Moroccan Tagine of Shrimp in Tomato Sauce Recipe

shrimp tagine

Getty Images / LindasPhotography

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
352 Calories
15g Fat
13g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 352
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 352mg 117%
Sodium 2119mg 92%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 30mg 150%
Calcium 189mg 15%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 765mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A zesty homemade tomato sauce with Moroccan spices forms the base for this flavorful shrimp tagine.

Note that we like to remove the tails from the shrimp for ease of eating; you may leave the tails on if you prefer. Note also that the prep time will be reduced if you are using shrimp which has already been shelled and cleaned.

Cooking directions call for preparing the sauce and shrimp in a traditional Moroccan tagine. If you don't have one, you may use a deep skillet instead, or you might like to try cooking in a tagra, which can be covered loosely with aluminum foil.


  • 2 pounds plus 3 ounces (1 kilogram) large shrimp

  • 2 pounds plus 3 ounces (1 kilogram) fresh tomatoes, ripe

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 7 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander

  • 1 bay leaf, optional

  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

  • Coarsely ground black pepper, for garnish

  • Lemon slices, or wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Clean the Shrimp

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash the shrimp under running water and drain.

  3. Remove the head, legs, and shells (and tails if desired)

  4. Devein the shrimp if necessary.

  5. Wash the shrimp again and set aside in a colander to drain.

Make the Tomato Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes. (Or, if the tomatoes are very soft, you can cut them in in half, seed them and grate them.)

  3. Set the tomatoes aside.

  4. Place the base of a large tagine over medium-low heat. (The use of a diffuser between the heat source and tagine is recommended.)

  5. Add the olive oil and onions and saute gently for several minutes, or until the onions begin to soften.

  6. Add the garlic and sauté just for a minute or two, until very fragrant.

  7. Remember to maintain the low heat, and avoid burning the garlic.

  8. Add the tomatoes, spices and herbs and stir to combine.

  9. Cover, and allow the tagine to slowly reach a simmer.

  10. Do not increase the heat to speed things up.

  11. Continue simmering the tomatoes, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes can be mashed with the back of a spoon and a thick sauce forms.

Cook the Shrimp

  1. Add the cleaned shrimp to the tomato sauce, along with a few tablespoons of water if you feel the sauce should be thinned, and cover.

  2. Cook the shrimp for several minutes then stir gently to turn the shrimp over.

  3. Continue cooking for several minutes more, until the shrimp are just done.

  4. Remove the tagine from the heat.

To Serve

  1. When ready to serve, discard the bay leaf and garnish the tagine with chopped parsley, a few turns of the pepper mill and fresh lemon slices. Wedges of lemon may be offered on the side.

  2. It is customary to serve the shrimp directly from the tagine, with each person eating from his side of the dish. In lieu of a fork, Moroccan bread is used to scoop up the shrimp and sauce.

  3. Enjoy!

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