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Chickpea Tagine with Harissa and Preserved Lemons

Chickpea tagine with courgettes, preserved lemons & Moroccan harissa paste is a perfect vegetarian dish that works well as a main or side.

This dish cooks in under an hour, but it is very easy and you spend most of the time chilling out waiting for dinner to be ready.

Chickpea tagine with courgettes, harissa, almonds and preserved lemons.

Vegetarian Garbanzo Bean Tagine

I love cooking tagines, I have plenty of meaty options, everything from a classic lamb tagine to the slightly left-field duck tagine.

The chickpea tagine is a vegetarian offering and it is as delicious as it is simple.

It joins plenty of other vegetarian or vegan offerings that include a glorious sweet potato tagine and a fab mixed vegetable tagine.

This recipe uses tinned chickpeas which makes it nice and quick to cook with no overnight soaking.

They are joined by harissa paste and almonds along with ras el hanout and some preserved lemons.

I love preserved lemons, I use them in my chicken leg tagine and even make a thick sauce or salsa from them to serve with a pan-fried grey mullet fillet.

This recipe will go from your cupboard to your table in around 50 minutes, and you spend most of that time doing absolutely nothing!

Overhead chickpea tagine with courgettes, harissa, and preserved lemons served with couscous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried chickpeas?

You cannot use dried chickpeas in this recipe because there is not enough liquid to allow them to cook.

Of course, you can soak some chickpeas overnight and cook them before using them in this recipe. You can also cook chickpeas in an Instant Pot without soaking them.

What is rose harissa?

Rose harissa is a type of North African chilli and pepper paste that contains… wait for it… rose petals and occasionally rose water.

It has a beautiful floral back note and I love the stuff. You can use regular harissa if you prefer it, I use a brand called Belazu in my recipes.

Can I use regular lemons?

No, preserved lemons sit in a brine which softens and mellows out the rind, allowing the whole fruit to be used.

You can make preserved lemons at home, I usually buy preserved Beldi lemons from the supermarket.

What is Ras el Hanout?

Ras el hanout is a spice mix similar, but different, to garam masala. It often contains allspice, cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg or mace, ginger and coriander among other spices.

Close-up chickpea tagine with courgettes, harissa, almonds and preserved lemons.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served this delicious Moroccan-influenced chickpea tagine with some buttered couscous and some Lebanese flatbread.

It would be just as good with some plain bulgur wheat. You could even go with a tabbouleh or this wonderful giant couscous salad with orange.

But this dish is wonderfully versatile, and whilst it makes a great vegetarian main course, it is also an incredible side dish.

I’ve served it with everything from my pomegranate molasses chicken thighs to my roasted cauliflower steak.

Overhead chickpea tagine with courgettes, harissa and preserved lemons served with flatbreads.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Small 20-24cm (8-10″) tagine or similarly sized frying pan with a lid. You can improvise using foil for a lid if needed.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Vegetarian chickpea tagine with courgettes, harissa and preserved lemons.
Yield: 2 Servings

Vegetarian Chickpea Tagine Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A delicious and simple vegetarian chickpea tagine loaded with courgettes, almonds, preserved lemons and harissa paste, cooked in a traditional tagine pot.


  • 400g (14oz) Tin Chickpeas
  • 10cm or 4" Cinnamon Bark
  • 1 Medium (150g) Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Preserved Beldi Lemons
  • 1 Small (150g) Courgette
  • 50g (⅓ Cup) Blanched Almonds
  • 2 Tbsp Rose Harissa Paste
  • 1 Tsp Ras el Hanout
  • 10g (½ Tbsp) Honey
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 75ml (⅓ Cup) Vegetable Stock


  1. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Top and tail the onion, cut it in half and peel it, then cut it from top to bottom into 5mm (¼") thick strips.
  3. Heat the base of the tagine or small frying pan (24cm or 10") over a medium-low heat, and add the oil.
  4. Throw in the cinnamon bark and onion then cook for 10 minutes, do not stir you want to get a nice colour on the base layer.
  5. Cut the preserved lemons into a 5mm (¼") dice and add them to the bowl with the chickpeas.
  6. Top and tail the courgette, cut it into quarters lengthways and then into 1cm (½") pieces and throw them into the bowl with the chickpeas.
  7. Add the almonds, ras el hanout, honey, salt and harissa paste to the bowl, and give everything a mix.
  8. When the onions have had 10 minutes, add the chickpeas to the pot and pour in enough stock to create a 1-1.5cm (½") layer in the base of the pot, add a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 543Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1691mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 15gSugar: 17gProtein: 17g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Simone Illger

Sunday 7th of January 2024

Hi Brian. Lovely sounding recipe! I notice that the cinnamon bark isn’t listed under the ingredients- what is the quantity for this please?

Brian Jones

Sunday 21st of January 2024

Hi Simone, thanks for bringing that to my attention, I've no idea how I missed that, it is in the video and I have updated the recipe, it is a 10cm or 4" length of cinnamon bark.

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