Vegetable Tagine

Vegetable Tagine is a vegetarian Moroccan stew loaded with heady warm spices. Make this with any veg you have – just don’t skimp on the spices!! This is one of those hidden gems that’s meat free, gluten free, low carb, low calorie, extremely filling AND tasty. Wait – it’s even vegan. Yay vegans! Vegetable Tagine... Get the Recipe The post Vegetable Tagine appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Vegetable Tagine
Vegetable Tagine ready to be served

Vegetable Tagine is a vegetarian Moroccan stew loaded with heady warm spices. Make this with any veg you have – just don’t skimp on the spices!!

This is one of those hidden gems that’s meat free, gluten free, low carb, low calorie, extremely filling AND tasty. Wait – it’s even vegan. Yay vegans!

Vegetable Tagine ready to be served
Close up of pile of Vegetable Tagine

Vegetable Tagine

Last week, I asked readers what type of recipes they’d like to see more of on RecipeTin Eats this year. The themes in demand were clear – more meat free, more low calorie, more low carb.

BUT still insanely tasty of course! And if it could be made in one pot, be super easy, super quick that would be just dandy. ????

Though I wouldn’t classify it as super quick, calling for a good 45 minutes cook time to make the vegetables tender and absorb all those wonderful flavours, it’s certainly very easy.

So – this is the first recipe I’m delivering pursuant to reader demand!

Vegetable Tagine in a large pot, ready to be served

Traditionally, Tagine is made in a tagine, an earthenware cooking vessel with a pointy cone shaped lid so that steam circulates inside as it cooks, then flavoured condensation drips back down into the tagine.

But we’re using a good ole’ dutch oven today. It’s ok! ????

Ingredients in Vegetable Tagine

When you see the load of spices in this, you know you’re in for a flavourful dish. But isn’t it nice that they’re all everyday spices you can find at the grocery store? ????

Vegetable Tagine ingredients

While this has a generous amount of spices in it, it’s not the kapow! flavour like you get in Indian curries. It’s more of a warm spice mix.

The cayenne does add a touch of spiciness, so just skip it if you don’t want any heat in it at all!

And here’s what goes in the Vegetable Tagine. This one’s all about using what you’ve got, so don’t be concerned if you don’t have all the vegetables!

Vegetable Tagine

Here’s what I used:

  • chickpeas – this is the only starch in this dish, adds a nice nutty texture and bulks it out. Substitute with any other beans;
  • lemon – fresh finishing touch, both the zest and juice;
  • onion & garlic – the flavour base; and
  • vegetables – butternut pumpkin/squash, capsicum/bell peppers, green beans, eggplant (aubergine), cauliflower and tomato (which sort of becomes part of the sauce). This is a nice combination of colours and textures that’s in season at the same time, making this a terrifically economical dish.

How to make Vegetable Tagine

A key step here to extract the most flavour out of the vegetables is to pan roast each vegetable individually to get some colour on them before simmering with heavily spice doused liquid. Because after all, as I always say, colour = flavour!

How to make Vegetable Tagine
  1. Saute onion and garlic first – usual flavour base;
  2. Pan-roast each vegetable individually, just to get some colour on them. We don’t cook them through, just give them a blush of colour;
  3. Cook the tomato for a minute – this effectively deglazes the pan (ie gets all the tasty stuff off the bottom of the pan from sautéing the veg) – then add spices and cook for a minute to let the flavours bloom;
  4. Add all the vegetables back in as well as water. The water should almost cover the vegetables, but not quite, remembering that the vegetables will sink as they cook. If you add too much water, you’ll end up with a watery sauce;
  5. Bring to a simmer;
  6. Cook, covered, in the oven for 30 minutes – the easiest way, because it requires no stirring. You could also simmer on the stove over a super low heat, but stir gently so the vegetables don’t turn into mush;
  7. Add the green beans and chickpeas, then simmer on the stove for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid. At this stage, the pumpkin and cauliflower are quite soft, semi breaking down, which helps thicken the liquid. It shouldn’t be soupy, but it should be brothy. Trust me when I say – you want that broth!!
  8. Finally, stir through lemon zest and lemon juice. A fresh finishing touch works wonders here to lift the dish, as it does with many others from a Lentil Soup to Magic Broccoli (aptly named as such because it’s so simple but so good!).

I love how the broth is naturally thickened by the vegetables that are soft cooked so they ever so slightly disintegrate into the sauce. Flavour, flavour, flavour!

