A classic Italian pizzeria favorite gets a spicy twist in these harissa garlic knots.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mina Harissa. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own!!
harissa garlic knots

What’s going on this week?


Oh, only that I’m being abandoned. By my lab BESTIE.

It’s emotionally draining, let me tell you.


Okay, he’s one of my many lab besties. But it’s still tough times.


I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a biology lab before, but let me tell you, it is close quarters. You and your labmates share reagents, drinks, and chest colds. It’s great! You also spend almost every waking minute together, so you pretty much become family in addition to being friends.

Maybe sometimes you karaoke to the Spice Girls in the middle of experiments.

Maybe you have impromptu dance parties in the lunch room on the regular.

Maybe there’s a daily Gossip Session by your desk every afternoon.

Maybe you know everyone’s favorite brand of toothpaste.

That close.


Anyway, the guy who is leaving is my bay-mate, which pretty much means that we’ve sat less than a foot away from each other for the past THREE YEARS. (It’s kind of like we share a cubicle.) He’s abandoning me for greener pastures and a higher-than-poverty-level salary, and though I can’t say I blame him, I will miss him SO MUCH.

He has taught me everything I know about vegetarian Indian cuisine (he’s from Gujarat), has made me laugh an innumerable amount of times with his dry sense of humor and his impeccable head wobble, has waaayyy more business sense than I do and is always trying to get me to let him invest my money in the stock market, and cares way too much about lab gossip (even though he pretends he’s indifferent).

Oh, and he has the most adorable three year old. Ever.


I like to think that I’ve rubbed off on him as much as he’s rubbed off on me (hence his obsession with lab gossip), and as such, I take full responsibility for his passion for pizza. For his last day on Friday we are taking him out for his favorite slice, but I thought I would start the celebration (errrr farewell party) early with these garlic knots! Because what is a pizza pie without some buttery cheesy garlicky garlic knots to wash it down with?

I can’t even imagine.


Garlic knots are one of the more perfect carb entities on this earth, but I pinky swear they’re even better when you douse the dough in harissa before knotting and baking. They can be a little rich on their own, but the heat from the harissa cuts that and just makes them even more addictive. If that were possible.

I’ve spoken about this before, but my favorite brand of harissa is Mina Harissa. In my opinion, they strike the perfect balance between spice and flavor, so that you get the heat, but in a way so that you can actually taste it. It’s not blinding hot, but tasty hot, if that makes sense. And it will undoubtedly wake up your garlic knots from their hundred year slumber. That’s a promise.


Harissa Garlic Knots
A classic Italian pizzeria favorite gets a spicy twist in these harissa garlic knots.
Yield: 10 rolls
For the rolls
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ⅓-1/2 cup harissa
For the garlic topping
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, ¼ cup warm water, and a pinch of sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until it starts to look foamy.
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment, mix together the flours. Add in the foamy yeast mixture, remaining water, olive oil, and salt. Combine on medium speed until it comes together. Raise speed to medium-high and allow it to knead to the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not overly so. If it is too sticky, then add in a bit more flour.
  3. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. When the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 10x10-inch square. Brush with the harissa so that it is completely covered. Use a pastry cutter to cut into 10 1-inch strips. Tie a knot in the center of each strip and wrap the ends around and under the knot. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips.
  5. Heat oven to 400F. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. While the bread bakes, whisk together the garlic, butter, olive oil, oregano, parmesan cheese, and salt. When the rolls come out of the oven, spoon the garlic mixture over them. Let cool slightly before serving.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 roll


More adventures with yeast!

easy cloverfield dinner rolls

Easy Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

soft dinner rolls with rosemary and black pepper

Soft Dinner Rolls with Rosemary and Black Pepper

sweet potato chickpea quinoa burgers on homemade pretzel rolls

Homemade Pretzel Rolls

From Around the Web:

Texas Roadhouse Rolls from Stephie Cooks

Honey Butter Pull-Apart Rolls from High Heels & Grills

Garlic Cheese Bombs from Spend With Pennies

Parmesan Pesto Skillet Rolls from Girl Versus Dough

Stuffed Pretzel Rolls with Beer Cheese Sauce from Annie’s Eats


harissa garlic knots
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41 Responses to Harissa Garlic Knots

  1. Lynn says:

    I hope you get a new lab partner who is every bit as much fun as he. It’s wonderful when you have someone great like that to work with.

    And I wish I had one of those garlic knots right now – even in the 6am hour. They look delicious.

  2. That garlic! That harissa! *swoon* LOVING IT!

  3. Look at all that garlic! There is no such thing as too much garlic in my opinion. I only recently tried harissa, and I loved it.

  4. So you are basically losing your work husband? Always hard!

    But ah these rolls…. please bring on the spicy carbs!!!

  5. My mouth is watering! These look amazing!
    So sorry your lab bestie is leaving 🙁 It’s great that you’ve had such a wonderful colleague though for the past few years! 🙂

  6. Kelly says:

    Aaw sorry your lab bestie is leaving. Spicy garlic knots sounds like a great way to cope! All that garlic and harissa ook incredible!

