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Eat Well Jun. 13. 2014

Garden Vegetable Tagine

Jun. 13. 2014
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

A traditional Moroccan vegetarian dish that’s gluten-free and vegan, served with sweet potatoes, eggplant, and garden vegetables. Spiced with mina harissa.

Garden Vegetable Tagine is sure to be a weekly staple in my kitchen, and I say that with all seriousness. No vegetable is left out in this dish from root veggies like sweet potatoes to eggplants, peppers, and cauliflower. All of these vegetables stand out on their own in this dish, but a special Moroccan condiment harissa melts together with vegetables and warming spices after this slow and low cooking process in the tagine.



 Tasty Tagine

What I love most about this dish is the flexibility. Even though I live a plant-based diet, meaning the bulk of my diet is from plant sources, I still enjoy farm fresh eggs and wild caught fish, and this veggie-based tagine makes it suitable for everyone. This dish is perfect for those of you living a vegan lifestyle, vegetarian, plant-based (like moi), paleo, etc.. It surpasses all “diets” and is universally delicious for everyone. You can easily add in proteins of your choice to make this meal “complete” and more hearty. Below I’ll share some variations to add per serving to make this more of a hearty meal. It’s also great for making on your batch cooking day for reheating later or sharing with the family.

First, many of you may not know what a tagine is. A tagine (or tajine) is a clay pot used in Moroccan cooking that helps the food cooked within it evenly cook and keeps it hot long after cooking. The cone-shaped lid has a purpose, to allow the condensation from the bottom (where the food is) to rise and fall back to the base while cooking. No worries if you don’t have a tagine in your home, you can simply use a large/deep skillet with a lid, but having a tagine recreates a traditional feel to the dish and the presentation is gorgeous. Here are a couple tagines that I adore (here and here). This recipe is THE perfect one to make on your batch cooking day and meal planning day for a busy week ahead.

Harissa gives an important flavor in this dish, and it’s what sets a normal vegetable mash apart from vegetable tagine. Harissa essentially is a Moroccan condiment/sauce that is used in countless ways. I was contacted by the lovely and energetic Mina from Mina Harissa to try her product. After one bite, I was in love. No exaggeration, I went through two containers of the harissa in 2 weeks and found myself putting it on everything – stirring it into hummus, dipping roasted veggies into it, adding it to egg or tofu scrambles, stirring into beans, or using it as a marinade for tempeh. Harissa is an incredibly healthy condiment as well, it’s made from only whole food ingredients I can pronounce and have in my own pantry, such as chilies, peppers, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and salt, so it’s completely Nutrition Stripped approved. The spices and spice blends also give this dish amazing depth of flavor such as the ultimate Moroccan spice blend, ras el hanout which means “the head of the shop”. In a nutshell it means the best of the best spices all together in one blend. There’s complete truth to that as the spices are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, chili, coriander, and more.

Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to create a harissa inspired recipe Nutrition Stripped style, and I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I wanted to embrace all of the lovely garden vegetables I’ve been so inspired by lately while shopping at the farmers markets around town by pairing it with spicy harissa. In Moroccan cuisines, it’s traditional to have spicy and sweet components all within one dish. I translated that by adding heaps of sweet potatoes to this recipe that created an amazing balance of flavors between the heat from the harissa and subtle sweetness from the sweet potatoes. I love using eggplant in this dish as well. If you’re new to eggplant I promise using it in this recipe will be delicious, and it gives it a thick and meaty density to it that would be lacking if you left it out.

Serve with // tempeh, beans, hemp seeds, chickpeas, eggs, wild caught fish, etc. I love serving this dish on top of a bed of fluffy quinoa, rice (jasmine, basmati, or wild rice), millet, or even plain on top of dark leafy greens like spinach.

 I hope you all enjoy this recipe and I’d love to hear how you make this vegetable tagine dish your “own” by adding in proteins or other ingredients you love. Be sure to “save” this recipe to your Recipe Box for later or share with a friend.
Hope you have a beautiful day,
xx McKel
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored recipe post from Mina Harissa, meaning I was compensated to develop a recipe and share this product. However, that doesn’t in any way reflect or skew my opinion and the content I share with you all- I only share and work with brands I completely love and enjoy myself in hopes you will too!


