Harissa and Turkey Stew

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Inspired by the flavors I experienced while working in Africa, this harissa and turkey stew is equally healthy and delicious!

Harissa and turkey stew

Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste from Tunisia and Libya.  The main ingredients in this spicy paste are roasted red peppers, serrano peppers, along with various spices and herbs.  This spice paste is very hot and has a strong, distinct flavor profile.

I first discovered this flavor profile when I went to Western Africa for work and have been trying to find harissa spice ever since.  You can find it at some Persian markets, or I sometimes order this one which always works great.  With Fall upon us, I decided to combine this flavor profile into a comforting yet healthy stew!

Harissa and turkey stew

Tips to Make the Best Harissa and Turkey Stew

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to make the best harissa stew.

  • Turkey: for this recipe, I used extra lean ground turkey.  This cut of meat is great because it adds lots of flavor, but is lighter on calories and fat.
  • Squash: I recommend using butternut squash in this recipe.  Its sweet, nutty flavor and softer flesh pairs perfectly with the turkey and tomato flavors in the stew.
  • Harissa: I used one teaspoon of harissa paste in this recipe.  While the stew had a distinct flavor from the harissa, it was not overly spicy.  If you prefer a spicier dish, add more in.  Be careful though, since a little goes a long way with this ingredient!  I recommend adding a small amount at a time to the stew and tasting to see if the spice is to your liking.

While this stew is great on its own, I prefer to serve this over brown rice.  The rice is a healthy addition that fills you up and adds a little more substance to this meal.

Harissa and turkey stew

https://www.instagram.com/scrambledandscrumptious/

Harissa and Turkey Stew

Inspired by the flavors I experienced while working in Africa, this harissa and turkey stew is equally healthy and delicious!

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (approximately 1 small squash)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp harissa paste (add more if you want more spice)
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (796 ml)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, sliced (approximately 1 small bunch)
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped – plus more for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot on medium heat.  Add olive oil and ground turkey.  Cook, breaking up the turkey constantly, until the meat turns brown and is no longer pink in the center, approximately 4 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are soft, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and harissa paste.  Stir to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.  Sauté the squash for approximately 3 to 5 more minutes.
  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and harissa paste.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and simmer until the butternut squash is soft and easily pierced with a fork, approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the spinach and parsley, and cook until the spinach is soft and wilted, approximately 2 minutes.
  6. Top with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

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