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Turmeric Chicken

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This easy 30 minute one pan chicken recipe is a fabulous weeknight meal for families who are short on time but want big flavor! Tender pieces of turmeric chicken with citrus, fennel and couscous are combined into a simple skillet meal topped off with cilantro and pomegranate arils.


skillet pan with turmeric chicken and couscous beside wooden spoon


This Persian Chicken recipe is one of those recipes that kind of crosses the border lines between cuisine styles. Is it Mediterranean or Middle Eastern? It’s kind of a blur of both, which happens when you have two distinct regions that are so closely tied together. No matter how you label it, this turmeric chicken recipe is not only delicious, but a family friendly weeknight meal that will feel like a big win.


If you love middle eastern flavors, make sure you also check out my Easy Beef Kofta and Best Chicken Shawarma – both are great weeknight recipes packed with flavor but with easy, friendly ingredients.


Ingredients needed to make turmeric chicken with couscous


This middle eastern chicken recipe is an easy dinner that is ready in 30 minutes and takes almost no work – who doesn’t love that? When weeknights are crazy, easy recipes are necessary! But easy doesn’t need to mean boring and flavorless, either.


Studded with fun flavors like turmeric, orange and lemon, and fun ingredients like fennel, pomegrante seeds and, couscous, this one pan chicken recipe is sure to please the entire family and is ready for you when you need easy recipes.


how to cook turmeric chicken with couscous


How to Meal Prep One Pan Turmeric Chicken with Couscous

This 30 minute chicken recipe is an easy meal for weeknights, but you can make things simpler with the following prep-ahead steps:

  • Use Prepackaged pomegranate airls – you can find them in little cups by the berries in your local grocery produce section. Just peel back the lid and they are ready to go!
  • Chop the shallot and fennel ahead of time. Wrap the shallot and the fennel in a damp paper towel to keep it from drying out and store in the fridge.
  • Cilantro is best chopped right when you need it, but you can pick the leaves off the stems and store in a plastic baggie in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
  • Measure out all your ingredients


skillet with turmeric chicken on blue background with wooden spoon


How to Serve Citrus and Turmeric Chicken

This middle eastern chicken recipe is a great family friendly meal to serve to the entire family. Here are suggestions on how to plate it so everyone will enjoy it:


  • Older babies and toddlers will enjoy this meal! Dice the chicken and fennel pieces into bite sizes. Skip the addition of the pomegranate seeds, but do add some cilantro on top.
  • Younger Children will love how vibrant yellow this recipe is. Separate the chicken out from the couscous so that they have separate piles that don’t touch. Sprinkle a small amount of super tiny chopped cilantro on the couscous. They might enjoy the pomegranate seeds on the side, and suggest that if they want they can sprinkle them on top of the couscous, too.
  • Older children can enjoy this meal straight from the pan. Suggest they add their own pomegranate arils and cilantro to their plates, that way they get to try as much of it as they want.


You can serve these with a fresh vegetable side like these Turkish Green Beans or a salad.


skillet with turmeric chicken with two plates and forks


What does Turmeric Taste Like?

On its own, turmeric doesn’t taste the greatest. Whoa, don’t leave! Hear me out! It has a mildly aromatic smell and tastes slightly bitter, but it isn’t a very strong taste. It is mainly used for its gorgeous yellow color and its nutritional benefits. It tastes a little gingery bitter, earthy, with a tinge of mustard/horseradish to it. It might not sound great by itself, but when paired with other foods, it greatly enhances the overall flavor of the dish. Trust me here.


What is couscous?

Couscous is thought of as a grain, but it is actually a pasta from North Africa. Couscous is made of tiny balls of steamed semolina flour. It’s a very easy and quick side dish to make and very versatile! Add the couscous to simmering water and allow to sit for a few minutes and you are done!


Can you reheat couscous?

Yes! Couscous reheats really well. This one pan chicken recipe can be made ahead of time and reheated later. Simply place the meal into a microwave safe container with the lid on but not sealed into the microwave and warm for 1.5 minutes. Stir and check the temperature. You will want to add fresh pomegranates and almond slices after warming.


close up of turmeric chicken in skillet


This recipe uses CURRANTS in a fun and savory way! Not sure about currants? Watch this video all about what currants are, how to use them and where to find them!


far away image of skillet turmeric couscous with plates and salt and pepper shakers


How Your Kids Can Help in the Kitchen:

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure the ingredients, wash and dry the fennel, and pick the cilantro leaves off the stems and help set the table.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can help do everything above, plus help you zest and juice the orange and lemon, add the ingredients to the pan, chop the cilantro, and garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help do everything above, plus help you chop the shallot and fennel, stir the pan while everything cooks.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.


Check out the Beginner’s Guide to Middle Eastern Food for more easy recipes for beginners!


One Pan Persian Turmeric Chicken with Citrus Couscous

One Pan Citrus Turmeric Chicken with Couscous

This easy 30 minute one pan chicken recipe is a fabulous weeknight meal for families who are short on time but want big flavor! Tender pieces of turmeric chicken with citrus, fennel and couscous are combined into a simple skillet meal topped off with cilantro and pomegranate arils.
4.50 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 464kcal
Author: Jenni


Turmeric Chicken

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon – zest and 1 TBSP of juice
  • 1 orange – zest and 1 TBSP of juice
  • ½ cup dried currants

for garnishing:

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup sliced almonds


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add 3 TBSP oil to the skillet and sauté the chopped shallot and fennel for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they start to turn soft.
  • Add the minced garlic and stir for one minute.
  • Add in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add in the turmeric, chicken stock, couscous, orange zest and 1 TBSP juice, lemon zest and 1 TBSP juice, and currants.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the meal with a fork, then garnish with pomegranate airils, chopped cilantro, and sliced almonds.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 179mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 18g


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