Recipes > Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Moroccan Lamb Tagine


Luxurious Middle Eastern spices and slow cooking make this Moroccan Lamb Tagine a tender and exotic stew.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Views: 97,821
  • Success Rating: 95% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing & Marinating the Lamb

Preparing & Marinating the Lamb
  • 3 lb diced lamb shoulder
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 medium onions


Remove the fat and the silver skin from the lamb shoulder. Dice into about 1" -inch cubes. Put the diced lamb into a large bowl and add all of the spices. Using a food processor or hand grater, grate the onions. Add to the meat and thoroughly mix. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or even overnight.

Step 2: Cooking the Meat

Cooking the Meat
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp dried chili powder
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 4 pieces dried or fresh orange peel
  • 3 cups chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 375° degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large, Dutch oven, sear the lamb in batches over medium-high heat. You may have to do this in two or three batches. Once all of the meat has been browned, crush and add the garlic, salt, pepper, ginger, ground cardamom seeds, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon stick and the dried orange peel. Add the chicken stock and all of the reserved lamb and bring just to a boil.

Cover the pot and place into the oven. Let the stew cook for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork tender. The meat will pull apart easily when it is done. Check it after about 45 minutes and stir. Then move on to the squash, while the lamb finishes cooking.

Step 3: Roasting the Squash

Roasting the Squash
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Peel the squash, cut it in half, scoop out and discard the seeds. Dice the squash into roughly 1" -inch cubes.

Place the squash into a bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat.

Pour the squash onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes. The squash is ready when a knife easily slides into the center.

Step 4: Finishing the Tagine

Finishing the Tagine
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup prunes


Once the lamb is ready, dice the onions, carrots and prunes and fold into the tagine. Bake, covered in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the carrots are fully cooked through. Fold in the roasted squash and serve with Moroccan couscous.

Chef's Notes

Lamb is often a meat people shy away from because of its strong flavor. But do try this recipe! Both the spices and the cooking of the meat make this lamb dish extra tender and subtle. It’s easy to make and perfect to serve for dinner parties.

Make this stew the day before to allow the flavors to soak right into the meat.
Serve this with Traditional Moroccan Couscous, which is excellent for soaking up all of the delicious sauce.


