Moroccan Recipes

Transport your senses to the vibrant souks and sun-drenched landscapes of Morocco with these authentic and aromatic recipes. Moroccan cuisine is a kaleidoscope of flavors, expertly blending spices like cumin, cinnamon, and saffron into richly layered dishes. Achieving the perfect balance of sweet and savory notes while coaxing out complex aromas can be an enchanting culinary adventure.

From the iconic tagine with its tender meats and signature conical dish to classic plates like couscous and harissa soup, Moroccan recipes offer a tapestry of exotic yet approachable flavors to explore. Allow the intoxicating aromas of ras el hanout and preserved lemons to awaken your palate as you experience the magic of Moroccan cooking traditions.

In A Rush? Key Takeaways:

  • Discover iconic Moroccan dishes like tagine, couscous, harira soup
  • Master blending distinctive spices like cumin, cinnamon, saffron
  • Strike the perfect sweet-savory balance in richly layered flavors
  • Transport your senses to the vibrant souks of Morocco

1. Lamb Sausage Kefta

Kefta, or seasoned lamb sausages, are a beloved Moroccan street food. These oblong meatballs are made from a aromatic blend of ground lamb, spices like cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon, finely minced onions and parsley.

The flavor-packed mixture is shaped onto skewers or pressed around cane sticks before being grilled over hot coals until beautifully charred on the outside and juicy within. Kefta exemplifies the warm spices and bright herb flavors that define Moroccan cuisine. The sausages make a wonderful appetizer when served with lemon wedges, harissa or chermoula dipping sauces, and fluffy Moroccan breads to sop up any juices.

2. Saffron Chicken Tagine

The tagine is both a classic Moroccan dish and the iconic clay pot used to cook it. This saffron chicken tagine showcases the warm spices, dried fruits, and fragrant aromas that are hallmarks of Moroccan cuisine. Pieces of chicken are first seared with saffron, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon to create an initial layer of intense flavor. They’re then slowly stewed with onions, garlic, olives, and preserved lemons until fall-off-the-bone tender.

Dried apricots or prunes add delightful pops of sweet-tart chewiness to contrast the succulent chicken. Topped with a shower of bright green parsley and toasted almonds, this tagine looks as incredible as it tastes. As the conical tagine lid is removed, scents of the aromatic braise waft upwards. Each bite delivers the signature melange of Moroccan spices along with buttery, tender meat. Serve with crusty Khobz bread for sopping up every last drop of the richly-spiced sauce.

3. Spicy Merguez Scramble with Lemon-Harissa Yogurt and Moroccan M’smen

This utterly vibrant and flavor-packed dish makes an incredible Moroccan-inspired breakfast or brunch. Merguez, a beef and lamb sausage heavily spiced with harissa and aromatic spices, gets crumbled and sautéed with onions, peppers, and scrambled eggs. The merguez lends its signature heat and rich spice blend to the fluffy, tender scrambled eggs.

To contrast the spicy scramble, it’s accompanied by a tangy lemon-harissa yogurt sauce for dolloping over top and adding a bright, cooling element. Moroccan m’smen, a buttery layered flatbread similar to a laminated dough, gets torn into pieces for scooping up every last morsel. Each bite delivers an incredible array of flavors and textures – rich merguez spice against the zippy yogurt sauce, bursts of freshness from lemon, and the flaky warmth of the m’smen flatbread. It’s a true taste of Morocco to start the day.

4. Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spinach Soup

This hearty vegetarian soup is bursting with the vibrant flavors of Morocco. Chickpeas provide a delightful nutty backbone, while carrots lend their signature sweetness and beautiful orange hue. Handfuls of fresh spinach are stirred in just before serving, wilting down into silky ribbons.

What makes this humble soup utterly craveable are the warm spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and the berbere spice blend coating each packed spoonful. The aromatic broth gets its richness from olive oil and a tomato base seasoned with garlic and sautéed onions. Finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chopped parsley, it becomes a bright, vibrant meal. Serve with wedges of khobz bread for soaking up every last slurp of the fragrant broth. This soul-satisfying soup showcases just how delicious and nuanced vegetarian Moroccan cuisine can be.

5. Moroccan-Style Lamb Shanks

Slow-braised Moroccan-style lamb shanks are the epitome of the rich, aromatic flavors that define this cuisine. The lamb shanks get an initial sear to render out some of the fat and develop a beautiful brownedcrust before a long, gentle braise. They simmer for hours in a heady mixture of spices like ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and paprika along with tomatoes, onions, garlic and saffron-infused broth.

As the lamb cozies up to the warming spices, the meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender while the braising liquid reduces down to an intensely flavored sauce. Dried fruits like apricots or prunes add delightful bursts of sweetness to cut through the richness. The aromatic sauce is soaked up by fluffy couscous or crusty khobz bread. Each succulent bite reveals layers of North African spices and the unmistakable comforting essence of lamb that has melted into the sauce. It’s the ultimate Moroccan comfort food.

6. Shrimp and Vegetable Tagine with Preserved Lemon

This light yet immensely flavorful tagine showcases the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean coast of Morocco. Plump shrimp get quickly sautéed with a melange of seasonal vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, and handfuls of fresh parsley and cilantro. It’s all simmered together in a ceramic tagine vessel with generous amounts of olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin and the star ingredient – briny preserved lemon.

The preserved lemons add a bright, salty-acidic punch that brings vibrancy to each bite. As the tagine cooks, the flavors meld together while the shrimp stays tender and the vegetables retain their fresh crunch. To serve, the fragrant tagine gets topped with more handfuls of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of lemon zest over top. Scoop it up with torn pieces of khobz bread to enjoy every last bit of the luscious juices. It’s a lighter, tangier spin on the classic tagine that truly captures the flavors of coastal Morocco.