Inspired by ras el hanout, the earthy sweet Moroccan spice rub used for centuries across North Africa, this combination of Moroccan spices and chile is sweetly earthy with its harmonic convergence of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cloves, cayenne, aniseed, and more. It may look like a laundry list of ingredients yet it’s so worth it to make a batch and keep a stash on as a potion to reach for on a wacky weeknight when there’s no time to waste. For starters, let it work its considerable magic on a simple roast chicken.

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

Moroccan Spice Rub

5 from 1 vote
This Moroccan spice rub is an earthy, sweet blend of cumin, cinnamon, anise, cloves, paprika, and chiles that’s reminiscent of ras el hanout and works so darn perfectly with roast chicken and salmon and pork and more. So much more.
David Leite
Servings36 teaspoons | 3/4 cup
Calories8 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes


  • 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


  • Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle on chicken, pork, salmon, or wherever the spirit moves you. 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.
The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook

Adapted From

The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook

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Serving: 1 teaspoonCalories: 8 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 0.4 gFat: 0.5 gSaturated Fat: 0.04 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3 gSodium: 101 mgPotassium: 40 mgFiber: 0.5 gSugar: 0.1 gVitamin A: 66 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 21 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 The Chefs of Chefs Collaborative. Photo © 2013 Michelle. All rights reserved.

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.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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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.