Moroccan Merguez Spice Mix

Moroccan Merguez Spice Mix with Moroccan sausages

Christine Benlafquih

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
16 Calories
1g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 16
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1167mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 21mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Merguez is a lamb- or beef-based sausage that is red in color and full of spices. Although of Tunisian and Algerian origin, spicy sausages are quite popular in Morocco. Some butchers boast their own signature merguez spice blend, while others prepare the sausages with a commercial mix instead. No matter how it is made, merguez is one of the most flavorful sausages you can find.

My local butcher's Spanish-made merguez blend contains glucose powder, which gives the sausage a notably sweet essence. This recipe does not include glucose powder, so feel free to add the optional sugar if you would like a sweet contrast in your own merguez spice mix.

Use this spice mix when following our Merguez sausage recipe, or try it as the seasoning for lamb or beef meatballs.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons cumin (ground)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: 4 teaspoons powdered sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Measure all of the ingredients—paprika, fennel seeds, cumin, coriander seeds, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and confectioners sugar, if using—into a bowl. 

  3. Stir thoroughly to combine.

  4. Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift once, then stir again.

  5. Transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Tips

If your cumin, fennel, and coriander seeds are whole, you will need to grind them. To do so, toast the seeds until fragrant and warm—about 1 minute—then put in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to grind them by hand.

How to Store

  • Once the spices are combined, store the mixture in an airtight glass or plastic container for up to six months.

What is Eaten with Merguez?

Merguez can be eaten plain, but it is usually paired with couscous or eggs, or it is enjoyed in a sandwich or pastry. It can be boiled, fried, grilled, and is made with lamb or beef, whatever is your preference.

Why Sift the Spices?

The reason you sift the spices in this mix is not only to make sure there are no lumps but to ensure the ingredients are mixed thoroughly together.