Merguez Bites

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Summer brings long evenings and the perfect excuse to invite friends and neighbors over for appetizers and drinks. I always like to serve at least one protein to my guests, preferably something hot, and a few dishes made with the summer’s bounty of fresh vegetables. The best appetizers are one or two bites and easy to manage on a plate while sipping a refreshing beverage.

These Merguez sausage bites offer a flavor packed bite that hits important notes on your palate–acid, sweet, and salt. The Merguez sausage is a unique sausage made from 100% lamb. The spice mixture takes you to Northern Africa with the warming flavors of cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper. The inspiration for this appetizer is a play on the traditional Moroccan tagine which often includes apricots and harissa. The yogurt in the dip helps calm down the spicy Moroccan sauce, but for your guests that like it spicy, you can serve this dish with a side of harissa in addition to the yogurt dip.

Merguez, with it’s globally inspired blend of spices is a great ingredient to experiment with in your kitchen. Food has a way of transporting us around the globe without leaving home. Your kitchen might be the best place to start “traveling!”

Thank you to the American Lamb Board with support for our lamb marketing efforts!


1-2 packages of Firsthand Foods Merguez

3 c. vegetable stock

1 small package dried apricots

7 oz. plain Greek yogurt

3 Tbs. Harissa sauce

2 tsp. Lemon juice

½ tsp. Salt


  1. Put the stock in a medium saucepan. Add the sausages. Turn the heat to medium high.
  2. Simmer the sausages for about 3 minutes. Remove the sausages and set aside.
  3. For the dip: combine the yogurt, harissa, lemon juice, and salt. Chill until ready to serve.
  4. Grill the Merguez sausages over indirect medium heat on a charcoal grill or medium heat on a gas grill until caramelized.
  5. To serve cut apricots in half. Cut sausages into bite size slices. Arrange on a platter with the dip and cocktail skewers on the side. Guests can make their own sausage/apricot skewers.

Serves 6-8