Moroccan Spice Rub

A spoon filled with Moroccan spice rub on a white surface with a little sprinkled beside the spoon.

Inspired by ras el hanout, the earthy sweet Moroccan spice blend used across North Africa, this combination of Moroccan spices turns roast chicken a beautiful mahogany brown and imparts a rich flavor to both skin and meat.–Steve Johnson

LC Moroccan Spices Demystified (Sorta) Note

Earthy sweet. Sweetly earthy. Or something like that. The trick is, whatever words we use to try to capture the essence of this Moroccan spice blend, they’re inevitably going to fail to do it justice. What could possibly convey the harmonic convergence of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, paprika, cloves, cayenne, and aniseed? Exactly. Best to just experience it firsthand for yourself. Go on. What are you waiting for? The below recipe makes ample for seasoning quite a lot of chicken and will keep indefinitely when stored in a tin at cool room temperature, which makes this an ideal little spice rub to reach for on a wacky weeknight when there’s no time to waste.

Moroccan Spice Rub

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes almost 3/4 cup
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  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground aniseed


  • 1. Mix the spices together in a small bowl. If not using immediately, transfer the spice rub to a container with a tight lid and keep it at room temperature for up to 6 months.

Recipe Testers Reviews

I used this GREAT spice mixture with its accompanying Moroccan Spiced Chicken recipe. As I mentioned in that review, THIS RUB WAS BRILLIANT. Today I chose to use this mixture in a butternut squash soup. Again, I must lavish high praise on this recipe. Simply DELICIOUS!

I used this Moroccan Spice Rub on a whole roasted chicken and used the drippings as a gravy base. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten more rave reviews from my family than this! It was spicy, but completely balanced. And even though there’s a long list of spices in this rub, the flavors don’t get muted or dampened. I think I’ll make up another batch and keep it ready to go in my spice cabinet.


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    1. Daniel, sea salt is the least refined of all salts. It has the largest crystals and is usually used as a finishing salt. (Or at least in our home.) Kosher salt is finer grained than sea salt but coarser than table salt.

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