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Moroccan Pastilla Recipe

Moroccan Pastilla Recipe

Pastilla is a chicken pie from Morocco consisting of shredded chicken which is seasoned and flavored with fragrant spices like ginger and ras el hanout. Some other traditional ingredients are almonds, onions and eggs.

The filling is wrapped in layers of phyllo dough and baked. The baked pastilla is then dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Pastilla is eaten as a main meal.

Ras el Hanout is a quintessential Moroccan spice blend made with numerous spices including nutmeg, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon. Recipes for ras el hanout vary and can contain as many as 20 different spices.

Variations of pastilla include seafood pastilla which can be made with fish or shellfish. Milk pastilla is the dessert version that is filled with sweet cream. Lamb or beef can be used instead of chicken.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Pastilla is a delicacy prepared for special occasions like weddings and baptisms. Its presence in Moroccan cuisine traces back for a few hundred years when it was served in royal palaces. Originally pastilla was made with pigeon or squab. Pastilla is also known as bastilla.

Sliced Pastilla

Moroccan Pastilla Recipe

Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Pastilla is a chicken pie from Morocco. It consists of shredded chicken which is seasoned and flavored with fragrant spices like cinnamon, ginger and ras el hanout.


  • Chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) - 2 lb
  • Yellow onion (large, thinly sliced) - 1
  • Garlic cloves (minced) - 2
  • Medjool dates (pitted and chopped) - 6
  • Almonds (sliced and toasted) - 1/3 cup
  • Parsley (chopped) - ½ cup
  • Eggs (beaten) - 3
  • Phyllo dough - 10 sheets
  • Kosher salt and black pepper - to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil - as needed
  • Ras El Hanout - 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Ginger (ground) - ½ tsp
  • Red pepper flakes - ½ tsp
  • Turmeric - ¼ tsp
  • Powdered sugar - to taste
  • Cinnamon - to taste


  1. Pat the chicken dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides.
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken and sear until brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add the onion slices and garlic, if needed, add a little more olive oil.
  6. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt.
  7. Cook over medium heat, tossing regularly until softened.
  8. Add ¾ cup of water and the spices.
  9. Bring to a boil, then return the chicken back to the pan.
  10. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through and the liquid has reduced by half.
  11. Remove the chicken from the pan onto a cutting board.
  12. Using two forks shred the chicken up into small pieces.
  13. To the pan of liquid, stir in the beaten eggs.
  14. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to combine.
  15. Stir in the chopped dates, almonds, and parsley.
  16. Remove from the heat
  17. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees F and adjust a rack in the middle.
  18. Prepare a 10-inch pie dish or heat-safe skillet and brush the bottoms and sides with extra virgin olive oil.
  19. Take one sheet of phyllo dough and fold it in half vertically (the long way).
  20. Brush the top of the folded phyllo with extra virgin olive oil.
  21. Lay the folded phyllo sheet in the middle with the sides hanging on either side of the pan.
  22. Repeat with 7 more sheets of the phyllo, making sure each sheet is folded and brushed with oil.
  23. Layer the phyllo sheets in the pan so that they overlap, rotating the pan so that the phyllo will cover it on all sides (there should be phyllo slack hanging over on all sides of the pan).
  24. Spread the chicken mixture over the phyllo.
  25. Cover with the remaining 2 sheets of phyllo, making sure to brush each layer with olive oil.
  26. Fold the phyllo sides over to cover.
  27. Brush the top with extra virgin olive oil.
  28. Bake on the center rack for 15 to 20 minutes or until the phyllo is fully cooked and golden brown.
  29. Dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 544Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 3gSugar: 28gProtein: 33g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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