Grilled Moroccan Chicken


This is an easy and incredibly flavorful way to prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts. I can’t claim it’s authentic, but the spices — an aromatic blend of cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and coriander  – make it taste decidedly Moroccan, and it also goes wonderfully with couscous. You might think it sounds too exotic-tasting for picky eaters, but I can tell you that even small children seem to love it. The best part is that it only takes minutes to prepare, and there’s barely any clean up.

Begin by pounding the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness. This both tenderizes the meat and ensures even cooking.

Next, make the marinade by combining the olive oil, spices, salt, garlic and sugar in a measuring cup.

To avoid getting smelly garlic hands, use a garlic press to mince the garlic.

Place the chicken and marinade in a freezer bag, press the air out and then massage the marinade into the chicken until the breasts are evenly coated. Marinate in the fridge for 5-6 hours.

When you’re ready to eat, preheat your grill to high. It’s important that the grill is very hot — you want nice grill marks and char in the short amount of time it takes to cook these. Grill just a few minutes per side for perfectly tender chicken breasts.

Serve with couscous and a refreshing carrot slaw. Enjoy!

Grilled Moroccan Chicken

Print Recipe
Servings: 4


  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken tenderloins)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of wax or parchment paper and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even ½-inch thickness. (Skip this step if substituting chicken tenderloins.)
  2. Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Place pounded chicken breasts inside 1 gallon zip-lock bag. Add marinade to the bag, press air out and seal shut. Massage marinade into the breasts until evenly coated. Place the bag in a bowl in the refrigerator (to protect against leakage), and let the chicken marinate for 5-6 hours.
  3. Clean grill and preheat to high. Place chicken breasts on grill, spooning marinade over top. Grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes per side. Do not overcook.
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  • Nicole-Lynn

    Tried this recipe and it was delicious! I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Beth

    Loved this recipe. Served it with wild rice and broccoli. I think it will become a weekly thing!

    • Rick Delaney

      Wow Beth, that sounds like a perfect combination!

  • Karen

    Made the Grilled Moroccan Chicken, using my stove-top cast iron grill pan. Very happy with the dish – the chicken was moist and had great flavor. Removed and reserved a little of the marinade (before adding the chicken to the marinade) and drizzled it on the chicken at the table. Also served the Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and Citrus Vinaigrette, which was equally good.

  • Lorrae Barker

    Interesting recipe! Looking forward to trying this one!
    Do you think this flavor combo would go well on salmon fillets, to be grilled, and what about large shrimp on the grill?
    There are a few spices in here I don’t normally use, so not sure about the taste compatibility? I’d appreciate an opinion on this delimma!

    • Jenn

      Hi Lorrae, I do think it’d work, especially with shrimp on the grill.

  • Theresa

    Big hit with the family! Very easy and it has a delicious flavor! I served it with lemon cous cous with dried cranberries and apricots and haricot verts. Definitely on our make again list

  • Pat Rice

    Made this with bonless chicken thighs..delicious.

  • Marlene

    This is so easy and tasty! I am going to prepare the dry spice mix to have on hand and just add the garlic and oil as I need it. I think it would be goodman shrimp as well.

    • Marlene

      I meant good on shrimp! Darn autocorrect!

  • Pam

    Made this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious! There has not been one miss yet!

  • Mandy

    Yummy! Will try with shrimp next.

  • Easy, savory and make great leftovers for lunch. I often serve with Israeli salad

  • Elizabeth

    I love this seasoning and usually make an extra seasoning packet to save for next time. I just tried this mix on baked haddock fillets and it was delicious!

  • Amy

    We loved this marinade. I served it with tomato, corn and avocado quinoa salad.

  • I tried this recipe, would NOT change a thing. I also tried it with shrimp, delicious!! There is no need to buy any kind of barbeque sauce anymore-}:>)

  • Chris

    Amazing! My whole family loved this, including my 6 year daughter who likes her food as plain as she can get it, nothing “spicy” as she puts it. Highly recommended, everyone wants it again!

  • Deepti

    I baked some tilapia with this seasoning and really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting!

  • Theresa

    This is my family’s favorite grilled chicken recipe. So easy and what great flavors!

  • Marlene

    I have made this several times with chicken breasts and we love it. So yesterday I made the spice and olive oil marinade and rubbed it under and over the skin of a whole chicken. After marinating for about an houir-90 min, I roasted it on my vertical roaster. Oh, my, it was fantastic! And imagine if I’d let it marinate several hours! The chicken was flavorful and moist and the skin, crispy. Divine!!!

    • Jenn

      Great idea, Marlene…I think I will try that!

  • Jeff

    I made these and the chicken kebabs over Christmas vacation for the first time (fun getting the grill hot enough when it’s 20 degrees outside) and everyone loved them. The consensus though was that they liked the Moroccan Chicken best and if I could do the kebabs that way. So I did and they were really good.

    I made basmati rice with garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric in it to go with the chicken. It made a great side for the chicken.

  • Robin

    If I changed the sea salt to kosher salt would this be considered a kosher dish to serve at a seder??

    • Jenn

      Hi Robin, I believe almost all salts are kosher; you can tell for sure if it’s marked with a circled K or U on the label. And, yes, this dish would be kosher. You might also check out Chicken Marbella – I grew up having this dish every year for Passover. link to

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