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Mediterranean Lamb and Harissa Chili

Traditional American style chili incorporates North African flavours with lamb and harissa paste.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: American, North African, Spanish
Keyword: chili, harissa, harissa chili, kamouneh, kamounet, lamb, lamb chili
Servings: 8 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • 5qt+ Dutch oven, slow cooker, or Instant Pot.


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper (any colour)
  • 2 spicy peppers (such as serrano, jalapeno, or fresno, depending on heat preference), finely diced
  • 2 lbs ground lamb (1kg)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp kamounet spice (or 2 Tbsp ground cumin, ½ Tbsp cinnamon, ½ Tbsp marjoram or oregano)
  • ½ Tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp urfa biber chili (optional)
  • 1 cup lamb or beef broth
  • 2-4 Tbsp harissa paste depending on spice preference
  • 28 ounces crushed, fire roasted tomatoes (tinned) (750g)
  • 15 ounces pinto beans (tinned), drained and rinsed Optional, leave out if you don't like beans.
  • salt to taste


  • In a large pan or Dutch oven, add olive oil and cook your onions over medium heat until caramelised. About 15-20 minutes. Add your garlic and the chopped peppers. Once all are softened slightly, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
  • In the same pan add your lamb and brown over medium-high heat. Drain any excess fat. Turn down the heat to medium, add your spices, and cook for another 2 minutes. Deglaze your pan with the broth, then place into your slow cooker or other slow-cooking vessel. Add your harissa paste, crushed tomatoes, and beans (if desired) and salt to taste.
  • Cook on low heat in your slow cooker or Instant Pot for at least three hours for the flavour to come together, or in the oven at 325° for at least three hours.


Feel free to omit the beans if you don't like beans in your chili. You can also use beef, bison, or vegetarian ground (I recommend Upton's Naturals Chorizo Seitan) in this recipe if lamb is not economical or available.
This recipe freezes well.