Moroccan Pastilla

Updated December 24th 2020

Another wonderful traditional Moroccan dish prepared for great dinners and wedding ceremonies. Traditionally served after small plates of fresh salads and before the main Tagine course. For instance, Moroccan Seafood Pastilla is a great dish to try out with our extra virgin olive oil.

Pastilla Orgins

Firstly, the name comes from the Spanish word pastilla, meaning in modern Spanish either “pill” or “small pastry”. It is believed that the basic concept of pastilla was probably brought to Morocco by Moorish Muslims who left Spain in the 16th century. Secondandly, because there had been considerable traffic between Morocco and Spain since the Moors conquered the latter in the seventh century.

However, others believe that the dish was introduced into Morocco by the Algerians who migrated to Tétouan after the French invasion of Algiers in 1830. In conclusion, in Morocco, there are two main versions of pastilla: one with poultry and one with seafood. 

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  • 700g of peeled shrimp
  • 600g of squid
  • 600g of whiting fish or any type of white fish
  • 2 or 3 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • A bag of Chinese noodles (vermicelli)
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (100 grams)
  • Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Pack chopped mushroom cut into pieces
  • 1 pickled lemon
  • 50g olives cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin,1 tsp ginger, hot sauce
  • ½ tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp black pepper
  • 500g fine pastry layers (you can make them at home or get the readymade in the market)


  1. Clean whiting fish well and steam it or boil it in salty water to remove the scales easily
  2. Clean squid with warm water well and cut it into rings then put in a pot with spices, bay leaves, garlic extra virgin olive oil and ½ cup of water and cook until water is evaporated.
  3. Clean shrimp and grill in a pan with 2 tbsp of butter
  4. Put the noodles in hot salty water for 5 to 10 minutes then drain them and cut them to small pieces.
  5. Add, whiting fish, shrimp to Squid then mix well
  6. In a bowl, put the noodles, mushrooms, olives; tomato sauce, parsley, hot sauce and pickled lemon then mix well.
  7. Grease the round mold with butter.
  8. On the bottom of the dish, place 5 sheets of Pastilla well greased with butter (butter side up) in the overlapping like the petals of a flower and leaving the overflow to the outside edges of the dish (about half of the sheet inside the flat, the other half to the outside).
  9. Place layers in a mold.
  10. Consolidate the bottom of the Pastilla with 1 or 2 more sheets placed in the centre of the mold.
  11. Put the mixture of the noodles on the sheets using the back of a spoon to spread it perfectly.
  12. Put the mixture of seafood over the entire surface of the noodles in order to completely cover the mold.
  13. Add another sheet of pastry on top then fold those layers of the Pastilla.
  14. Arrange 3 new sheets on top in an overlapping to close it firmly. Once the Pastilla is closed, spread the yolk of an egg on the top.
  15. Put the Pastilla in the oven preheated to about 45 minutes (more or less depending on oven). Pastilla should be golden brown on its entire surface, the sides and bottom. It has to be crispy.
  16. For garnish: Put some ground cheese, shrimp and circles of lemon on the top and serve it hot.
  17. Your Moroccan Seafood Pastilla is ready to be served

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