Harissa spiced ground beef over healthy carrot noodles is a spicy low-carb (ish) dinner ready in less than 30 minutes. Perfect one pot recipe for a weeknight dinner that is anything but ordinary.
We love this gluten-free recipe because it is healthy and over the top on flavor thanks to the harissa paste. It is budget-friendly clocking in at under $3 a serving. Plus, it great for meal prep. both the harissa beef and the carrot noodles hold up well to reheating making it great for lunches.
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I created this harissa beef recipe years ago when I was doing a 30-day clean eating challenge, think Whole30 or paleo. But we liked it so much it that it became a staple go-to weeknight dinner with enough leftovers for lunch.
With just a few ingredients it makes for an ideal dinner.
🧾Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground Beef- We prefer grass-fed ground beef from Butcher Box.
- Harissa Paste- Homemade harissa paste is by far our favorite. But store bought paste works just fine as well. Use as much as you like to get your desired spiciness level.
- Onion- We use white onions, but a yellow, sweet, or red onions work fine. You can even use shallots or leeks.
- Tomato Paste- The tomato paste adds just a hint of sweetness to counterbalance the heat of the harissa.
- Carrot Noodles- Not gonna lie... I don't own a spiralizer. I buy all my veggies pre-noodled if you will. Trader Joe's has frozen carrot noodles that I always have on hand. But carrot noodles are also available at our local grocery change, both fresh and frozen. You can also substitute zucchini, squash, or sweet potato noodles.
- Fresh Parsley- This recipe needs a little green, it is rather, umm, orange. You can also use scallions or cilantro for a pop of color.
- Optional Add Ons- Fresh spinach or kale, chopped tomatoes, canned artichokes, sliced olives, or red kidney beans.
This recipe starts with browning the ground beef in a saute pan. If your ground beef is less than 15% fat I recommend adding oil or bacon fat to the pan to prevent excessive sticking.
Break the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook it, stirring from time to time, until it becomes brown and crispy. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened. The total cook time for the browning and the onions should be about 8 minutes.
Stir in the harissa paste, tomato paste, and ¼ cup of water. If adding certain optional ingredients like olives or artichokes, you can add them now. Hold off on any leafy greens.
While the beef is cooking we are going to start on the carrot noodles. In a saute pan add oil, carrot noodles, and ¼ cup of water. If they are frozen just break them as best you can, no worries if it is a giant brick of carrots.
Cover the carrots and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover and stir, cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the water is evaporated and the carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in any optional ingredients like spinach or kale into your beef now. Heat until just wilted.
Divide carrot noodles into 4 bowls. Top with harissa beef and garnish with parsley.
To make this meal a one-pot dish add the carrot noodles after stirring in the harissa paste. Increase the water to a half cup. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Uncover and stir, cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add the parsley and serve.
When making this for dinner I prefer the two pot method, it looks a bit nicer and the carrots have a better texture.
When making as meal prep lunches I prefer the one-pot method because it makes reheating easier.
Whether you are making this for your weekly meal prep or just have a bit leftover harissa beef holds up well to reheating.
Store leftovers in a an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. Reheat in a saute pan over medium heat.
Ir reheat in the microwave with a paper towel covering the bowl. The harissa paste can get a bit splattery.
🥗 More 30 Minute Meals
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Harissa Beef and Carrot Noodles
- Place saute pan over medium heat. Add ground beef (plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil if your beef is less than 15% fat) and salt Break the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook it, stirring from time to time, until it becomes brown and crispy about 8 minutes.
- Add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the harissa paste, tomato paste, and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- While the beef is cooking, add olive oil, carrot noodles, and ¼ cup of water to a large saute pan. Cover and place over medium heat. Cook 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover and stir, cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the water is evaporated and the carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide carrot noodles into 4 bowls. Top with harissa beef and garnish with parsley.
- This makes a great meal prep lunch. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
- Adjust the amount of harissa paste to your preferred level of spiciness. You can use store bought or homemade harissa paste.