21 Traditional Moroccan Breakfast Foods


Unlike many other Moroccan dishes, a traditional Moroccan breakfast is a very simple affair.

Whether you’re staying in a luxury riad or visiting a local in their home, a typical Moroccan breakfast will usually not change too much, and so if you’re heading to Morocco and wondering what Moroccan breakfast foods consist of, you’re in the right place.


21 Traditional Moroccan Breakfast Foods


What do Moroccans eat for breakfast?


A traditional Moroccan breakfast is simple, carbohydrate-laden and filling.

A key feature of Moroccan breakfasts is that the ingredients used are high-quality and free from chemical processing – in Morocco, organic really does mean organic, and your host probably left the property at the crack of dawn to get the freshest bread in town!

Bread, olive oil and sweet mint tea are summer staples, but if you visit Morocco in the cooler winter months, you may be lucky enough to experience some of the more hearty dishes on this list!

Of course, there are many different Moroccan breakfast dishes, but no matter where you go in the country, you will likely be presented with a combination of some of the ingredients mentioned in this article.


Where to find a good Moroccan breakfast


You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get a decent breakfast in Morocco.

While you certainly can find fancy boutique cafes selling more westernised choices, most hotels and guesthouses will put on a good spread!

The picture below is actually a hostel breakfast that I had in Marrakech. All of the food you see below was prepared especially for me and was included in the price of my 7 EUR dorm bed!

If you want a really authentic experience, venture into one of the many tiny cafes down side streets, with bubbling pots of food being heated over gas burners outside.

These no frills establishments may not look the prettiest, but the generous portions of traditional Moroccan food, baskets of fresh bread and hot mint tea certainly make up for that.

Breakfast at Riad Dia, Marrakech


Typical Moroccan breakfast foods


Moroccan bread


You can’t visit Morocco and not gain at least half a stone from all the bread you’ve guzzled.

There are dozens of types of Moroccan bread, and it is served with every single meal, including breakfast.

In fact, bread is often used as a replacement for a fork or spoon, as you can tear off hunks and mop up your soup, stew or salad with them!

Many people bake their own bread at home (or bring their own dough to communal ovens!), or wake up extra early to walk to the bakery and buy bread freshly-made.

You will never see a Moroccan person picking up a processed white loaf in the supermarket, that’s for sure!

Here are some of the most popular Moroccan breads that you will find on every Moroccan breakfast table.


Khobz


The most staple Moroccan bread is Khobz, and this is the one that you will be served in every restaurant, with every meal, and which you will see stacked high on every street corner.

Khobz is a round, fairly flat bread with a crispy outer shell and soft middle that is perfect for soaking up sauces.

The word ‘Khobz’ is actually an Arabic word that just means ‘bread,’ but in Morocco, it almost always refers to this round bread.

moroccan bread khobz
Khobz


Msemmen


Msemmen, or M’smen, is a bread typically made on special occasions in Moroccan households, but I found that I was served it for breakfast in every hostel I visited!

Msemmen is a flatbread made from durum wheat semolina and plain flour. It is cooked on a griddle in oil and is crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside.

It is often served with honey.


Harsha


Moroccan Harsha, or Harcha, is also made with semolina and is a crunchy, slightly thicker bread that is circular in shape.

Harsha is also cooked on a griddle, and is served with a selection of the accompaniments that you will discover in just a second.

harcha bread
A street food stand selling freshly baked harsha


Batbout


Batbout is a sort of Moroccan pita bread that is cooked on the stove in a dry skillet.

You can either cut it in half and stuff it with cheese (or whatever you prefer), or use it to mop up your eggs.


Accompaniments to bread


Amlou


Amlou was one of my favourite discoveries in Morocco and in my opinion, no Moroccan breakfast is complete without it!

Some compare Amlou to a kind of peanut butter, but I think that this is doing it a disservice.

Amlou is made with honey, roasted almonds and argan oil, and it is more of a liquid than a spread, perfect for dipping bread into.

It is smooth in texture, slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious.

moroccan almond butter
Fresh Amlou in a shop in Essaouira


Olive Oil


Moroccans love to dip their bread into little pots of pure olive oil.

Olive oil is always served at a Moroccan breakfast table, without exception. In fact, many press their very own olive oil and have enough of the stuff in their pantries to survive several zombie apocalypses!


Argan Oil


No post about Moroccan food (or Morocco in general!) would be complete without a mention of Argan oil.

Argan oil is produced from the nuts of the Argan tree, and many local women’s co-operatives make Argan oil by themselves and sell it in its pure form, as well as in various cosmetics, creams and more.

