Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew

If you are tired of serving the same meals over and over, try Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew. This exotic sounding but simple one pot meal from North Africa can be prepared in under an hour. Your family and friends will love this delicious dish filled with tender chicken, chickpeas and vegetables simmered in a broth seasoned with warming spices.

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew With Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas And Vegetables

Served with a side of fluffy couscous to absorb the  flavorful and aromatic sauce, the stew is light yet filling. It is perfectly seasoned but if you want something spicy hot, you can serve the stew with a small bowl of harissa, a spicy Moroccan chili pepper paste, on the side for added heat and flavor.

This Moroccan chicken stew recipe is easily adapted to your own taste and preferences. Leave out the chicken and substitute the chicken stock with vegetable broth and you will have a wonderful vegetarian meal. Other vegetables such a pumpkin, carrots, parsnips or turnips could also be used.

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew Is Perfect When Entertaining Friends

If you will be preparing this dish for an evening with friends, I suggest serving the chicken stew with a condiment tray of dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, raisins, figs, dates, cashews and pistachios. Pitted olives, chopped preserved lemons, fresh mint and cilantro are also good toppings for the stew.

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew

Serves 2 to 4, adjust the recipe accordingly.

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (figure 2 thighs a person), cut into bite size pieces
  • Flour for dredging the chicken
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger (about a 1 inch piece) or 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. Ras El Hanout* a traditional North African spice mix available from ethnic markets and some grocery stores
  • 2 tsp. harissa, a Moroccan chili pepper paste that comes in a can or tube (adjust to your preference for heat)
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 – 4 c. chicken stock, homemade if possible
  • l large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 yellow squash, cubed
  • chopped cilantro, garnish (optional)
  • 1 c. dried couscous, prepared according to package directions.

*Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan blend of spices such as cardamom, cayenne, coriander, cumin, paprika, peppercorns and turmeric with a little sweetness from spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you can’t find the blend at your local market, you can find a recipe at the link I’ve underlined in blue above. You can also just add a little extra of the other spices I’ve listed for this recipe.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper then dredge in flour, shaking off the excess. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium and when hot, add the chicken. Cook until just browned, about 1 – 2 minutes per side then transfer to a plate. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, all the spices and the harissa and stir to mix well then cook, stirring for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and reserved chicken, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the sweet potatoes are just getting tender. Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Add in the zucchini and squash and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

While the stew is simmering, prepare the couscous according to the package directions. Fluff and keep warm. To serve the stew, place a little couscous in individual bowls then ladle in some stew and garnish with cilantro, if desired.


  • Try to cut the vegetables into equal sizes so that they will cook evenly.


Moroccan chicken stew is perfect for entertaining a group. If you are planning to serve the stew to guests, you can have it prepared an hour ahead of time. To do so, only cook the squash until barely tender crisp, cover the pot and place in a 200 degree oven until your guests arrive. The ingredients will continue to cook and the flavors will meld. When your friends step in your kitchen, they will be greeted by the wonderful aromas of this flavorful dish. Serve the chicken stew with warmed pitas or flatbreads and a condiment tray of dried fruits, nuts, herbs and harissa, for those who like it hot, and your guests will be very happy.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
This entry was posted in food, Home, lifestyle, recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew

  1. Great recipe. I love Moroccan food. I watched ras el hanout being ground for me at a stall in the spice market in Marrakesh. Luckily I can easily buy it in supermarkets in London.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kay, Marrakesh must have been a wonderful experience. I’m happy that I too can get Ras El Hanout at one of our markets too. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you like the recipe.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    That looks delicious. You are quite right to serve it with additional harissa on the side, most Moroccan places do this because some of the heat and flavour dissipates during cooking.

    • Karen says:

      You are so right Mad Dog about some of the heat and flavor disappearing when cooking the harissa. Thank you for your compliment about the chicken stew.

  3. Karen, I’ve never tried this spice before but it sounds like something I’d go for and a great way to change up the menu. 🙂

  4. Darlene says:

    This could so easily be turned into a vegetarian dish. One I would love! Thanks.

  5. I love one pot meals! I’ve never cooked with these spices, I will have to branch out of my comfort zone 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenna, I think if you branch out of your comfort zone by using these spices that you won’t be disappointed. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

  6. Sunnycovechef says:

    I had a dish like this in Marrakech. I love the flavor of all the different spices. Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gerlinde, Another one of my foodie friends who has traveled to Marrakech…I wish I could say the same thing. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you like the recipe.

  7. A wonderful recipe, Karen. Thank you for the lust of suggested accompaniments. Very helpful indeed. 😃

  8. This is a nice change for our dinner menu. Love that it is one pot.

  9. ladyfi says:

    This would be nice with chickpeas too instead of chicken.

  10. Looks delicious. Love the seasonings you’ve used. So wonderfully aromatic. Great dish for easy entertaining. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely compliment Ronit, I’m happy to know that you like the Moroccan chicken stew recipe. You are right, it is very aromatic and flavorful.