  • Lina D
    Lina D
    In step 4 the cinnamon stick and orange peels are mentioned but these are not in the list of ingredients. Is the peel of One orange enough?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    These two ingredients are in the full recipe. They are merely mentioned in Step 4. But they are actually added in Step 2. Take a look at the full recipe and you will see them under, "Cooking the Meat". Hope this helps! Good luck.
  • Chance W
    Chance W
    You forgot to add the ingredients for the ras el hanout. And if this is "lamb tagine", who forgot about the tagine pot?!!!I was looking forward to learning about how to use a tagine. Not having the tagine slightly diminished my learning experience. Otherwise, the recipe seemed pretty tasty.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Sorry for any confusion. The ras el hanout is actually a separate recipe. It's sort of like garam masala, meaning a mixture of spices that is sold as such. But we also added the separate recipe just in case you wanted to make your own. Which is very easy and will keep for a very long time. Here is the link for the ras el hanout As for the tagine...there are two meanings for the word, one is the "pot" and one is the "dish" that is cooked in it. We chose not to use a tagine simply because most people would not have one. We will do a video on it one day though, promise! I can see what you are saying about missing out on the tagine. It does make the whole experience just a bit more authentic. Thanks for your feedback! Glad you liked the recipe though.
  • Graham H
    Graham H
    This is fantastic! I made it for a group of friends a few evenings back. They have spent much time in this region of the world and couldn't believe how authentic the tagine was. It was absolutely delicious and fed 8 two helpings.
  • Swati B
    Swati B
    I could not watch this recipe as the file did not play at all. I could watch neither preview nor the full recipe although the text recipe was there.
  • Liz S
    Liz S
    I have made this tangine at least 4 times. The first time, I made the ras el hanout and still have lots left which simplifies the recipe now. I love the blend of spices. Instead of shoulder, I have always used boneless leg of lamb. (Just a personal preference). The meat is very moist and delicious. Tonight I served it with rice instead of couscous and the best part is that I have 4 yummy meals for 2 tucked away in the freezer. I have never used a tangine pot but it is hard to believe it could taste any better than it does.
  • Carin M
    Carin M
    This was the recipe that first led me to Rouxbe. I needed a 'specialty' dish to cook and as I am not a very confident cook, I decided that I had to have something that not many people are familiar with-Morrocan cooking! This dish is very versatile and as I cook onboard a yacht, I don't always have all the 'correct' ingredients. Thanks
  • Mary kay N
    Mary kay N
    I have a question--why is the over to be preheated to 375 degrees F (according to the text recipe) if the best temperature for the slow cooking phase is 200 degrees F? 375 seems high to me for tougher cuts of meat.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Lower and slower is better, you are correct. Good for you, it seems like you have been doing your homework :-) To be honest this is an older recipe and we used to cook at higher temperatures, until our experiments proved that slower and lower is better with moist heat cooking...if time permits. Really you can make this at either/any temperature - but again for the ultimate results - lower and slower is best! I have attached a Drill-down to step 2 of this recipe to help clarify this point.
  • Mary kay N
    Mary kay N
    Hi Dawn, Thanks for the reply. We only have one oven, so after cooking the meat in the oven at low temp for an hour, I put the dutch oven on the stove top over a very low flame while roasting the squash at a higher temperature. My first attempt at lamb, and it was good and tender! Thanks for the recipe.
  • Lauren K
    Lauren K
    Not only the best stew I have made, but also the best lamb-dish! I used Oregon grass-fed lamb and even through the bones into the stock-pot for some extra flavor-delicious and so tender and moist. I only used 2 orange slices and regret it now, I was afraid it would be over-powering, but not at all. Served it with sour dough bread, and the roasted squash. A hit!
  • Erik G
    Erik G
    My son shows up in town and and the two of us need to treat the chef of the house. Turn to Rouxbe of course! Now we made a few mistakes. We made our own Moroccan spice mix from Google. (that was not a mistake, it worked well) Never marinated the lamb, as I looked the video late (5:30 pm) and saw that we had to let it sit for 2hrs at least. So skip that and onward. All is going well until we realize that we have spaghetti squash instead of butternut. Leave the sous chef to keep everything going and run to the store. Back in the kitchen, squash is now in the oven. Sorry, but 15 min does not cook that squash, so keep it in there for another 20. Finally fold squash into the stew and oh my....what a thing of beauty, so tender. Can you imagine if I had it sit for 2 hrs? The flavour was still lingering a half hour later. The couscous was a great side that picked up the sauce. Thought we messed it up, only to have it be one of the best Rouxbe nights on record.
  • Bob G
    Bob G
    Ive just joined and have to say that your videos are detailed and well presented . BUT I would like to take issue on the one thing that is lacking - and that is the list and quantity of ingredients . I do understand that you have a separate text on this , but I find this very inconvenient . Cannot the text be included in the video like VIDEOJUG do ? It makes life ever so simple . Regards ........Bob Gibbs
