Moroccan Breakfast Recipes

Moroccan breakfast foods often double as tea time or coffee hour offerings, and some also work as light suppers. Nonetheless, you may find some surprises here. Soup, for example, and a dried beef known as khlea may show up on the breakfast table. In addition to traditional Moroccan fare, you'll also find European-influenced items which have become popular in modern Morocco's culinary landscape.

  • 01 of 23

    Moroccan Tea

    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    You may like coffee, but Moroccan tea is the preferred hot beverage in many Moroccan homes. This list is a round-up of the various herbal green teas which might be served.

  • 02 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Hardly a meal is served in Morocco without bread on the table, and breakfast is no different. For this early morning meal, bread might be dipped into amlou, argan oil or olive oil; or, it might be spread with cheese, butter, jam or other spreads. Moroccan bread (khobz) is characterized by its flattish, round loaf which features lots of crust. Follow the link to see a list of Moroccan bread recipes which use different combinations of flours.

  • 03 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    These pan-fried semolina flatbreads are extremely popular. You'll find folks buying them from street vendors or bakeries in plain, flavored or stuffed form, or simply making them at home. In addition to the plain harcha linked from the title, you might also want to try:

    • Harcha with Onion, Herbs, Olives and Cheese
    • Harcha with Za'atar and Olive Oil
  • 04 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This Moroccan stuffed bread is pan-fried and features a traditional filling of onions, parsley, spices and beef or lamb suet.

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  • 05 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Anise seeds, sesame seeds and orange flower water give traditional flavor to these Moroccan sweet rolls. They're a staple for in my home during Ramadan, when my kids and I enjoy them for our pre-dawn breakfast.

  • 06 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    The classic Moroccan combination of khlea (or khlii) and fried eggs is a much-loved breakfast food, but it may be served other times of the day as well. Khlea is easily bought in Morocco, or you can try making your own with this Express Khlii Recipe. In the US, you can also order some online from Moroccan Khlii

  • 07 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Easy, quick and delicious, this Moroccan omelet can be served as a breakfast, lunch or a light supper. A touch of sugar and cinnamon adds a hint of fragrant sweetness to the Moroccan spices of cumin and paprika.

  • 08 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Another meat and egg dish which can be served for breakfast or later in the day. Here, Moroccan sausage lends distinctive flavor along with onions, tomatoes and olives. 

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  • 09 of 23
    Beghrir. Catherine B./Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    These tender Moroccan pancakes are made from semolina and are typically served with syrup made from melted butter and honey. Beghrir's unique texture and appearance come from the addition of yeast to the batter, which causes hundreds of bubbles to form and break on the surface of each pancake as it cooks.

  • 10 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Most Moroccans can tell you stories of their mothers, aunts or grandmothers rising before the family to prepare these much-loved pan-fried pancakes. While they are a bit time-consuming to make – the tutorial How to Make Msemen shows how – know that they can be prepared in advance and frozen until needed. A few minutes in the skillet will reheat them to just-made freshness.

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    Meloui - Round Moroccan Crepe or Pancake. Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Like the msemen above, meloui is a form of Moroccan rghaif. Here the pancakes are shaped by folding the dough into a thin strip, rolling it up like a rug, and then turning it on its end for flattening.

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    Meloui with Khlii

    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This "stuffed" version of meloui gets lots of flavor from minced khlii.

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  • 13 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This may be my favorite Moroccan bread. Although some Moroccans might serve it dipped in a honey-butter syrup, my family loves it spread with cheese or stuffed with sandwich fillers. You may want to make an extra large batch so you have leftovers to keep in the freezer.

  • 14 of 23

    Moroccan French Toast

    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    French toast didn't originate in Morocco, but it is prepared there. It's a perfect use for leftover Moroccan bread, French bread, or any other day old bread you have on hand.

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    Sfenj - Moroccan Fritters or Beignets. Mhobl/Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Similar to a churro or fritter, Moroccan sfenj are best served piping hot, or at least shortly after they're made. Those in city neighborhoods usually can find a vendor or two who sells them, if not early in the day for breakfast, then later in the afternoon for tea time. The batter needs a lengthy rising period, so if you're making them at home for breakfast, you may want to do it a day in advance and then reheat in the oven.

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    Beignets - Moroccan Donuts. Maike Jessen/Picture Press/Getty Images

    Essentially a yeast-risen donut, these can be served plain, frosted or filled with jam. If you plan to serve them for breakfast, it's easiest to make them in advance and store them in the freezer until needed. Then, they can easily be reheated in the oven to serve fresh and warm.

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  • 17 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    These French pastries are a personal favorite of mine. Plain croissants are stuffed with a rich almond cream filling known as crème d'amandes and returned to the oven for a brief baking.

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    Petit Pain au Chocolat

    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Moroccans are inclined to buy these French treats from a nearby bakery, but it's worth knowing how to make them yourself, particularly if you live outside of Morocco. They can be served warm or room temperature, and they freeze and reheat very nicely.

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    Merle ja Joonas/Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

    French apple turnovers are widely available in Moroccan bakeries, where they're snatched up for breakfast, tea time or any-time-of-the-day snacking. They're easily made at home with store-bought puff pastry dough.

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    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Morocco's famous tomato, lentil and chickpea soup is enjoyed by many as a breakfast food, although you might be more inclined to serve this hearty, zesty soup in the evening.

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  • 21 of 23

    Herbel Wheat Soup with Milk

    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    This sweetened porridge-like soup is popular for breakfast, particularly on Eid. Wheat berries (wheat kernels) are cooked until tender in salted water and then simmered a second time with milk, butter and sugar.

  • 22 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    In this recipe, barley grits are cooked until tender with olive oil and cumin. Milk, butter and evaporated milk are added at the end of cooking to richen the soup and give it a creamy quality. The resulting soup is very mildly flavored.

  • 23 of 23
    Photo © Christine Benlafquih

    Semolina is another grain used to make creamy soups. This one is easy to prepare and can be served in the evening or for breakfast. Although it's delicious as-is, honey is offered on the side for those who wish to sweeten the soup.