When the weather is a bit iffy — snow, no snow? — either way, it’s going to be a chilly evening; this is the perfect dish to warm you up. I whipped up a Moroccan inspired chicken and Orzo dish that is so rich and comforting with lots of warm spices and plenty of kick.

Chicken thigh meat, orzo pasta, and chickpeas are the highlight of this meal. The tomato-based sauce includes cumin, paprika, turmeric, and more, along with copious amounts of cayenne and spicy harissa. Make no mistake; this dish is not for the faint of heart. It is intentionally spicy (just the way I like). However, if you are not a fan of spicy food, you may want to forego the spicy components. Don’t worry, you want be sacrificing any flavor, only the heat.

I am a huge fan of foods from the Greek, Libyan, Moroccan, and Turkish regions. I started seriously exploring Mediterranean cuisine a little over a year ago, and the more I dive in, the more I want to learn. There is so much fascinating history about the regional spices and foods.

This mouthwatering dish takes about an hour to whip up from start to finish, and it is definitely worth every minute.

Are you a fan of Mediterranean food?

Well, if you are, you simply must try this Moroccan Inspired Chicken And Orzo recipe.

Moroccan Inspired Chicken
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5 from 3 votes

Moroccan Inspired Chicken and Orzo

A hearty Moroccan inspired dish that combines chicken with orzo pasta and a generous dose of spicy harissa.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Chicken, Comfort Food, Hearty, Meal, One-Pot, Spicy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6


  • Large Dutch Oven or Deep Pan


  • 6 chicken thighs bone-in, skinless
  • 1 cup orzo uncooked
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 1/2 cup canned petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp tajin seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat large dutch oven or deep pan over medium-high heat, and add oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of chicken and add chicken to pan. Sear chicken until brown on both sides, remove from pan and set aside to cool. Remove bone from chicken, and chop into large pieces.
  • Add onions to pan, cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne, and cook until just fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook another 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, and chicken broth, and bring mixture to a boil. Add mint, harissa, and tajin seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Reduce heat bring mixture to a simmer and return chopped chicken to the pan. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add orzo and chickpeas, and cook until pasta is just tender. Add cilantro and stir to combine.
  • Serve hot, garnished with cilantro.

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