El Kaoutari was born in Montpellier and has been with his hometown club since childhood joining as a youth player. While in the club's youth academy, known as Centre de Formation de La Paillade, he helped the Montpellier under-19 team win the 2008–09 edition of the Coupe Gambardella. After successfully passing through La Paillade, El Kaoutari was allowed to train with the senior team alongside fellow youth teammate Mickaël Nelson. He made his professional debut on 12 May 2008 in a Ligue 2 match against Gueugnon. El Kaoutari appeared as a substitute in the 65th minute. Montpellier won the match 2–1.
For the 2008–09 season, El Kaoutari featured regularly in the Coupe Gambardella and the Coupe de France. He started both Montpellier's Coupe de France victories over amateur club Saint-Flour and third-tier club Cannes. Both matches went into extra time. El Kaoutari also appeared in four league matches, which included three straight matches late in the season, while Montpellier were in the midst of a promotion battle. Montpellier did, indeed, achieve promotion to Ligue 1. El Kaoutari was given a more prominent role in the squad for the 2009–10 Ligue 1 season. After appearing early on as a substitute, by November, El Kaoutari became a staple in the starting eleven, usually starting in the left back position.
El Kaoutari has featured with the France under-19 team. He was a late participant to the team making his debut during the Elite Round portion of qualification for the 2009 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. El Kaoutari was later selected to play in the tournament and featured in all four matches with France suffering elimination in the semi-finals losing 3–1 to England. El Kaoutari played his first match for Morocco on 4 June 2011 against Algeria (4–0). El Kaoutari was named in Pim Verbeek 18-man squad for the Morocco U-23 football team to compete at the London 2012 Olympics