If you’re a vegetarian, when you travel you can’t help but think about what you’ll be able to eat when you go to a new place. When heading to Morocco though, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find vegetarian Moroccan food is quite plentiful. Moroccans love meat too, but knowing what the cuisine is like before you go will help you discover vegetarian Moroccan food you’ll love.
An obvious vegetarian choice anywhere is a salad. Moroccan cuisine has many salads that go well beyond lettuce in a bowl. In fact, every meal features a salad that is served before the main meal or even alongside it. Zaalouk is a great one to try. It’s made with eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic. Tk’touka is another popular one you’ll find with tomatoes, bell peppers, and delightful Moroccan spices. Moroccans eat their cooked salad with bread most of the time, another vegetarian option that will keep you full and happy.
While we’re on the subject of bread, Moroccan bread is amazing. Khobz is one of the most common varieties. It’s a flat round bread that you’ll often get with your salad. Kharsha is another great vegetarian Moroccan food. It tastes much like cornbread and can be served with jam, butter, or honey. Another variety of it features oregano and olives baked into it. Don’t forget that Morocco was colonized by the French so you’ll see many fresh croissants and baguettes, perfect for your breakfast.
Tagine is one of Morocco’s most famed dishes. It typically has meat in it but vegetarian versions do exist. Tagine is as varied as can be but you can expect to find vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and chickpeas plus olives and spices in it. It’s warming and soothing, though you should be very careful to make sure it is completely vegetarian. In some places, they will simply take the meat out. Incidentally, you can find couscous in vegetarian form, but again, inquire as to whether or not it was cooked in chicken or beef broth.
The fruit markets in Morocco offer an amazing selection of dried fruit goodies to snack on. You’ll find figs, dates, dried apricots, and plenty more. There are also nuts and other vegetarian-friendly treats like prickly pears (known as Berber figs here). The roasted corn you’ll find in the roadside stalls is also a great vegetarian Moroccan food.
If you love olives, you’re in luck when you go to Morocco. You’ll find all kinds of them from spicy to sour to bitter. You won’t want to head back home without some!
For those with a sweet tooth, it’s good to know that Morocco’s desserts are very fitting for vegetarians. The cookies are always served with tea at the end of meals. Shbakia is just one of them, made from fried batter and then dipped into honey. Moroccan donuts, or sfinj, are another delightful treat.
Of course, fruit is served at the end of the meal too, for a healthier finish and one that is no doubt very veggie-friendly, not to mention refreshing and delicious!