Moroccan Chicken & Lentils

The flavors of Moroccan food are one of my favorite. I love the earthy, subtle spiciness of the spice combinations. It’s just all good. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a Moroccan dish that I did not like.

However, until last week, I had never attempted to make a full Moroccan dish. I have made plenty of Moroccan inspired sides, salads and appetizers though. But I have been waiting to tackle a main dish for a while. I am so glad I finally did.

The key element of this meal is the spice blend. This one is very subtle. I’d actually prefer it a bit spicier, but sometimes it’s good to remember I’m not going for only myself. As it was, everyone loved this dish.

Moroccan Chicken & Lentils

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken


  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb chicken breasts
  • baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 1/4 chicken stock
  • 12 cup dried lentils


  • In a small bowl, combine the 6 first ingredients to make the Moroccan spice blend. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in spice blend and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frquently so that the spices do not burn.
  • Add chicken, carrots and chicken stock to the skillet. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer. Cook at least until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Longer simmering will increase the flavor.
  • 20 minutes before you plan to eat (and after the chicken is fully cooked), remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add lentils to the skillet, bring stock back to a boil, cover and simmer about 15 more minutes, until lentils are fully cooked but not mushy.
  • Shred or dice chicken and add back to the skillet. Stir to combine. Serve over rice or couscous.


For a fun variation, leave out the carrots and reduce stock to just 1/2 a cup. Serve the fully cooked mixture in pitas.
Or, to make this vegetarian, skip the chicken, up the lentil to 2 cups and use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.

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