If you’re looking for something new to spice up your weeknights, these Moroccan side dishes are a must-try!
I was in Morocco years ago, and the one thing that always stands out for me was the color. Everything was so bright and beautiful, including the food!
In many cases, Moroccan recipes will include couscous, and they love their beef over there! I think of it as a milder version of Indian food.
It still has some spice, but it’s much less than an authentic Indian curry!
The good news about these 10 Moroccan side dishes is that they use very familiar ingredients, so you won’t need to rush to the store.
Let’s dig in!
1. Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Salad)
One thing to note about eggplant: it isn’t the prettiest. But it is super flavorful!
This dish is no exception. It might not look the best, but you can’t beat the mix of bold flavors. It packs quite a punch.
It’s made with a mix of eggplant and tomatoes, plus a whole slew of vibrant spices.
This is a great little dish to serve with crusty bread, fluffy couscous, or I’ve even had it over pasta.
2. Maakouda – Moroccan Potato Cakes
This traditional Moroccan street food can be found all over and is typically served in sandwiches or as a quick little snack.
They are essentially seasoned mashed potato patties that get deep-fried until golden. How can you go wrong with that?
Keep it simple with some basic herbs, or go a little crazy and add in some spices and onion. These make a great alternative to boring old boiled potatoes.
3. Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Salad
This salad is the perfect summer side dish. It’s bright, light, sweet, and pairs perfectly with everything from roasted chicken to a hot dog.
As the name would suggest, carrots and chickpeas are a must. Don’t forget to drain and rinse your chickpeas to reduce the saltiness!
Since carrot is already a little sweet, mixing is currants and toasted almonds will take this dish to another level.
Read more: Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole
Of course, the shallots and garlic are distinctly savory, but the tangy dressing will keep the whole thing light and delicious.
4. Moroccan Khobz Recipe (Basic Moroccan Bread Recipe)
Like a lot of our Eastern neighbors, many Moroccan dishes are designed to be eaten by hand.
With that in mind, they created this robust bread to be strong enough to hold even the heaviest of tagines.
Like the Greek pita, this bread can also be split open and filled with grilled meats and vegetables.
With it being so thick, one loaf will serve a few people. But due to its crumb, it’s best made and eaten on the same day.
If you want to make a bigger batch, you’ll need to freeze the extra until you need it.
5. Classic Moroccan Tomato Salad
I don’t know about you, but I tend to overdo it on the tomatoes when they’re in season.
I just can’t resist all the different sizes, shapes, and colors, and I’m always on the lookout for fun new recipes.
If that sounds familiar, you’ll have to make this for your next BBQ.
The simple mix of parsley (or cilantro), onion, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes is perfect and will look stunning on any plate, especially if you use a variety of colors.
6. Sweet and Spicy Roasted Moroccan Carrots
Much like the tomatoes above, when I start seeing colorful carrots on the market, I just can’t help but snatch them up.
Have you ever seen a plate full of orange, purple, and yellow roasted carrots? Get ready to!
This recipe takes the simple roasted carrot and makes it something exceptional.
First, they’re roasted at a high temperature to ensure they start to caramelize.
Next, you’ll need to toss them in a heavenly dressing made using orange juice, cumin, and cinnamon.
Feel free to add some chili flakes to the mix, too, for a bit of heat!
7. Moroccan Couscous
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I think I ate a different version of this every day on my trip to Morocco. It’s light, tasty, and super filling.
Unlike the couscous we see in the States, this recipe calls for golden raisins and pine nuts, which add so much unique flavor to the mix.
Couscous makes such an easy and hands-off side dish.
You can more or less cover it with hot water and leave it to cook. All you’ll need to do is fluff it with a fork and serve.
Like any good rice dish (though couscous is technically pasta), cooking the grains in broth will boost the flavor, and any extras are always welcome.
8. Moroccan Vegetable Salad
This chilled salad is great for a make-ahead side or a way to use up leftover boiled potatoes.
It’s a simple mix of cucumber, potato, and pepper slices that can be layered in a dish to make a spiral.
Then, you’ll need to top it with pitted olives, and a dressing made from garlic, onions, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.
Feel free to toss everything together instead, but be sure to let the whole thing chill for at least an hour before serving.
9. Moroccan Roasted Potatoes
Like most households, potatoes are a huge part of my diet. I like them boiled, mashed, chipped, or fried and will happily serve them with anything!
But roasted potatoes hold a special place in my heart. There’s just something about the crispy edges and deep flavors that I can’t get enough of.
And these babies are no exception.
Between the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, paprika, and garlic powder, they might just be the most delicious roasted potatoes you’ll ever eat!
10. Homemade Harissa Recipe
Harissa is a chili paste used to flavor dishes, and in some places, it’s even used as a condiment like ketchup.
Harissa sauce is usually mild with a sweet and smoky flavor and just enough heat to let you know it’s there.
The spice level will depend on the type of chilis you use, and it’s super easy to make this more or less spicy when making it at home.
To make this paste, all you’ll need to do is rehydrate your red chilis and blend everything in a food processor.