Simple Moroccan-Spiced Lamb

Photography from Nourish with Lamb

From simple preparations to adventurous ethnic dishes, lamb can stand alone with a little salt or shine with layers of aromatic herbs and spices. 

The Moroccan influence of this recipe comes to life with herbs, spices, chickpeas and dried fruit. Feeling extra creative? Swap in your favorite ingredients for an entirely different flavor profile!

You can find lamb shoulder in the meat case at your grocery store. Lamb shoulder is a “value cut,” so it’s perfect for everyday meals. It is often sold as “shoulder chops” — great 
for roasting or braising, as in the recipe below. You can substitute nearly any cut of lamb in this recipe: Turn ground lamb into Moroccan meatballs or sliders! Dry-rub a leg of lamb for a roast, or cube it for Moroccan kabobs.

New to lamb? For nutrition, cooking and recipe inspiration visit This sponsored recipe is brought to you by Tri-Lamb as part of the Food & Nutrition Test Kitchen program. Learn more.

Simple Moroccan Spiced Lamb

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour


  • 4 shoulder or blade lamb chops, about 3/4-inch thick, 5-6 ounces each with bone
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup or 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 lemon, fresh, juiced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can or 1 ½ cups drained and rinsed canned chickpeas
  • ½ cup dried fruit (golden raisins, chopped dried apricots, chopped dried plums)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine spices; pat dry lamb chops and rub evenly onto lamb chops.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in large, deep ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven; brown chops, in batches if necessary, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Remove and reserve.
  4. Add onion and garlic to the hot pan, and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; add tomatoes and return lamb chops to the pan.
  6. Bring to simmer, cover and place in center of preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  7. Add chickpeas and dried fruit and continue to cook until lamb chops are very tender, 20 minutes.
  8. Serve lamb chops with bean-tomato mixture on a bed of cous cous, roasted root vegetables, or sautéed greens. Top with cilantro or garnish of your choice, such as slivered almonds, a dollop of yogurt, or harissa.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 6 ounce lamb shoulder with bone, made with 1/2 cup golden raisins

CALORIES 550; TOTAL FAT 28g; SAT. FAT 11g; CHOL. 120mg; SODIUM 670mg; CARB. 38g; FIBER 7g; SUGARS 18g; PROTEIN 39g POTASSIUM 580mg; PHOSPHORUS 305mg

Test Kitchen Secrets

Think outside the box and make this recipe your own with simple modifications.

Choose a different cut of lamb.

  • Ground Lamb: Cook 1 pound ground lamb in the skillet for about 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Rather than placing lamb dish in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, place in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
  • Lamb Loin or Rib Chops: Loin chops are small, perfectly-portioned 4-ounce servings. This particular cut is best for quick-cooking methods, such as pan searing.
  • Leg of Lamb: You can buy leg of lamb cubed for kabobs or stew meat. It can be cooked quickly on the grill or sautéed or slow-cooked like stew meat.

Choose a different flavor profile.

Inspired by a different ethnic cuisine? No problem!  Just modify a few ingredients. Here’s how:

Italian Latin
Spices Rosemary, oregano Cumin, chili powder
Beans Cannellini beans Black beans or pinto beans
Sweetness (dried fruit) 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ½ cup – 1 cup frozen corn
Garnishes 1 tablespoon of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped The juice and zest from one lime
Serving suggestions On pasta or polenta On a bed of rice



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