooth sauce made out of sesame seeds. 
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed is best, but bottled varieties work too. 
  • Garlic – We recommend using whole garlic cloves and mincing them yourself. 
  • Olive Oil – This helps thin the sauce without watering it down. 
  • Water – Adjust the amount included until your desired consistency is achieved. 

Fried Pita

  • Pita Bread Rounds – We typically use homemade pita rounds, but you can also just buy pita from your local grocery store. 
  • Olive Oil – This is crucial to creating crisp, crunchy, crouton-like bread.

Fry, Whip, and Combine: How to Make Harissa Potatoes with Tahini and Pita

This recipe has quite a few moving parts, but if you embrace the art of multi-tasking, it comes together in a flash! 

  1. Air Fry the Potatoes. Season the potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper, and arrange them in a single layer in a preheated air fryer basket. Air fry until they’re golden and crispy, shaking the basket halfway through cooking. 
  2. Create the Harissa Sauce. Sauté the onions and garlic in a skillet with butter and olive oil. Stir in the harissa paste and sun-dried tomato paste. Simmer the sauce allowing it to thicken slightly and meld together. Adjust the seasonings to taste. 
  3. Toss. Transfer the cooked potatoes to the skillet with the harissa sauce, and toss to combine and coat. 
  4. Prepare the Tahini Sauce. Add the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Whisk vigorously to combine. Gradually add water one tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously. Continue to whisk until until it’s light and fluffy.  
  5. Fry the Pita Bread. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Slice the pita into triangles, and fry it in the oil until the pieces are crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels. 
  6. Combine. Sprinkle the pita pieces over the potatoes, and enjoy warm!
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Harissa potatoes topped with fresh parsley.

Serving Suggestions 

Get ready for a snack that’s not just filling but downright satisfying! This harissa potatoes recipe holds its own as a super-filling standalone snack. But wait, there’s more! It’s also the perfect appetizer or side dish to complement main courses such as:

Storage Options

This recipe is best right away while it’s still warm and fresh. However, if you have leftovers or want to make it ahead of time, store the components in separate containers in the fridge. 

The potatoes will stay fresh in the fridge for up to three days. Meanwhile, the tahini sauce will stay fresh in a separate container for up to one week. 

Transfer leftover pita bread to a sealable bag and airtight container, and keep them stored at room temperature. 

Common Questions About This Harissa Potatoes with Whipped Tahini Sauce and Fried Pita Recipe

What does harissa taste like? 

Harissa sauce has a smokey, peppery flavor and can vary in its range of heat depending on the ingredients used. 

What is harissa sauce made out of? 

Harissa sauce is a type of paste typically made out of dried chiles, garlic, citrus, extra virgin olive oil, and warm spices like cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds. 

Is harissa really spicy? 

Harissa can be pretty hot, depending on the types of peppers used! 

What is tahini sauce made of? 

Tahini is made by grinding sesame seeds into a paste. 

What is the taste of tahini? 

Tahini has a distinct earthy, nutty flavor that can be slightly bitter. 

More Unique Appetizer Recipes

Craving more crowd-pleasing appetizers that bring the “wow” factor? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with a tantalizing array of options below. Because when it comes to impressing a crowd, variety is the spice of appetizer life:

Harissa potatoes over tahini.

Harissa Potatoes with Whipped Tahini Sauce and Fried Pita

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Discover your new favorite snack with this Middle Eastern-inspired harissa potatoes with whipped tahini sauce and fried potatoes recipe!


For Air-Fried Potatoes:

  • 4 large golden potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

For Harissa Onion Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

For Whipped Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice about 1 large lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water as needed
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped (for garnish)

For Fried Pita Bread (Optional):

  • 2-3 pita bread rounds
  • Olive oil for frying


Air-Fried Golden Potatoes

    Prepare the Potatoes:

    • Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized cubes.
      4 large golden potatoes

    Season the Potatoes:

    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the peeled potato cubes with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss to coat the potatoes evenly with the seasoning.
      1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 Tablespoon olive oil

    Air Fry the Potatoes:

    • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
    • Place the seasoned peeled potato cubes in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd them. Cook in batches, if needed.
    • Air fry the potatoes for approximately 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy, shaking the basket or tossing the potatoes halfway through for even cooking.

    Harissa Onion Sauce

      Sauté the Onion and Garlic:

      • In a separate skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
        1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
      • Add the chopped yellow onion and garlic, and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
        1/2 yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic

      Add Harissa and Sun-Dried Tomato Paste:

      • Stir in the harissa paste and sun-dried tomato paste, combining them with the sautéed onions. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
        1 Tablespoon harissa paste, 1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste

      Season to Taste:

      • Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Adjust the spiciness by adding more harissa, if desired.
        Salt to taste, Black pepper to taste

      Combine with Potatoes:

      • Once the peeled potatoes are air-fried and crispy, transfer them to the skillet with the harissa onion sauce. Toss everything together to ensure the potatoes are coated with the flavorful sauce.

      Whipped Tahini Sauce

        Prepare the Tahini Base:

        • In a bowl, combine the tahini paste, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, and olive oil.
          1/2 cup tahini paste, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, 2 Tablespoons olive oil

        Whip the Sauce:

        • Use a whisk or fork to vigorously mix the ingredients together. At first, the mixture may seize up and become thick.

        Add Water:

        • Gradually add water, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk. Keep whisking until the sauce becomes smooth and reaches your desired consistency. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water as needed.
          2-3 Tablespoons water

        Season with Salt:

        • Taste the whipped tahini sauce and add salt to your liking. Adjust the lemon juice or water if needed to balance the flavors. Add a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
          Salt to taste, Fresh parsley

        Fried Pita Bread (Optional)

          Fry the Pita Bread:

          • Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Cut the pita bread into triangles and fry them in the hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
            2-3 pita bread rounds, Olive oil for frying
          • Sprinkle the bread over the potatoes and tahini, and enjoy warm!


          Serving: 1serving | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 438mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

          Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

          Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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          Meet Alia & Radwa

          Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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