Ras el Hanout is an aromatic, warming, and fragrant Moroccan spice mix that’s perfect to use for chicken, roasted vegetables, soups and stews, and other Moroccan-inspired recipes! It can be hard to find at stores pre-mixed, so here’s how to make a batch using seven common spices.
Ras el Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that, in my opinion, it should be in everyone’s kitchens. It’s so versatile, and great both for plant-based recipes and meats like chicken or lamb. It’s so fragrant, and packed with warming spices such as cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and ginger.
There are many different recipes out there for Ras el Hanout. This recipe uses seven common spices with the perfect balance of warming, aromatic, and slightly spicy flavors. In this post, I’ll explain how to mix a batch up yourself to keep in your pantry, what recipes you can use it in, where to buy it, and a little history behind what Ras el Hanout is!
What is Ras el Hanout?
Ras el Hanout is commonly known as a Moroccan spice blend, but it can be found all over northern Africa in varying forms. It translates from Arabic to “top of the shop” or “head of the shop” which comes from it being a mix of the best spices a seller had to offer.
There are many different kinds of this North African spice blend that vary by region, by family, or by shop. Commonly used ingredients are cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cardmom, mace, allspice, ginger, paprika, coriander, and cumin.
Some Ras el Hanout mixes may contain a lot of spices- up to around 30!
Add this Moroccan spice mix in vegetable stews, to season lamb, in tagines, and in couscous.
Ingredients in Ras el Hanout
For this Moroccan spice mix recipe, you’ll only need seven spices:
- Ground coriander*
- Ground ginger
- Black pepper
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground allspice
- Cayenne pepper
Because there are so many varieties of this Moroccan spice mix, it’s easy to play around with the proportions and even add or substitute spices as you like. You may want to add some cardamom or paprika to the mix, or substitute the allspice for cloves. Play around with it- it’s hard to mess up such a delicious combination!
*Note: Ground coriander refers to the round seeds of a coriander/cilantro plant that have been ground. It’s not the green cilantro leaves, which are also known as coriander in the UK.
How to make Ras el Hanout
Just mix up all the spices together and you’re good to go! I recommend whisking so everything combines really well. Then, store it in an airtight container or jar.
This recipe makes 1/4 cup total, which is the perfect amount for a small, 4-oz. mason jar.
Where to buy it pre-mixed
You can likely find Ras el Hanout at a well-stocked specialty grocery store. But it’s not super common. I was unable to find it at my local H-E-B here in Texas, and they seem to hav everything!
How to store homemade spice blends
I always recommend using fresh spices and storing in an airtight container or jar at room temperature and using within 1 year.
The spice mixture will be safe to eat beyond 1 year, but the flavors won’t be as potent. If you use it past its prime, I recommend using a little more than a recipe calls for to make up for the reduced flavor.
Other homemade spice mix recipes
Recipes that use Ras el Hanout
- Moroccan Lamb Meatballs
- Spicy Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew
- Ras el Hanout Braised Short Ribs
- Moroccan Roasted Butternut Squash
- Moroccan Chicken with Lemons and Olives
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Ras el Hanout
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until well combined.
- Store in an airtight jar or container for up to 1 year for best results. Use to season roasted vegetables, chicken, soups and stews, and other Moroccan-inspired recipes.
- This recipe yields 1/4 cup total (4 tablespoons). Double or triple it for a larger batch.