Chicken Ghallaba Recipe

In basic terms, chicken ghallaba is an easy dish combining juicy chicken, vibrant vegetables, and a symphony of aromatic spices with a fragrant tomato sauce. But if you ask Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, this Middle Eastern marvel is the culinary equivalent of turning up the volume and letting the good times roll. It's a dish that lets you practice your stir-frying skills for a sizzling, unforgettable result.

Picture this: In Prints' take on chicken ghallaba, succulent chicken is sautéed to perfection, then tossed with an array of colorful veggies and lathered in a mesmerizing blend of cumin, paprika, and chili. If you're looking for an exciting meal to add to your roster of weeknight dinner recipes, put on your apron and get ready to spend no more than 30 minutes making chicken ghallaba — it will have your taste buds belly-dancing with delight!

Gather the ingredients for chicken ghallaba

To make this easy yet flavorful dish, you'll need some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and neutral oil to cook them with. The meat will be sautéed with onion, carrot, and red, yellow, and orange bell peppers. The sauce consists of water, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, and paprika, as well as an optional pinch of chili powder or touch of fresh red chili for those looking for an extra kick. Finally, parsley is the garnish of choice for this saucy dish.

Cook the chicken

Slice the chicken into equal bite-sized pieces, which will ensure that they cook evenly and are easy to eat. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over a medium flame, then add the chicken strips and lightly season them with salt and black pepper to taste. Searing the chicken undisturbed for about 2 minutes on each side will help seal in the juices and develop a golden-brown exterior.

Add the vegetables

Introduce some colorful veggies to the cooking party by adding the sliced onion, bell peppers, and carrots to the skillet. Not only do these veggies add a vibrant visual appeal and crunch, but they also introduce a depth of flavor to the medley: smoky sharpness from the peppers and sweetness from the carrots and onion.

Season the veggie mixture with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes, until slightly softened yet still pleasantly crunchy.

Add the sauce ingredients and simmer

It's time to make the delicious tomato sauce that envelops this chicken! For a burst of aromatic flavors, crush 3 cloves of garlic and add them to the skillet with the tomato paste, water, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, and optional chili. Stir everything together until well combined, then cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, giving the flavors time to meld and the sauce to thicken to perfection. Be sure not to go too far over this simmering time, or too much of the sauce could evaporate, drying out the juicy chicken.

Serve the chicken ghallaba with a starch

Now that your house smells intoxicatingly of deliciously heady spices, get ready to take a trip to the Middle East with this chicken ghallaba. Sprinkle on some fresh parsley to add a final touch of pizzazz to your plate, and serve alongside rice, thin pasta, or homemade Moroccan couscous. And if you're craving yet another final touch, a touch of harissa does wonders.

Leftover chicken ghallaba will keep for 4 days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge and can be reheated in the microwave.

Chicken Ghallaba Recipe
5 from 45 ratings
This easy one-pan chicken dish combines smoky spices, tangy tomatoes, and colorful veggies for a Middle Eastern meal that looks just as vibrant as it tastes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken ghallaba
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into bite-sized strips
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • ½ small red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ small yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ small orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or fresh sliced red chili
  • Parsley, for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and black pepper to taste, and sear for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, and bell peppers to the skillet. Season with salt to taste and cook for 5-7 minutes until crisp-tender.
  3. Stir in the water, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, paprika, and optional chili. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens and the chicken's internal temperature is 165 F.
  4. Serve the chicken immediately, garnished with parsley and alongside rice or pasta.
Calories per Serving 176
Total Fat 10.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 59.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 3.7 g
Sodium 513.8 mg
Protein 14.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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