Moroccan Rice | Feasting At Home

This Moroccan Rice recipe is a delicious, wholesome side dish for any occasion! Made with savory Moroccan spices, almonds, dried fruit, and orange zest, serve it with your favorite protein and dinner is ready! Vegan.

Moroccan rice pilaf in large skillet garnished with parsley, pomegranate seeds and slivered almonds.

This Moroccan Rice Pilaf is like taking a walk through the old souks in Marrakesh. Fresh, vibrant, lively flavors, so colorful and warming, just like the people of Morocco! Made with basmati rice, caramelized onions, dried fruit, almonds, orange zest, and pomegranate seeds infused with Moroccan spices, it is sure to take you there!

During our visit to Morocco, we enjoyed such incredible meals. Tagines and rice dishes treated so simply but bursting with flavor. Pomegranates and oranges were in high season that time of year, piled up beautifully in the souks and markets, along with aromatic spices, and we often found them paired together like you see here.

Why You’ll Love This!

This Moroccan Rice Pilaf recipe is full of so many flavors and textures! Savory Moroccan spices add depth and complexity, while dried fruit adds a chewy bite and almonds bring that perfect amount of crunch.

Enjoy on its own with chickpeas or lentils mixed in, or serve alongside Moroccan Chicken, Moroccan Salmon, or Moroccan Eggplant for a vegetarian Moroccan cuisine option.

Ingredients

  • Basmati rice: Use brown or white long-grain rice. See notes!
  • Olive oil
  • Onion: Red onion, yellow onion or white onion, thinly sliced.
  • Raisins: Or sub currants, crasins, or dried apricots (chopped).
  • Cinnamon sticks: Or sub 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • Spices: Cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cardamom (or nutmeg), and cayenne pepper (optional). Instead of spices, feel free to use 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of Ras el Hanout.
  • Water: or vegetable broth or chicken broth. See notes!
  • Garnishes: Orange (use the juice and zest), Italian parsley or fresh mint (lovely), pomegranate seeds, and slivered almonds (toasted).

* See the recipe card for detailed ingredients

How to Make Moroccan Rice

Place basmati rice in a bowl and cover with water and let soak while you prep.

In a large Dutch oven or braiser, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, lowering the heat if need be.

Add the raisins, cinnamon sticks, spices and salt and toast 1 minute in the pan.

Add the water, and the drained rice. Give a good stir and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water has evaporated.

Brown basmati takes roughly 40 minutes. White basmati rice takes 20-ish minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit covered for 10 minutes to get nice and fluffy.

Fluff with a fork. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, free to add more ground cinnamon to taste.

Squeeze with orange juice (start with ½), scatter with orange zest, parsley, pomegranate seeds, and toasted almonds. Serve with a bit of black pepper if desired.

Moroccan rice pilaf in large serving bowl with wood spoon- served with cinnamon stick, minced parsley, slivered almonds, pomegranate seeds.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Enjoy this rice dish on its own! To make a meal, stir in 1-2 cups of cooked chickpeas or lentils and readjust seasonings to your preference.
  2. Serve with Sweet & Spicy Moroccan Roasted Carrots or Moroccan Roasted Beets!
  3. Serve with a protein: Moroccan Rice Pilaf tastes great with Moroccan lamb, Moroccan chicken, Moroccan Salmon, or even grilled tofu!
  4. Serve as a side to soup: Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup, Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup, Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup, or Moroccan Carrot Soup.
  5. Make it a vegetarian meal: Serve with Moroccan Sweet Potatoes or Moroccan Eggplant, Moroccan Eggplant Tagine, or make it the base for our Moroccan Cauliflower Chickpea Bowls.

STORAGE

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This recipe can also be frozen for a month!

FAQs

What type of rice is best for pilaf?

Long-grain basmati rice. You can use white rice or brown rice, but just be sure to read the cooking time and liquid amount on the actual package. See notes.

What is pilaf made of?

Typically rice pilaf is made with rice, aromatics, broth or water, and seasonings! Here we use savory Moroccan spices.

Is Moroccan rice healthy?

Yes! If you use brown basmati rice, which is a heart-healthy whole grain, you’ll receive a great amount of dietary fiber. The onion and spices offer vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory curcumin. Slivered almonds provide healthy fats, and if you decide to stir in legumes like chickpeas or lentils, you’ll also benefit from additional plant-based protein!

What else could I add to Moroccan rice?

You could sub pine nuts or walnuts for the almonds, use dried cherries. Add any vegetables you’d like, such as carrots or garlic.

Is Moroccan rice gluten-free?

Yes! This rice-based recipe is a great gluten-free, Middle Eastern dish to serve as a side at social gatherings.

cooked Moroccan rice pilaf with cinnamon sticks in Dutch oven, garnished with minced parsley, pomegranate seeds, and slivered almonds.

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

More Favorite Moroccan Recipes!

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Description

This Moroccan Rice recipe is a delicious, wholesome side dish for any occasion! Made with savory Moroccan spices, almonds, dried fruit, and orange zest.



  1. Place rice in a bowl and cover with water and let soak while you prep.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or braiser, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, lowering the heat if need be.
  3. Add the raisins, cinnamon sticks, spices and salt and toast 1 minute.
  4. Add the water, and the drained rice.  Give a good stir and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water has evaporated. Brown basmati takes roughly 40 minutes. White basmati rice takes 20-ish minutes. Turn heat off and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  5. Fluff with a fork. Add the orange zest from one small orange, squeeze with the orange. 
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper, orange juice, ground cinnamon to taste. It should taste vibrant, bright, zesty, with enough salt to balance the acid. Add a good pinch of cayenne!
  7. Toss in most of the parsley, pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds saving a little of each for the top of the rice.
  8. Enjoy warm or chilled. 


Notes

Spices: instead of the spices, feel free to use 2 teaspoons of ras el hanout. Add more to taste!

Basmati rice: Brown basmati rice takes double the time to cook than white basmati and may require more water than white basmati. *Always read your package directions for the liquid /rice ratio and cooking time. This recipe used Lundberg Organic Brown basmati rice and took 40 minutes of covered simmering time.

Tip: the garnishes make  the dish adding flavor and texture!

To turn this into more of a meal, you could stir in cooked chickpeas or lentils (1-2 cups) and re-season to taste.

Moroccan Rice will keep up to 4 days in the fridge, can be reheated in a saute pan, or can be frozen.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 217
  • Sugar: 1.8 g
  • Sodium: 298 mg
  • Fat: 4.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Moroccan Rice, moroccan rice pilaf, moroccan rice recipe, Moroccan rice pilaf recipe

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