Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken with Olives and Apricots is a one-pan meal. Roasted with carrots and onions and lots of spices like warm spices like paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. This minimal clean-up meal is loaded with protein and served with a side of Israeli couscous with toasted almonds.
This post has kindly been sponsored by Mezzetta. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Mezzetta olives are always in my pantry and I am always looking for ways to add more oomph to my family’s meals. The addition of two different kinds of olives did just that.
I don’t know about you, but I really miss traveling. Packing our bags and being able to experience the flavors and cultures of far-off places is something I am longing for.
One way that I have found to scratch the itch is to make meals reminiscent of our travels. A few years ago we spent the week leading to Christmas in Morocco and it was one of the most incredible trips I’ve ever been on.
Every meal was better than the last. I ate so many vegetable tagines, I couldn’t get enough. Every meal included a bowl of olives, a mint tea, some kind of tagine, and delicious little cookies. I was in absolute HEAVEN.
So to change up one of my regular sheet pan chicken dinners that I make all. the. time. I gave it a Moroccan twist. This one-pan Moroccan chicken has a flavorful spice rub, two kinds of Mezzetta olives, lemon, and dried apricots.
Elevating a normal dinner into something that took us right back to sleeping under the stars in the desert with minimal effort.
To make this baked Moroccan chicken dinner, you begin by making a spice rub, laying out a cut-up whole chicken on a sheet pan, and surrounding it with carrots, onions, lemon wedges, olives, and dried apricots.
You probably have almost everything you need already in your pantry.
The Moroccan Spice Rub. Brown sugar, paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, and black pepper make such a flavorful rub.
Store leftover spice mix in an airtight container and use it to flavor vegetables or any protein you like.
It’s also great for those spices that sit in your spice cabinet and need to be used up.
Whole chicken. I bought my whole organic chicken already cut into pieces. It came wrapped and ready to go. You can use whatever cut of chicken you like – all breast, thighs, drumsticks. Use what you have.
Carrots. I happen to LOVE a roasted carrot. It brings out the sweetness and completely changes the taste and texture. I like mine to still have some bite, I’ve found that 45 minutes is perfect.
Lemon wedges. Preserved lemons are in so many Moroccan dishes. You can make preserved lemons or buy them, but I used up the last of the ones I bought in Morocco (food souvenirs are the only kind of souvenirs I care about).
Lemon wedges are perfect here. They roast and when your pan comes out of the oven, you can squeeze the roasted lemons all over the chicken and vegetables.
Olives. Olives are addicting. Colossal olives add saltiness and contrast to everything else on the sheet pan and perfect against the sweet apricots. I love the Mezzaetta Colossal Castelventrano Style Pitted Olives so much, they are buttery and add a briny flavor that I love. They are giant and also very mild.
I also used Mezzetta Mediterranean Za’atar Olives. I drained the liquid but scraped out the za’atar that was in the bottom of the jar. Never throw away flavor! These olives have the same buttery quality as the Castelventrano, but with added spice. These remind me of the olives we ate in Italy, with the spices of Morocco.
Dried Apricots. Dried fruit is in so many African dishes, it adds such a beautiful sweetness to savory things. And brings me right back to our time there – date and fruit trees are all you see in some places.
How the Make Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken with Olives and Apricots //
This sheet pan Moroccan chicken and vegetable meal comes together in no time. Minimal prep and easy clean-up. It’s a perfect weeknight meal.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. This helps with the easy clean-up. Preheat your oven to 400°.
Start by making the spice rub. Simply mix all of the spices together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Add the chicken to a large mixing bowl and add oil and spice mix. Rub into the chicken, making sure it is well coated. Really rub it in.
Add the carrots and red onion to the bowl and toss to coat.
Arrange the chicken pieces on the sheet pan. Scatter vegetables, lemon wedges, and Mezzetta olives around the chicken. I like my apricots to get dark brown and add them at this point. But you could also add them to the last 20 minutes of cooking if you don’t want them to darken.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Bake the chicken for 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165°.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
To make the Israeli Couscous with Toasted Almonds add almonds to a dry saucepan. Toast until golden brown, and then remove from pan and set aside. Add couscous and toast until golden brown. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the water has absorbed.
Toss with olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
What Makes This Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken So Good? //
Even though this is not a true Moroccan dish, it is still really delicious and everyone in my family loves it. No easy feat. We love it because:
- The spice rub! So flavorful and adds a deep, rich, flavor to the chicken and veggies.
- How easy it is to prepare. Minimal effort to get this meal in the oven and next to no dishes!
- Two kinds of olives and dried apricots make this simple meal feel exotic and special. These two additions elevate this to something new and change it in a really delicious way – with zero effort.
- The Israeli couscous is not something I normally make but is perfection alongside this incredible sheet pan chicken.
Tips for Making Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken and Veggies //
- If you would like to get ahead, you can rub the chicken and put it in a plastic bag until ready to use. You can do this even a day in advance.
- Use olives that already have seasoning like the Za’atar olives. It just adds more incredible flavor to the dish.
- I recommend wearing gloves when rubbing the chicken, turmeric is delicious, but also stains your hands (and counters).
Serving Suggestions //
I served my chicken and vegetables with a side of couscous, but you could make rice or just add a simple green salad.
If I wear going to add a sauce (and I am all about a sauce) I would make a quick tahini dressing to drizzle over top. Whisk together some tahini, honey, lemon juice, garlic, and thin with water.
Sprinkle over crumbled feta, chopped pistachios or almonds, or to make it truly Moroccan – pomegranate seeds when they are in season.
This is great for lunches and makes excellent leftovers. If you are a meal prepper, this is a great one. It tastes even better the next day and reheats beautifully.
To make a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with a can of drained chickpeas and some chopped fresh cauliflower. Follow the recipe as written.
Thank you to Mezzetta for sponsoring this post. I am honored to work with brands that I love and use frequently in my recipes. To learn more about Mezzetta products and see their line of olives, peppers, pickles vegetables, and sauces (their Whole Garlic and Sweet Basil sauce is my go-to pasta sauce and great on pizza), check out their website:
To see the latest, follow their hashtag #MezzettaMakesItBetta