Harissa Grilled Chicken & Pepper Kebabs

These spicy grilled kebabs and their creamy dipping sauce come together easily, and you can let the chicken marinate for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours for maximum flexibility. The spicy level can be as subtle or intense as you like, simply by adjusting the amount of tahini or Harissa Olive Oil in the sauce.

If you're not familiar with tahini, don't be intimidated by it! It's a spectacularly nutty blend of ground toasted sesame seeds. It has a creamy texture that's similar to peanut butter (but a milder flavor), and is commonly found in Middle Eastern, North African, and Greek cooking.

For more ideas about how to use The Olive Scene's Harissa Olive Oil, check out our blog post about this flavorful oil.


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2/3 cup The Olive Scene's Harissa Olive Oil

  • 1/3 cup lime juice (juice from about 4 limes)

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • about 30 miniature bell peppers

  • equipment: a grill, about 15 ten-inch wooden skewers


  1. Place the wooden skewers in a shallow pan and cover with warm water. Place a plate or something heavy on them to keep them submerged, if necessary. 

  2. Cut the chicken breasts into 2 inch pieces. Set aside in a large bowl.

  3. Combine the Harissa Olive Oil, lime juice, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and cumin in an airtight container. Shake well to combine and emulsify.

  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of the olive oil and lime mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the bowl with the chicken and toss to coat the chicken.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken, marinating it for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

  5. Preheat a grill. While the grill is warming up, remove the skewers from the water. Thread the chicken and bell peppers on the skewers, alternating one then the other. We used 3-5 pieces of chicken and 2-3 peppers on each skewer.

  6. Grill the kebabs over medium heat, turning often, until the chicken is cooked through. This should take about 15 minutes total.

  7. While the chicken is cooking, combine the reserved marinade and the tahini in a small bowl. Mix well to thoroughly combine. Taste the sauce and add more tahini if it's too spicy for your liking. Alternatively, you can add more Harissa Olive Oil if you want it spicier. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.