One of the most surprising things about eating in Morocco is how many great salads there are. Of course, many of these recipes don’t fit into the traditional notion of what a salad is, but they are veggie-focused and loaded with Moroccan flavors. In this post, we are the best Moroccan salad recipes we’ve found, using all sorts of ingredients and spices.
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What Is A Moroccan Salad?
When we traveled to Morocco in 2019, we were surprised at what is considered a salad in Morocco. It’s certainly not what we think of in the US or in the UK. Instead, they focus on tasty combinations of carrots, eggplant, chickpeas, and other healthy ingredients.
I loved all the varieties of salads that were served before many of our meals. There really isn’t a tradition of Moroccan appetizers, per se. But, many of our meals started with several small plates or bowls of various types of salads to share among the group.
Zaalouk in Morocco
Check out some of our other Moroccan salad recipes:
In Morocco, often meals started with a chopped or mixed salad that included tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, lettuce, or mint. These salads will be served before or alongside a tagine or couscous. Other times, a “Moroccan mixed salad” included rice, potatoes, eggs, or beets.
Zaalouk was one of my favorite things to eat in Morocco, but I love anything with eggplant. Zaalouk is made with roasted eggplant that is mixed with seasonings that might include paprika, ginger, garlic, black pepper, coriander, cumin, olive oil, and sometimes a little chili.
Tk’touka is another cold salad made with roasted peppers and roasted tomatoes, along with cumin, coriander, and lemon. Normally, the peppers are roasted in a wooden oven.
Want to learn more about traveling in Morocco for food? Check out these related posts:
This harissa couscous and chickpeas recipe takes a basic couscous, packs it with vegetarian-friendly protein and spicy Moroccan harissa sauce. It makes a filling main course or can be repurposed for a fresh salad.
This warm Moroccan roasted vegetable salad is packed with cold-weather comfort foods, like butternut squash, apples, and pomegranate. It's a gluten-free and vegan Moroccan recipe that is also easy enough to make for a mid-week meal.
This Moroccan raw carrot salad is one that can be made in minutes and that pairs well with so many of your dishes. My Moroccan carrot salad instantly became a favorite side dish the first time I served it to my family.
A flavorful Moroccan orange salad with chickpeas is spiced with harissa and fresh herbs. This spicy side dish of Moroccan chickpea salad is vegan, quick + easy to make and bursting with beautiful flavors!
Tangy Greek yogurt gets a flavorful boost from preserved lemon and finely chopped fresh herbs… Easy Moroccan Preserved Lemon Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Herbs is a perfect finish to your Moroccan/Middle Eastern (even every day) dishes, and it’s so easy to make!
A Moroccan lamb salad with couscous is the perfect way to bring Moroccan flavors home in a unique way. This giant couscous salad is packed full of flavor, with hints of lemon and mint and topped off with some feta and red onion. Roasted butternut squash adds its distinctive sweetness to it and all of this is topped up with some tangy pomegranate molasses.
Enjoy salad for dinner with this spin on Moroccan salad made with traditional Moroccan ingredients and topped off with my favorite roasted chickpeas. This salad has everything in a bowl. Chicken, couscous, veggies, croutons and a zippy lemon and olive oil dressing. Start off the new year right with this keeper.
How To Spice Up A Moroccan Salad Bowl
Want a quick and easy way to make any salad taste a little like Morocco? Add a bit of spicy Moroccan chili paste for flavor.
Harissa is a chili paste that is popular in Northern Africa cuisine. It’s normally made with a mix of chili peppers, cumin, and coriander. We fell in love with the flavor of harissa when traveling in Morocco.
Moroccan cuisine is not generally spicy, but harissa is served on the side of a lot of dishes allowing diners to add their own spice. I like to cook with harissa because we like spicy food and the harissa adds a depth of flavor that you can’t get from just adding fresh peppers.
Amber Hoffman, the food and travel writer behind Food And Drink Destinations and The Bean Bites Recipe Blog, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for helping people travel for food and drink. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Limerick, Ireland, after spending three years living in Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries.