Grilled Moroccan Chicken

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Easy to make and full of flavor, this grilled Moroccan chicken is a family pleaser.

Moroccan Chicken

This Moroccan chicken is an easy and incredibly flavorful way to prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts. I can’t claim it’s one hundred percent authentic, but the spices make it taste decidedly Moroccan, and it also goes wonderfully with couscous. You might think it sounds too exotic-tasting for picky eaters, but even small children seem to love it. The best part? It takes just minutes to prepare and there’s barely any clean-up.

What You’ll Need To Make Grilled Moroccan Chicken

how to make grilled moroccan chickenAs you can see, the recipe relies on many spices, such as paprika, cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

How To Make Grilled Moroccan Chicken

Begin by pounding the chicken breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness.

how to make grilled chicken

This both tenderizes the meat and ensures even cooking. Left in their natural shape, the thin side of the fillet dries out while the thicker side finishes cooking.

pounded chicken

Next, make the marinade by combining the olive oil, spices, salt, garlic and sugar in a bowl or directly in a sealable plastic bag.

spices

Mix well.

how to make grilled moroccan chicken

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.

how to make grilled moroccan chicken

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.

how to make grilled moroccan chicken

Grill just a few minutes per side for perfectly tender chicken breasts.

Moroccan Chicken

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Grilled Moroccan Chicken

Easy to make and full of flavor, this grilled Moroccan chicken is a family pleaser.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 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 ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 344
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 40g
  • Sodium: 798mg
  • Cholesterol: 118mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • A great marinade; the chicken really held the flavors and was so moist. I really like the way the chicken turned out after tenderizing – going to grill chicken breasts that way from now on. Awesome first cook-out of the season 🙂

  • DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS! I don’t know if I said it, but this chicken recipe was delicious! I served it with flatbread, tzatziki, and wedges of fresh tomatoes, and it was an amazing meal! Thank you for such a deliciously amazing, and simple recipe!

  • Love all the spices-Husband says it’s the best chicken recipe I’ve made!

  • Excellent flavour

  • Excellent dish! I was surprised that it wasn’t a spicy as I thought it would be. My kids ate it up!

    • — Jasmine Lacsamana
    • Reply
  • Exquisite! What I love about Chef Jennifer is that she is just that: A Chef! She does it all and I reap the delicious benefits! She creates the perfect recipes and makes it so easy for the rest of us! I can not believe how her combination of so many interesting spices blends together so classically to make this mouth watering dish!

  • Loved this! Made it with the carrot chickpea salad and couscous. Mixed everything together for a cold salad the next day – so good!

  • This dish makes a regular appearance on my family menu; it was the first recipe I tried of Jenn’s and it has since made me a regular preparer of her recipes. I am always one to tweak recipes from other sources, but not here. I prepare as the recipe calls, and they always turn out perfectly!
    For this chicken, I typically pair it with her warm cous cous salad – yumm: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/warm-couscous-salad-with-apricot-vinaigrette.html
    Thanks Jenn – I am so happy I found your site!

  • This chicken is AMAZING! I follow the recipe to a T and it gets rave reviews every time. I serve it with the warm couscous salad. Wonderful combination of flavors.

  • I think I was expecting a much more flavourful meal. I had a spice mix for Moroccan chicken from “cuisine mentor” and it was like a party was happening in my mouth. I found this a bit bland. I love strong flavours though. I usually love your recipes-you are still my go to recipe guru

  • Can you give directions for baking. I have no grill pan or broiler…

    • Hi Mary, You could bake these at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Enjoy!

  • Do you have any crock pot recipes?

    (Hope that’s not a taboo question for a well trained chef!)

    PS Loved your Brussel sprouts recipe (with cream)

    • Hi Ellen, Definitely not a taboo question :)! While I have a crockpot, I really never use it. I believe that many of my recipes can be converted successfully to a slow cooker. I’ve included some conversion tips here. And glad you liked the Brussels sprouts!

  • Hi Jenn, do I need to boil the marinade before spooning it on as the chicken cooks?