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    Hi Bob, Glad you are enjoying the videos. You raise an great point - one that we raised and tested in the early days of Rouxbe's development. We actually used to have text overlays for the ingredients, but the overwhelming response from users was to remove the text as it interfered with the video viewing experience. Most users watch the videos, then print off the recipes to use when playing back the recipes as they follow along. So based on user feedback, we won't be moving back to the VideoJug-style of video production. Sorry. It's a challenge to provide the best user-experience for all users, but we do our best to accommodate as many as we can. Thanks again for sharing your feedback. Sorry we can't provide this service for you. Cheers, Joe!
  • Minerva M
    Minerva M
    It was so tasty that my husband screamed, 'It's a keeper'! And he doesn't say it that often. No need to go to a moroccan restaurant anymore. For some reason my tagine was a little dry at the end even though I followed the recipe exactly. I did add a little water to moisten it and it was fine after that. Should I add little more broth that the recommended portion? It has inspired me to make time to cook at home again. I have made several recipes and they all turned out perfect. What a great website!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    So glad that you and your husband liked the dish Minerva. As for it being a bit dry at the end, you were correct to add a bit more liquid. The thing with cooking is that most recipes are merely guidelines and not exact maps. This is because things are not always the same. For instance, perhaps your oven temperature was higher or lower, or perhaps you had more or less meat, or the meat itself could have been leaner etc, etc. For the best results, one has to know what to look for and how to adjust things accordingly. For much more in-depth information on what to look for when stewing, braising or using combination cooking in general, we highly recommend that you watch the lessons in the "Moist Heat Cooking" section in the Cooking School. In particular, the "Combination Cooking Lessons" and the "Stewing Lesson". Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Elizabeth S
    Elizabeth S
    I made this for a Sunday supper and even those that declared that they don't like lamb loved it. It took a while for me to get rid of the silver skin on the lamb - but I guess practice makes perfect! This is a delicious recipe and I served six adults with it - and there wasn't a scrap of leftovers!
  • Darren S
    Darren S
    While searing the lamb I somehow managed to burn the sucs while not creating the perfect seared lamb (some pieces were perfect but others did not caremelise at all. . I had the gas on the highest it would go but the sizzle just wasn't quite high enough per the lesson. . Do you think this is due to an insufficient frying pan or sOmething else I did wrong?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Keep on practicing. Obtaining good color takes practice and patience. When searing, sauteing and pan frying even though a particular heat level is recommended, cooking is all about adjusting the heat up or down as you cook. It sounds like the heat was far too high. Let your pan heat up properly and don't disturb the meat until the first side has obtained good color. If, during the searing process, you notice that the sucs are starting to become too dark, you can mop them up with the meat or you can deglaze to save them. This process will take more time (as you will have to heat the pan up again), but it is better than burning them and incorporating a bitter flavor in your dish. Also make sure the pan isn't too dry - there should be a thin layer of fat during cooking and in between batches. This will also help to keep everything lubricated. If the meat did not obtain any color, it might have been too wet or you may have overcrowded the pan and some pieces will sweat, rather than sear. Lots of things to keep in mind when practicing this cooking method. Hope this helps! Cheers!
  • Darren S
    Darren S
    Thanks! I will try and practise - though I only have meat about once a week so it will prob take me a while!
  •  ahn F
    ahn F
    I used a Le Creuset Dutch oven and had made boeuf bourguignon many times with good searing results. The searing of this lamb was a challenge by comparison. The diffrence with French stew is that the meat is dried to accomplish good searing. The lamb meat for this dish was covered in wet marinated onions and it came between the meat and the heat. I shook as much of the onions from the lamb and seared it at medium high as recommend. The meat still had problems searing and the sucs kept burning on the bottom of the pot. So I deglazed my Dutch Oven and set it aside and brought out my carbon steel wok (for a natural teflon surface) in hopes of searing that meat better. I don't think I was totally satisfied from that experience, but it worked a little better than the Dutch oven somehow. Kimberly's thoughts about searing was new information I had not consider, and that was lowering the temperature even further than the medium high heat the recipe had suggested. I guess I was worried the meat would not sear at a lower temperature. Thanks Kimberly for broadening my knowledge and presenting other posibilities! I am exicited about finishing out this dish and tasting this recipe.
  •  ahn F
    ahn F
