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For a bright yet warm salad great for dinner or meal-prepping, look no further than this Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Salad with Harissa Ranch!
I often draw recipe inspiration from restaurants I’ve been to, tweaking little things here and there to make it even more special + using my own mix of preferred ingredients and cooking methods. This Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Salad with Harissa Ranch are inspired by Cava, a fast-casual Mediterranean spot known for its bright and flavorful salads and bowls.
Spiced lamb and crunchy chickpeas are drizzled with a smoky harissa ranch that perfectly offsets the sweetness of the orange and fennel. It’s the perfect intro to spring and summer – and perfect for meal prep!
While there are quite a few ingredients, there are only a few components you’re actually cooking — the rest is all assembly.
Looking for more ways to use harissa?
Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Salad with Harissa Ranch
For the Harissa Ranch:
- 1 cup homemade mayo
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 scallions trimmed and chopped
- 3 tbsp mild harissa paste I use Mina brand. *You can use a spicy version for extra heat!
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 lemon
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
For the Chickpeas + Lamb:
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp za’atar
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1 [14-oz] can chickpeas drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ lb. ground lamb
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 tbsp mild harissa paste
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
For the Salad:
- 10 oz shredded kale and cabbage blend I used the cruciferous crunch blend from Trader Joe’s
- ¼ cup thinly shaved red onion
- 1 small bulb fennel shaved thin
- 2 navel oranges segmented
- 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 oz crumbled feta optional
Make the Ranch:
- In a food processor, add the mayo, garlic, scallions, harissa paste, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, dill, cilantro, lemon juice and zest, and vinegar. Blend on medium until smooth and combined. Transfer to a mason jar and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Cook the Chickpeas + Lamb:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, za’atar and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Add the drained and dried chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet, season with 1/2 tsp salt, half of the spice blend, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until the chickpeas are golden and crisp. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.
- For the lamb, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with olive oil. Once hot, add in the lamb and shallot, breaking up the lamb with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook for about 7 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat and transfer the skillet of lamb back to the heat.
- To the skillet, add in harissa, remaining spice blend, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to combine so that the meat is evenly coated. Cook, allowing the harissa to reduce a bit and the spices to toast, about 2-3 minutes, until you start to get a bit of a char. Reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, to keep warm while you prepare the salad.
Assemble the Salad:
- In a large bowl, add the cabbage and kale mix, shaved onion, and shaved fennel. Add 3-4 tbsp of the harissa ranch (or more to preference) and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Once the greens are coated, add in half the oranges and half of the herbs. Gently toss once more.
- To assemble your bowls, plate the salad and top with lamb, crunchy chickpeas, the remaining oranges and herbs, and feta, if using. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Photography by Eat Love Eats.