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Oven Baked Harissa Chicken Tenders

Let’s make Oven Baked Harissa Chicken with Pomegranate! This chicken meal prep recipe is full of flavor, health, and simplicity. Picture succulent, oven baked chicken tenderloins and diced turnips coated in a vibrant harissa sauce, seasoned to perfection and baked to juicy perfection. What makes this dish a winner for busy individuals? It’s a combination of bold flavors that won’t break the bank, a nutritional powerhouse with lean protein and vibrant veggies, and a no-fuss, one-pan wonder that’ll have you savoring every bite without spending hours in the kitchen.

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Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 1016mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 329IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg
oven baked harissa chicken on a plate with veggies

What is Harissa?

Harissa is a versatile and flavorful condiment originating from North Africa. We love this condiment for meal prep because it’s known for its bold and spicy profile, making it a popular addition to various dishes. The primary ingredients in harissa include chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and a blend of spices such as coriander, cumin, and caraway. 

Harissa is often used as a condiment to add heat and depth to dishes. It can be spread on bread, mixed into sauces, marinades, or dressings, and used as a flavor booster in soups, stews, and roasted dishes. It’s versatility is why we love using it for our oven baked chicken meal prep.

Why You’ll Love This Oven Baked Chicken Recipe

  • Quick and Easy Prep: Time is precious, and this recipe respects that. With minimal chopping and mixing, you’ll have a flavorful feast on the table without spending hours in the kitchen. It’s the perfect solution for those hectic days.
  • Healthy Goodness: Packed with lean protein from the chicken and nutrient-rich turnips, this dish is a nutritional powerhouse. Harissa sauce not only adds a kick but also brings metabolism-boosting capsaicin to the party. We’re talking about fueling your body with the good stuff!
  • Budget-Friendly Brilliance: We get it – budget matters. This recipe uses simple, accessible ingredients that won’t break the bank. Turnips are not only budget-friendly but also add a lovely earthy sweetness to the dish. You can enjoy a gourmet-style meal without a hefty price tag.
  • Flavor Fiesta: Harissa sauce brings a delightful North African flair, infusing the chicken and turnips with a spicy, smoky flavor. The paprika and garlic powder add depth, while the pomegranate seeds and pepperoncini peppers provide a burst of freshness and tang. It’s a symphony of tastes that’ll make your taste buds dance!
  • Convenient Sheet Pan Magic: Who loves doing dishes? Exactly. This recipe is a one-pan wonder. Toss everything on a sheet pan, pop it in the oven, and voila – minimal cleanup, maximum flavor. It’s a win-win for anyone who wants a delicious meal without the kitchen chaos.

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Ingredient Breakdown

  • Chicken Tenderloins: Lean Protein Powerhouse. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, essential for muscle maintenance and repair. It keeps you feeling full for longer, making it a fantastic choice for those looking to manage their weight.
  • Turnips: Fiber-Rich Satiety: Turnips bring in a substantial amount of dietary fiber. Fiber is the unsung hero when it comes to feeling satisfied after a meal – it slows down digestion, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and contributes to a lasting feeling of fullness.
  • Harissa Sauce: Metabolism Boost with Capsaicin: Harissa sauce, made from chili peppers, contains capsaicin. This compound not only adds a delightful heat but also boosts metabolism, aiding in weight management. Plus, the spiciness can help control appetite.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: Antioxidant Richness. Pomegranate seeds are bursting with antioxidants, particularly punicalagins and anthocyanins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects, support heart health, and contribute to overall well-being.
  • Pepperoncini Peppers: Vitamin C Kick. These peppers bring a tangy zing and a dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only essential for a strong immune system but also aids in the absorption of non-heme iron from plant-based sources like turnips, enhancing overall nutrient utilization.
  • Paprika: Antioxidant Boost. Paprika, derived from bell peppers, adds flavor while contributing antioxidants like beta-carotene. Antioxidants play a crucial role in neutralizing free radicals, supporting cellular health and longevity.
  • Olive Oil: Healthy Fats for Satiety. Olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These fats contribute to satiety, helping you stay full and satisfied after your meal.
oven baked chicken harissa on a plate

