Savor the flavors of Morocco with this one-pan wonder. In this Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken recipe, aromatic spices, tangy olives, and onions come together deliciously. This simple meal brings the flavors of a far-off land right into your kitchen.
Step into your kitchen and let’s whip up a Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. It’s like a little weeknight fiesta on a pan. You’ve got your chicken getting all cozy with spices like cumin and paprika, which are basically the dynamic duo of Moroccan cuisine.
Now, here’s a fun nugget of trivia for you: lemons in Morocco aren’t just for lemonade. They’re preserved, they’re spiced, and they’re used to add a whole new dimension of flavor to dishes. And in this recipe, they’re not just a garnish or a side note – they’re the secret to the perfect blend of savory, tangy, and just a touch sweet. Serve this dish over a bed of fluffy rice, let those juices soak right in, and sprinkle some fresh herbs on top for that pop of color and freshness.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
- The blend of cumin, paprika, and turmeric creates a warm, deep flavor.
- Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken is a one-pan wonder. Everything cooks on a single sheet, making preparation and cleanup a breeze.
- This Moroccan Chicken recipe is versatile and pairs well with a variety of sides.
- The rich colors of the spices and ingredients make it a visually appealing dish.
- This dish is packed with protein and spices known for their health benefits, it’s a guilt-free meal.
- Chicken Quarters: The protein base of our Moroccan Chicken Pan Sheet dish. Chicken provides a juicy, tender texture that soaks up the spices and becomes wonderfully flavorful when roasted.
- Sweet Onions: Sweet onions caramelize slightly. Adds a depth of sweetness that contrasts and complements the bold spices.
- Lemon: Brings brightness and zesty notes that cut through the rich flavors. Also adds a refreshing layer to our dish.
- Green Olives: Olives contribute a briny, salty tang that accents the chicken and balances the dish’s sweet and spicy elements.
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves: Cilantro offers a burst of fresh, herbal sharpness that finishes the dish with a hit of green, lively flavor.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Ginger-Coriander Fusion: Blend equal parts of ground ginger and coriander to replace the cumin. This will give our dish a warm, spicy kick, and a hint of lemony nuttiness.
- Cinnamon Twist: Add a pinch of ground cinnamon to the spice blend for a sweet, woody aroma.
- Saucy Addition: Create a sauce using lemon juice, a hint of the spice blend, and a splash of water. Drizzle over the chicken after roasting for extra moisture and flavor.
- Chicken Selection: Substitute bone-in chicken quarters with either bone-in chicken thighs or chicken breasts for varied texture and richness. Thighs offer juiciness with less cooking time, while breasts provide a leaner, protein-centric meal.
- Apricot and Quinoa Pairing: Serve with quinoa cooked with diced dried apricots. It will give a sweet, nutty side that absorbs the chicken’s juices deliciously.
How to Make Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken
Step #1: Begin by preheating the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (245 degrees Celsius).
Step #2: In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub. Combine the salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of melted butter, and the crushed garlic, and blend them together.
Step #3: Halve the lemon and keep one half aside. Slice the remaining half into thin rounds and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet with raised edges. Sprinkle the onion wedges over the lemon slices and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the onions.
Step #4: Sprinkle the pan with ¼ tsp of salt and 1 tsp turmeric.
Step #5: Position the chicken quarters on the pan with the skin side facing up. Gently pat the top of the chicken dry, then evenly brush each quarter’s skin with the prepared spice mixture.
Step #6: Move the pan to the preheated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes. Wait until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) and the juices run clear.
Step #7: Scatter the pan with the olives and cilantro leaves. Extract the juice from the second half of the lemon and drizzle it over the chicken. Serve warm with couscous and soft bread.
- Marinating the Chicken: For deeper flavor, consider marinating the chicken quarters in the spice mixture for at least an hour, or even overnight, in the refrigerator. This allows the spices to penetrate the meat more deeply.
- Quality of Spices: The essence of Moroccan cuisine lies in its rich and aromatic spices. Use the freshest spices you can find for the best flavor. If you have whole spices, grinding them yourself just before cooking will enhance the dish’s aroma and taste.
- Resting the Chicken: Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This allows the juices to be redistributed, ensuring a moist and flavorful chicken.
- Serving Suggestions: Serving this dish with traditional sides like couscous, a simple salad, or a yogurt-based sauce can complement the flavors. You might also consider adding a side of roasted vegetables or a fresh tabbouleh salad.
- Herb Variations: While cilantro is used in the recipe, you can also try using flat-leaf parsley or a mix of both for a slightly different flavor profile.
Frequently Asked Questions
A one-pan dish featuring chicken and Moroccan spices, roasted together for a flavorful meal.
Pat the chicken dry before seasoning and roast at a high temperature.
No, baking uncovered allows the skin to become crispy.
Yes, adjust the cooking time according to the air fryer model.
Cut vegetables uniformly and arrange the chicken in a single layer.
To store leftovers, simply allow the chicken to cool to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container. It can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you’d like to extend its life further, you can freeze it. Place the cooled chicken in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to three months.
When you’re ready to reheat, there’s no need to thaw overnight if you’re short on time. You can reheat the chicken directly from frozen by placing it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until it’s heated through. It should take about 25-30 minutes.
Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken Recipe
For the Spice Mixture
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter - melted
- 4 cloves garlic - pressed
For the Sheet Pan Chicken
- 1 lemon
- 2 large sweet onions - cut into 12 wedges each
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 skin-on chicken quarters
- 1 cup green olives - pitted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Begin by preheating the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (245 degrees Celsius).
- In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub. Combine the salt, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and the crushed garlic, and blend them together.
- Halve the lemon and keep one half aside. Slice the remaining half into thin rounds and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet with raised edges. Sprinkle the onion wedges over the lemon slices and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the onions.
- Sprinkle the pan with ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric.
- Position the chicken quarters on the pan with the skin side facing up. Gently pat the top of the chicken dry, then evenly brush each quarter's skin with the prepared spice mixture.
- Move the pan to the preheated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes. Wait until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) and the juices run clear.
- Scatter the pan with the olives and cilantro leaves. Extract the juice from the second half of the lemon and drizzle it over the chicken. Serve warm with couscous and soft bread.