Moroccan Meals that Matter

Turmeric, saffron, cumin – you can tell a lot about a culture just through the way they season their food. There aren’t many places that this rings more true than the colorful country of Morocco.

Spice truly defines this destination as you find yourself winding through piles of spices in bustling markets that built their success upon the spice trade. So, it’s not surprising that Moroccan cuisine is as mouthwatering as it claims to be. After all, they’ve had thousands of years to perfect their recipes!

This idea that cuisine is a culmination of all other aspects of a culture is at the core of our beliefs, and we know that by learning and sitting down with a local, you form a mutual understanding that can lead to lifelong friendship. That’s why we include Meals that Matter on all of our Club Adventures tours, so travelers have the ability to embrace local life by dining at authentic, often family-owned restaurants instead of tourist traps and big name chains.

As a foodie destination, Morocco is the perfect destination to venture off the beaten path in search of an unforgettable meal, and we were sure to give our travelers a taste of all Morocco has to offer (see what we did there?). From camel to chicken tagine and more olives than you could ever imagine, our travelers taste-tested their way all around the country, and they’ve brought back their favorite tagine recipe and adventure-filled stories to inspire some Arabian nights at the dinner table!

A Dash of Adventure 

Meals can be especially delicious when you’ve put in the work to get to the dinner table. And, just like in cooking, if you add a dash of adventure to the mix, a trip is sure to satisfy. The travelers on our Moving Morocco itinerary were able to spice up their trip with an overnight stay in the Sahara Desert, experiencing traditional Berber life among endless sand dunes. After a journey to their campsite on a line of camels, they hiked to the top of towering dunes to watch the sunset on the swirling sands. A day like that can only end one way – with a delectable authentic meal and a night under the stars.

What is Tagine?

A tagine is a cooking vessel (and style) used to slowly cook food in a variety of Arabian countries. It is most well known for its use in Moroccan cuisine as the pot developed hand in hand with the craftsmanship of ceramics. Typically prepared with hefty amounts of North African spices accompanied by potatoes, carrots, and onions, this classic dish has made a name for itself in the world of foodie travelers. This style of preparation is popular for gastronomes because it yields a deliciously juicy finished product and cooks evenly without much effort! And, thanks to our travelers who learned to cook Moroccan fare like true locals, you’ll be digging into a perfect tagine in no time. But remember, cooking is an adventure, so make it yours! Add more or less spices, maybe a dash of turmeric, or perhaps you love olives and want even more! Whatever you choose, crafting an authentic meal is an experience of its own, and allows us to get just a little closer to understanding a unique culture.

Dreaming about an exotic meal after all this talk? Get a taste of our Moving Morocco itinerary by preparing this tagine dish at home:

Recipe: Chicken Tagine


  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 lemon (for zesting, feel free to slice more up to cook with)

  • cloves garlic, minced

  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat 

  • Salt and ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into 1/4-in-thick slices

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1-3/4 cups chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick coins

  • 1/2 cup Greek cracked green olives, pitted and halved 

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • 1. Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Zest the lemon. Combine 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest with 1 minced garlic clove; set aside.

  • 2. Season both sides of chicken pieces with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken pieces skin side down in single layer until deep golden, about 5 minutes; using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a large plate; when cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan.

  • 3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have browned at the edges but still retain their shape, 5 to 7 minutes (add a few tablespoons of water now and then if the pan gets too dark). Add the remaining minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spices and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, honey, remaining lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the chicken (with any accumulated juices) back in, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • 4. Add the carrots, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes more.

  • 5. Stir in the olives, reserved lemon zest-garlic mixture, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice; taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

  • 6. Serve with couscous and enjoy!