Skip to Content

Fish (Cod) Tagine with Preserved Lemons

Fish tagine featuring delicious moist cod loin cooked with harissa, honey and preserved lemon flavoured onions, seasoned with sumac.

This dish takes around 45 minutes to cook and prepare, but it is a low-maintenance dish with only around 10-15 minutes of “hands-on” cooking.

Cod fish tagine with preserved lemons, harissa and sumac in a traditional pot.

Cod Tagine with Preserved Lemons

I adore cooking and eating tagine-style dishes, they are usually pretty easy to cook and they are incredibly versatile.

I’ve got meaty varieties that include obvious dishes like chicken and preserved lemon tagine and lamb tagine. But I also left-field offerings like duck tagine and rabbit tagine.

It’s not all about beat though! I’ve got plenty of vegetarian and vegan offerings too, everything from sweet potato and date tagine to a wonderful chickpea tagine.

My latest offering is a fish tagine that rocks a beautiful lump of cod loin that I season will sumac.

It’s cooked on a bed of thinly sliced onions and preserved lemons which get a hint of spice from rose harissa.

The dish is gloriously simple to cook, and whilst it takes around 45 minutes to cook you only spend 10-15 minutes of that time in the kitchen!

Overhead flaked cod fish tagine served with buttered herby couscous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of fish?

Yes, this recipe will be perfect with pretty much any type of white fish, everything from hake to haddock or halibut to coley would be fine.

You can also do this with monkfish, however, it will take significantly longer to cook. Depending on the size of the piece you use this will take between 15 and 30 minutes.

If you are using monkfish you can cook the onions for 10 minutes less before adding the fish.

Can I use fillets of fish rather than loin?

Yes, but it will cook much more quickly than loin (the same goes for any substations mentioned above). You should budget around 7-10 minutes depending on how thick the fish is.

Can I use regular harissa rather than rose harissa?

Yes, that is not a problem at all, I usually prefer rose harissa but you can use anything you like.

I usually use a brand called Belazu, which is relatively common in the big 4 British supermarkets.

How do you serve this?

When cooked well cod loin will naturally break into beautiful big flakes. I transfer it to a chopping board, give it a gentle press with a spatula, and then serve the flakes over the onions and preserved lemons.

Flaked cod fish tagine served with buttered couscous with a traditional cooking pot in the background.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served this wonderful fish tagine with some simply cooked buttered couscous that I have flavoured with loads of parsley in these pictures.

It is quick and easy to cook, and its neutral flavour is fine because we have plenty of flavour in the tagine to add more than enough to the couscous.

You could do something very similar with bulgur wheat, it takes longer to cook but it is just as easy.

If you wanted something with a little more character, a classic tabbouleh salad or this Moroccan carrot salad would be ideal.

An option to make this dish a little heartier would be some Lebanese-influenced, batata harra, a gloriously spiced potato dish that I adore!

Overhead cod fish tagine with preserved lemons, harissa and sumac in a traditional pot.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think 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.

  • Hob/stovetop.
  • 20-24cm (8-10″) Tagine. You can get away with a similarly sized frying pan with a lid.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Stirring and serving spoon.
  • A combination of weighing scales, measuring cups and spoons.
Cod fish tagine with preserved lemons garnished with sumac and parsley.
Yield: 2 Servings

Easy Fish Tagine Recipe with Cod and Preserved Lemons

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This delicious and easy fish tagine cooks a wonderful piece of sumac-seasoned cod loin on a bed of onions flavoured with rose harissa and preserved lemons.


  • 300g (2 Cups) Onions
  • 75g (2 x 35-40mm or 1½") Beldi Preserved Lemons
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Rose Harissa
  • 10g (½ Tbsp) Honey
  • 1½ Tsp Zaatar
  • 350g (12oz) Skinless Cod Loin
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Sumac
  • Fresh Parsley for Garnish


  1. Cut the onions in half, peel them and then cut them into very thin half-moon shapes.
  2. Roughly chop the preserved lemons into 10mm (½") chunks removing any pips.
  3. Heat the base of a tagine or small frying pan (20-24cm or 8-10") over a low-medium heat, and add the oil.
  4. Add the sliced onions and spread them to form an even base in the pan.
  5. Spoon on the rose harissa paste and spread it a little over the onions, then squeeze over the honey, again spreading it about a little.
  6. Sprinkle over the chopped preserved lemons and the zaatar, add the lid to the tagine and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid from the tagine and give everything a stir.
  8. Season the cod with the salt, lay it on top of the onion base, sprinkle with fish with the sumac, return the lid, and cook for 13-17 minutes over a low-medium heat.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1372mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 6gSugar: 13gProtein: 43g

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!

Skip to Recipe