Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine – Recipe

Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine
Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine

The name of this recipe is misleading. A tagine is the Moroccan clay pot with a conical lid, typically used for slow-braised stews, as well as the dishes cooked in those beautiful vessels. However, there is nothing in this particular dish that really needs a long braise, so it is quite feasible to make it in a skillet or Dutch-oven. I still call it a tagine because the flavorings are very typical of that genre.

You can easily adapt this basic method, using different vegetables and/or different beans to create a wide variety of easy, homey but very flavorful stews. It does call for a few less common ingredients (ras el hanout,  Aleppo pepperpreserved lemon), but you can substitute or omit if needed. I highly encourage you to pick them up though. I’ve got many other recipes on the site that will give you other ways to use them, and I’m pretty much sure you’ll fall in love.

For an easy dinner, just serve this with fluffy couscous and thick Greek yogurt (unless you are gluten free or vegan, respectively).

Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free
Serves 4

  • 6 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ thick half-moons
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, diced
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (preferably home-cooked; can also use two 15 ounce cans, drained and rinsed – use ones that are tender, not snappy)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint (yes, you can open up a mint teabag)
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (optional, but delicious – if you omit, add more of the other spices)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or more to taste; can substitute cayenne or chili flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Optional garnish: flat-leaf parsley
  1. Place the carrots in a small, loosely-covered microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until beginning to soften, about 90 seconds.
  2. Place the oil in your largest skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini until it is tender. Add the carrots and all of the remaining ingredients (chickpeas, salt, cinnamon, cumin, mint, ras el hanout, Aleppo pepper, tomato paste, preserved lemon, and lemon juice). Add 1/2 cup water and mix thoroughly. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning. It will probably need more salt, and you may want to amp up the spices, depending on your taste. Serve hot, garnishing with parsley if you desire.

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, August 20th, 2012 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Vegan or Modifiable.

12 Responses to “Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine – Recipe”

  1. August 20, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Chickpeas and zucchini together in a dish? This is going to be a new favorite for us! You made it seem so easy, so that’s a bonus, too. And I like your suggestion of using a mint tea bag. I never thought I could do that. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Michael!

  2. August 20, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Hi Michael, Lovely recipe, as always. And it’s all about spices and herbs that make this dish special. I have to de-tour step one as my kitchen doesn’t have microwave oven (by choice). :)

  3. August 20, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Why have I never thought to rip open a mint teabag in a mint-related emergency? That is brilliant! :) I love tagines, and can’t wait to try out this combination.

  4. August 21, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Love this!

  5. August 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    This dish looks fantastic. I’m glad you provided the recipe. I am a vegetarian and I love adding up lots of vegetables in my dishes. What other vegetables would go with this dish?

  6. Jay Edgar
    August 27, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    The links on the three ingredients all go to the same place–an Amazon search for “tajine…”

  7. Martin
    August 27, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    ras el hanout rocks! I just made a ratatouille with chick peas using ras el hanout as my main spice: got rave reviews (and my neighbor was happy to have found a home for his 7 pound zucchini).

  8. Sandy Scott
    September 6, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    I made this last night – it was fantastic! I used a mix of green patty pan squash and zucchini squash. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  9. Helen
    October 22, 2014 at 12:48 am #

    Hi Michael………greetings from New Zealand :)

    Could I please ask if this could be made the day before, stored in the fridge, then re-heated the next day…?? If so is the microwave the better option. Going to a friends Moroccan Themed Dinner Party and we are all bringing one main and one starter or side dish. I won’t have much time on the day, so if it reheats well……..this one looks a real winner. Thank you Michael

    • October 22, 2014 at 5:51 am #

      It should reheat just fine; hold off obviously on the parsley garnish until after it comes out of the microwave. Enjoy!

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