How to Meal Prep Harissa Chicken Tenders

  1. Preheat your oven to a toasty 425°F. We’re getting that crispy goodness started! Peel and dice those turnips into cute little 1/2 inch cubes. It’s like a veggie dance party in your kitchen!
  2. In a big mixing bowl, throw in your chicken tenderloins and those diced turnips. Now, let’s get saucy! Add in the harissa sauce, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and the star of the show – olive oil. Give it a good mix until everything is coated and ready to party.
  3. Lay out your chicken and turnip masterpiece on a sheet pan. It’s like a canvas of deliciousness. Pop it in the preheated oven and let the magic happen for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken hits that perfect 165°F internal temperature.
  4. Once your oven has worked its wonders, take out your creation and sprinkle it with pomegranate seeds and those zesty pepperoncini peppers. It’s the grand finale – flavor explosion!
  5. Now, serve it up and revel in the deliciousness you’ve just created. It’s a healthy, budget-friendly masterpiece that’s as easy as it is tasty.

Reference the recipe card below for detailed instructions.

oven baked harissa chicken on a plate

Pairing Tips for Harissa Chicken

  • Couscous or Quinoa: Serve the harissa chicken over a bed of fluffy couscous or nutty quinoa. These grains are excellent for soaking up the flavorful juices and adding a satisfying texture to each bite.
  • Greek Yogurt Sauce: Whip up a quick and refreshing Greek yogurt sauce with a dash of lemon juice, chopped mint, and a pinch of salt. This creamy sauce complements the spiciness of harissa and adds a cooling element to the meal.
  • Green Salad with Feta: Create a simple green salad with fresh greens, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. Crumble some feta cheese over the top for a burst of creaminess and tang, balancing the heat from the harissa.
  • Herb-infused Rice: Elevate your meal with a side of herb-infused rice. Toss in some chopped parsley, dill, and a squeeze of lemon juice for a fragrant and flavorful accompaniment.
  • Garlic Hummus and Pita: Serve a side of garlic-infused hummus with warm, toasted pita bread. The creamy hummus adds richness, and the pita provides a satisfying element for scooping up the harissa chicken.
  • Tabbouleh Salad: Tabbouleh, a salad made with finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, and bulgur, is a fantastic side dish. It’s light, refreshing, and the citrusy notes will complement the harissa spice.
  • Citrusy Cucumber Salad: Combine sliced cucumbers with oranges, red onion, and a citrus vinaigrette. This salad adds a burst of freshness and a juicy, citrusy element to balance the meal.
harissa chicken

Oven Baked Harissa Chicken with Pomegranate

Indulge in the bold flavors of Oven Baked Harissa Chicken with Pomegranate, a one-pan wonder that's budget-friendly, packed with lean protein and vibrant veggies, making meal prep a breeze for busy individuals.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 2
Calories 327 kcal


  • knife
  • cutting board
  • mixing bowl
  • sheet pan
  • oven


  • 12 oz chicken tenderloins
  • 2 each turnips
  • 2 tbsp harissa sauce
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Pre-heat the oven to 425F
  • Peel and dice the turnips into 1/2 inch cubes
  • In a mixing bowl add the chicken tenderloins and diced turnips
  • Add the harissa sauce, seasonings, and olive oil and mix it all together. Make sure the chicken and turnips are fully coated with the sauce and seasonings
  • Place the chicken and turnips on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F
  • Serve the chicken with pomegranate seeds and pepperonicini peppers


Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used. Please consult with your healthcare provider for specific dietary needs. To gain a better understanding, explore our nutrition disclaimer here


Calories: 327kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 38gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 774mgPotassium: 1016mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 329IUVitamin C: 45mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different cut of chicken for this recipe?

Absolutely! While the recipe calls for chicken tenderloins, you can use other cuts like chicken breasts or thighs. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they reach a safe internal temperature.

I can’t find harissa sauce. Can I substitute it with something else?

While harissa has a unique flavor, you can try a mix of tomato paste, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and a touch of cayenne as a substitute. Adjust the quantities to your taste preference.

Is this recipe suitable for a low-carb diet?

Yes! The dish is relatively low in carbohydrates, especially if you pair it with cauliflower rice or a low-carb side.

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