Jump on the hottest food trend right now, by adding harissa to your pantry! This North African chili pepper paste is so delicious tossed with shrimp! Serve the harissa shrimp over warm, fluffy quinoa with a fresh tomato cucumber salad in this healthy, gluten free shrimp bowl recipe!
It's easy to make in under 30 minutes and perfect for meal prep. Sub in cauliflower rice for the quinoa to make a delicious keto bowl.
There's nothing I love more than creating an incredibly flavorful meal in less than 30 minutes! If it's also healthy and gorgeous, it gets bonus points for sure. This Harissa Shrimp Bowl gets ALL THE POINTS!
This colorful, flavorful bowl is so easy to make, but will have your taste buds singing! Where does all that flavor come from? Fresh ingredients, harissa sauce and zhoug sauce. If you're not familiar with harissa or zhoug, it's okay, neither was I until a few months ago!
Harissa is a North African chili pepper sauce that's become the it-sauce of the moment! You can now find it at most major grocery stores, including Trader Joe's.
It's great for creating creamy, flavorful sauces, like this Harissa Tahini Sauce. It's also delicious as a marinade for meats, or on it's own, served on top of roasted veggies, grilled chicken or shrimp.
Zhoug is a spicy cilantro sauce originating in Yemen. It's the up-and-coming sauce right now! It's sold at Trader Joe's, which is where I first stumbled upon the delicious sauce.
But don't worry, if you don't have a TJ's near you, I've got a recipe for Zhoug sauce that's so easy to make at home.
Using one of these scrumptious sauces as a marinade for the shrimp and the other as a topping for the bowl, creates an incredibly flavorful meal in no time at all!
What you'll need
- Olive Oil
- Harissa Sauce - North African Chili Paste, found in the spice aisle of most major grocery stores or online.
- Shrimp - should be peeled and deveined before starting the recipe. I recommend tails removed, but that's up to you! For this recipe I used a medium size shrimp, 41-50. Feel free to use the shrimp size of your choice. For smaller shrimp you'll only need to cook them for 3-4 minutes, for larger shrimp, you'll need to cook them for 6-8 minutes.
- Quinoa - follow this link for 3 ways to cook quinoa, in an Instant Pot, on the stovetop or in a rice cooker. Start cooking the quinoa before preparing the recipe. Instant Pot quinoa will take about 20 minutes to cook start-to-finish, the stove top will take 30 minutes and the rice cooker will take 35 minutes.
- Tomato Cucumber Salad - after you've got the quinoa cooking, prepare the tomato cucumber salad. It only takes 10 minutes to make and adds so much flavor to this bowl!
- Optional Toppings - while these additions are optional, they are highly recommended!
- Avocado - because thinly sliced avocado, on a bowl, is always a welcome addition!
- Zhoug Sauce - you have to try this hot new sauce, it pairs perfectly with the flavors of this bowl! Use my recipe to make your own at home or pick up the sauce at your local Trader Joe's.
- Lemon - a lemon wedge juiced over this shrimp bowl gives a nice, zesty finish to the recipe!
Step by step instructions
- Cook quinoa and prepare the tomato cucumber salad, then set aside.
- Add shrimp to a large bowl or plastic zipper bag with olive oil and harissa sauce. Toss to coat well, then set aside. (See image above.)
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat on the stove.
- Note: Any large skillet will work, but a cast iron skillet is preferred
- Once the skillet is hot, add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Quick Tip! Remember to adjust the time up 1-2 minutes for large or jumbo shrimp or down 1-2 minutes for small shrimp.
- Divide the cooked quinoa between four bowls. Top with the cooked harissa shrimp and tomato cucumber salsa. Add the optional toppings of your choice, like sliced avocado, zhoug sauce and lemon wedges.
Make the bowl vegan
- Replace the shrimp with Harissa roasted cauliflower or broccoli. Toss 6 cups of cauliflower or broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Place in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the roasted cauliflower or broccoli from the oven and toss with 3 tablespoons harissa sauce. Check out this Harissa Broccoli Bowl recipe for more information.
Make the bowl low carb
- Replace the quinoa with cauliflower rice. This will reduce the bowls from 23 total carbs per bowl, down to 8 net carbs per bowl.
Meal prep the bowl
- For storage: Divide the cooked quinoa between four plastic storage containers. Cook the shrimp according to the recipe and divide it between the storage containers. Add ¼ cup tomato cucumber salad to each storage container. If serving the bowl with avocado, wrap ¼ avocado tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the container with the other ingredients. Pour the zhoug sauce into a small salad dressing container and store in the larger container with the quinoa and shrimp.
- To reheat and eat: I actually recommend eating this bowl cold when meal-prepping. If you'd like to reheat the shrimp and quinoa, place them together in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. Top with the tomato cucumber salad and the optional toppings of your choice.
Add a protein to the bowl
- The shrimp in this bowl provides a good amount of protein, so no extra protein is needed. Each bowl contains 28 grams of protein.
- If you're making this bowl vegan and would like to add plant based protein, I recommend sprinkling one tablespoon of hemp seeds on top of the bowl. This will add 3 grams of protein to each bowl.
More popular quinoa bowls to try
- Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls
- 10 Minute Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Vegetarian Enchilada Bowls
- Chipotle Cauliflower Vegan Taco Bowl
- Za'atar Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl
- Indian Cauliflower Bowl with Roasted Chickpeas
- Mexican Elote Bowl
- Jerk Chicken Bowls
Harissa Shrimp Bowl
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- ¼ cup zhoug sauce
- 1 lemon sliced into wedges
- Cook the quinoa and prepare the tomato cucumber salad, set aside.
- Add the olive oil, harissa sauce and shrimp to a large bowl or plastic zipper bag and toss to coat.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
- Once the skillet is heated, add the shrimp and cook for 4-6 minutes, flipping half way through.
- Divide the quinoa between four bowls.
- Top with the cooked shrimp and tomato cucumber salsa.
- Optionally, add ¼ sliced avocado and lemon wedge to each bowl for juicing over the shrimp.
- Serve with zhoug sauce on the side or drizzled over the bowls, if you'd like.
- The nutritional information provided does not include the optional toppings.
- While a cast iron skillet is recommended, any large skillet will work.
- If using large or jumbo shrimp, add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time. If using small shrimp, remove 1-2 minutes from the cooking time.