Hailing from North Africa, a tagine is a hearty, aromatic stew that traditionally balances robust spices, such as cumin, coriander, ginger and chilli, with sweetness from ingredients including cinnamon, honey and dried fruit. Tagines can be meat, fish or vegetable-based and often include olives, dried apricots or preserved lemons for added flavour. Our easy tagine recipes include both slow-cooked classics and quicker versions you can easily make at home.
Tagines take their name from the pot they are traditionally cooked in – a round, shallow-bottomed earthenware dish with a conical lid. This allows steam to rise and then fall back into the stew, preventing the meat from drying out as it cooks and resulting in a rich, tender stew. If you don’t have a tagine, don’t worry – our easy recipes can all be made in casserole dishes or pans, and there’s even a microwave recipe and slow cooker version too.
A favourite meat in North African cuisine, tougher cuts of lamb are perfectly suited to the long and slow cooking of a tagine, creating melt-in-the mouth meat as it simmers in the richly spiced sauce. This traditional Moroccan lamb tagine recipe is a great example, combining the meat with fragrant spices, sweet honey, soft apricots and crunchy almonds. For a quicker cook, this lamb meatball tagine is perfect for a midweek supper – using ready-made meatballs means it’s ready to serve in just 30 minutes.
For an alternative meaty tagine, try using chicken joints on the bone. Whole legs and thighs not only hold their shape well, but the bones help the meat to stay tender as it cooks. Pomegranate juice adds a great mix of sweet and sour to this healthy chicken tagine recipe, while saffron adds a glorious golden yellow colour and subtle fragrance to this chicken and apricot recipe.
Fish is not only quick to cook, but firm white varieties such as cod, haddock and hake, are great at soaking up all the delicious flavours from the sauce. For a healthy family meal, this spiced fish tagine is packed with root vegetables that make it hearty and filling for chilly evenings. For a night in for two, this fish and fennel recipe is ready in just 30 minutes and has a delicate aniseed flavour to balance the rich tomato and chilli sauce.
No meat? No problem. A veggie tagine can be just as satisfying as a meat version. This cauliflower and olive tagine recipe is quick and easy and makes the most of store cupboard ingredients, while this sweet apricot and honey tagine is packed with vibrant fruit and veg for a riot of colour.
Left to simmer away in a slow cooker, this aubergine tagine recipe is perfect if you are short on prep time. The slow cooker works its magic on this vegetarian stew to create a hearty dish with soft baby aubergines, salty olives and sweet raisins, all flavoured with fragrant turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and harissa.
If you really can’t wait to tuck into a tasty tagine, try this super quick and easy lentil and apricot tagine mug meal. Cooked in a microwave, all you need is a mug to whip up a meal for one in minutes.
A tagine is delicious on its own, but as with most stews, it can be nice to have something to soak up all the delicious sauce it cooks in. Plain couscous, rice or bulgur wheat are classic choices and easy to cook at home. For something a little more special, this nutty couscous recipe has a little spice from harissa and added crunch from mixed nuts. Pitta breads are perfect for scooping up fillings and sauce, or you could try making your own easy flatbreads at home. For a final flourish, a sprinkling of homemade dukka – a nutty spice mix – will take any tagine recipe to a whole new level.
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