This Moroccan roasted vegetable pilaf with chickpeas is rich in warm flavors and some of the season’s best roasted root vegetables – it makes for a great ethnically inspired meal.

moroccan roasted vegetable pilaf with chickpeas

We need to get out of here.

Yesterday the distance I ran on my long run was approximately the same/possibly more than the “feels like” temperature outside.

And I refuse to accept it. Complacency is not my biggest virtue.


So, we have only one option, as I see it.

Let’s be Morocco-bound.

In the markets of Marrakech we can find all the warm flavors that we’ve developed a physical dependency on (some might call it an addiction, but I don’t like to get all medical up in here) tossed up into one fabulous spice mix and mixed into stews/pilafs/big-pans-of-roasted-veggies-galore, with none of the weather we can’t live with and all of the 70F and blue skies we can’t live without.

It’s really a win/win as far as the eye can see.


Hmm, what’s that? No passport, you say!

Well, neither does the.boy. (Such.A.Buzzkill)

So we’ll have to travel by Culinary Express. Whereby we don’t leave our kitchens, but cook as though we’re 3,687 miles away. Give or take.

Also a win/win, especially where this Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Pilaf is involved. In it, all of our favorite root veggies are tossed with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and then roasted to sweet caramelized perfection. They are then served on a bulgur chickpea pilaf and topped with a sweet caramelized onion honey almond relish.

So let’s crank up the heat, hope that our bones will someday not feel like they’re frozen all the way through, and dig into a big bowl of this healthy veggie pilaf, letting it whisk us away to the memory of warmer temps and bluer skies.


One year ago…Red Velvet Macarons with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Two years ago…Zucchini “Meatballs” and Curry-Tomato Sauce over Polenta, Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Pecan Pie Streusel

Three years ago…Pork and Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Four years ago…Keftedes over Greek Cinnamon-Scented Tomato Sauce, Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting

Five years ago…Spaghetti with a Creamy Tomato Sausage Sauce, Broccoli and Cheese Calzone

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Pilaf with Chickpeas
This Moroccan roasted vegetable pilaf with chickpeas is rich in warm flavors and some of the season's best roasted root vegetables - it makes for a great ethnically inspired meal.
Yield: 6 servings
  • 1½ lb sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 10 oz parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • 9 oz carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
For the topping
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, parsnips, olive oil, ras el hanout, and carrots. Mix in ½ tsp salt. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the bulgur and ½ tsp salt. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until broth has evaporated and bulgur is cooked. Let stand covered for 5 minutes before fluffing. Stir in the chickpeas.
  4. For the topping, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion slices and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown. Add in the almonds and currants. Cook for two minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the honey and remove from the heat.
  5. Distribute the bulgur among the serving dishes. Top with the roasted vegetables and then the onion topping.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th of recipe


Share →

58 Responses to Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Pilaf with Chickpeas

  1. The topping sounds so darn good. How is it that you always come up with the most original veggie laden recipes?? I’m in love with this.
    If I was strong enough to get out of bed today and actually felt like eating something, I’d totally make myself this for lunch.
    The flu sucks.

  2. Hahaha Morocco inside when it’s cold outside….makes sense to me!! This recipe is totally fabulous. I need more bulgur in my life.

  3. Oh my goodness, YES! I’m pretty sure I could live off of this every day. Great combo of veggies and perfect use for bulgur!

  4. Love everything about this! A dish that definitely warms you up. Take that, polar vortex 2 πŸ™‚

  5. Kathryn says:

    You’re so right – these kind of bright flavours are totally what you need to transport you far from home on a cold January day. Love this.

  6. I love “traveling” to warmer places during the thick of winter. Morocco sounds like the place to be today!

  7. Roasted veggies are always a win. And they’re so easy to make, even if you’re a little spent from the run.

  8. I’m hopping onto the culinary express cause I’m snowed in and broke…

  9. Megan says:

    I like the concept of this Culinary Express. I’d love to get out of here and travel to somewhere warm, if not physically, at least through dishes like this one!

  10. danielle says:

    Sounds delish! I always have an abundance of chick peas in the house – this is a great use for them.

  11. Esi says:

    Seriously, Morocco sounds insanely better than “Chiberia”. Love this warming dish!

  12. Julia says:

    I’m going to Morocco with you! Let’s take in the warmth, delicious food, and culture. I’m on a plane in t-minus 5 minutes. Annnnnd go!

  13. Jessie says:

    I hear ya! This weather is plain ridiculous. Right now the temps are zero and the wind is howling. I could use some of this incredible Moroccan veggie pilaf – in fact, I’ll take it all!

    Stay warm, Joanne, especially when you’re running!!

  14. I’m impressed you’ve been running outside in this cold! I’ve just given up, haha. I do love the sound of this dish – perfect for this horrible weather!

  15. Pam says:

    Since it’s morning here, and I am starving, I really want a perfectly poached egg on top of this bowl full of goodness. YUM.

  16. Corina says:

    I especially love the look of the topping on this.

  17. Where can I find ras el hanout?? This dish sounds like a MUST MAKE in my department!

  18. This sounds really good and perfect for the cold crazy weather we’ll having!!

  19. love the idea of culinary express..this pilaf looks so good. I will have to make this soon because I need a break from Dallas as well.

