This delicious Tunisian-style Chicken Tagine is made with tender pieces of chicken, optional chickpeas, carrots, dried apricots, warming Tunisian Spices, and baked over couscous- a nifty one-pan meal that can be made in 45 minutes! Serve with Green Harissa Sauce. Vegan (use chickpeas) and Gluten-free adaptable! Plus 35+ Must-Try Chicken Thigh Recipes.

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! 

This Tunisian-style Chicken Tagine is made with your choice of Chicken or Chickpeas ( or both!) with couscous, veggies and a and super flavorful Green Harissa Sauce.  It’s easily adaptable for vegans and gluten-free diets.  On the 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.

But first, What is tagine?

A tagine can be either a cooking vessel, typically made of clay or ceramic, or a type of dish or meal, hailing from Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.

The clay vessel consists of a shallow, wide-bottomed dish with a domed or cone-shaped lid. The lid helps to retain moisture and circulate it back into the dish, creating a moist and flavorful result.

The term “tagine” is also used to describe the dishes cooked in this vessel. Tagine dishes are known for their rich, aromatic flavors and tender textures. They often include a combination of meat (such as chicken, lamb, or beef), vegetables, fruits, and a variety of spices and herbs, typically served with rice, or couscous. Tagines are popular in Moroccan and Tunisian cuisine, but they have gained popularity worldwide due to their unique flavors and cooking method.

Why you’ll Love Chicken Tagine!

  1. Fast and easy! From start to finish, this Chicken Tagine takes about 45 minutes – and it’s a true “one-pot meal”. Couscous cooks so quickly- perfect for busy weeknights.
  2. It’s VERY adaptable! Make it vegan; make it gluten-free! Once you get the hang of it, using it as a jumping-off point for other flavor combinations is easy. Feel free to add roasted cauliflower or grilled veggies! It is easy to make, full of earthy Middle Eastern flavors, and it’s a new favorite around here!
  3. It’s incredibly tasty!  Warming spices of turmeric, cinnamon, and coriander really elevate, along with the Green Harissa! 

Chicken Tagine Ingredients

The Tunisian Chicken Tagine is a flavorful and aromatic dish that combines a variety of ingredients to create a delicious and satisfying meal. Here’s a description of the main ingredients:

  1. Chicken: The dish can be made with your choice of chicken or chickpeas, or even both! Chicken adds a tender and juicy protein element to the tagine. Use chicken breast or chicken thighs, or bone-in chicken thighs.
  2. Couscous: This North African staple food is a type of small grain made from durum wheat. It provides a light and fluffy texture to the dish and serves as a base for the other ingredients. You can also use quinoa in the recipe- see recipe notes.
  3. Carrots & onions: Fresh carrots add a slightly sweet and earthy flavor to the tagine. They also provide a vibrant orange color, making the dish visually appealing.
  4. Green Harissa Sauce: This aromatic and spicy sauce is the star of the dish. Made with a blend of fresh herbs, spices, and chili peppers, it adds a burst of flavor and heat to the tagine. The Green Harissa Sauce can be prepared ahead (or make it while the tagine is baking).
  5. Seasonings: The recipe also calls for warming spices like turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper and coriander, which add depth and complexity to the dish.
A delicious Tunisian-inspired Tagine (with your choice of  Chicken or chickpeas)  Carrots, Cous Cous and flavorful Green Harissa Sauce. A one-pan meal that can be made in 45 minutes! Vegan and Gluten-free adaptable!   | #tunisian #chicken #chickpeas #couscous #moroccan #moroccanchicken #tagine

Chicken Tagine Instructions

To make the Chicken Tagine, follow these simple steps:

  1. In a large skillet or a tagine, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well to coat the onions with the spices and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. If using chicken, add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. If using chickpeas, skip this step and proceed to the next.
  4. Add the sliced carrots and vegetable or chicken broth to the skillet. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are tender. If using chickpeas, add them now and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. While the tagine is simmering, prepare the Green Harissa Sauce. In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground caraway seeds (if using), salt, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  6. Serve the Chicken Tagine over cooked couscous, and drizzle with the Green Harissa Sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!

Note: Feel free to customize your Chicken Tagine by adding more vegetables like cauliflower or other veggies. Experiment with different spices and herbs to suit your taste preferences.

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! 

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. 🙂

Green Harrisa Sauce!

While the tagine doesn’t need the sauce, 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- it adds richness and brightness.

Green Harissa yogurt Sauce...the perfect condiment for this Tunisian Cous Cous dish | #harissa #greenharissa

What to serve with Chicken Tagine

Because the couscous is already part of the dish no need to add an extra starch here. I would suggest a salad or other vegetable option:

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! 

More Chicken Recipes you’ll love!

Enjoy this Chicken Tagine with couscous and Green Harissa Sauce…. make it your own and please let us know how you like it and share how you’ve adapted it below!



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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! 

Chicken Tagine

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A delicious Tunisian-inspired Chicken 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! 


Units Scale
  • 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
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons 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
  • 14-ounce 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 )


  • 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)
  • 1/21 bunch Italian parsley, small stems OK ( or substitute cilantro)
  • 12 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


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2.  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).
  3. 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. When the chicken is golden, remove it from the pan, and set it aside on a plate (it will finish cooking in the oven).
  4. While the chicken is searing, prep the veggies. Slice the carrots at a diagonal ⅓ inch thick. Slice the onions into rings ⅓ inch thick, then cut into half-moons. Rough chop the garlic, and finely mince the ginger. Chop the apricots.
  5. Add the onions, carrots and a little oil to the same pan and saute 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 toast for one minute to bring out their flavor. Add the salt, sugar, undrained tomatoes, dried apricots and water.
  6. Bring to a simmer and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Once it’s simmering, stir in the couscous. Nestle in the chicken (and/or chickpeas if using-see notes) cover and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


  • CHICKPEAS: If using chickpeas, drain them first. For the fastest preparation, toss them with olive oil, salt, chili powder and pepper and place them directly over the couscous. 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, the same preparation.
  • If subbing quinoa: Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 1 ¾ Cups water. Extend cooking time by 15-20 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

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  1. Cooked it last night. I think 1.5 cup of quinoa is a LOT of quinoa. I also added I can of chickpeas with 1.2 lbs of chicken. I left to over night in the oven after it was cooked. The look is not as moist as it shows in the picture here on this site. Also, its quinoa everwhere. lol. I will cook it with less quinoa next time.

    1. Hi Nova- Yes, too much- I see your confusion and clarified the recipe – it should have been 1 cup quinoa ( it says down in recipe notes) but I made it more clear up top. Sorry about that.

  2. I used whole bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs as I bought them by mistake and it seemed wrong to sacrifice the extra flavour. No regrets!! It took slightly more cooking time but otherwise everything was the same. Next time I would add more dried apricots as they seemed to get lost. Used chicken stock instead of salt and served it up on a bed of spinach. Absolutely amazing dish. I’ll be doing this one again!

  3. Made this years ago and remembered it a few days ago when putting together the weeknight menu. Can’t believe it fell off the rotation! Love it and loved by others too!

  4. I doubled the recipe & quadrupled the harissa! It is to die for! I could drink it! I didn’t change the recipe but I often increase seasoning. Especially garlic. I used cilantro & coriander in the harissa. I used baby carrots cut into thin circles. The recipe doesn’t say what size can of tomatoes. I used the very large can since I doubled. So I just finished cooking. It takes way longer than it says. But it was worth it. Will make again!

  5. Fast and flavorful! I made this with chicken and garbanzos and it was a hit with the family. The green harissa sauce is very very tasty and adds an extra punch to an already delicious recipe. Served i with mint leaves and toasted almonds.

  6. I love how flexible this recipe is. I made it with chicken breast fillet and chickpeas. I didn’t have a can of tomatoes so I substituted for fresh diced tomatoes. I made the harissa yoghurt sauce with cilantro. I don’t have a Dutch oven pot or similar, so I just made it all on the stovetop. I served my cous cous cooled, on a bed of fresh salad leaves with the harissa yoghurt, while my husband had his served hot with the harissa yogurt.

  7. Delicious flavors! I added a bit more liquid (in my case, chicken stock) as it got too dry, but my hubby and I loved it with the sauce.

  8. I have made quite a few recipes from your site and always fabulous. I have to say that this one missed the mark. Flavors just did not marry well. I would not make again.

    1. Oh No! Sorry it wasn’t your thing. I will have to re-try this.Appreciate your feedback!

      1. We LOVE this dish so much!
        I make the green harissa with cilantro and it really works so well with the dish.

  9. Does not dissapoint!!! Very Yummy…The prep time is a bit longer than the stated 15 min., and, I am a fast chopper…Next time I will add less cous cous and more liquid. I like mine a bit juicier or with more sauce-like consistency . The Harrissa was delicious with just the right amount of heat from 1 whole Jalapeño

  10. Great recipe. I made it with the chick peas and cauliflower instead of chicken and it was delicious.

  11. This was a wonderful, flavourful dish! I made mine with chickpeas and cauliflower and quinoa. I didn’t make the harissa sauce to the recipe, because I was missing ingredients, but it was delicious none the less.

  12. This looks amazing. Can you make it with rice? I’ve got a gluten free friend who I’d like to make this for. How would I do that?

    1. Hi Mallory, I think you could but amount of liquid and cooking time would be totally different. Rice would need longer to cook and more water. I haven’t tried it personally. If you do try it with rice, would you let me know how it goes??

  13. Hi looks delicious I am wondering if you could make this with chicken breast? I am assuming that time of cooking is what would change. Curious if anyone has tried it?!

  14. I made this the other day and my whole family loved it espacially the green harissa sauce. I’ve been asked to substitute chicken with fish. I’m uaing sea bass. Anyone else tried this with fish?

  15. Would this dish be okay cold? I am going on a 7 day kayak trip and thought this might be okay to make up (vegetarian) and have on one of the days. Any thoughts?

  16. I made this dish last night for my picky husband who normally does not like cous cous. The only substitution that I made was using cilantro rather than parsley in the Harissa sauce. It was all so delicious and even my cous cous wary husband thought it was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. This dish was fantastic! I have subscribed to a few food blogs and prepared the occasional the recipe, but never before was I motivated to leave a comment. Thank you. Your images are beautiful and inspiring. I prepared this with chicken and cous cous in a large cast iron skillet. I tend to shy away from spicy foods but found the green harissa yogurt sauce to be delicious. So thank you again for luring me out of my comfort zone with your splendid photos. Have to agree with Heather about loving that it is basically one pot, that always helps on a week night.

  18. The second this hit my inbox I knew I had to make it! I made this two nights ago and made it veggie style with chickpeas and cauliflower. I used quinoa instead of cous cous. I don’t have a dutch oven type pot so I cooked the entire thing on the stove top. I had to add quite a bit more water and it cooked for probably a half hour longer, but it all worked out great. This was absolutely delicious and will definitely become a go-to dish in my house since we usually have all these ingredients in the cupboard anyway. We’ve also been smothering anything that will stand still with the the extra harissa sauce! Do you have a suggestion for making the harissa sauce vegan? What would I sub in for the yogurt?

    1. Oh thanks for sharing…I will “up” the water for quinoa in the recipe. Did you cover the pot on the stovetop? For a vegan option…I think there is soy yogurt….you could try that?

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