This Moroccan-inspired chicken & rice skillet combines perfectly-cooked chicken with bold Moroccan-inspired flavors for a simple one-pot meal that’s perfect for adding variety to your weeknight dinners!

moroccan chicken and rice skillet

This recipe is…

I LOVE a good one-pot meal. The only thing better than getting to sit down to a quick, delicious meal? Not having to deal with a sink full of dishes afterwards! Now that’s my kind of cooking. After the popularity of this Lemon Chicken & Rice Skillet earlier in the year, we knew that we wanted to deliver you more meals like it. This time around, we punched up the flavor with more spices, lemon, and olives.

About Moroccan Spices

Let’s talk Moroccan spices for a minute. Moroccan cuisine tends to combine both sweet and savory spices with salty elements like olives and preserved lemon to create a deep, rich flavor that sets it apart from any other cuisine. Typically these spices are combined with a protein and vegetables then slowly cooked to create a dish called tajine, but today we are simplifying things a bit for this Moroccan-inspired Chicken & Rice Skillet in the name of getting dinner on the table fast!

How to Cook Moroccan-Inspired Chicken with Rice

First, we are going to whisk together the secret weapon here – our spices. You may be worried that it’s too much for 2 pounds of chicken, but just trust me, it is going to be goooood! Next, you’ll coat the chicken with the spice, then sear it in a heavy-bottomed pan until it is a glorious golden brown. Then, you’ll remove the chicken from the pan then add the rice so it can combine with the flavorful browned bits still left in the pan and take on a delicious, toasted flavor. Every step here builds the flavor in this simple dish! Once the rice starts to give off a nutty fragrance, we add in chicken broth, then leave it to cook, later adding in lemon juice, olives, and the chicken to brighten up the flavor and ensure the chicken is perfectly cooked.

moroccan chicken and rice skillet

Serving Moroccan-Inspired Chicken with Rice

Finally, you’ll garnish the dish with cilantro and lemon then serve it up! If you’d like to add a veggie, I’d recommend either serving with a side salad or roasting some veggies in the oven as the chicken and rice cook. I hope you and your family enjoy this Moroccan-inspired chicken & rice skillet as much as we do!

Moroccan-Inspired Chicken Recipe with Rice

4.91 — Votes 11 votes
By Cassy Joy Garcia
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
This Moroccan-Inspired Chicken and Rice Skillet is a one-pot meal that brings the complex flavors of Moroccan cuisine to an easy, weeknight meal!


For the Moroccan Seasoning:

For the Chicken & Rice Skillet

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced or pounded to 1-inch thickness
  • 1 1/2 cup white rice I used Basmati
  • 2 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup green olives drained
  • 1 lemon quartered, for garnish
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish


  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the Moroccan seasoning until well-combined.
  • Liberally season the chicken breast on both sides with the Moroccan blend until fully coated.
  • Melt butter (or olive oil) in a skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, add the chicken. Sear for 3-4 minutes per side, until browned.
  • Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add the rice to the skillet over medium-high heat and stir. Cook 1-2 minutes until toasted. It will give off a slightly nutty aroma at this point.
  • Add the broth to the pan with the rice and whisk to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Once rice is boiling, give it a final stir, add the thyme, and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes has passed, remove the lid from the pot and stir the lemon juice into the rice, then place chicken breasts and olives on top of the rice.
  • Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, then remove from heat, let cool slightly, garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges, and serve!

Recipe Notes

  • You can substitute any type of rice you like in this recipe, just make sure you follow the rice to water ratio on the back of the package.
  • If you choose to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breast, make sure to drain off the excess fat before adding the rice to the skillet, so you don’t wind up with greasy rice.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.6g | Protein: 38.3g | Fat: 8.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.5g | Cholesterol: 117.7mg | Sodium: 658.9mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 0.8g

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: African
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 402
Keyword: chicken with rice, moroccan chicken and rice

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    So good! I had everything on hand, except the cilantro and it was a hit. Definitely on the rotation. The flavors came together so nicely. Would love to incorporate a vegetable with the dish.
    Whenever the instructions say to cook 3-4 minutes each side, I tend to cook the chicken close to being done bc most of the time I end up cooking the dish longer to cook the chicken. The rice was perfect.

    1. Such an amazing feeling when you already have everything on hand!! Great tip for cooking the chicken, Leigh! We are so happy you enjoyed it!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe, I feel like an actual cook and my wife always raves about this dish.

    1. Hahah! You cooked it, right?… you ARE a cook! We are so happy y’all love it, Dave!

  3. 4 stars
    WOW. The flavors in this dish are amazing and rich. I was skeptical about the olives, but they were so complementary.

    However, the way the dish came together just did not work for me, and I’m wondering if I misunderstood the recipe. I browned my chicken for 4 minutes each side, but they were only about 130 degrees in the center. I placed them on top of the rice after 10 minutes, and they still weren’t close to done after the next 10 minutes (and the rice was still crunchy, and was starting to brown on the bottom.) I ended up cooking the whole dish for another 15-20 minutes to get everything fully cooked. It was delicious, but the rice was a little mushy and had a crispy browned bottom. (Which tasted amazing, but it was a little too close to burnt for me to want to do that again.)

    So, is the chicken supposed to cook thoroughly in those first 3-4 minutes per side in the skillet or is it just supposed to brown and then continue cooking fully on top of the rice in that final 10 minutes?