Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas

5 from 9 votes
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One Pan Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas with lemon and parsley. This delicious, impressive dinner is packed with bold flavors and easy to make.

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Moroccan chicken and chickpeas topped with lemon and parsley in a sauté pan.
Read more: Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas

One pan recipes are true heroes in our household (along with sheet pan recipes like this Honey Sesame Chicken).

They’re the best no-fuss dinner option, especially when work runs late.

Like my reader-favorite One Pan Pasta, this recipe comes together in less than an hour, uses a single pan, and is LOADED with bold flavors and feel-good ingredients.

It features spiced chicken thighs, saucy chickpeas, loads of garlic, fresh parsley, and lemon.

Enjoy as it, or serve it with warm pita, naan, or some crusty bread to sop up the sauce.

How to Make Moroccan Chicken

One major perk of this recipe is that it does not require any pre-marinating. And the slicing and dicing is VERY minimal.

It’s also very allergen-friendly, being free of gluten, dairy, and nuts. (Bonus points for it being packed with protein!)

Moroccan chicken is also a dream for meal prep. Make this recipe on Sunday night with a batch of Sautéed Broccoli. Then divide into preportioned storage containers that you can warm up on-demand all week long for an easy lunch.

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients arranged on a wooden board with labels.
  • Chicken Thighs: I prefer using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs for this recipe, which stay super juicy. However, you can also use boneless, skinless thighs or chicken breasts. Just note, for the former, they will need less cooking time than bone-in thighs or breasts.
  • Spices: A mix of paprika, oregano, and cumin coat the chicken to ensure bold flavor in every bite.
  • Chickpeas: You need 1 (15-oz.) can of chickpeas WITH the brine for this recipe. The brine is actually the only liquid added to the pan, which helps create a delicious sauce.
  • Onion + Garlic: Red onion and fresh garlic form the aromatic backbone of this Moroccan Chicken recipe.
  • Tomato Paste: For brightness and rich notes of umami. The key to unlocking tomato paste’s full flavor potential is to make sure it’s adequately caramelized. This means cooking it with the spices and garlic for at least 2 full minutes. You want it to turn brick-red in color.
  • Harissa: Harissa is a North African spice paste that looks like a mix between tomato paste and tomato sauce. It has a slightly smoky spiciness with bright acidity and earthy undertones, and is a great shortcut ingredient to achieving big flavor.
  • Lemon: The lemon is both roasted with the chicken and chickpeas, and used as a final garnish for extra brightness.
  • Parsley: A smattering of fresh parsley (or dill) rounds out the dish.

For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Use Chicken Breasts: If you’re more comfortable cooking chicken breasts than thighs, that will totally work here! Just sauté the chicken until it’s nicely golden, and bake until it registers 165ºF.
  • Add Spinach: If you’re trying to sneak some greens into this meal, add a couple handfuls of fresh baby spinach to the chickpea mixture. Let it cook down before transferring the pan to the oven.
  • Make Spicy: Unless you’re using spicy harissa, this dish definitely benefits from a hit of chili flakes or Aleppo pepper.
  • Use Butter Beans: In place of chickpeas, 1 can of butter beans also works beautifully in this recipe. (Butter beans have a softer, creamier consistency than chickpeas.)
A blue patterned plate with one chicken thigh and a scoop of spiced chickpeas. Garnishes include a lemon slice and chopped parsley.

The Directions

Step 1: Season Chicken with olive oil and spices in a bowl.

Step 2: Sear Chicken in a large oven-safe pan until nicely golden. Transfer to a plate.

Chicken thighs being seasoned in a bowl, and sautéed in pan.

Step 3: Sauté Aromatics

Add red onion to pan, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and harissa; cook 2 minutes, until aromatic.

Step 4: Add Chickpeas and simmer 2 minutes.

Onion, tomato paste, and garlic being simmered in a pan, and can of chickpeas being poured in.

Step 5: Add Chicken and Bake bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken registers at 165ºF.

Chicken thighs nestled in a pan of chickpeas with lemon slices arranged around the chicken.

