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ras el hanout chicken with spicy couscous

Ras el hanout chicken with a spicy couscous makes a perfect lunch dish or a quick and easy mid-week dinner. Ideal for those who enjoy a hit of spice.

A few weeks ago Michelle and I were sat debating the merits of couscous.  Turns out I love it, however Michelle said that she tires of it very easily.  My favourite way to serve couscous is heavily spiced which is no great shock to anyone who knows me. Michelle said she has never cooked a spiced up version before so I volunteered to cook it for her sometime.

We were blogging today and had quite a lot to get through so lunch needed to be quick. I have never been one for a daily dose of sandwiches (which is why my blogging buddy enjoys lunch at my house). Inspiration hit as I recalled our conversation a couple of weeks ago. So ras el hanout chicken with couscous for lunch.

What is ras el hanout?

Ras el hanout is simply a spice blend, originating from North Africa. Ras el hanout chicken with couscous is a dish that appears weekly in my house. Any dish containing the North African spice blend ras el hanout is a winner with my family. It is not a fiery blend, more aromatic. The spices used are warmer spices including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Making this an ideal family friendly spice blend, a great one for introducing kids to spice.

Try Ras el hanout chicken and top the couscous with a generous handful of pomegranate seeds. Warm spices, the sweetness of the peppers and the burst of juice from the pomegranate. Does lunchtime get any better? Unless of course you can wash it down with a nice crisp glass of white wine! Alas not today with the school run to factor in.

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try our Chicken Salad with Pomegranate & Harissa, or our Bulgur Wheat Risotto with Asparagus & Pancetta, or our Chicken Pilaf, both great spiced dishes.

It is a great dish to serve as part of a mezze platter. For more recipes read my Easy Mezze Platter Ideas post.

Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.

Ras el hanout chicken & spicy couscous

Ras el hanout chicken served with a spicy couscous. A great choice for lunch or for a quick midweek dinner!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 748kcal


  • 1 pomegranate (seeds removed)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g butter (split into 2 x 25g sticks)
  • 2 banana shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 ” cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamon pods (seeds only – remove the husk)
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 level tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-4 small dried chillies (add to your own taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 200 g couscous
  • 1 vegetable stock pot
  • 450 ml water


  • 2 chicken breasts (sliced)
  • 1 heaped tsp ras el hanout spice blend
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, add the vegetables and saute gently for 5 minutes. The vegetables should soften but not colour.
  • Place the dried spices and chillies for the couscous in a pestle and mortar along with the salt and grind down to a powder. Add the spice blend to the saucepan along with the vegetables and continue to saute for a further 5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the wine vinegar to the pan, stirring to combine. Leave this to cook away for a further 5 minutes.
  • While the vegetables and spices are cooking place the olive oil and ras el hanout spice into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the chicken and stir well to coat. (You can marinade the chicken for longer if you have time). Set aside until you are ready to cook.
  • Once the vegetables and spices are ready add the couscous, the stock pot or cube and 450ml of boiling water. Taking the pan off the heat, stir well to combine, place on the pan lid and set aside to allow the water to be absorbed.
  • Meanwhile heat up a non stick frying pan and once hot add the chicken and the oily marinade. Stir fry the chicken until coloured and cooked through.
  • Just before serving fork the remaining half of the butter through the couscous to separate the grains.
  • Serve the couscous in warm bowls with the chicken on top, as well as a generous helping of pomegranate seeds.


This dish is lovely served hot but is equally nice served cold as a salad.
Nutrition Facts
Ras el hanout chicken & spicy couscous
Amount Per Serving
Calories 748 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 132mg44%
Sodium 1319mg57%
Potassium 1044mg30%
Carbohydrates 78g26%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 1790IU36%
Vitamin C 64.3mg78%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Main Course
Cuisine : British, Morrocan
Keyword : Easy, Quick, Simple, spicy
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Recipe Rating

Cat | Curly's Cooking

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Love ras el hanout and this chicken with the couscous sound so delicious. I could eat this any day!


Thursday 29th of October 2020

Thank you very much Cat, this is a favourite meal in my house and perfect mid week as it's quick to cook! Lesley

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Monday 3rd of February 2020

[…] Ras El Hanout Chicken with Spicy Couscous – Lost in Food […]

Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie

Saturday 10th of June 2017

This look amazing and so up my street - I am such a fan of all of these flavours. Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare :-D Eb x


Saturday 10th of June 2017

Thank you Eb, a favourite dish in my house, warm spices with a fresh hit of pomegranate which I love.

Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

Friday 9th of June 2017

My kind of dinner for sure. Love how vibrant pomegranate seeds are and I bet they also help to balance all the spices. One to pin and make! :) x


Friday 9th of June 2017

Thank you Jo, the pomegranate seeds really balance with dish and add a burst of flavour and crunch. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Corina Blum

Friday 9th of June 2017

What a delicious lunch! I'd love this and the pomegranate makes it look so pretty too.


Friday 9th of June 2017

Thanks Corina! I love this lunch too and the crunch of the pomegranate just makes the dish pop. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Cheers, Michelle