Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
This Moroccan vegetable tagine is sweet, fragrant, and completely delicious. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas are cooked with warm spices and served over a bed of couscous. Make it in a crockpot or instant pot for a low-effort vegan meal that everyone will enjoy!
Table of contents
This Moroccan vegetable tagine is a cozy and comforting vegan dish that's easy to make in your crockpot or Instant Pot. It's sweet and spicy with lots of texture and an incredible mix of North African flavors.
It's a simple dish that requires minimal prep time, and most of the cooking time is hands-off. Just chop your vegetables, sauté the onions and carrots until they're soft, add all the other ingredients, and set your timer.
We love making this recipe in a crockpot or Instant Pot because it's both convenient and allows the stew to slowly simmer. Using a crockpot is great if you want to prepare it in the morning and come home to a delicious warm dinner. If you're short on time, the instant pot with its pressure cooker feature is a lifesaver. If you don't have either, don't worry, we also share how you can make it on your stovetop.
We use a spice mix called ras el hanout which is typical in Morocco and other Arabic countries. It's a mix of warm spices like cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, chili peppers, coriander, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek, and turmeric. If you can't find it locally, you can buy it online, or use a mix of a few spices.
Enjoy this vegetarian tagine over a bed of couscous topped with chopped almonds, cilantro, mint, and olives for a nourishing meal that will warm you up from the inside!
What is tagine?
The word ‘tagine' refers to both the North African cone-shaped clay cookware and the stew that is cooked in it. The clay vessel has a circular bottom and conical-shaped cover that sits on top when the stew is cooking. Typical tagine dishes vary from region to region, but the recipes consist of meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, dried fruit, and spices.
Vegetable Moroccan tagine ingredients
This vegan tagine recipe is filled with vegetables and other good-for-you ingredients. Here's everything you need to make it:
- Olive oil – for sautéing. You can also use avocado or coconut oil if you prefer.
- Onion, ginger + garlic – for that classic savory flavor base.
- Carrots – we use regular carrots but you could swap for parsnip, turnip, or rainbow carrots.
- Ras el hanout – ras el hanout is a mixture of warming spices found in some Arabic countries. The spices and quantities range depending on the region, but commonly include cardamom, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, chili peppers, coriander, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek, and turmeric.
- Tomato paste – adds depth and rich tomato flavor.
- Sweet potatoes – no need to peel them, the skin has a lot of nutrients. We love their sweet taste, but regular potatoes or butternut squash also work great, too.
- Salt – for seasoning, and to enhance all the other amazing flavors happening.
- Apricots + dates – these dried fruit offer a nice sweetness to this stew. Feel free to use raisins in place of the dates.
- Cinnamon – this versatile spice lends a sweet-spicy kick.
- Canned chickpeas – chickpeas add protein and a nice nutty texture to the stew. White kidney beans or cannellini beans make a great substitute.
- Steamed couscous, chopped toasted almonds, cilantro, mint, olives, and lemon – to serve.
How to make a vegetable tagine
We make this recipe the same way we would in a tagine, but using a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Whichever method you choose, it comes together quickly and easily.
Here's how to make it in a crockpot or the Instant Pot:
- To make it in a crockpot, start by sautéing the onion in olive oil in a pan until it starts to brown. Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes, followed by the ras el hanout and tomato paste. If you're making it in the instant pot, follow the same steps using the sauté function.
- Transfer the onion mixture to your crockpot, and add all the other ingredients except for the chickpeas. Set it on low for 8 hours. If you're making it in the instant pot, add all the same ingredients and use the pressure cooking method for 8 minutes.
- When it's finished cooking and the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas and stir, letting them warm for a few minutes. To serve, ladle it over steamed couscous (or rice or quinoa), and top with desired toppings.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
How to make tagine on your stovetop
If you don't have a crockpot or Instant Pot, don't worry, you can still make tagine. We recommend using a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid. It will just take a little more time to cook the vegetables until they're nice and soft.
To make tagine on the stovetop, follow the same directions as the Instant Pot, but instead of using the pressure cooker feature, cover it with the lid and gently simmer for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Follow the rest of the recipe directions, and that's it!
Yes! Like other soups and stews, this vegetable tagine can easily be made ahead of time. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Warm it up in a pot on the stove with a splash of water.
Yes, it freezes wonderfully. Once it's completely cool, store it in a freezer-proof container or reusable silicone bag (we like these stasher bags) for up to 3 months.
You can find ras el hanout at some well-stocked grocery stores in the spice aisle, or check your local halal deli or Arabic grocery store. You can also find it online.
What to eat with vegetable Moroccan tagine
This Moroccan tagine is a delicious and complete vegetarian or vegan meal. Serve it over a bed of steamed couscous for a more traditional Moroccan taste and texture, or try rice or quinoa instead.
Moroccan flatbread (known as msemen), a carrot salad, and mint tea would round out this traditional Moroccan meal!
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Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
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- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 tablespoon ras el hanout
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 lb sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup dried apricots, cut in half
- 8 pitted dates, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 14-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Steamed couscous, chopped toasted almonds, cilantro, mint, olives, and lemons, to serve
- Crockpot Method: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the ras el hanout and tomato paste to the pot and let it cook for 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste starts to caramelize. Instant Pot Method: Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and, once hot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to brown. Add the carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the ras el hanout and tomato paste and let it cook for 30 seconds until the tomato paste starts to caramelize.1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 large onion, 3 carrots, 2 tablespoon ras el hanout, ¼ cup tomato paste
- Crockpot Method: Transfer everything into your crockpot. Add the sweet potatoes, apricots, ginger, salt, dates, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and 4 cups of water to your crockpot and stir well. Set your crockpot for 8 hours on low.Instant Pot Method: Add the sweet potatoes, apricots, ginger, salt, dates, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and 4 cups of water to your Instant Pot. Secure the lid and put the valve into the sealed position. Turn on the Manual or Pressure Cook function and pressure cook for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually vent to release the remaining pressure.1 lb sweet potatoes, ¾ cup dried apricots, 2 tablespoons minced ginger, 8 pitted dates, 4 cloves garlic, 2 sticks cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Both Methods: When the tagine has finished cooking, stir in the chickpeas. Let them warm for a few minutes then serve the tagine over some steamed couscous with some chopped almonds, cilantro, mint, olives, and a squeeze of lemon over top.2 14-ounce cans of chickpeas, Steamed couscous, chopped toasted almonds, cilantro, mint, olives, and lemons