Love Garden Vegetable Tagine and want even more healthy recipes and tips to live whole and eat well? Get the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook with almost 100 delicious whole food recipes not on the blog! Get your copy here.


The Recipe

Serves 6



2 large carrots, chopped

2 large sweet potatoes, chopped

2 zucchinis, chopped

1 large eggplant, chopped

1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped

1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped

1 cup of organic vegetable stock

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced

3 heaping tablespoons of red mina harissa

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

1 tablespoon of chopped mint

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

additional fresh mint and parsley to garnish



Put the olive oil in the tagine and sauté the chopped onion for about 2 mins, followed by adding in garlic.

Add all the remaining chopped vegetables, spices, harissa and other ingredients.

Cover with the lid and cook over low heat for 40 mins, stirring occasionally. The end result will be a thick, hearty vegetable dish.

If you’re using a skillet/deep dish skillet, use the same process and cover with a lid.

Serve over rice, quinoa, or plain with an added protein before enjoying.

Garnish with fresh mint and parsley.

Keeps well in the fridge for leftovers, simply reheat in the oven or microwave briefly.


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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • I get ALL these veggies from my CSA, I’m pumped to try this!

  • Hi McKel… Thank you for such a wonderful recipe and story. Your creation with our harissa is simply amazing! And the pictures are beautiful.

  • What a gorgeous tagine! I’ve always wanted one. I love all the spices in this dish, it looks so flavorful and comforting!

  • merilyn

    thankyou for your wonderfully healthy recipes mckel …
    so colourful too … cheers m:)

  • Kim

    This turned out amazing! My husband hasn’t stopped raving about it. Of course, I just had to buy a beautiful tagine before trying out the recipe. Filled both my tummy and my never ending desire for more cookware! 😉 Yummy goodness and beautiful presentation. Win-Win! Thank you, McKel

    • Hi Kim, Thanks so much for sharing the great feedback and of course for sharing it with your sweet! My boyfriend loves this and anytime I can get him to eat veggies, it’s a win 😉 xx M

  • Betty

    This recipe looks so delicious! I’m thinking of making this for dinner tonight but i haven’t got any Harissa, do you think i could make a homemade paste? X

    • You could leave out the harissa, although it’s best with it, and just bump up the spices! 😉

      • chandler boyd

        I just made this for Christmas eve and it was really good! However I bought the mild harissa and found that the dish probably would have been much better if I bought the spicy Harissa. I do not eat spicy food all the time, but I still feel like it could have used a bit more of a kick. Anyway, thanks for the recipe it was great!

  • Adriana

    Just recently started using harissa and my husband and I love it. Found this vegetable tagine with harissa recipe looking for new ideas and it looks so good. Can’t wait to make it for him. Thank you for the inspiration. Harissa ricks!

    • Harissa totally rocks! You’re going to love this recipe too- it’s been a staple on my batch cooking day, so easy to reheat for a quick dinner for one or for two. Hope you love it and be sure to share your creation on Instagram #nutritionstripped 🙂

  • Debbie

    This sounds amazing but I don’t have a tagine, do you think I could get a similar result in a slow cooker?

    • Sure thing! I mentioned in the blog that if you don’t have a tagine you can simply use a large pot 😉

  • Susan

    I have been looking for a terrific vegetarian Morracan tagine recipe and this one seemed to fit the bill. The combination of vegetables was perfect and delicious and all of the other ingredients and seasonings were right on – except for one … I made this with the “3 heaping tablespoons of red mina harissa” per your recipe and WOW did it ever make this dish too hot and spicy! No kidding … you could not taste anything else but the heat from the harissa! Unfortunately the first time that I cooked it was for guests … so I really lit them up! I still have lots of confidence in the recipe, so I am going to make it again and cut the harissa by 1/3 to see if that seasons the dish better. Lucky for me, my guests were used to eating hot vegetarian Indian food and did not go home hungry!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The Mina Harissa has a wonderful spice yet not overpowering, using 3tbs. per all these veggies should be a slight heat- I actually enjoy using far more with added red pepper flakes to make it hotter! The recipe was made using Mina, I can’t say how other harissa’s in that amount would fair in this recipe 😉 Hope you enjoy it!

