When was the last time you introduced international cuisine in your menu? If you’re planning a dinner ceremony or a friendly gathering soon, it may be time to get a bit creative! Try out these five finger-licking good Moroccan appetizers and bedazzle your guests, family, and friends!
Just like these highly Instagrammable Moroccan cities, Moroccan dishes are an explosion of vibrant colors and exotic flavors. After the bright mood of the country inspired you, now cheer up your dinner table with dishes from one of the most-loved cuisines in the world.
Moroccan cuisine shares more than one culinary technique with the other cuisines of the world; the Mediterranean, Andalusian Spanish, South-European, and Subsaharan cuisines heavily influenced it.
From smokey tender chicken Tajines to almond-flavored and honey-glazed pastries, the North-African gastronomy can sometimes be quite complex. To introduce yourself smoothly to a new world of flavors and aromas, let’s start with 5 easy-to-make Moroccan appetizers.
As you dig (and dip!) deeper in them, don’t be afraid of crossing your culinary boundaries. It is only then that your true foodie journey will begin!
5.) Moroccan Spiced Lentil Soup
In this cold weather, it is common in Morocco to serve lentil soup as the main dish or appetizer. Comforting, simple and easy to throw together, this dish will suit our vegan and vegetarian friends as well.
This high-fiber and high-protein Moroccan lentil soup is almost the same as any standard one, except for one detail – spices.
If you’re into saucy, smoky lentils, Minimalist Baker tweaked the recipe by adding paprika, turmeric, coriander, pepper. She also added a pasty tomato sauce to the mix by blending onion, red bell pepper, and tomato paste. The result is subtly spiced and tender lentils that will make your guests ask for a second serving!
4.) “Ketbane” – Skewers
Skewers hold a dear place in the hearts of Moroccans, and for a reason!
They are called “Ketbane” or “Kebab” and are usually cooked with lamb meat, chicken tender, or ground beef. The beauty of meat on a stick is that you can cook it with minimal effort and still serve mouth-watering food!
The lamb meat skewers are usually associated with a religious celebration in Morocco called Aid Al Adha (Sacrifice Feast). It is a feast that Moroccans enjoy with their families and loved ones, a BBQ of a different kind.
Jamie Oliver captured the spirit of Moroccan lamb Kebab pretty well with his mouth-watering marinated skewers. We are adopting his genius twist I-MME-DIAT-LY: turn a rosemary branch into a skewer, for a herby and earthy flavor.
If you’re more of a chicken person, then you should absolutely try these Moroccan Chicken Skewers by What’s Gaby Cooking. She says: “The most delicious recipes come when proteins or veggies are marinated and then grilled – that’s the recipe for success.” We couldn’t agree more.
And lastly, don’t forget to try out the Kefta Kabab. If you mix ground beef with onion, chili, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and spices, your taste buds will be off the roof!
While cooking these, you will bring to your kitchen or yard the tasty atmosphere of Jamee El Fna, Marrakech!
P.S.: We said skewers were sometimes considered Moroccan appetizers, but they are also served as a main dish, so if you find yourself unable to stop, just keep going 😉
3.) Marinated Vegetables and Olives
On our list of Moroccan appetizers, this one is by far the easiest!
For a healthy salty-and-sour snack, you can marinate green, yellow, and red bell peppers, olives, carrots, cherry tomatoes, or cauliflower. Cut and marinate them in olive oil, a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, slices of salt-preserved lemon, and lemon juice, then set them overnight. This Moroccan Olives recipe goes through the process in a quick and easy way!
Also, you can try the authentic Chermoula marinade sauce, by adding a handful of finely chopped cilantro, coriander, and chili.
You will not only have different yummy side-dishes to serve, but you will also brighten up the table with colorful vegetables! It’s all a win!
2.) “Briouate”: Spring Rolls
Time for some crunchy and dip-ready appetizers! You will love these Moroccan spring rolls, called “Briouate”, for their simplicity AND their affordability. Forget about the $6 per spring roll and make your own batch of spring rolls with easy and cheap stuffing!
Adapt your recipe as much as you want, depending on what you have available. You can stuff your spring rolls with cheese and spinach; ground beef and tomato; chopped vegetables; or potatoes and tuna. The sky is the limit!
1.) Couscous Salad
It is nearly impossible to visit Morocco and not eat Couscous. Consequently, it would also be a great loss if you didn’t try these light and tasteful Couscous salads.
The fresh Couscous veggie salad would be perfect for a spring or summer day when all you will want is a quick meal to get going. JamilaCuisine’s Tabouleh is a fine example of it, with principally Couscous wheat grains, parsley, onion, and tomato, this crispy side-dish will take only a few minutes to prepare, and much more to savor!
If you would prefer a more consistent appetizer, then why not try the Moroccan Couscous with Roasted Vegetables Chick Peas and Almonds by Cooking Classy? Her detailed recipe preserved the authenticity of this Moroccan appetizer, and she describes its feeling perfectly: “I love the blend of Moroccan flavors here and I also really love all the texture going on (think itty bitty couscous, softly roasted veggies, crunchy almonds, chewy raisins and tender chickpeas).”
Bonus information: Moroccans traditionally serve Couscous as the main dish on the lunch of every Friday of the week.
Have you ever had one these Moroccan appetizers? If yes, which one did you like best? And if not, which one would like to try first?