You may want to make this super-simple slow cooker chicken and olive tagine simply for the tantalizing aroma of the sweet and savory spices commingling in your slow cooker. The warm, earthy flavors of the sauce and the briny, bright olive and herb garnish make this an easy-peasy intro to Moroccan cuisine.–Jenny Howard
Why Our Testers Loved This
The testers love the ease of tossing everything into the slow cooker and letting it work its magic. They are delighted that this easy slow-cooked chicken tagine produces “exotic, but not overwhelming flavors” and tastes like it has “simmered on the stove all day.”
Notes on Ingredients
- Chicken tenderloins-these tender pieces of chicken cook up beautifully in the slow cooker, but you can substitute strips of chicken breast or thighs here. Just make sure to cut them roughly the same size as a tenderloin.
- Green olives–These add brininess and acidity to the dish, but if you’re not a fan of olives, you can leave them out or replace them with rinsed chopped preserved lemons.
- Cilantro and parsley–Fresh herbs are essential here, but feel free to use only one kind if that’s what you have on hand. If you’ve got extra herbs, sprinkle them on top before serving.
How to Make This Recipe
- Preheat your slow cooker. Set your slow cooker to high and let it preheat while you prepare your ingredients.
- Combine the tomatoes, oil, onion, and spices. Toss the crushed tomatoes, oil, red onion, garlic, and spices into the bowl of the slow cooker. Stir well.
- Cook the tomato mixture. Cover the slow cooker and let the tomato mixture burble away for about 2 hours so that the flavors can develop.
- Add the dates. Stir in the dates, and let it continue to cook for another hour.
- Cook the chicken. Nestle the chicken into the spiced tomato and date sauce, cover, and continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour more.
- Serve. Stir in the olives and fresh herbs and serve with couscous or naan bread to sop up the delectable sauce.
The meal known as “tagine” is made in a specific Moroccan vessel that is, perhaps confusingly, called a tagine. An unglazed clay pot with a tall, conical lid, a tagine is basically the precursor to the slow cooker. You can also call the meal maghrebi in North African culture.
The point is that you don’t necessarily need a tagine, you do need something with a tight-fitting lid. The beauty of a tagine cooker is that the moisture cooked off the dish runs down the sides and back into the food, keeping it from drying out. Just as with a slow cooker.
- If you don’t have a slow cooker, check out this chicken tagine recipe, which is made on the stovetop.
- Leftover chicken tagine can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, serve it with steamed rice or cauliflower rice. As written, the recipe is suitable for dairy-free diets.
More Great Slow-Cooker Chicken Dishes
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If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine
- Slow cooker
For the chicken tagine
- One (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large (about 1 1/2 cups) red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- 8 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total) chicken tenderloins
- 1/2 cup large green olives
- Handful chopped fresh cilantro
- Handful chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Cooked couscous
- Naan bread (optional)
Make the chicken tagine
- Preheat your slow cooker to high.
- In the bowl of the slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Season generously with salt and pepper and give everything a good stir.
- Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours to let the flavors develop.
- Stir in the dates, then cover again and cook for 1 hour more.
- Working quickly to avoid losing too much heat, add the chicken to the slow cooker, nudging it into the sauce so that it is completely covered. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour.
- Stir in the olives, cilantro, and parsley. Serve over couscous with warm naan bread on the side, if desired.
- Serving–If you’ve got extra herbs, sprinkle them on hand before serving.
- Dietary–This recipe is suitable for a dairy-free diet, and is gluten-free if served with rice or cauliflower rice.
- Storage–Leftover chicken tagine can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe for chicken tagine recipe is a perfect example of why I adore Moroccan cuisine. Fragrant and savory, yet sweet and tangy at the same time; this dish epitomizes this complex flavor profile that is unique and utterly delicious.
This easy-to-put-together slow cooker dish starts with a tasty tomato sauce flavored with ginger, cumin, paprika and cinnamon, along with garlic and onions; to this fragrant sauce goes naturally sweet pitted dates, chicken, and briny green olives. We really enjoyed this dish and really thought the last-minute addition of parsley and cilantro added a fresh and bright taste and look to the dish! I served this tagine with turmeric pearled couscous and a glass of smooth Chardonnay.
I love to introduce my kids to international flavors in food and a new variation on chicken is always a good bet. The combination of sweet from the dates and the savory from the olives, onions, herbs, and spices hit the jackpot with my family.
The Crock Pot chicken tagine was beautifully tender and I thought it was very smart to add the chicken to the last hour of cooking to allow the sauce to meld in the first 3 hours and to prevent the chicken from being overcooked. It tasted like a dish that had been cooked on the stove all day to produce such exotic but not overpowering flavors. It pairs perfectly over couscous and naan bread on the side.