    • Hi Donna, No, you don’t need to boil the marinade as long as you put it on the chicken while it’s cooking. (Don’t spoon any additional marinade onto the chicken after cooking it, unless it’s been boiled.)

  • So good! A nice combination of flavours , but not so ” spicy” you can serve it to kids.

  • looking for a fast recipe, did not marinade for long, cast iron skillet for time. Excellent!

  • I needed a chicken recipe on short notice, had these spices in my spice cupboard, and decided to try this out. Hands down, one of the easiest and tastiest chicken recipes I have ever come across. I made it exactly as written and everyone loved it.

  • Can this recipe be baked at high heat?

    • Hi Kay, I would suggest using the broiler in your oven. Preheat the broiler and set a rack about 5 inches from the top heating element, then broil 7-8 minutes per side.

  • Wonderful–made these with your apricot couscous. Perfect dinner at the beach!

  • This was amazing!! I combined all the ingredients (minus the chicken) and threw in a handful of parsley, cilantro and the juice of two lemons and pulsed it in the blender.

  • This chicken was amazing!!! The flavours were so nice. My husband was grilling it and couldn’t believe how nice the smell was. We served it with the couscous and carrot slaw. A winning combo! Will make over and over. Thanks?

  • Chicken was moist and very flavorful. Would definitely use this recipe again, maybe next time on pork chops. I tossed long eggplants that I sliced in half in the extra marinade and grilled those too. Yummy!

  • Absolutely amazing! I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and I broil them for approximately 6 minutes per side. LOVE this recipe.

  • Could this recipe be adapted for kebabs using thigh meat? How would you adjust the marinating/grilling time?

    • Hi Karen, Yes, you could use thigh meat and turn them into kebabs. You’d marinate them for the same amount of time. Grill the kebabs until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Hi Jenn! How far in advance can I marinade the chicken?

    • Hi Erin, I would suggest marinating it no longer than 24 hours. Hope you enjoy!

  • Can this recipe be cooked any other way apart from on a grill? Thank you. Mary.

    • Yes Mary, you can use the broiler in your oven. Preheat the broiler and set a rack about 5 inches from the top heating element, then broil 7-8 minutes per side. Hope you enjoy!

  • Another great one!

  • This is now known as my specialty within my family! We all love it as it is so flavoursome. I serve it with a couscous salad and I make a tzatziki style dip to go with it.

  • This was excellent! Made it for dinner tonight, and everyone loved it. Only had about two hours to marinade it, but there was plenty of flavor. Didn’t use as much oil as suggested. New family favorite!

  • Great recipe! Wonderful over Charcoal. I also accompanied it with Couscous with dried Apricots, Dates & Cranberries. Made a Yogurt Chive-Lemon sauce to dip the chicken in. great. Thx for a keeper Jen!

  • Can I marinate the chicken over night and have same results

    • Definitely– it’s likely to be even more flavorful!

  • All the recipes I have tried here are fantastic but this Morrocan Chicken is my absolute favourite hands down (thus far). Being a lifelong thigh lover, this gave me new appreciation for chicken breasts. Since I already have my spices out I double or triple spice mixture so it’s ready to go at a moments notice since its in heavy rotation here. Perfection !!! Bravo Jen !

  • Will this be too spicy to serve to my children?

    • Many people have commented that their kids have enjoyed it and didn’t find it too spicy. If you want to play it safe though, you could skip the cayenne pepper :).

    • I serve it to my 4 and 8-year-old, and both love it. I do omit the cayenne though. It’s delicious!

  • We have enjoyed this recipe immensely all summer long. What a hit! Especially with the carrot slaw on the side- soooo very delicious. But now it is November, and I’m wondering if anyone has baked this chicken. Maybe 350 for 45-50 mins?

    • I know you’ve asked about baking, but I just wanted to mention that it works beautifully on the stove in a grill pan (I have no bbq). Our family loves this recipe so much!

  • Sooooo easy! I left out the cinnamon because my BF can’t stand it. Still delish!

