Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken


♫ Would you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh express ♪

Moroccan chicken, my favorite! Chicken thighs, rubbed in more spices than you would ever think you could use at once, cooked until tender with olives and lemons.

This is a slow cooker riff off our popular tagine recipe. Boneless skinless chicken thighs are sprinkled with paprika, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and more, placed on a bed of chopped onions, and slow cooked with green olives, lemon slices, and raisins until fork tender.

The spice list is long, if you are missing one or two, don’t stress about it. Feel free to experiment with the amounts and find what works for you.

I do love the subtle addition of crushed fennel seeds, and I recommend not going overboard with cinnamon, which can be bitter in large amounts.

If you don’t want raisins or dried fruit, add a cup of sliced carrots the last hour of cooking.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

We are using boneless (and skinless) chicken thighs for this recipe only because they're easier to deal with. Feel free to use bone-in thighs (you'll need 2 1/2 pounds) if you prefer.

You can substitutes dates or prunes for the raisins.


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped, about 2 cups
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


1 Salt the chicken thighs: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the chicken thighs. Let sit while you prep the other ingredients.

2 Whisk the spices together: Whisk together the spices in a small bowl—the paprika, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, allspice, crushed fennel seeds, and nutmeg.


3 Layer onions, chicken, spices, garlic, olives, raisins, lemon slices in slow cooker: Place chopped onions at the bottom of a slow cooker bowl. Layer the chicken thighs on top of the onions. As you layer the chicken thighs, sprinkle them all over with the spice mix. (Use all of the spice mix.)

slow-cooker-moroccan-chicken-method-2 slow-cooker-moroccan-chicken-method-3

Add the garlic, green olives, raisins, and lemon slices.

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4 Cook in slow cooker: Cook on the high setting of the slow cooker for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or 4 to 5 hours on the low setting (depending on your slow cooker brand). Towards the end of cooking, stir so that the lemons olives and raisins get mixed into the liquid. The chicken is done when it is fall apart tender.

Serve with couscous or rice (use rice if cooking gluten-free). Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or parsley.

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Showing 4 of 52 Comments

  • Owen

    I just made this, and it was wonderful. I did mine with golden raisins and kalmata olives for a slightly more Greek taste. I also put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the slowcooker before throwing the onions in, and that helped some with the moisture issues in the chicken.

  • Robyn

    I really liked this recipe and so did my toddler! I added a bit of broth towards the since mine was still quite dry. And I subbed dates for raisins. I will definitely make this again

  • Arthur

    The chicken is a bit dry compared to the chicken in the picture, i think normally slow cooked dishes tend to dry meat out, unless some sort of liquid is added. Would it hurt to add broth or water?

  • Sue Gilchrist

    I made this last night in the oven instead of a slow cooker and it was great! I increased the lemon, cumin and paprika and put all of the spices in a ziplock bag. I added the chicken and shook it. The chicken then marinated in the rub for 30 min. I cooked the assembled dish at 400 for 15 minutes and 350 for another 45.

  • L

    I made this today and it is delicious! We had currants on hand so I subbed that for the raisins and added the carrots in near the end as suggested. They were not quite soft enough for my taste with only an hour of cooking time, so I let the pot go for another half hour or so (=1.5 hours for carrots). Served with quinoa as a whole-grain alternative to couscous. My sister suggested adding cashews to the quinoa as it cooked, which turned out great. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Next time I may add a can of chick peas and increase the veggies to stretch it further.

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