If you love tasty dishes, you should absolutely try Moroccan food. In fact, Moroccan cuisine is certainly one of the most diverse and delicious cuisines you can try. You can either try to find a great nearby restaurant, but the best Traditional Moroccan food you can try will probably be in Morocco.
Moroccan cuisine is known for offering one of the best and finest dishes in the world. Maybe you have heard of the Moroccan Couscous, the Moroccan tagines or the Moroccan mint tea? Well, these are some of the numerous traditional Moroccan dishes.
Whether you already had the chance to taste Moroccan dishes or know completely nothing, here I will give you a list of the traditional Moroccan food I highly recommend you try. These Moroccan dishes are basics and are served in most Moroccan restaurants, but who knows, after seeing the pictures, you might be checking flights for Morocco soon!
Oh, and if you enjoy cooking, I gathered for you some traditional Moroccan recipes which have been in my family for generations. These recipes are super delicious and easy to make, just try one of them and you will thank me later!
Morocco Food Guide: The Best Moroccan Dishes to Try
Ready or maybe hungry? Let’s start!
The Moroccan Couscous
Couscous is one of the most known Moroccan dishes around the world. It is usually made every Friday in Moroccan homes and is traditionally eaten after Friday’s mid-day prayer.
Traditional Moroccan Couscous is made of steamed semolina cooked for hours in a special pot and served with a delicious stew.
Depending on regions and occasions, Couscous can be either salty or sweet. Salty versions include Couscous with vegetables and meat as well as Couscous with fish. The sweet version is often served during ceremonies and is made of caramelized onions and raisins. The most common recipe is the 7 vegetables Couscous, cooked traditionally with the week’s vegetables leftovers.
Tagines are almost an everyday meal in Morocco. It is a slow-cooked stew made with aromatic spices, meat, vegetables and sometimes fruits. The result is a heavenly delicious sauce and tender meat and vegetables.
They are called tagines because they were originally cooked in tagine clay pots. That is still the case in some restaurants or families, but for everyday cooking, tagines are not practical as they need time and patience. That’s why modern pots are widely used in Morocco and work pretty well. But still, clay tagines pots give the best results. So if you are visiting Morocco, make sure to shop a small tagine pot.
Each Moroccan city is known for a special type of tagine. Marrakech, for example, is known for a meat tagine cooked in traditional oven ashes for hours, called Tangia. The result is a heavenly delicious stew all Moroccans swear by.
In Chefchaouen, the specialty is goat meat tagines, as the region is known for its healthy and good quality goats. There are also vegetarian tagines, salty tagines, sweet tagines, and even tagines mixing sweet and salty ingredients like the famous tagine with prunes. So make sure to try as many tagines as possible as you will for sure fall in love with at least one of them.
The Moroccan Harira
Harira is a traditional soup in Moroccan cuisine often served with dates after Ramadan fasting.
Authentic Moroccan Harira is made of chickpeas, lentils, tomato, broth, onion, ginger, and other spices. Some families add beaten eggs, meat or lemon, and the result is a very delicious and nourishing soup.
I may need a whole book to talk about Moroccan pastries but I will try to be brief and to the point. Traditional Moroccan pastries are amongst the best-tasting pastries in the world. Really!
They are often made with nourishing ingredients like almonds, pistachios, coconut, honey and most of them will melt in your mouth. Some are a little bit high end, served mostly during ceremonies (like Gazelle corns, Ghriyba or Briwates), and others are incorporated into everyday meals and served with Moroccan mint tea (like Baghrir, Fakkas or Harsha).
As I said, it will take me a lot of time to go through all traditional Moroccan pastries. So if you travel to Morocco, I would recommend trying as many different pastries as possible and why not bring back some home. But be aware that they are high in calories, so if you are on a diet or have diabetes, make sure you watch your consumption.
Moroccan Mint Tea
There is a big chance you already heard of Moroccan Mint tea. In fact, Moroccan mint tea is probably the most famous Moroccan drink.
In Morocco, it can be served at any time of the day, alone or with sweet pastries, and remains “the” symbol of gathering and welcoming.
The ingredients are fresh mint, gunpowder tea, water, and sugar. Depending on Moroccan regions, Moroccan tea can be very sweet and/or bitter. In Southern regions, for example, they like Moroccan tea sweet and bitter.
Like Moroccan pastries, authentic Moroccan mint tea is high on calories. So if you have a special diet watch your consumption or ask the waiter to reduce or remove sugar. What makes Moroccan Mint tea special is the technique used while preparing it. It is not hard to make believe me! Once you have the right ingredients and tools, you can make authentic Moroccan mint tea in a matter of minutes.
Maybe one of the main things that will make your Moroccan mint tea experience authentic and unforgettable would be to prepare your tea using a traditional Moroccan teapot and appreciate it using a traditional Moroccan cup. If you want to give it a try, here is my mother’s Moroccan mint tea recipe with the detailed technique and ingredients.
Moroccan Sheeps Heads
Well, this you may like or it might seem to you a little bit extreme. But if you enjoy stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new (bizarre) recipes, this is a great opportunity. Chances are you might love this dish, as most Morocco’ visitors do.
In Morocco, sheeps heads are prepared in a specific stew and enjoyed with the family, promptly during Eid Al Adha celebration, or occasionally.
In this dish, the meat texture and flavor are very different from the ones of the meat in tagines or couscous. In fact, Moroccan sheep’s head meat is very tender and melting, with an interesting taste combining multiple spices as well as an aftertaste of smoke, as sheeps heads are roasted prior to cooking.
If you have high cholesterol or are in a diet, this dish can be a little bit fatty so make sure you watch your consumption.
Salads in Morocco are colorful and a part of every meal. They can be made either with raw or cooked vegetables (carrots, eggplants, potatoes, for example). The taste changes depending on the spices used and believe me, they are anything but boring. My favorite is the Moroccan carrot salad, which always has big success in my Morocco-themed dinner parties.
Oh my, my mouth is watering just thinking about this dish. The Tangia (also called Tanjia, or Tanjia Marrakchia) is a Moroccan dish that is Marrakech food specialty and one of the things to absolutely try in Marrakech. Of course, you might find the Tangia in other Moroccan cities but the best Tangia you can ever taste will probably be in Marrakech.
Tangia is a meat stew cooked by male locals in a special clay pot, with definite spices. What special about the Tangia is that it cooks slowly in the ashes of Marrakech traditional ovens, for more than 6 hours. The result is a tender and aromatic meat and a stew that is unbelievably delicious. The technique of cooking, the long cooking time and the use of the Tangia pots make it hard to replicate the recipe at home, so make sure you don’t miss this awesome Moroccan dish.
This is a fancy recipe that is mostly served during wedding receptions in Morocco. The Pastilla is a pie which combines salty and sweet flavors. It is made of crispy layers of a super thin crêpe called warka, savory meat cooked in special spices and a crunchy layer of ground toasted almonds, sugar, and cinnamon. It was originally cooked with squab meat, but there are versions with chicken, turkey, and seafood. Those sweet and salty Pastillas are commonly served as a starter. There is also a sweet version jawhara (which means in English jewel) and that is a culinary specialty of the Moroccan city Fez. The jawhara is made with a milk-based cream, orange blossom water, and served as a dessert.
All these Pastillas taste differently and are extremely delicious. Every bite can be a culinary revelation.
The Moroccan Bread (or Khobz)
Bread is essential in every Moroccan meal. It is what Moroccans eat to accompany the Tagines, Harira, Tangia, for breakfast and even for dinner. In other words, it is s important as rice is in Asian cuisine. When I came to the US the first time, I was really frustrated to not find good bread to accompany my Moroccan homemade dishes. The Moroccan bread is prepared with whole grain and fresh yeast and is super nutritive and thick. Most Moroccan women cook Moroccan bread daily or every two to three days, in a gas oven. It’s one of the most delicious bread types out there, so make sure you give it a try!
Moroccan Street Food
Besides all the delicious Moroccan dishes I cited above and which you can enjoy in restaurants in Morocco, make sure you try Moroccan street food while sightseeing, exploring the Medina or Shopping. Moroccan street food encompasses so many possibilities. Sweet, salty or spicy food that will keep you busy and happy. You can, for example, try the delicious Hammas Kamoun, which is a healthy treat made with fava beans, the Mille-feuilles which is a pastry Moroccans adore! or the Moroccan snails that are more exotic. Just head to my Morocco Street Food Guide where I have everything broken down for you.