Moroccan Spiced Roast Chicken + Creamy Cilantro Sauce

February 25, 2019

Simple enough to prepare for an everyday meal and reliable enough to be a standby for special occasion dinners like having the in-laws over or inviting your boss to dinner. This Moroccan Roast Chicken is a crowd pleaser!

Roast Chicken

The first dish my mom taught me to make was a roast chicken. I’ve been making variations of that classic ever since. This recipe is simple enough to prepare for an everyday meal and reliable enough to be a standby for special occasion dinners like having the in-laws over or inviting your boss to dinner.

Automatic Side Dish

The potatoes roast along with the chicken, resulting in an automatic side dish. Otherwise, Israeli couscous is a delicious accompaniment as well. This particular version of roast chicken has a fantastic Moroccan profile thanks to essential spices in your pantry, which provide great dimension.

The cool yogurt-cilantro sauce is finger licking good. I like this flavor line-up so much that I use the same spice combination and creamy sauce with pork tenderloin that I throw on the grill!


Roasting is as simple as drizzling meat, fish, or vegetables with a little olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper (and other herbs or spices, if you like). Then throw it in the oven and letting the oven do all of the work. Because it’s a dry, high-heat method of cooking, roasting yields a deliciously browned exterior and a moist interior.

It’s one of the easiest and most approachable cooking techniques out there. Roasting seems to bring out the best in whatever you are cooking. Roasting concentrates flavor and creates a caramelized crust. It’s an extremely versatile method that works well with meat, fish, vegetables, and even fruit. Check out more info on roasting anything and everything here!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Moroccan Spiced Roast Chicken with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

  • Author: kelsey nixon




  • 1 (5-pound) roasting chicken 
  • 2 pounds new potatoes, halved
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro 
  • Kosher salt & cracked black pepper


  1. For the chicken, preheat the oven to 425º F. 
  2. Pat the chicken dry. Season the cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Put the chicken in the center of a roasting pan, breast side up and surround with potatoes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the butter, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and salt. Spread 2 tablespoons of the spice butter underneath the skin on the breast of the chicken, distributing it evenly. Spread the remaining butter over the entire surface of the chicken. Squeeze half of the lemon over the chicken.  Stuff the remaining lemon half, the onion, and garlic in the cavity. Tie the legs with kitchen string.
  4. Roast in the middle of the oven until a digital thermometer reads 165º F, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. 
  5. For the sauce, meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, Sriracha, garlic, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  6. Let chicken stand for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with potatoes and the creamy cilantro sauce on the side.

Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.

Learn More