Our chicken tagine recipe turns the traditional slow-cooked Moroccan dish, cooked in a clay pot, into a modern stovetop version. Though we alter the cooking method, we still preserve all the goodness of a classic tagine.
The slow cooking process infuses the chicken and vegetables with spices and seasonings. The fork-tender chicken, olives, onions, and chickpeas are bathed in the rich and aromatic sauce for a complex flavor combination that will please everyone at your dinner table.
What Is Chicken Tagine?
Chicken tagine is a traditional slow-cooked dish from Morocco. The chicken is braised with onion, olives, lemon, and spices in a pot, or baked in an oven until tender and delicious.
The word tagine (or tajine) refers to the North African clay or ceramic vessel with the cone-shaped lid that stew-like dishes are often cooked in. The tagine functions like a slow cooker in which the cone shape traps and returns the moisture to the food in the base, creating a juicy and tender dish.
What Does It Taste Like?
Our chicken tagine has a bold and complex flavor infused with various spices, seasonings, olives, and lemon zest. The added fruits and vegetables give a slight sweetness, making this Moroccan dish stand out in the stew world.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
The short answer is yes. Our chicken tagine recipe is healthy.
Built around chicken thighs, it’s not a surprise that the stew is packed with protein. Specifically, each serving contains 25 g protein — up to 50% of the USDA’s dietary guideline’s recommended daily intake.
Our chicken tagine provides a proper amount of calories (500) when served with rice. This means you have extra space in your calorie count for a salad and juice, making the whole meal more filling and nutritious.
Chicken: Traditionally, chicken tagine is made with the whole chicken, then cut into pieces. We prefer to use chicken thighs or chicken breasts with skin-on and bone-in.
These cuts provide a good amount of meat and remain juicy even if you slightly overcook the tagine. The bone and skin also add richness and umami to the sauce.
Lemon: The classic chicken tagine often calls for preserved lemon, but you can’t usually find it at the store. Instead, lemon zest and lemon juice can also lend brightness and tanginess to the stew.
Onions: White or yellow onions add another flavor dimension and a subtle sweetness.
Olives: You can either go with the green, black, or kalamata varieties but make sure they’re pitted.
Chickpeas: They are nutritious and filling.
Spices: The spice blend we used for this recipe is simple and classic. Coriander, cinnamon, and cumin give the stew that authentic Moroccan flavor. Paprika and cayenne kick up the heat and lend the recipe its intense mouthfeel. Please feel free to adjust the amount of chili to your taste.
Store and Reheat the Leftover
Stew dishes like chicken tagine freeze well and retain their flavors perfectly. We recommend letting your recipe cool down completely at room temperature before placing it in an airtight container or a Ziplock bag to keep in as much freshness as possible.
Refrigerated chicken tagine stays fresh for 3 – 5 days and up to 4 – 6 months in the freezer.
When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen chicken tagine in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove top. Once thawed, it’s best to add one or two tablespoons of water to the pot while reheating over low-medium heat.
If you are in a hurry, you can reheat the chicken tagine in the microwave too. Keep the power low so that the dish is warmed evenly and stir halfway through so that there are no cold spots left.
What to Serve With
Side dishes or salads are always a part of a signature Moroccan meal, and our recipe is no exception. We pair the rich and fragrant chicken with a refreshing combination of Greek salad and pineapple celery juice.
The salad and juice drink are full of healthy greens and perfectly complement the protein-rich stew. The whole combination turns your meal into a Moroccan feast.
Sticky, Shiny Chicken Skillets
This skillet of balsamic chicken takes a bit more time, but we promise it’s to die for. The chicken is both golden and moist, the cheese balls are a lot, and the sauce is on point. It sides with air-fried potato wedges for a wholesome weeknight meal.
If you like drumsticks, we got you. This Filipino stew is ideal for busy days because it is simple and requires little supervision. The drumsticks and vegetables are literally drenched in tons of flavors.
28 oz bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (17 oz boneless skin-on chicken thighs)
2 oz onion (chopped)
2 oz green olives (halved)
2 oz canned chickpeas
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp traditional Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
3 cups cooked medium-grain rice
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 28 oz chicken thighs to the skillet. Brown the skin side down in a single layer until a deep golden color, about 5 minutes. Then flip the chicken pieces over and brown the other side for another 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
In the same skillet, sauté 2 tsp garlic for 30 seconds. Add 2 oz onion and 2 oz green olives and cook for 30 seconds.
Season the veggies with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, and 1 tsp lemon juice. Continue to stir for 30 seconds.
Add in 1 cup chicken broth and 1 bay leaf and return the chicken to the skillet. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken for 20 minutes or until the meat is tender. While simmering, flip the chicken 1 - 2 times to ensure both sides are infused with seasoning and spices.
Add 2 oz canned chickpeas to the skillet and cook for another 2 minutes.
Take off the heat. Garnish with 2 tbsp parsley and 2 tbsp chopped coriander. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 500Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Vitamin A 816IU
Vitamin C 5mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.