Moroccan style turkey with Ras el Hanout and lemon and herb couscous

I’ve written before about the fact that as a nation we’re not massive turkey eaters. Christmas, yes, but the rest of the year? I’ll be honest, when I was given this challenge and popped to the shop, I was surprised to find packs of turkey breast there on the shelves – right next to the chicken. Have you ever seen them? Thought not.

So anyhoo, the lovely chaps at Lean on Turkey, supporting our fantastic British turkey farmers, set me a little challenge: create a turkey dish for a family of four,  NOT a roast dinner, for under a tenner.  I thought instantly of my new best friend, Ras el Hanout.

About Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout is a North African spice blend that I first came across in Morocco, where it was being made into a paste with oil and lemon juice and rubbed onto fish before it  was grilled.  It has a a wonderful warmth and rich flavour and is a blend of all sorts of spices: black pepper, cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, turmeric.. all sorts of lovely stuff. There’s  a hint of chilli in there but nothing too fiery.

For the Moroccan style turkey

You will need:

1 large red onion

1 pack turkey breast fillets

Ras el Hanout spice blend

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the couscous:

300g couscous

300ml chicken or turkey stock (cube is fine)

Large handful of chopped herbs

1 lemon

Firstly, slice the red onion and fry in a couple of tablespoons of rapeseed oil until starting to soften.

Slice the turkey, place it in a bowl and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the Ras el Hanout spice blend. Mix well.

Add the turkey breast to the pan and fry until the meat is opaque.

Then, add in the chopped tomatoes, plus another half tin of water.  Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir, then turn down the heat and allow to just simmer for about 15 minutes.  Season to taste.

While the turkey is simmering, make your couscous:

Place the couscous in a bowl and add in a couple of slices of lemon peel (I just peeled it off with a vegetable peeler).

Pour over the boiling stock and cover the bowl with a plate.

When you’re ready to serve, fluff up the couscous with a fork, squeeze over half the lemon and stir in a big handful of chopped herbs (we used coriander and mint).

Serve with steamed Tenderstem broccoli.

For more information on the Lean on Turkey campaign, head to


3 replies
  1. Emma
    Emma says:

    Looks and sounds lovely! Do envy your couscous talent as well – do you steam it? I almost bought some turkey today, but then I bought chicken that turned out to be rabbit… :/

  2. Tamsin
    Tamsin says:

    I’ve buy turkey breast to use in stirfry, they’re massive and have none of the bits that I have to trim off chicken breast.
    This recipie sounds lovely, will be giving it a try :-)


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