  • Made this last minute and used chicken thighs and marinated for one hour and the baked the chicken …,it was so tasty! The whole family devoured it and loved it and wished there was more. Can’t wait to try more recipes. A hit!

    • Oh had to omit the paprika as we didn’t have any but it turned out delicious and it was not spicy for my 5 year old

  • This dish has all of our favorite flavors and was so easy to make. Even the left overs were devoured the next day.

  • I’m excited to try this recipe and wondered whether it freezes well as I’d like to bring it to a convalescing relative in a few weeks. Has anyone had experience freezing/reheating this chicken, or any tips regarding the best way to do so? Thank you!

    • Although I didn’t get around to freezing this chicken, I have to say it was such a hit with my family, including the 4 and 8-year-olds, which is no easy task. Thanks for the awesome recipe, which was lovely with the carrot salad as a side dish for my husband and me.

  • This sounds good. I love Moroccan spices. I will try substituting stevia for sugar or maybe a drop of honey or agave. We need to try to get processed sugar out of our recipes if it is not absolutely necessary.

  • This is absolutely delicious but beware…it’s very spicy.

  • This was the first recipe from your website that I used. It is perfection. The spices, garlic, and oil meld so well together and the result is what my husband has called “restaurant quality chicken.” I serve it with a couscous salad with cucumber, tomatoes, onion, chickpeas, and feta cheese, tossed with fresh lime juice and olive oil. Delicious!

  • I made this tonight for my son and a bunch of his friends. Everyone LOVED it. I loved how easy it was to make. I had some chicken thighs also, so I made it with both breasts and thighs. I usually prefer dark meat, but in this case we all agreed that the white meat was better with these spices. This will become one of our regulars. Great for a large group and so delicious.

  • Absolutely delicious as written. Big hit with my entire family

    • — Annie Lorenzetti
    • Reply
  • I love this! Being a kind of lazy cook, I just quadrupled the quantities of dry seasoning and combined it in a mason jar. I rub a little olive oil on the chicken breast, rub it with the spice mix, let it sit for 30 minutes and throw it on the grill. I’ve got enough of the mix to do this several times and I don’t have to pull everything out every time. Thanks much!

  • My family loved this tasty recipe and I loved it because it is full of healthy antioxidants! I only marinated it for 45 minutes and it still turned out wonderful. Adding this to our favorite go-to recipe list!

  • Okay Jenn, you have been my go-to bomb proof recipe source for several years now, and you’ve done it again with your Moroccan Chicken recipe. I followed your recipe to the letter. This is one of the most moist and delicious chicken recipes ever – not too spicy, just the perfect amount of seasoning, and so fast and easy (LOVE the Sunday taste, Tuesday effort factor!!!). I also served several of your side dishes with it – prosciutto wrapped asparagus, carrot slaw, and warm apricot couscous – SMASHED IT OUT OF THE PARK! I used to feel I needed to test a recipe before making it for guests, but not your recipes Jenn. This entire meal is my new go-to for dinner guests – love it!

  • This is so good and simple, you can cook it in a pan on the stove too. It makes amazing cold sandwiches the next day – so make a lot!

  • Added a 1/4 tsp of cardamom to this and it was extraordinary.

  • Just made this last night. Loved the taste combination, and so easy to prepare for those of us who aren’t expert cooks. My friends and I all loved it. Will definitely be making this again. Next time will try the carrot slaw, which also sounds delicious. Thanks for these great recipes.

  • This Moroccan chicken recipe is delicious. My husband, my 2 year old daughter and I loved it! Thank you so much for sharing your cooking experience and recipes and moreover in an easy way and step by step with pictures. Your website has become my favorite. Thanks again!!!

    • Thanks for the wonderful feedback, Ingrif. So happy you’re enjoying the site!

  • This is a simple and easy dish to pull together with mouth watering results! I have tried to entice my husband to morrocan cuisine in the past but this very tasty dish has finally won him over! I doubled the seasoning and used this recipe on drumsticks & chicken wings for an extra moist and a powerful kick! Thank you for sharing

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