When you decide to invite guests over at the last minute and need to impress them, reach for this recipe and whip it up in a hurry. Several of the ingredients should be in your pantry already — bonus! If frozen shrimp doesn’t hold a permanent spot in your freezer, it’s a worthy staple to have on hand as it defrosts quickly, is of equal quality to its fresh counterpart, cooks up in just minutes, and most everyone really enjoys them. Costco’s seem to be the best value around.

You’ll also love this recipe due to its versatility. The tomato sauce could easily support any protein, from tofu to rack of lamb. Not into dill? Use parsley, mint, basil, or cilantro (or d. all of the above) instead. No chickpeas? Omit them or substitute literally any other legume. Go to Italy or India with your flavor profile. There are many, many options here. Serve this alone or with a simple, lightly dressed salad and some steamed rice to make this stretch further for more people.

For quicker results, it’s best to have one person on the sauce and one person on the shrimp. However, with a little organization, it’s totally possible for one person to pull this off alone and within 30 minutes. If you don’t have an outdoor grill, a stovetop grill pan will work wonderfully.

Grilled harissa shrimp with chickpea tomato sauce + Dill

(Serves 4-6)


  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste (we used a powder spice blend the day we photographed because we couldn’t find paste anywhere. Use a paste if you can find it; it’s so much better)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined (whatever size you like)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with side of knife
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion or granulated onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
  • about 1/4 cup loosely packed dill leaves
  • optional garnish: sliced scallion, feta crumbles, olive oil drizzle, toasted pine nuts, croutons


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together harissa, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate.
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, a pinch of kosher salt and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the dried onion and chili powder, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce heat to achieve a simmer. Let the tomato sauce simmer for about 15 minutes (while shrimp is grilling).
  5. Now throw those shrimp on a hot grill! Shrimp are cooked when flesh is opaque and pink. Cook time depends on the size of shrimp, but generally 2-3 minutes per side should do it.
  6. Spoon sauce onto a serving dish. Top it with grilled shrimp, and garnish with dill leaves and feta crumbles. Optionally, add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle on toasted pine nuts and croutons.

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(Recipe and photos by Ashley Bare / Brit + Co)