The Healthy Cook’s chicken or chickpea tagine

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

To keep things interesting, try this classic Moroccan chicken dish with curry powder or ras el hanout instead of paprika and coriander. Bulgur tabouli makes a great pairing.

Vegetarian? Scroll down for a version with chickpeas instead of chicken.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of these recipes.

Chicken Tagine

Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

1 Tbs. + 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1½ lbs. bone-in, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. grated ginger
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. coriander
3 carrots, chopped
½ lb. small zucchini, chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbs. lemon zest
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large heavy pot, heat 1 Tbs. oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the chicken until browned, 2–3 minutes per side. Remove from the pot.
  2. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Sauté the onion until lightly browned, 3–5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and spices. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the carrots, zucchini, stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. Return the chicken with any juices to the pot. Cover and gently braise until the chicken is fully cooked, 20–30 minutes.
  5. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Per serving (2 cups):

  • Calories: 340
  • Total fat: 17 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 14 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 460 mg

Bulgur Tabouli

Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

2 cups cooked bulgur
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
¼ cup toasted almonds
¼ cup diced dried apricots
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. kosher salt

  1. Toss all of the ingredients together.

Per serving (2/3 cup):

  • Calories: 160
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Sat fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 24 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 130 mg

Vegetarian Chickpea Tagine

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

3   Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1   onion, finely chopped
3   cloves garlic, minced
1   Tbs. minced or grated ginger
3   Tbs. tomato paste
1   Tbs. ras el hanout or mild curry powder
3   carrots, chopped
½   lb. small zucchini, chopped
1   cup vegetable stock or water
2   15 oz. cans no-salt-added chickpeas, undrained
1   Tbs. lemon or orange zest
1   Tbs. fresh lemon or orange juice, more to taste
1   tsp. kosher salt
3   cups cooked bulgur or other whole grain

  1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the onion, stirring often, until browned, 5–7 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and ras el hanout (or curry powder). Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the carrots, zucchini, stock, chickpeas with their liquid, and citrus zest. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 8–12 minutes.
  4. Season with the citrus juice and salt. Serve with the bulgur.

Per serving (1½ cups tagine + ½ cup bulgur):

  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 49 g
  • Fiber: 12 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg

Making your own stock

Click here for The Healthy Cook’s recipes for homemade vegetable or chicken stock.

Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

The recipes in this post first appeared in the January/February 2021 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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