Don't get us wrong, we love classic comfort food dishes (most of which cook in a Crock-Pot) as much as the next foodie, but that doesn't mean we can't put an international twist on our favorite cuisine. Enter, Moroccan comfort food.
Featuring flavorful and warming spices like turmeric, paprika, harissa, and cinnamon, these dishes have everything we look for in delicious comfort foods with the added bonus of taking our taste buds to northern Africa. Spanning a vegetarian-friendly, lentil-stuffed eggplant dish to a crispy skillet roasted chicken tagine recipe, these tasty dishes will inspire you to mix up your meal-planning menu.
Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant
The Recipe: Minimalist Baker
The Hero Ingredient: The saucy Moroccan lentils. Spiced with a combination of turmeric, paprika, and cayenne, these legumes bring just the right amount of heat to this recipe. Did we mention they cook up in just 30 minutes?
The Pro Tip: You can make this Moroccan lentil-stuffed eggplant dish two ways: as pictured or in roll-up form. "In my opinion, the roll-ups are a prettier presentation that requires less cooking time," confesses recipe creator Dana Shultz. "But the stuffed eggplants look like a seriously hearty entrée when plated. You can't lose either way!"
Golden Turmeric Carrot Ginger Soup
The Recipe: Broma Bakery
The Hero Ingredient: Carrots. While squash tends to steal the spotlight when it comes to winter produce, carrots get their moment to shine as a base ingredient in this delicious blended soup.
The Pro Tip: "This golden turmeric carrot ginger soup is the absolutely perfect soup to dip crusty baguettes in," advises Broma Bakery's Sarah Crawford. "It's thick and vegetal and bursting with flavor," she says. "The turmeric imparts a warmth, plus is anti-inflammatory," she adds.
Skillet-Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine
The Recipe: Half Baked Harvest
The Hero Ingredient: The Moroccan-spiced chicken. Seasoned with smoked paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper, the chicken cooks to crispy, juicy, flavorful perfection in the skillet.
The Pro Tip: Make this skillet-roasted delicious dish a one-pot meal by tossing the veggies in the same skillet with the protein. "Not only does this make for quick and easy cleanup, but the squash gets roasted in the chicken's fats, which makes for the most delicious veggie side," Half Baked Harvest founder Tieghan Gerard says.
If you want the dish to taste a bit more savory, add a couple extra olives. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for something a touch sweeter, throw in a few more dates.
Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
The Recipe: Half Baked Harvest
The Hero Ingredient: The spices. The red harissa, the smoked paprika, the cumin, and the cinnamon come together beautifully after spending a few hours stewing in the crockpot. After all, it wouldn't be a classic Moroccan dish without a slew of complementary spices, right?
The Pro Tip: Gerard admits, "This Moroccan soup is incredible, and the very best part is that literally all of the ingredients get thrown into the crockpot and you are done." It doesn't get any easier than that.
Moroccan-Inspired Sweet Potato Salad
The Recipe: The First Mess
The Hero Ingredient: Sweet potatoes. It's our belief that sweet potatoes are the best kinds of potatoes. Generally, we've never considered them to be the star ingredient of many salads, but this recipe is making us reconsider our stance.
The Pro Tip: "If I had thought of this at the time, I would have added some cooked quinoa or millet to the mix—about a 1/2 cup of dry grain cooked," recipe creator Laura Wright divulges. While we think this Moroccan-inspired salad makes for a tasty side dish, we have to agree with Laura's suggestion of adding grains to turn it into a filling main.