  7. I’ll take the whole batch!! Delicious!

  8. So fun!!! Love these garlic twists, and LOVE the addition of Mina Harissa! Love that stuff 😉

  9. are you freaking kidding me with these?!!!! your lab sounds so fun and God bless your friend for teaching you about vegetarian Indian cuisine!! oh my gawd, these garlic knots?!!!! AMAZING!!!

  10. what a fab twist on garlic knots! a perfect tribute to your lab mate 🙂 🙂

  11. Aw I totally understand your pain! I had a really hard time leaving my grad school lab and now in my new lab I’ve already bonded with a couple of my new labmates and of course those two are the ones leaving at the end of the summer! Lab bonds are special for sure and it sounds like your lab dynamic is very similar to both labs I have been in which means they are freaking awesome.

  12. At least the farewell will be made better with these garlic knots! I would love to try this!!

  13. These look AWESOME! I love that harissa, and I would have never thought to add it to garlic knots. MAJOR yum!

  14. Heather says:

    I love anything with massive amounts of garlic, and these look absolutely mouth-watering! Hopefully your new lab partner will be just as much fun!

  15. Its so sad to lose a great work partner. These spicy garlic knots sounds delicious. The garlic and harissa look mouth watering.

  16. SallyBR says:

    It is interesting to get your perspective on saying goodbye to a lab mate, which can be very tough. But it is also tough when you are the lab “manager” – or as I am designated a “co-PI” – sometimes there is this perfect atmosphere, the students are in full harmony, they clearly have fun doing their experiments together and Phil and I feel that things will never be the same once X or Y or W graduate and leave. Interestingly enough, there is change, adjustment, but a new great phase always pops up. Between you and me, right now things are not that good, we have a “problem child” that has serious issues as far as social skills go

    hang in there, and I wish someone would bake me harissa knots to say goodbye. Or hello, as apparently I am gonna stay in the lab for a decade still

  17. Kate says:

    The color on these is phenomenal!

  18. I’m so sorry that you’re losing a buddy like that – so hard!! But at least you can console yourself with these gorgeous garlic knots. 🙂 Man they look delicious!

  19. Karly says:

    Gimme all of these. I totally know what you’re saying about the heat vs. flavor. I hate when my taste buds die from an onslaught of too much spice. I like a little flavor mixed in there.

    Sorry about your buddy. That stinks! 🙁

  20. Shit yeah! This sounds AWESOME!! I must try these! I love the red color they get from the harissa!

  21. grace says:

    oh boy, joanne. these look SO good. i can almost smell the yeasty, spicy, garlicky aroma from here!

  22. OMG – yet another of your recipes I want for breakfast – NOW:)

  23. These look incredible. I pretty much want your lab guy and you to be my co-workers. So I can have Indian food and garlic knots.

  24. Pam says:

    Sorry your lab bestie is moving on. It’s great that you guys got along so well and I hope you get a new one like him. Pass the garlic knots over please, they look great!

  25. Ahh, I don’t think I’ve ever tried Harissa, but these knots look sooo good! I kinda have a love/hate relationship with lab settings so I know how hard it can be when a lab partner leaves. At least you can devour these knots 😉

  26. Danguole says:

    Oh man. You always have great ideas, but I think this is by far one of my favorites. I need these now! Nowwwwww.

  27. Christine says:

    I want to make these right now! They look mouthwatering. Never had harissa before. Exactly how spicy is it? Sorry to hear about your lab pal leaving you, hope whoever takes his spot will be just as special.

  28. Those are just genius! I love harissa anything!

  29. i need a jar of Mina ASAP..what a bummer he is leaving 🙁

  30. Amanda says:

    These are amazing! I love everything about this recipe!

  31. Yum. I could do with these for lunch today. And, I’m so glad you still get to go to Italy for your honeymoon 🙂

  32. You are certainly sending him off in style! All the best to him – he’ll be having second thoughts after being farewelled with your amazing baking 😛

  33. Marisa says:

    I…. don’t have Harissa. I don’t even know what it is or where to get it. I’m sad. 🙁

    • joanne says:

      Harissa is basically a Moroccan condiment made from spicy red peppers. Do you have a Whole Foods near you? I know that they carry it…or an Indian market should also! In it’s place you could always use sriracha!!

  34. Too bad that your lab partner is leaving. I am sure you will miss him. The garlic knots look yummy!

  35. Johanna GGG says:

    I can’t say I have ever had garlic knots with pizza but this sounds pretty tempting – hope you are not pining for your lab bestie – he sounds like a great person to have close by at work

  36. Um hello perfection. I have a jar of this very harissa in my pantry and I keep forgetting to figure out what to do with it. Problem. Solved.

  37. […] inspiration came in the form of these Harissa Garlic Knots which look amazing and I highly doubt eating just one would be […]

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