Moroccan Squash Tagine with Garbanzos and Couscous

Moroccan Squash Tagine

Tagine refers to the covered cooking vessel in which a dish like this would be prepared as well as the dish itself. You can use a heavy covered brazier or Dutch oven. This sweet and hearty version of a tagine has slow-cooked squash chunks bathed in spices, prunes, shallots, garbanzo beans, garlic, and almonds.–Robin Asbell

LC Brazier or Brassiere? Note

If you’re been sniggering and turning red ever since you read the word brazier above, kindly take note, the author said brazier, not brassiere. Although this ridiculously simple one-pot recipe is a sort of support for home cooks everywhere, so we can understand the connection. (If, like us, you’re wondering exactly what brazier means, the term originally referred to “a receptacle for burning charcoal or coal.” It later came to mean, well, we think you can easily figure that out given the context. Consider it an extension of your seventh-grade English class.)

Moroccan Squash Tagine with Garbanzos and Couscous

Moroccan Squash Tagine
This sweet and hearty version of a tagine has slow-cooked squash chunks bathed in spices, prunes, shallots, garbanzo beans, garlic, and almonds.

Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins
6 servings
354 kcal
5 / 4 votes
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For the squash tagine

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 small shallots peeled
  • 8 medium garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 1/2 pounds winter squash peeled and thickly sliced (4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 12 large pitted prunes halved
  • 2 tablespoons slivered or grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon, preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch saffron threads crushed
  • Salt
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

For the couscous

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup couscous preferably whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Make the squash tagine

  • In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until they’re golden and sweet, at least 10 minutes. Add the squash to the pot and stir to coat it with oil. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the squash turns brown at the edges.
  • Add the almonds, prunes, slivered lemon zest, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the almonds start to color. Add the vegetable stock, garbanzo beans, honey, cinnamon, and saffron and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, until the squash and vegetables are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

Make the couscous

  • While the tagine simmers, bring the vegetable stock or water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Add the couscous, olive oil, and salt and stir. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Then uncover the pot and fluff the couscous with a fork. If necessary, cover to keep warm until the tagine is ready.
  • To serve, heap some couscous onto plates or into bowls, spoon the tagine over the top, and sprinkle with the parsley.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 354kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 63g (21%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 602mg (26%)Potassium: 819mg (23%)Fiber: 8g (33%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 12844IU (257%)Vitamin C: 38mg (46%)Calcium: 116mg (12%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Though most tagines take much longer to cook because of a meat component that requires slow cooking, like this slow cooker chicken tagine, this is a hearty vegetarian version that cooks up in less than 30 minutes. The combination of ingredients make this not only a very tasty dish, but a dish that fills the house with a wonderful aroma. The recipe calls for just 1 cup vegetable stock, although I ended up probably adding an additional 1/2 to 3/4 cup more, as the squash absorbs the broth quickly and will dry it out.

This is a very flavorful Moroccan squash stew. It’s easy to make and it’s a very wholesome one-pot meal. The smell of the lemon rind permeates the entire stew. I added 3 cups stock instead of 2 1/2 and it still made a very thick stew. If you want a soup, then you need to add more stock. I served it over quinoa instead of couscous as that’s what I had handy in the pantry.

Originally published November 11, 2009



  1. 5 stars
    Was looking for a recipe that used what I already had on hand, and I also converted this to a slow-cooker recipe (low for 6 hours). I didn’t have prunes or saffron but it was amazing even without. Even good with a fried egg! Will be saving this recipe for sure. Parsley or cilantro really add a pop.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night and ate it with home-made venison merguez. wow-oh-wow… What a simple recipe to follow and so very tasty. I did however made a few changes due to what I had at home, which means that this is one of those recipes that are very versatile. I did not have winter squash but used sweet potatoes, also no prunes so added raisins and finally instead of almonds I added pine nuts! Did follow however the instructions accordingly and it was a huge success.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight after getting a butternut squash from my CSA. Loved it, but it took longer than 30 minutes—perhaps I cut my squash too large. I made a note that it takes a total of 60 minutes. Still pretty fast for a weeknight supper. I used Heidi Swanson’s recipe for frozen veggie bouillon mixture (which I keep in the freezer) to make veggie stock—fast and easy. And I subbed preserved lemon rind for the fresh as it seemed even more Moroccan that way. Thanks for a great new vegetarian option!

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