April 9, 2021

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew with Sweet Potato Mash (Instant Pot)

When I think of hearty winter meals, stews and soups typically come to mind. Those dishes that grandma cooked for hours in a large pot on the stove or in the dutch oven. This Moroccan Chicken Stew recipe takes all the fond flavors and memories of a slow cooker stew but is ready to enjoy in about 40 minutes, making this an easy recipe for weeknight stew. Warm spices make this dish a "feel good" food. Whether for a winter night or easy meal prep, you will find this to be quick, simple, and soul-satisfying. Utilizing your Instant Pot and steamer basket simplifies the cooking process and makes less mess. So yeah, we are all winning with this perfect one-pot meal. This main dish recipe (as written) happens to be Paleo and Whole30 compliant. 

I wouldn't call this traditional Moroccan cuisine or a traditional Moroccan Stew, it's an ode to the beautiful bold flavors and cozy spices used in Moroccan cuisine. If you are looking for traditional recipes, please go check out Nargisse Benkabbou of she will take you on a beautiful journey through Moroccan flavors and recipes to create a delicious meal. This is not to say that this Instant Pot Moroccan Chicken Stew doesn't deserve a 4 star rating, but it is not traditional, and I want to give praise to the bloggers out there that inspire by sharing their culture and cuisine with the masses.

Here are some tips, tricks and substitutions that work well with this recipe:

  • You can use shredded chicken and mix it with the kale.
  • You can use any onion or shallot.
  • If you like more heat, add ½ - 1 teaspoon of cayenne.
  • You can substitute with any potato, but sweet potatoes and yams pair best with this sauce.
  • Add a dollop of greek yogurt or labneh on top.
  • Sprinkle some lemon zest on top for a little pop of color
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months
  • Skip the sweet potatoes and serve over pearl couscous or stuff into some whole wheat pita bread
  • For a vegetarian option, skip the chicken and substitute with two cans of drained garbanzo beans.

Don't forget to check out my other Instant Pot recipes:

Pozole Blanco - Instant Pot

Green Chile Stew with Hominy - Instant Pot

Impossible Vegan Chili - Instant Pot

Beanestrone aka Minestrone - Instant Pot

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Stew with Sweet Potato Mash (Instant Pot)

This Moroccan Chicken Stew recipe takes all the fond flavors and memories of a slow cooker stew but is ready to enjoy in about 40 minutes, making this an easy recipe for weeknight stew.


2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other cooking oil)
2 lbs chicken breasts or chicken thighs (skinless and boneless chicken)
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon avocado oil (or other cooking oil)
2 cups onion (sliced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika (regular paprika will also work)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth, chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bunch Lacinato kale (chopped)

2 pounds Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes or 2 pounds frozen cubed sweet potatoes)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Parchment Paper


Turn on your Instant pot (IP) to saute mode on high. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and allow to heat for about 2 minutes, until oil is hot and sizzling.

Remove the chicken from the packaging and pat it dry with paper towels. Season with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to IP and let sear on each side until brown but not cooked through, about 2 mins per side. Once browned on both sides, remove from IP and, place on a plate, set aside. 

Add a tablespoon of oil to the IP. Add the onions and cook on saute mode for 2-3 mins until onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and allow to cook for about 30 seconds until you smell the fragrance of the garlic. Add all the dry spices, and stir into your onion and garlic mixture for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and 1 ½ cups broth or water to the pot. Turn off Instant Pot. Scrap the bottom of your IP to ensure no brown "yummy bits" are stuck to the bottom but incorporated into your sauce. Return chicken to the IP and nestle chicken and juices into the sauce. Place the kale on top of the chicken and sauce. Add your IP steamer basket to the top of the kale.

Season your sweet potato cubes with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Wrap sweet potatoes in parchment paper, so the steam can't escape. Place sweet potatoes into your IP steamer basket. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it into place. Turn on Pressure Cook on high and set timer for 10 minutes. Allow to release naturally for 5 minutes, then quickly release the remainder of the steam.

Remove the steamer basket and carefully open up your parchment paper. Mash your sweet potatoes in the parchment (for easy cleanup. Remove chicken pieces from pot (internal temp of at least 165˚) and place on top of sweet potato mash. Add the lemon juice to the kale and sauce and stir. Taste the sauce and add additional salt or pepper. Pour sauce over chicken, garnish with fresh parsley or fresh cilantro, and lemon slices.


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Yas Longoria
July 17, 2022
I love this