How to Store and Reheat:

  • Store: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 days.
  • Reheat: The chicken and chickpeas are best reheated gently in the microwave or in a nonstick skillet on the stove. I recommend cutting the chicken into pieces first to help it reheat without drying out. Leftover chicken is also delicious at room temperature, served over a salad.

Note: I do not suggest freezing this recipe, as the chickpeas become mealy after being frozen and reheated.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving this Moroccan chicken with a simple side salad or sautéed veggie. Here are a few suggestions:

A sauté pan filled with Moroccan-spiced chicken thighs and chickpeas.

More One Pan Dinner Recipes:

If you try this Moroccan Chicken, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 9 votes

One Pan Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas

One Pan Moroccan Chicken and Chickpeas with lemon and parsley. This delicious, nutritious dinner is packed with bold flavors and perfect for weeknights.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large skillet or sauté pan

Ingredients  

  • 1.5 lbs. chicken thighs (I use bone-in, skin-on)*
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) red onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. harissa
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas (do not drain)
  • 1 whole lemon, divided
  • Chopped fresh parsley or dill for garnish

Serving Suggestion

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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
    Place chicken thighs in a bowl, and add olive oil, 3/4 tsp. salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, and black pepper. Rub oil and spice mixture all over chicken (I use my hands), making sure to season under the skin, if possible.
    Heat a large oven-safe skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, arrange chicken thighs in pan (skin side down), and cook, undisturbed for 6 to 7 minutes. Once golden and crisp, gently flip, and cook for 2 more minutes.
    Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • Add red onion to pan (there should be enough residual chicken juices in pan that you don't need oil, but if not, add a light drizzle of olive oil). Cook onion until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and harissa; cook 2 minutes, until the tomato paste turns brick-red. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.
    Add chickpeas with brine (this is the only liquid you're using), and gently simmer mixture for 2 minutes, scraping to release any browned bits stuck to the pan.
  • Slice the lemon in half. Slice one half into thin rounds, and leave the remaining half whole.
  • Nestle chicken thighs back into pan with chickpeas, and scatter lemon slices around chicken (reserve remaining half of lemon for garnish).
    Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the chicken registers 165ºF. Squeeze remaining half of lemon over chicken and chickpeas, and garnish with fresh parsley.

Notes

  • You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. Depending on thickness, however, you may need to adjust the sauté times.
  • If you’re using a mild harissa paste, such as Mina brand, this dish benefits from the addition of a little heat in the form of crushed red chili flakes or Aleppo pepper.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3 days. The chicken will lose its crisp, however the flavors will stay sharp.

Nutrition

Serving: 6oz. chicken + 1/2 cup chickpea mixture | Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 890mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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5 from 9 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. annabel says:

    5 stars
    literally one of the best recipes i’ve ever had

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      YAY so happy the recipe was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  2. Zaak says:

    Super quick, easy, and tasty!

  3. Briana Valentine Hansen says:

    5 stars
    This is a solid recipe. The flavors are amazing. Pay off is full of flavor and the recipe is so freaking easy.

    1. Sam says:

      5 stars
      This was absolutely delicious! Already can’t wait to make again

  4. Sophie says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! It came together quickly and the flavors were great. Served it with some pearled cous cous and the two of us accidentally finished the whole pan!

    1. Elaine says:

      5 stars
      This was so full of flavors and very easy to make. I used chicken breasts since that’s all I had at the moment, but next time I’ll try it with thighs.

  5. Karen says:

    5 stars
    This is so delicious! The flavor profile was a total hit and it is quite easy to put together. I made on a Sunday and reheated in a skillet on the stovetop on a Tuesday—chicken was so moist. A new favorite.

  6. Kyle says:

    Is there anything that can be substituted for the Harissa sauce that’s a little more budget friendly?

    1. Thea says:

      I made Harissa myself, it was quite easy! Just look for a recipe and change some parts, if you don’t have everything exactly as stated at home. It also doesn’t take long to make it, you only need about 15-20 minutes.