Argan oil has numerous health benefits, and you will always see it in its own little pot next to the olive oil.


Butter


Butter really needs no explanation, but it is often also served at Moroccan breakfast tables.

While many Moroccans dip their bread in oil, there are few that would say no to melted butter on a nice warm M’semen!


Honey


Whether it’s served with bread, cheese, pancakes or something else entirely, honey is extremely popular, especially in its raw form.


Jam


Jam is also usually served at breakfast, with the most popular types of jam in Morocco being strawberry and apricot.

Argan oil, olive oil, almond butter and jam


Other typical Moroccan breakfast foods


Jben


Jben is a Moroccan national cheese that is so loved by Moroccan people that they will serve it with just about every breakfast and lunch you will have.

Usually made with raw goat milk, Jben is especially popular in Northern Morocco, where it originates.

It is sometimes drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with thyme and other herbs, or it can be served with raw honey.


Cheese Triangles


A surprising thing that Moroccans love is the Laughing Cow (or La Vache Qui Rit) cheese triangles!

Having one or two Laughing Cow triangles with your bread in the morning is extremely common in Morocco.

In fact, Bel Cheese, the parent company of Laughing Cow, dominates the Moroccan cheese market!

Part of the reason why the Laughing Cow cheese is so popular in Morocco and other Arabic countries is because it doesn’t have any rennet inside it, so it is considered halaal.


Baghrir


Baghrir are Moroccan pancakes made from semolina, and they are known as the ‘1000 hole pancake’ thanks to the dozens of small holes on the top.

If you’re familiar with an English crumpet, you will find the appearance very similar!

They are fairly plain in taste, but usually served (warm!) with a honey and butter syrup.


B’ssara


B’ssara, or Bissara, is a Moroccan soup made from fava beans and is popular during the winter months.

This is a thick soup flavoured with paprika, garlic and cumin, and while you may find it a little odd to eat soup for breakfast, you really shouldn’t knock it until you’ve tried it!


Dchicha


Dchicha is a slightly less common Moroccan breakfast dish, but if you visit Morocco in the cooler months, you may be lucky enough to try it.

Served as a light supper or breakfast food, Dchicha is made from cracked wheat and flavoured with ginger, saffron and paprika.


Mortadella


But wait – Muslims don’t eat pork!‘ I hear you shouting at the computer.

This is true, and therefore (most!) Muslims would never dream of eating Italian Mortadella ham.

Moroccan Mortadella, however, is perfectly halaal as it is typically made from chicken and turkey, and served thinly sliced at the breakfast table.


Moroccan Olives


Moroccan olives can be eaten at any time of day, but they are usually present at the breakfast table.

The most popular olives in Morocco are black olives, and they are preserved using only salt, giving them a very strong flavour.

green olives
Moroccan olives are great at any time of day!


Fried Eggs


Again, fried eggs really need no explanation, but you will often be served them with breakfast in Morocco!

You will often find black olives served with fried eggs – not so popular in the west, but a firm favourite in Morocco!


Pastries and cakes


There is a major French influence on Moroccan cuisine, and sweet pastries such as pain au chocolat and croissants are very popular in Morocco.

Coconut sponge cake, called halwa dyal kouk, is a popular choice.

Other Moroccan pastries are flavoured with orange, honey, almond and coconut.


Moroccan breakfast drinks


Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice


If you’ve ever been to Marrakech, you’ll have noticed the men selling cups of freshly-squeezed orange juice in the main square, or Jemaa el-Fna.

Orange juice in Morocco is delicious (and this is coming from somebody who just spent 18 months in Valencia!).


Moroccan Mint Tea


Moroccans will drink cups of sweet mint tea at any time of day, and so naturally you’ll find a teapot on the breakfast table.

Mint tea is made from Chinese gunpowder green tea with fresh mint leaves and copious amounts of sugar,

Fun fact – I once won a mint tea making competition in the Atlas Mountains! I’m pretty sure I still have the certificate somewhere…

moroccan mint tea
One of the many mint teas I was given in Marrakech


Moroccan Breakfast | Final Thoughts


So that brings us to the end of what you can expect to eat for breakfast in Morocco!

As you can see, the majority of Moroccan breakfast dishes are incredibly simple, with few ingredients and similar flavours.

The beauty of Moroccan breakfast is that despite its simplicity, it is sure to keep you full until lunch time (even if all those Moroccan pancakes do add several inches to your waistband!).

As always, do let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Until next time,

XOXO


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