      • Susan

        Thank you so much for your comments, McKel. I am going to have to look for the Mina Harissa. All I could find was the “DEA Harissa” (French) (should be DOA – Dead On Arrival – harissa, since it is SO HOT!!!). I made the recipe again yesterday – still fabulously delicious – but even using only 1 heaping tablespoon of the DEA Harissa, it was still TOO HOT (and I really like and can tolerat hot food and very often add chili pepper flakes to food to punch it up). Until I can find the Mina Harissa, I am going to make the recipe again and cut the DEA Harissa down to 1 level teaspoon (even I can’t believe that I am having to cut this ingredient back by this much!). That should make the flavors of the vegetables pop more with the flavors of the ras el hanout (WOW is that a fabulous spice mixtue!). I am going to get this recipe right, since I LOVE the mixture of the vegetables – delicious together and very healthy combination nutritionally!

  • Hello Mckel!
    This Garden Vegetable Tagine has got so many healthy vegetables, and I love mint, turmeric, ginger and garlic. Must try it!

  • Marlies

    Hi McKel! This recipe looks fantastic! I haven’t been able to find any ras el hanout, and while I’m sure it’s important for this dish or it wouldn’t be listed, is there anything I could sub for it?


  • Calvin

    I made a big jar of preserved meyer lemons 6 months ago that I plan to add to what looks like a perfect recipe for tagine. Thanks!

  • celia

    The only harissa I could find at the local green grocer came in a yellow tube, imported from Tunisia. And it is VERY hot! Suggest to go easy on harissa unless you are used to very hot spices, and increase the quantity gradually for subsequent dishes. Mina Harissa may be milder than what I purchased. I added more cauliflower to make the quantity of vegetables more even. And then, I could not resist, added some chick peas for protein – and also some dates for some relieve of the hotness of the harissa. Very nice dish, though!

    • Yes, harissa is hot! Mina is a bit milder, but even then I use quite a bit. It’s always a good thing to taste taste each and every step along the way of cooking- this will help ya next time 😉

  • Ellen

    This harissa veggie tagine recipe sounds wonderful. The pictures are beautiful. Can’t wait to use my new jar of harissa to make this. Thank you for the great harissa inspiration : )

    • You’ll love it! Use a little harissa to start, it can be very spicy for some people 🙂

  • Lori

    I’m new to using tagines… does it matter what size tagine is used for this recipe? Thank you!

    • You can use whichever size you have on hand, I use a large one to keep all the veggies from spilling out 😉

  • Kelly Perry

    I made this last night for dinner and it was AMAZING!! I made it just as the directions indicated and did not change a thing. I did read some of the reviews that it was too spicy. The grocery store where I shop offers the Mina Harissa in both mild and spicy. I chose the spicy because we like spicy food in our family. And I have to say it was just the right level of spicy. Thank you for such a delicious and nutritious recipe. I enjoy cooking with a tangine but don’t do it enough and I always forget how simple it is to use.

    • McKel Hill

      Ditto! I love the heat Kelly and heat is great for warming internally, for digestion, and to get things moving- plus her harissa is loaded with inflammation fighting spices. So glad you enjoyed it 😉

  • Dianne

    Delish! I used tamtad harissa paste and it was the perfect ammount of warmth. I couldnt quite fit all the vegies in my targine, but it was just right for four people. I served with lamb koftas and yoghurt.

    • McKel Hill

      Glad you enjoyed it Dianne!

  • Nancy


    I just made this and added lots of extras such as dates, apricots, curly kale and chickpeas, simply divine ! Thanks for sharing this recipe its amazing !

    • McKel Hill

      So glad you enjoyed it Nancy, love the additions! xM

  • Iva Culinary Postcards

    this sounds amazing!! I don’t have a tagine but hopefully it will turn out well in the pot as well 🙂

  • Daniela Damian

    I wonder if someone can help me on a quick question … quick. This sounds awesome and I would like to cook it for my guests tonite but one of them is allergic to black pepper so I worry about the Harissa ingredient (i also don’t have it). What ingredients (corrrainder, cumin?) can I replace it with and in what quantities for THIS recipe? Many thanks!

    • Harissa is a delicious condiment, it does contain some black pepper so if you don’t have harissa you can use a combination of tomato sauce and Moroccan spices you have on hand, but it won’t technically be a tagine without harissa– still delicious though! Hope that helps xx

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