We'll admit it: We've had our fill of classic comfort foods (think: tomato basil soup and stuffed pasta shells). Don't get us wrong, we love these heart-warming dishes, but now that it's mid-February, we're looking for new recipes to get us through winter. In our search for inspired ways to satiate our comfort food cravings, we set our sights on Moroccan recipes. 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 North 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 midweek meals too.
Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant
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 of Minimalist Baker. "But the stuffed eggplants look like a seriously hearty entrée when plated. You can't lose either way!"
The Clincher: The vegan parmesan cheese, which lends a salty, nutty flavor to stuffed eggplant. Of course, you can swap with regular parmesan if you're not adhering to a vegan diet.
Golden Turmeric Carrot Ginger Soup
The Hero Ingredient: The 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 Sarah of Broma Bakery. "It's thick and vegetal and bursting with flavor," she says. "The turmeric imparts a warmth, plus is anti-inflammatory," she adds.
The Clincher: The coconut cream complements the spiced soup without adding any dairy to this vegan-friendly recipe. Trust u—you don't want to skip adding a drizzle of this delightful cream when serving.
Skillet Roasted Moroccan Chicken and Olive Tagine
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 Moroccan chicken and olive tagine 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," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
The Clincher: The olives and dates. The saltiness of the olives and the sweetness of the dates add a level of depth to this dish that will have you coming back for seconds (and thirds).
Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
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.
The Pro Tip: This crockpot Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup "is incredible, and the very best part is that literally all of the ingredients get thrown into the crockpot and you are done," confesses Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "No browning meat, no making extra things when you arrive home, just ladle the soup into bowls and eat." It couldn't be easier.
The Clincher: The whipped goat cheese. What's a spicy dish without a creamy topping to balance the flavors out? We must confess that a dollop of whipped goat cheese in this soup is especially decadent.
Moroccan-Inspired Sweet Potato Salad
The Hero Ingredient: The sweet potatoes.
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," divulges Laura of The First Mess. While we think this Moroccan-inspired sweet potato 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.
The Clincher: The date vinaigrette. A blend of sweet dates, tart lemon juice, and tangy dijon mustard is the perfect complement to this surprisingly hearty sweet potato salad.