Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli

Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli are a fun, easy, spicy side dish to perk up your nightly dinner routine.  Change things up a little bit with these pan fried Brussels sprouts and garlicky dipping sauce. 

Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

A few weeks ago Braden and I were heading out for date night without a plan in mind.  We tend to do that, we like to walk and wander until we find a restaurant that catches our attention or some other activity of interest.

That night we stumbled into a new restaurant that had opened just a few minutes from our apartment.  It was a more modern take on Austrian food and it’s pretty hard to resist any menu that has a variety of schnitzel and house made sausage.  The one item that caught our eye and we pretty much always order was an appetizer of spicy brussels sprouts, peppers and aioli dipping sauce.  What appeared in front of us was probably the best tasting Brussels sprout dish I had enjoyed in a long while.  They sourced giant sprouts, topped it with smoked paprika and just for a little more kick the aioli was loaded with habanero.

As we strolled around our neighborhood walking off dinner and stumbling into a wine tasting at the local wine shop, I couldn’t stop thinking about that dish.  I needed to make it at home and it needed to happen soon.

Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

I’m not normally one for either a) super spicy dishes or b) mayo but there’s something about house made aioli.  It’s luscious, it packs that garlicky punch and finishing notes of lemon and I’ll happily dip anything into it.  Plus for something that sounds fancy, it’s so easy to make at home.

As I gathered my ingredients to remake my dish, I stumbled upon the spice aisle at the grocery store. It seems that my well stocked spice cabinet was missing Hungarian paprika (that’s the one that packs the spicy punch).  I picked up the tin, looked up and spotted harissa.  If you aren’t familiar with this spice, you should be – it’s spicy but not burn your mouth off so.  Harissa is a blend of roasted red japone peppers, cumin, coriander, Hungarian and California paprika, garlic, salt and caraway.  A little bit goes a long way and offers a more complex taste with just a little dash.

I wanted to recreate that dish but also make it a little bit of my own, this way when I return back to the restaurant I can still enjoy their version just as much.

Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli
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  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons avocado or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa powder
  • For the aioli:
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 olive oil


  1. Trim the root end of the brussels sprouts, remove any bruised outer leaved and cut sprouts in half.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat drizzle the oil. Heat until it shimmers and add the brussels sprouts so that they lay in a single layer.
  3. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they start to brown and add 1/2 cup water to the skillet. Cover and steam the sprouts until the water has evaporated.
  4. Remove the cover from the skillet and continue to cook the brussels sprouts for another 5-8 minutes or until they are crisp and browned. If necessary you may want to add a little more oil to the pan. In the last minute of cooking, season with salt and the harissa powder.
  5. To make the aioli:
  6. In the bowl of your food processor add the garlic clove, salt and lemon juice and pulse until the garlic is minced. Add your egg yolk and whole egg and run the food processor for about a minute , you want the color of the egg to turn a pale white.
  7. With the motor still running, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the top of the food processor. Once you've finished adding the oil, the aioli should be nice and thick.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, you can add a touch more lemon juice at this point if you like and more salt if you feel it's necessary.
  9. Transfer the aioli to a small bowl for dipping and the brussels sprouts to a serving bowl or plate.
  10. Store any leftover aioli in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe Type: Side

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 Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli | girlinthelittleredkitchen.com

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2 thoughts on “Harissa Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli

  1. Stefanie - Sarcastic Cooking

    I looooove Hungarian paprika! I add it to almost everything. No joke, ask my husband. His grandmother used to do the same thing!!! I love that beautiful caramelization on the Brussels! I’m not one for mayo either but something about an aioli will always get me!


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