  20. First off, you are my hero if you can run in this kind of weather. Once it dips below 45 degrees outside, I’m inside (on the boring treadmill.) Can I tell you adore everything about this recipe? #ParsnipLove

  21. My cousin ran 13.1 miles yesterday in NYC and I refuse to run when temps are 40 degrees outside here in Atlanta – I am such a cold wimp!
    But I do like spicy food – I have heard of “ras el hanout” but never used it – is it chili powder spicy? do you taste the cardamom and cloves?
    Love this dish Joanne – love the flavors and colors!

  22. Kate says:

    Sometimes I forget myself. I was thinking, “wow! Joanne ran almost 50 miles!”

  23. Eileen says:

    This…actually makes me wonder whether my passport is expiring this year. πŸ™‚ And I could definitely get behind a big plate of this pilaf–spicy roasted veg for the win!

  24. Ohhh I love ras el hanout. Keeping my fingers crossed things warm up to match your food soon!

  25. I love the idea of warming up in this unique way–looks hearty and delicious, Jo!

  26. I’m cranking up the thermostat, making this dish, and pretending I’m in Morocco! Yum!

  27. Trisha says:

    I’m amazed that you can do long runs in this weather! I’m such a wimp! I’m loving that sweet caramelized onion topping with honey and almonds, and anything with sweet potatoes and moroccan spices is a win-win for me.

  28. Love that roasted veggies and caramelized onions, during this time i would love to warm asian place aswell, but Morocco sounds wonderful…hats off that you run during this time of the year!

  29. I too could live off of this every day! Love every single ingredient of this pilaf!

  30. One day we will actually travel to Morocco and it will be glorious. Until then!

  31. What a warm and delicious pilaf my friend, I feel like I am in Morocco πŸ˜€


  32. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve heard you’re having a pretty extreme winter. Sorry about all the cold and snow. It’s rather lovely here but you probably don’t need to hear that. I love Moroccan flavours and a meal like this is rather warming on a cold, cold night xx

  33. Tara says:

    Your next goal: run more miles than the amount of degrees that it is outside.

    PS: I am going to e-mail you!

  34. You are welcome to come join me here in Florida, but I can’t guarantee the weather will be warmer. We are under a winter storm warning! Seriously. I guess this means if I get snowed in tomorrow I can make this pilaf πŸ™‚

  35. Mary says:

    A perfect cold weather dish – wonderful ingredients and flavors and no need to go to Morocco!
    Mary x

  36. Oh yes… I make very similar dishes multiple times a week. Especially when I want something really satisfying that’s going to make me feel all warm and cozy. Gorgeous dish, Joanne!

  37. Reeni says:

    Just the thing to bring out of my cookie coma and warm me through and through! Those flavors together are pretty much rocking my world! I can’t imagine running in this weather. You rule.

  38. I also travel to Morocco via my kitchen πŸ™‚

  39. Blond Duck says:

    I love Middle Eastren meals!

  40. You had me at chickpeas. But you knew that…

  41. Middle eastern veggies? Yes, please!

  42. ramblingtart says:

    The Culinary Express is a splendid solution! πŸ™‚ Bear and I have been traveling this way to the Middle East as well, indulging in all sorts of delicious. Your dish sounds marvelous. πŸ™‚

  43. I’ll gladly take a culinary journey to Morocco. This dish sounds delicious.

  44. Morocco without leaving the house? Sounds brilliant to me!

  45. Christine says:

    What a wonderful dish! I love when people aren’t afraid to add cinnamon to a savory dish. The taste is amazing…bookmarked!

  46. Katerina says:

    I’ve been to Marrakesh and its souks. I loved the food and the atmosphere! This is a beautiful dish my friend!

  47. I’m going to assume that you used bulgar in stead of rice as a pilaf just for me;-) I love moroccan flavors and rarely cook with them, need to try this!

  48. If I can’t actually enjoy warm weather, the next best thing is to have food that reminds me of warm weather. This looks so delicious! The spices are wonderful!

  49. Teffy says:

    Looks amazing!
    Since I just returned from Marrakech, I am all about the Moroccan flavours right now.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  50. Emma says:

    Taking the Culinary Express is my favourite kind of travel! Love Moroccan flavours. Yum yum yum. Congrats on braving the cold and getting your run in πŸ™‚

  51. This looks delicious. The topping sounds like it is a great addition.

  52. This is such a great dinner! Love the bright flavors and anything that transports me from here. I keep saying this weather is unacceptable and I want to move as though that’s going to change something at this very moment. But I’ll be damned if I’m here next winter.

  53. I can feel the sun on my face just LOOKING at this gorgeous plate!

  54. Well if we can’t be in Morroco then I definitely take this lovely dish! It’s beautiful and delicious. Definitely a must try for me!! πŸ™‚

  55. Rika @ VM says:

    Stunning pilaf and that roasted vegetables look delicious….you’re making me want to travel to Morocco now!

  56. […] is great to spice up your one-bowl meals with a little savory-sweet combo. Here’s my take on Joanne’sΒ Moroccan style […]

  57. Christina Beleva says:

    Made the pilaf for dinner tonight and it was absolutely fantastic! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *