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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 39 reviews


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. Hi Cara, I had this in the notes- but see your confusion. I updated the recipe to make it more clear. Add it with the chicken (or in place of the chicken).

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    1. Hi Lisa- to be honest not entirely sure, haven’t tried this with millet. Not sure of the timing or liquid ratio.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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! 🙂

  8. Question:-) are you supposed to add cooked cous cous in cooked veg ?? And when do you add water? Sorry for stupid questions…. Thank you!

    1. Hi Reiko- no worries, it’s easy to miss! It’s in step 4 of the recipe instructions. 🙂

    2. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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’.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

    1. Hi, yes, you are right, it is not authentic – it is “inspired”. I had something similar in a Tunisian restaurant and recreated it here.

  16. 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!

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