This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
A delicious Tunisian-inspired Chicken Tagine (or sub chickpeas) with couscous, carrots, and flavorful Green Harissa Sauce. A one-pan meal that can be made in 45 minutes! Vegan and Gluten-free adaptable!
Here’s a very simple, yummy recipe for a Tunisian-style Tagine made with your choice of Chicken or Chickpeas, with couscous and super flavorful Green Harissa Sauce. It’s easily adaptable for vegans and gluten-free diets. On a map, Tunisia sits on the Mediterranean Sea, on the Northern tip of Africa, just east of Morocco and west of Egypt so it’s easy to see how the flavors and ingredients blur the lines of borders.
What I love about this Chicken Tagine
- Fast and easy! From start to finish this Chicken Tagine takes about 45 minutes – and it’s a true “one-pot meal”.
- It’s really adaptable! Make it vegan, make it gluten-free!
- It’s incredibly tasty! Warming spices of turmeric, cinnamon and coriander really elevate, along with the Green Harissa!
Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use it as a jumping-off point for other flavor combinations. Feel free to add roasted cauliflower or grilled veggies!
Full of earthy Middle Eastern flavor, it is easy to make, and it’s a new favorite around here. Make it with chicken, fish or lamb ….or keep it totally vegetarian by adding chickpeas or cauliflower. If you are not a couscous fan, another option is to use quinoa (see recipe notes).
The Green Harissa Sauce is really delicious and simple to make, just blend up the ingredients- which I do while this is baking in the oven. The leftover sauce is great spooned over wraps and pita sandwiches the next day.
The vegan version above is equally good!
Brian loves his with chicken so often I’ll just nestle the chicken on one side for him, and have chickpeas on my side. That way we are both happy. 🙂
The Green Harissa Sauce is ….to die for. I know you will love it and find a million uses for it. I love it swirled into soups- adds richness and brightness.
Enjoy this Chicken Tagine with couscous and Green Harissa Sauce…. make it your own and please share how you’ve adapted it below!
Chicken Tagine with Couscous
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Main, One pot meal, Chicken, Vegan
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Tunisian
A delicious Tunisian-inspired Tagine (with your choice of Chicken or chickpeas) Carrots, Couscous and flavorful Green Harissa Sauce. A one-pan meal that can be made in 45 minutes! Vegan and Gluten-free adaptable!
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thigh meat (or substitute 3 cups cooked garbanzos, 2 cans drained, or a combination of both. Vegetarians could also add cauliflower.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Generous pinch salt and chili powder
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger-minced
- 5 garlic cloves- rough chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional but very tasty
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 can diced tomatoes ( fire-roasted if possible)
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, diced (or sub raisins)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups couscous ( or sub 1 cup quinoa- see notes )
GREEN HARISSA SAUCE
- 1 cup plain yogurt (don’t use zero fat, or if you do, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil) or sub vegan yogurt ( like coconut yogurt)
- 1/2–1 bunch Italian parsley, small stems OK ( or substitute cilantro)
- 1–2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander (or cumin)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional garnish: fresh mint leaves, toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Cut chicken into bigger bite-sized pieces, 1-2 inches, and generously salt and pepper and sprinkle with chili powder (If using chickpeas, see notes).
- In a large heavy-bottom, ovenproof skillet or dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear chicken a few minutes on each side, until golden brown, turning the heat down to medium if necessary.
- While chicken is searing, prep the veggies.
- Slice the carrots at diagonal ⅓ inch thick. Slice the onions into rings ⅓ inch think, then cut into half-moons. Rough chop the garlic, and finely mince the ginger. Chop the apricots.
- When the chicken is golden, remove it from the pan, and set it aside on a plate (it will finish cooking in the oven).
- Add the onions and carrots to the same pan (adding a tad more oil if need be) and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until onions become tender and fragrant.
- Make a well in the center of the pan, add the garlic and ginger, sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the spices, and sauté for one minute to bring out their flavor. Add the salt, sugar, undrained tomatoes, dried apricots and water.
- Bring to a simmer and stir a bit, scraping up any browned bits. Once it’s simmering, stir in the couscous. Nestle in the chicken cover and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- While it’s baking, make the Green Harissa Yogurt Sauce: Place the parsley or cilantro, garlic and jalapeño in a food processor and pulse (or finely chop) then place in a bowl. Stir in yogurt spices & salt.
- After 15 minutes, pull the pan from the oven. If you want the chicken to darken up a bit, broil for a minute or two. Scatter with the mint leaves, slivered almonds and serve with Green Harissa Yogurt Sauce.
- NOTES: If subbing chickpeas, drain them first. For the fastest preparation, place them directly over the couscous to heat in the oven, sprinkle with a little salt. OR for added flavor, give chickpeas a quick fry: drain, pat dry and sauté with olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little chili powder or cumin, sautéing for just another minute. To keep them crispy, add them to the couscous after it comes out of the oven. Another option is to add cauliflower, same preparation.
- If subbing quinoa: Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 1 ¾ Cups water. Extend cooking time by 10-15 minutes.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 499
- Sugar: 11.9 g
- Sodium: 819.5 mg
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 61.6 g
- Fiber: 6.9 g
- Protein: 39 g
- Cholesterol: 88.9 mg
Keywords: tagine, chicken tagine tagine recipe, moroccan chicken, moroccan chickpeas, tunisian chicken, Tunisian recipes, cous cous, cous cous recipes
What size can of tomatoes? I used 14oz and the dish turned out a bit dry so wondered if I should have used 28oz? The green harissa saved it, though! Love your recipes and site!
I used a 14-ounce can with the juices. Did you drain?
