Spicy Moroccan rice is a delicious dish that combines the warmth of cinnamon and cumin with the tanginess of red peppers, tomatoes and onions. This tasty rice side is the perfect dish to serve alongside a main meal of chicken or lamb.
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Transform your leftover white rice
If you have an onion, a red pepper and a tomato in your vegetable drawer, and a few everyday spices in your spice rack, you can transform a bowl of leftover white rice into an amazing side dish that is packed with amazing flavours.
I can practically guarantee that you will be making this spicy Moroccan rice over and over again.
Not only does this Moroccan rice make a delicious side for your chicken or lamb main meal, but it also pairs beautifully with curry, such as this chicken tikka masala, beef madras or my favourite spicy ground beef curry.
Why I think you’ll love it
I think you will love this spicy Moroccan rice as much as I do.
- It only takes a few minutes to make – saving you time on a busy weeknight.
- The spices give it an amazing flavour – but if you want to up the heat a little bit you can add chilli paste or cayenne pepper.
- It freezes like a dream so you can keep it on hand easily.
- You can use up your leftover white rice – making it economical too. I often have a cup or so of white rice leftover so what I do is pop it in a bag and freeze it. When I want to make this recipe I just grab a bag or two out of the freezer. Saves both time and electricity!
What you will need
This recipe will serve at least 4 to 6 people as a side dish.
**You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this spicy Moroccan rice on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Cooked white rice – for 4 people you will need approximately 3 cups of leftover cooked rice.
Red pepper – seeded and membranes removed and finely diced.
Red onion – peeled and finely diced. If you don’t have a red onion you can use a white onion instead.
Tomato – finely diced.
Garlic – this should be peeled and finely diced. You can use fresh garlic cloves, or use ready-minced garlic from a jar.
For the spices you will need:
- Black pepper
Additional items you will need, but not shown in the image are salt and olive oil. The olive oil is used for softening the vegetables. Salt is optional and to your own taste. You may also find that if you have cooked the rice with salt you won’t need to add any additional salt.
You may also need some chopped fresh coriander or parsley for garnish, but this is optional.
What to do
Heat the olive oil in a wok or large frying pan then add the finely diced onions, garlic and red peppers and fry them over a low heat until they have softened. I always turn the heat down as low as possible, cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables sweat until they are soft. This normally takes between 7 to 8 minutes. Stir occasionally so they do not burn.
Stir in the spices, then add the tomatoes and continue to cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened.
Add the cooked rice and stir until the rice is completely coated with the spice mixture. Continue to stir over a low heat until piping hot. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste if necessary.
Transfer the rice to a serving dish, garnish with either chopped coriander or parsley and serve immediately.
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Spice Moroccan rice FAQ
You make like to vary the rice by stirring in some frozen peas, or a handful of pomegranate seeds for additional colour and flavour.
For extra texture, why not stir in one or two tablespoons of flaked almonds?
Yes, of course. One cup of raw basmati rice will yield 3 cups of cooked rice. Cook the rice as you would normally, or you can follow my easy instructions on how to cook rice in the microwave. If you are cooking the rice fresh you should allow it to cool before using it in this recipe.
Yes – it freezes well. Just transfer the cooled rice to a suitable container and you can freeze it for up to 4 months.
A word of warning though. If you have made this Moroccan rice with leftover rice that has previously been frozen (and defrosted) then I wouldn’t freeze it again.
You can make this spicy rice ahead of time, and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat it either on the stove or in the microwave.
Save for later
If you would like to make this spicy Moroccan rice yourself, why not save the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily? Just click on the image below.
Alternatively, you can save the recipe by clicking on the floating heart icon on the right-hand side of the screen.
If you enjoyed this spicy rice recipe, perhaps you’d like to try some of my other recipes with rice:
- Spicy mushroom fried rice – tasty rice cooked with mushrooms and onions makes a delicious dish to serve alongside a roast. Served cold it makes a tasty salad with a barbeque.
- Unstuffed cabbage rolls – all the flavours of cabbage rolls but none of the fuss. This dish is made in one pan in just over half an hour.
- Chinese egg fried rice with peas and ham – this is the perfect accompaniment to any Chinese meal, or you could eat it on its own for a light lunch or supper.
- How to cook rice in the oven – an easy way to cook rice – pop it in the oven and get perfectly cooked rice in half an hour.
Spicy Moroccan rice
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 3 cups cooked white rice (can use leftover rice) or 1 cup raw rice cooked in 2 cups water.
- 1 small red pepper (capsicum/bell pepper) finely diced
- 1 small red onion (finely diced) or white onion
- 1 mediium tomato finely diced
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic (finely minced) or use ready-minced from a jar.
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil for softening the vegetables
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or coriander for garnish (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a wok or large frying pan then add the finely diced onions, garlic and red peppers and fry them over a low heat until they have softened. Stir occasionally so they do not burn.1 small red pepper (capsicum/bell pepper), 1 small red onion (finely diced), 2 – 3 cloves garlic (finely minced), 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
- Stir in the spices, then add the tomatoes and continue to cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened.1 mediium tomato, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon sweet paprika, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the cooked rice and stir until the rice is completely coated with the spice mixture. Continue to stir over a low heat until piping hot.3 cups cooked white rice (can use leftover rice)
- Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste if necessary.Salt to taste
- Transfer the rice to a serving dish, garnish with either chopped coriander or parsley and serve immediately.1 tablespoon chopped parsley or coriander
For extra texture, why not stir in one or two tablespoons of flaked almonds? If you would like to cook fresh rice for this dish, one cup of raw basmati rice equals 3 cups of cooked rice.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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