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 48 Comments

  • 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.

  • Sharon

    Hi Elise,
    Where is the liquid coming from? I haven’t been making many slow cooker recipes, but I always had to add some bouillon or any other liquid.. It sure looks yummie!

    Thank you!

  • Rosie

    Made this last night and we really enjoyed it. Very flavorful and a great winter meal. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Elise Lafosse

    I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. It comes at a critical time. Since my mother is in the hospital after a huge operation and my father is often staying the night there to get her through the night – she has a lot of anxiety at night – and otherwise he is living with us because the hospital is close to my home, I like to make slow cooker stews so I can deliver a nice stew to my father to eat. I have a slow cooker lamb stew recipe and I said to myself I really need another one too! And Lo and Behold, your recipe here could not be more timely! Thank you so much Elise! I love tagines and this is so perfect and easy! I bet you did not envision that this recipe would be a life saver for me!

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