Budget-friendly vegetable tagine recipe

Vegetable tagine

Blanche Clark

Posted August 11, 2022

This simple vegetable tagine recipe is a healthy one-pot stew that’s full of warm flavours, gluten-free and suitable for vegans.

Easy, economical and vegan-friendly, this vegetable tagine or stew infuses a few healthy and humble ingredients - potato, sweet potato and carrot - with mouth-watering flavours. 

A balance of sweet and savoury, the key ingredient in this tagine recipe is harissa, which is widely available in supermarkets, Middle Eastern grocers and Melbourne markets. 

Harissa is a blend of three types of chilli, along with sumac, caraway and other seeds. RACV Club Executive Sous Chef Craig Dowling says the cinnamon, coriander and turmeric round off the flavour, adding depth and warmth to this tagine recipe. 

“You end up with a fabulous, hearty family meal and any leftovers keep well in the fridge for a day or two,” he says. This tagine dish is also suitable for freezing.


A tagine is great for braising vegetables - or meat - to create a delicious meal that can be served with couscous. Image: Getty


What is a tagine? 

A tagine is a distinctive looking round clay dish, traditionally used in Morocco. It has a cone-shaped lid that traps the heat and braises the vegetables (or meat) until tender and fragrant. Legumes such as chickpeas – which are used in this tagine recipe – are popular, as are beef and lamb. You can save money on beef and lamb by choosing the right cut. If you don’t have a tagine, you can use a large pot with a heavy base.

What vegetables work best in a tagine? 

Hearty vegetables such pumpkin, potatoes, and carrots are great for tagines and stews because they can cook for long periods and absorb the flavour of the spices.

What is couscous? 

Couscous is the grain of choice in Morocco. It is a combination of wheat flour and semolina that is rolled in minute balls. When cooked in hot water, the grains swell and become fluffy. Its neutral flavour makes it the perfect accompaniment for the rich flavours of the tagine. 

Can you cook couscous in a tagine? 

Couscous can be cooked in a tagine. Depending on the brand, it takes 5 to 15 minutes to cook when added to the stew in a tagine. In this recipe you can follow the instructions on the packet and serve the couscous separately.  One method involves pouring boiling water or stock over the couscous in a bowl and leaving for 5-10 minutes to absorp the liquid and become light and fluffy. Another method involves bringing 1 ¼ cups water or stock to the boil in a saucepan and adding 1 cup of dried couscous. You then remove the pan from the heat, stir the couscous, cover with a lid and stand for 5 minutes. 

Do you need to use apricots in a tagine? 

The combination of sweet and savoury flavours in this tagine recipe is a feature of North African food, and the use of fruits, such as apricots and dates, is common in Morocco. You can offset the sweetness with lemon, either the juice of half a lemon, a tsp of lemon zest or one large, preserved lemon, with its pulp removed and then cut into thin strips.


Moroccan vegetable tagine recipe



Time to make

60 min




  • 80ml olive oil
  • 160g brown onion, diced
  • 25g garlic, chopped
  • 310g carrots, chopped
  • 245g potato, peeled, diced into 5cm cubes
  • 445g sweet potato, peeled, diced into 5cm cubes
  • 40g harissa paste
  • 10g ground coriander
  • 3g ground cinnamon
  • 3g ground turmeric
  • 500g tinned tomatoes
  • 140g dried apricots, chopped
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • 550g tinned chickpeas, drained


  1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, coriander and harissa paste and fry for a minute until fragrant. 
  3. Add the vegetables, and fry for 8-10 minutes, until they’re coated in the spices and start to take on some colour.
  4. Add the chickpeas, stock, and dried apricots. 
  5. Season and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Use a saucepan lid to keep in the moisture in and add more stock if the stew starts to dry out.
  6. Serve with couscous