    I bought leg of lamb on sale and removed the bone myself. Would of used lamb shoulder, but the sale was too good to pass. I felt confident when someone earlier said that they used leg as preference and it turned out "moist and delicious." Even though the searing part was a little bit of challenge, only some of the meat came out dry. The flavor was delicious and I had six people including myself enjoy the stew over basmati rice. As suggested, I added a Middle Eastern style salad and that made my meal complete. Everyone raved about the flavor! I'm looking forward to making this recipe again and getting another opportunity to practice searing the lamb to see if I can make it even better. Also, next time I will read through all the feed back on comments so I might pick up some good tips and helpful information before attempting the next recipe. This was a great experience! Thank you so much!!!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Great job on the dish. Glad you liked it and will make some tweaks next time. Meats that have been marinated can be more challenging to sear/brown so it is important to adjust the heat level to protect the sucs. With this marinated meat, you might not be able to get as much browning as you normally would with drier pieces of meat, but a little bit will help with flavor. Cheers!
  • Matthew G
    Matthew G
    I would really like to try this dish tomorrow night, but I have a quick question. I know my kitchen is under-equipped, but I do not own a dutch oven. I DO have an 8 qt, copper-bottomed stock pot that is all made of metal. WIth a lid. Will that serve instead?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    As long as you have a heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid, you should be okay. Good luck and enjoy!!
  • Matthew G
    Matthew G
    Okay, this turned out surprisingly well. The meat was fall-apart tender, and the flavors were out of this world. I liked the blend of sweet (cinnamon, cloves, etc) with the savory. The butternut squash roasted up with a sweet flavor, as well, and the combination was phenomenal. I'd say I will be cooking it again soon, but with just the two of us at home, we've got a lot of leftovers. My stock pot worked fine, by the way, as did the few substitutions I had to make. I used leg instead of shoulder, for example. But it all worked out quite well. Thanks for this recipe... it's a keeper!
  • Kit B
    Kit B
    Quick question; I have both lamb stock and chicken stock available. Is there a reason to prefer chicken stock for this recipe?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Ultimately, you can use either lamb or chicken stock, or a combination of the two, if you like. Sometimes, a different stock is used because it will lend a different flavor profile to a dish. Also, using lamb stock as well as lamb meat can sometimes be more of a powerful flavor then some folks are looking for. Again, it really comes down to personal preference and the quality and availability of the stock you have on hand. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Markus E
    Markus E
    I made this meal yesterday. It tastes fantastic. I did use lamb leg an took the bones to make a short stock combined with a chicken stock as a liquid. I also cooked at 100 degrees Celsius for 3 hours in the oven and made a cold Yoghurt Mint Sauce with it that works great as an anatgonist to the hot spicy stew.
  • Rick P
    Rick P
    Wish I had seen this at Christmas, made a tagine using dried apricots and green olives. My give this a try. I agree about using chicken stock, lamb stock could be a little strong. I rendered the lamb fat and added to olive oil to sear off the meat
  • Cassie V
    Cassie V
    Can I use venison for this recipe instead of lamb?
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    Certainly you could try this recipe with venison — you won't likely end up with the exact same flavor profile, given that lamb and venison are not the same; however, it will likely still be delicious. Let us know how it turns out. Cheers!
  • Julie B
    Julie B
    Given this is a slow cooking method, can you make this recipe in a slow cooker?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    You could certainly cook this in a slow cooker. However, for added flavor (or to build the most flavor), I would still sear everything first and then add it to the slow cooker. Cheers!
  • Sandy H
    Sandy H
    Hello, I'm really interested in trying out this recipe but want to make it with chicken instead. Do you know if this changes the steps or the cooking time by a good deal? I would imagine it would take less time. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Sandy- I would try legs/thighs and drop the time down to an hour or so. You will still want to test the doneness but it will take less time to become tender. Goo luck! ~Ken
  • Jamal K
    Jamal K
    Hi, Can someone please tell me how to sear the lamb in batches without absolutely charring the onions that are apart of the marinade. After the second batch I have to stop to clean out the dutch oven because the onions were completely burnt and smokey. Is the heat just too high? the dish still came out delicious, just added a considerable amount of time and I would imagine took away from the flavor a bit.
  • Chris R Rouxbe Staff
    Chris R
    Hi Jamal, I recommend cutting the onions into quarter slices for the marinade. This will allow you to remove them easily prior to searing the lamb. You can add in the onions to caramelize (if desired) after the last batch of lamb is seared. Best, Chris
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    I want to make a thick sauce with the prunes and apricots but purring them with the chicken stock is this ok?what measurements for the apricots and prunes shall I use? Thank you.
  • Demetra S Rouxbe Staff
    Demetra S
    Hi Riaz, this tagine recipe applies dry and moist heat to create a stew-like cooking method named after the piece of equipment used to make it. I would recommend researching northern African tagine recipes for deeper insight. The stewing liquid is the sauce. I would suggest adding 1/2 cup, chopped, of each apricot & prunes, to the chicken while it stews. Also, add about 1/2 cup more of chicken stock as the dried fruit will soak up moisture. Use all your senses when cooking. Enjoy!

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