How to Make the Perfect Vegetable Tagine

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Apurva Sethi
Apurva is a fashion and food enthusiast. She chose fashion as her career and food as her passion. She is greatly fond of trying out new cuisines at different places and making them at home, in her own style. She also loves to seek and learn new things about the food industry constantly. So, here she is, to share her easy-peasy ways of cooking.

Nothing warms you up better than a beautiful tagine. The tagine was originally a Berber dish and evolved as an excellent meal to make the most of tough cuts of meat while cooking over an open fire. 

Vegetable Tagine recipe is just as easy and tasty, and it’s a perfect way to use lots of different vegetables. I’ve included my favourite combination here, but you can use any number of vegetables.

The key to an excellent Vegetable Tagine is in the spices and the tagine itself – the tagine pot. The conical lid traps steam as the dish cooks, so the heat is evenly distributed throughout. A portable oven, in other words, that bastes your food, thereby keeping in moisture and flavour.

This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.

Ingredients Required for Vegetable Tagine

Olive Oil¼ cup
Large Shallots, diced2
Garlic Clove, minced6
Carrots, diced2
Zucchini, diced1 cup
Eggplant, diced1 cup
Sweet Peppers, cored, deseeded and diced2
Preserved Lemons, diced2
Coriander Powder2 tsp
Turmeric Powder2 tsp
Saffron Strands2 Pinches
Cinnamon2 tsp
Ground Ginger3/4 tsp
Cayenne Pepper½ tsp
Tomato Juice2 tsp
Vegetable Broth2 cps
Canned Chickpeas, drained and rinsed2 cups
Dried Prunes, finely chopped½ tsp
Salt and pepperTo Taste
Kale2 handfuls

*If preserved lemons aren’t available, use the zest of 2 lemons and ½ teaspoon salt instead. Or try this recipe for making your own.

Optional ingredients for serving

  • Couscous (traditional), or cooked buckwheat (gluten-free)
  • Chopped fresh herbs (mint or parsley both work well)
  • Green olives
  • Sliced limes
  • Red chilis (birds-eye)
  • Chopped almonds
  • Harissa sauce

How much time will it take?

Preparation timeCooking timeTotal time
10 minutes50 minutes1 hour

How to Make Vegetable Tagine at Home

With your tagine over medium heat, heat the oil in the bottom and add the shallots. Cook for a few minutes till the shallots are soft. Toss in the garlic, chopped vegetables, and spices. Mix to combine and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Pour in the vegetable broth and tomato juice. Add in the chopped lemons. Bring the mixture to the boil, cover, and reduce to medium-low. Let the tagine simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to avoid the food sticking to the bottom of the tagine pot.

Toss in the chickpeas and dried prunes to the mixture. Still on low heat, cook for 5 more minutes. Once the mixture thickens and the veggies are soft, your tagine is done.

Add salt and pepper once you’ve done a taste test. Add the kale, and stir the mixture for about 2 minutes, or till the kale leaves wilt.

Bring your Vegetable Tagine to the centre of the table to serve right from the pot, with couscous or rice on the side. Top the tagine with herbs of your choice, and have other ingredients in small side dishes for guests to serve themselves: the chopped almonds, red chilis, green olives, harissa sauce, and slices of lime.

You may want to serve some Moroccan bread to soak up the sauce while you soak up the compliments!

Tips for cooking Vegan Moroccan Tagine FAQs

Can I put a tagine in the oven as well as on the stove?

If you don’t have an open fire, you can use your tagine either in the oven or on the stove. Both methods work equally well.

I have a gas stove. Can I still use a tagine pot?

If your tagine is cast iron, then yes, you can use it on a gas stove.
If you are using a clay tagine (this is the traditional type), you’ll need to use a heat diffuser so that the tagine doesn’t crack. Begin with the temperature on low, and increase it very gradually.

Are tagine pots difficult to clean?

You can clean your tagine pot with soapy water, but be careful not to use too much soap. Soap can break down the seasoning of your pot, which you have built up over time with oil.
Definitely clean your tagine pot as soon as you can so that food doesn’t dry up and stick to it. 

What other vegetables can I put in a vegan tagine?

When making the perfect vegetable tagine, you want to use vegetables that have different flavours and especially textures. So, for example, if you are using harder vegetables such as squash or potatoes, you also want to include softer veggies such as sweet peppers, peas, and eggplant.

What other dishes can you make with leftover tagine?

Here are some ideas for you:
– Breakfast or lunch pastry. Using your tagine pot, top your leftover tagine with buttered phyllo pastry and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F (you can put the whole tagine pot in the oven)
– Quick wraps: Fill a tortilla or a wrap with a scoop of tagine, and top with a fried egg (optional), or some hummus. A meal in minutes! 
– Tagine ‘pizza’: Drizzle some leftover Moroccan bread, pitta bread, or flatbread with olive oil. Spread some tagine on top, and put slices of mozzarella over the vegetables. Bake at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes or till the cheese melts. Lunch is served! 

There you have it! Enjoy your vegan Moroccan tagine!

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