Can You Freeze Harissa Paste?

Harissa paste adds punchy garlic and warm chilli to a variety of dishes with ease. But a little will often go a long way which leaves you with a jar of the stuff going to waste. So the question is, can you freeze harissa paste or not?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze harissa paste. Harissa paste can be frozen for around 3 months. Freeze harissa in the slots of an ice cube tray. Once frozen solid, pop the cubes out into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. 

How To Freeze Harissa Paste

An ice cube tray will come in handy here! Be warned, however, that the bright red pigment from harissa may stain your ice cube tray so try to use an old or cheap ice cube tray and not some fancy silicone tray with flashy shapes:

  1. Portion Into Ice Cubes
    Spoon your harissa paste into the slots of an ice cube tray. Fill them up to around 80% full then top with a small drizzle of olive oil. You just want to seal the top. This will protect your harissa.
  2. Wrap and Freeze
    Wrap the tray in a layer of clingfilm and then place it into the freezer.
  3. Bag Up
    Once the cubes have frozen solid, you can pop them out into a freezer bag to free up your ice cube tray and to store them for the longer term.

3 Tips for Freezing Harissa Paste

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing harissa paste to have the best results:

  • Seal With Oil – One of the best ways to keep the air out from harissa when freezing is to add a thin layer of olive oil to the top of the ice cube. This will seal it.
  • Use an Old Ice Cube Tray – Harissa will mark and taint your ice cube tray. Don’t use it for making ice for your favourite cocktail in future as it will smell, unfortunately!
  • Don’t Defrost – If you’re using harissa in a stew, soup or tagine then just pop a frozen cube into the dish. It will melt almost instantly. 

How Long Can You Freeze Harissa Paste?

We would recommend using your frozen harissa paste within 3 months of freezing it. There is a chance that the flavour will degrade the longer you leave it in the freezer. The last thing you want is to use harissa that doesn’t actually taste of anything.

That’s why it’s vital that you label up your frozen harissa paste with the date they were frozen so you know when to get them used up by.

You Can Freeze Harissa Paste for Around 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Harissa Paste?

If you need to use it thawed, in a yoghurt dressing for example, then you’ll need to defrost it overnight in the fridge.

If, however, you want to mix it into a dish you’re cooking such as a stew then you can pop a cube directly into your hot pan without having to thaw it.

It will defrost in a matter of minutes!

Can You Refreeze Harissa Paste?

You can refreeze it but you may find that the colour becomes a little more muted and the flavour degrades far quicker. That’s why we would highly recommend using the ice cube method so that you can easily defrost and use a portion at a time.

Does Harissa Paste Freeze Well?

Because you’ll often mix your harissa into a dish, it doesn’t matter that the texture of your paste is likely to change somewhat when frozen.

The good news is that the flavour won’t be impacted greatly which is why harissa paste does freeze pretty well.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing harissa paste or harissa in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Harissa Marinated Chicken?

Harissa works amazingly well with a range of meats (and even just vegetables). But can you marinate your chicken in harissa and then freeze it?

Well, yes you can! Marinate your chicken as you normally would then please into a freezer bag before sealing up and placing in the freezer. That’s all there is to it!

Can You Freeze Shop-Bought Harissa?

Most of the time, you’ll probably buy your harissa from the shop – it’s quite time-consuming making your own. But can you freeze it? You certainly can and the method for doing so is exactly the same as the ice cube method on this page.

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