  11. Exotic, delicious and healthy as well! I love it!

  12. Your stew sounds wonderful and certainly different from my “American” beef stew and lamb stew. I must try! Love the spices – I don’t use them often and really should…

  13. kitchenriffs says:

    I really like Moroccan dishes. The spicing is so interesting! This looks great — tons of flavor, and pretty healthy. Good stuff — thanks.

  14. I Wilkerson says:

    This looks loaded with goodness and flavor. And prefect for staying warm in our early winter in the Midwest!

  15. Jane says:

    I was just thinking in the past few days that I needed a nice stew or soup recipe that was off the charts with new flavors for us. This is just perfect. I’m always trying to figure out what to do with spices that intrigue me like curry, turmeric, and cardamom. So mysterious! I’m going to try this, Karen.

    I’m wondering if you have any recommendations and links for buying herbs and spices in various quantities. I’m over hauling my spice racks and need to pay more attention to what I use more and less of.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Jane, I’m so happy to know that you like the recipe for Moroccan chicken stew, thank you very much. You are lucky in where you can purchases spices, there is The Spice House in the Chicago area that has a very good reputation.

  16. Helen says:

    Sounds amazing, Karen. It would be interesting to try this recipe instead of curry for a change.

  17. GMTA! I made a Moroccan-inspired chicken dish just last week. I wish I had stopped here first, because your ingredient list is so intricate. I’ll bet your dish has many levels of flavor.

  18. Larry says:

    We had a chicken dish in Tangiers and I liked the flavors so may have to give this a try.

  19. yum! this would taste even better the next day. i love ras el hanout and i love harissa and i love couscous! so many wins in this dish for me. middle eastern and moroccan food are my fave cuisines i think. cheers sherry

  20. chef mimi says:

    Who could not love this! And it’s so pretty!

  21. Oh yes, I love dishes like this just perfect for a weeknight

  22. Moroccan spices are always so good with a nice depth of flavor. Make ahead recipes are always our favorite.

  23. NativeNM says:

    What an appetizing stew with so many delectable spices. Looks delicious to prepare for a fall or winter evening, even the colors of the vegetables look fallish!

  24. Kim Bultman says:

    Lovin’ your hearty Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew recipe, Karen, and your suggestions for “mezza” (meze?) too. What a wonderful meal!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim, I appreciate your nice compliment and am happy to know that you like my suggestions for accompaniments to go along with the Moroccan chicken stew.

  25. Cathy says:

    Hi Karen. This sounds delicious. Of course, I would go for the vegetarian version. 😉 I love the spice Ras el hanout, but it is hard to find one without paprika, which I am allergic to. I suppose I should mix my own… Thanks for the reminder. I shall have to make this one winter’s evening. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, yes it is very easy to turn the stew into a vegetarian dish. I think making your own Ras El Hanout blend is the perfect answer since you are allergic to paprika. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  26. This would be a nice change from the usual same-old, same-old dinners I serve my family. I can appreciate the fact that it’s essentially a light and healthy meal, and the spices sound delicious! I like that it could be easily made into a vegetarian dish. My daughter would love that!

  27. vagabonde says:

    I have some Ras el Ranout and rarely use it, so am pleased to find it in your recipe. I’ll copy it, thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vagabonde, I’m happy that my recipe has given you the inspiration on how to use your Ras el Ranout spices. BTW, I’m sorry that I’m not able to leave a comment on your blog, it looks like Nashville is the place to spend part of the holiday season.

  28. Eva Taylor says:

    This dish would be the perfect reminder of our time spent in Morroco a few years ago. In fact, we were just mentioning that we need to cook a tajine, but this dish looks so much easier to prepare. Using seasonal vegetables is also a great idea. The one thing I wasn’t in love with in Morroco was that they cooked the veggies to death, but in this recipe they cook them to perfection!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, you are right, the stew is definitely easier than a tajine but has all the wonderful seasonings. Thank you for your nice compliment and I’m glad that the post brought back memories of your travels to Morocco.

  29. stilgar182 says:

    Hey this reciepe looks realy nice. Will try it !

  30. This dish must make for a chilly evening comfort meal! I have to admit, I’ve never attempted Moroccan or North African cuisine and should..

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Susan for your nice compliment. With the purchase of a few spices, you can easily prepare some different and flavorful dishes. I hope you give Moroccan recipes a try, I think you would enjoy them.

  31. What a beautiful dish, Karen! I have almost all the ingredients at home already, no reason not to give it a try 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Amalia, I hope you enjoyed the Moroccan chicken stew if you got a chance to make it. BTW, I’m having trouble leaving comments on your blog but thank you for the suggestion of the Lady Sherlock Holmes series.

  32. The great spices really add such a zing to this dish. I am such a fan! 💖

  33. Roz says:

    So many delicious flavors! I once hosted a Moroccan dinner for the gourmet group that I was in. This would have been a wonderful addition to the menu!

  34. Pingback: 30 Freezer Meals to Prepare for New Moms - Are We Adults Yet

  35. Amy says:

    I love Moroccan spiced flavor. Thank you, Karen!

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