Close up of Vegetable Tagine

What to serve with Vegetable Tagine

For a traditional experience, serve with couscous. I’ve put the post up separately as it’s a handy quick no-cook side dish for many dishes, not just Morrocan or Middle Eastern.

Overhead photo of Vegetable Tagine served over couscous
Vegetable Tagine served over Fruit & Nut Couscous

With all the flavours going on in the tagine, a plain couscous would be just fine, but I’m not one to say no to a sprinkling of fresh herbs, or dried fruit and nuts!


  • any rice (white, brown, basmati, lemon flavoured would also be lovely)
  • quinoa
  • cauliflower rice (for a very big satisfying low carb, low calorie meal!)
  • homemade or store bought flatbreads for dunking.

I’ve also added a dollop of yogurt, a nice cooling creamy touch that compliments the heady combination of spices nicely. A sprinkle of predictable coriander/cilantro and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a dusting of extra spice. Because, well, why not? ???? – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Close up of Vegetable Tagine

Vegetable Tagine

Recipe video above. A vegetarian Moroccan stew loaded with heady warm spices, filled with tender vegetables. Make this with any veg you have – just don't skimp on the spices!!
Serve with couscous.
Course Mains
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Moroccan
Keyword tagine, vegetable tagine, vegetarian stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8 – 10 people
Calories 200cal
Author Nagi


Tagine Spice Mix:

  • 1 tbsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne (omit for not spicy)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Tagine (Note 1):

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion sliced (sub any onion)
  • 1 garlic clove , finely minced
  • 800g/1.6lb butternut pumpkin / squash (1/2 small), peeled, cut into 2.5cm / 1″ cubes
  • 1 small eggplant , cut into 2.5cm / 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 cauliflower , small, cut into bite size florets
  • 1 capsicum/bell pepper , cut into 2.5cm / 1″ pieces (red or yellow)
  • 2 tomatoes , seeds removed, cut into 1cm / 1/3″ dice
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 400g/ 14oz can chickpeas , drained
  • 200g / 60z green beans , cut into 3.5cm / 1.5" pieces (~2 cups cut)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Garnishes / for serving:

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds , toasted
  • 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro , roughly chopped
  • Plain yogurt
  • Pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper


  • Mix Tagine Spice Mix together.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large heavy based pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until onion is wilted (~ 1 1/2 minutes), then remove into a large bowl. Scrape out garlic bits as well (so they don't burn).
  • Add butternut and cook, stirring for 3 minutes, or until lightly golden on most sides. Remove into same bowl.
  • Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Cook eggplant for 3 minutes until tinged with gold on most sides, remove into same bowl.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil if pot is looking dry. Add capsicum and cauliflower, cook for 2 minutes until the cauliflower is a bit golden on the edges. Remove into bowl.
  • Add tomato and cook for 1 minute. Add Spice Mix, stir for 1 minute.
  • Add vegetables, water (it should just about cover the vegetables, they will sink), salt and pepper. Give it a stir, bring to simmer on the stove, then transfer to the oven for 30 minutes (or you could simmer on low stove, but stir gently otherwise veg may breakdown too much).
  • Remove from oven, add beans and chickpeas. Simmer for 15 minutes uncovered on the stove on medium low heat to cook the beans and reduce the sauce.
  • Stir through lemon juice and zest. The idea here is that some of the veg (butternut, cauliflower) breaks down a bit to slightly thicken the sauce – it gets thicker overnight.
  • For a traditional experience, serve over couscous. Otherwise, try white, brown, basmati rice or quinoa, or serve just as is like a chunky stew. Or for a low carb option try cauliflower rice! I like to top mine with a dollop of yogurt, sprinkle of almonds, coriander/cilantro and pinch of paprika or cayenne.


1. Vegetables – you can really use any vegetables you want in this recipe. It’s intended that most of the vegetables are cooked until tender – only the green beans are added later to preserve some of the green colour.
It’s also intentional that cauliflower and pumpkin sort of start of breakdown a bit – this actually acts as a natural thickener for the sauce.
2. Storage – keeps 5 days in the fridge. Spritz of fresh lemon juice will help lift it, the longer you keep it!
3. Nutrition per serving assuming 8 serves, tagine only (ie no couscous) and no toppings. This really is so full of flavour it can be served like a really hearty stew-soup, just by itself.


Calories: 200cal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 708mg | Potassium: 780mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 8994IU | Vitamin C: 64mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 3mg

Life of Dozer

Really doesn’t like his daily post-beach showers. Kind of ironic, isn’t it, that he spent the last hour swimming?


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