Moroccan Chili and Couscous

Back before Pinterest, I watched the Food Network channel religiously.  Rachel Ray, Giada, and Sunny Anderson were some of my favorites.  I especially loved Rachel’s 30 Minute Meals.  If I could make an amazing meal for my family in the time it would take my boys to watch 2 Curious Georges then it was a huge win for me.  I hoarded recipes like crazy.  It would drive Matthew nuts because our DVR would fill up with all of the food shows I recorded.  Now, I mostly create my own recipes and when that fails I search Pinterest.  BUT, I have my favorites from the good o’le days…and Moroccan Chili and Couscous is definitely one of them.  When I first saw Rachel Ray make this recipe I decided I just had to try to recreate it.  The fact that she made this recipe that has over 20 ingredients in 30 minutes caused me to aim high.  I was still a rookie when it came to trying new recipes, but the fact that I have a giant stubborn gene aided me in being successful eventually.  While Rachel’s original recipe is super yummy, I have tweaked it for my own purposes.  I am posting my recipe version below but will link Rachel’s original recipe as well.

Moroccan Chili and Couscous

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 6 servings
Calories 613 kcal



  • 2 lb ground chicken
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground corriander
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika regular is fine too
  • 1 large lemon zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 14 oz tomato paste
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 tbsp butter unsalted
  • cups chicken stock low sodium
  • cup couscous
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 6 dried aprictos sliced thin
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds
  • 8 slices pita bread cut into triangles


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Heat skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, add meat and brown. Season the meat with salt and pepper, to taste, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and paprika.
  • Add the bay leaf, onions, bell pepper and garlic to the pan. Cook until onions are soft, 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Stir and reduce heat to simmer. 
  • Bring butter and stock to a boil in a pot with tight-fitting lid. Add dried fruit and couscous stir then turn off heat and set the lid in place. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add nuts and toss with a fork.  Toast p
  • oast pita wedges in a hot oven or under a broiler. Pile chili in bowls, top with couscous and serve with pita wedges for scooping.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 613kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 39gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 850mgPotassium: 2036mgFiber: 9gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 2389IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 6mg
Keyword chili, couscous, naan bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I use to make my own pita chips as the recipe calls for.  But I recently found these cute little naan bread slices at my local Sam’s Club and haven’t looked back.  Rachel’s recipe calls for ground lamb, but I have found that not only is ground lamb difficult to find and expensive compared to other ground meats, it is also more calories and more fat than ground chicken.  Another thing to think about is that while lamb is traditional to Moroccan food and chicken isn’t, the sodium content of ground lamb is usually quite a bit higher than ground chicken.

To create this recipe so it is vegan/vegetarian friendly; substitute any vegetable for the ground meat. Diced up eggplant and portobello mushrooms are extra yummy and the heartiness of those hold up well and don’t fall apart as they are cooked. Tofu would be a good option as well. It can be chopped to replicated the texture of ground meats. Instead of using chicken stock for the couscous, water works well. Vegetable stock could be used, but in my experience most vegetable stock is rather flavorful and that could detract from the flavors of the dried fruits and nuts. The butter that is also added to the couscous is not necessary and only adds a slight creaminess to the texture so it could easily be omitted as well. If you’d like to keep the creaminess, equal parts avocado oil to the butter has been a wonderful substitute for me.

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