Loved this recipe! We have started making foods from this part of the world in the past couple years and find it delicious and nutritious. This was easy to make and tasted great. We used chicken and chickpeas.
Great to hear Paula!
Hi Sylvia, can I sub millet for the cous cous ? If so, would cooking instructions change ?
Hi Lisa- to be honest not entirely sure, haven’t tried this with millet. Not sure of the timing or liquid ratio.
Your blog is my go to place for delicious recipes and this one didn’t disappoint. I am usually not a big fan of dried food in meat dishes but I am really glad I didn’t skip the apricots. Will definitely make this dish again.
Really appreciate this Jana! Love that you tried something different.
Absolutely killer recipe, I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve been asked to make it.
Prep time does take a little longer than listed, but getting everything ready ahead of time is essential for this one. I usually increase the spice amounts by a half-step as well.
Seriously can not recommend enough, thanks Sylvia!
Thanks Kyle! Thanks for sharing. 😉
Hi Sylvia, please add a video if you have one. Thank you in advance.
I want to make this but am not sure what size can of tomatoes to use — 14 oz or 28 oz.
14 ounce 🙂
I just made a vegan version of this with Abbot’s pea protein chicken, and instead of raisins, I used currants. It was incredible! I will definitely be making this again in the future. Thank you!!
Perfect, love your substitutions. that is what it’s all about here!
This is delicious! The harissa sauce brought all the flavors together. I added some olives and preserved lemon as well. I cooked the entire meal in my Ninja Foodi–made the cleanup simple!
Love it Walt! Glad you enjoyed this!
This was an absolute hit with my family! So much so that my teenage son ate my next day lunch of leftovers before he went to bed at midnight! I was pretty mad, LOL! The only specific comment about the recipe is that the sauce maybe has too much yogurt in it. It definitely was a lighter color than your pics and was a bit tart. I didn’t care for the flavor of it on its own but was quite delicious drizzled on top of the dish. Thank you, this one is a keeper and in our rotations now! PS – it was a very straightforward and not over complicated recipe, too! 🙂
thanks Jessica! I will double-check the recipe.
Question:-) are you supposed to add cooked cous cous in cooked veg ?? And when do you add water? Sorry for stupid questions…. Thank you!
Hi Reiko- no worries, it’s easy to miss! It’s in step 4 of the recipe instructions. 🙂
I added uncooked couscous. I don’t think it’s necessary to have it cooked before adding. It will cook and absorb the water and liquid from the tomatoes.
another wonderful recipe
This dish was delicious! I used half chicken and half chickpeas and subbed a cup of long grain rice because I was out of the others and it turned out perfect (didn’t even have to adjust the time). The green sauce has become a staple, my daughter loves it on everything (even sandwiches). Thank you for all the great recipes, I have not come across one that we don’t love!
Outstanding recipe. Easy and quick to prepare yet delivering absolutely complex and delicious flavors. I chose to combine chicken and chicken peas and received a post meal standing ovation from my family. It’s a keeper and will be added to the ‘favorites list’.
Wonderful recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. The sauce is so yummy!!
This is the third recipe I’ve made from this site and it was absolutely amazing!! Made it with just the chickpeas, reduced the cumin by half because I don’t like the taste of cumin and the dish was perfect. I can’t wait to try more recipes.
We’ve found so many fabulous recipes on this site- thank you!
I wanted to share that I made this in the slow cooker (because we didn’t have any oven-proof pots/pans that were big enough) and it turned out great! Just threw all the ingredients in and cooked it on low for 4 hrs. I added pearl couscous at the end and cooked it 15 min longer on low.
I bet the original method of cooking this dish makes it all the more delicious, but wanted to share this option too!
Oh, super flavorful and interesting. I did the chickpea version and used two streaky jalapeños since I’m a heat fiend, which didn’t seem to impact the flavor profile. Because I used a very fine couscous, I had to add a splash of water after baking, but otherwise no alterations necessary.
I have made this recipe many times, and it’s one of my all time favorites. I started with the meat and dairy version (the harissa sauce really is great)! I’ve also tried the chickpea version, and am so grateful for recipes that guide us to more plant-based options. Thank you!
This seems nice, fresh and Tunisian-inspired but definitely not authentic. How do I know? I’m Tunisian. First, Tagine can also refer to couscous in Morocco. In Tunisia, it means something completely different. In Tunisia, this is couscous. Tagine in Tunisia is an egg dish cooked in the oven. It has potatoes, spinach or parsley and it can be made with chicken or lamb. Calling couscous tagine in Tunisia is like calling a burrito a taco in Mexico. Different things. The “green harissa” I never heard of in 27 years living in Tunisia. Harissa literally means spicy and it’s essentially red chili paste. You can add it to your dishes for flavor. It’s not a dip. It’s more appropriate to refer to what’s described here as a coriander yogurt dip or sauce. Two ingredients which are in fact uncommon in Tunisian cuisine (unlike Indian or Greek). Lastly, the cooking method. Couscous is typically cooked on the stove. The grains of couscous are steam-cooked in a steamer placed on top of the saucepan used to prepare your sauce. Once couscous grains and sauce are cooked, you pour enough sauce (not too much where your couscous gets soggy and not too little where it stays dry). If you feel like the couscous is too drenched, you can put it in the oven for a bit to help it absorb some of the sauce.
Hi, yes, you are right, it is not authentic – it is “inspired”. I had something similar in a Tunisian restaurant and recreated it here.
I made this recipe tonight and it was fabulous! Followed the recipe exactly (except I used chicken breast because I did not have thighs handy) and it came out wonderfully! I will definitely make this again. I can’t wait to serve to friends and family!
Great to hear Remy! Appreciate this!