Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine With Couscous

Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine With Couscous

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 4 to 6 bowls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
291 Calories
9g Fat
44g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 291
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 531mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 54mg 270%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 520mg 11%
*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.)

This Moroccan dish turns a head of cauliflower, sweet potato, and a can of chickpeas into a delicious, warming meal ideal for busy nights. Cumin, ginger, and cinnamon season the stew, along with onions, garlic, and diced tomatoes, creating a flavorful tagine to serve over couscous. Because it is mildly spiced, this vegan vegetable and chickpea tagine is a nice choice for families with varying ages and tastes.

Tagines are traditionally cooked and served in a special cone-shaped clay vessel, also called a tagine, but a heavy pot will work just fine. This dish is usually served as a main course, but feel free to serve the tagine and couscous as a side dish alongside a citrus and saffron infused roasted chicken or smoky cedar plank salmon.


For the Vegetable Tagine:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup [165 grams])

  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups [350 grams])

  • 2 cups (475 milliliters) vegetable stock

  • 4 cups (325 grams) cauliflower florets

  • 1 (15-ounce) can (425 grams) chickpeas, drained

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can (411 grams) diced tomatoes with juice

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Couscous:

  • 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) water

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cups (260 grams) regular or whole-wheat couscous

  • Harissa, slivered almonds or whole cashews, golden raisins, and finely chopped parsley, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Make the Tagine

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot set over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it softens and turns translucent.

  4. Add the garlic, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon, and sauté for 1 minute, or until the spices are fragrant.

  5. Add the sweet potato and sauté to coat with the spices.

  6. Pour in the vegetable stock.

  7. Add the cauliflower florets, drained chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.

  8. Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  10. Remove from the heat and allow the tagine to rest while you prepare the couscous.

Make the Couscous

  1. Bring the water and oil to a boil in a medium saucepan.

  2. Stir in the couscous.

  3. Cover and remove from the heat. Allow the couscous to rest for 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

  4. Fluff with a fork.

Serve the Tagine

  1. Spoon a mound of couscous into shallow bowls.

  2. Surround the couscous with the vegetable tagine, and spoon some of the brothy sauce over each serving.

  3. Garnish as desired with harissa, slivered almonds, whole cashews, golden raisins, and parsley.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer, use a 14.5-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes. Chop them and add along with the juice to the tagine.
  • If you prefer a more intensely spiced stew, add additional cumin, cinnamon, and ginger, or use a Moroccan spice blend, such as ras el hanout, to taste. Pass harissa or hot sauce at the table so diners can add some heat to their dish if desired.
  • Non-vegetarians can turn this dish into an even more substantial meal by topping the couscous with chicken or fish.
  • The recipe calls for serving in individual bowls, but you can also present the dish family style. Spread the couscous in a large, rimmed platter, make a well in the center of the couscous, and spoon the vegetable tagine into the well. Sprinkle with almonds, raisins, and parsley if desired, and serve with harissa on the side.