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Sweet Potato Tagine With Dates and Carrots

Vegetarian recipes can be really exciting and this Sweet Potato Tagine is great at breaking down carnivore barriers!

Portrait image of a vegetarian sweet potato tagine garnished with flaked almonds and zaatar on a bed of couscous

Spicy Vegetarian Tagine.

Considering that I am far from being a vegetarian I cook an awful lot of vegetarian food! This simple sweet potato number has rapidly become a firm favourite in these parts.

The savoury flavours of dried mint and sumac offer a savoury contrast to the sweet vegetables.

Then we get a good slug of heat and complexity from harissa paste.

It is all very easy to cook too, 10 minutes of your time and then into the oven for half an hour. After that dinner is ready to roll!

In many ways, this is similar to my almond and butternut squash tagine and mixed vegetable tagine.

Portrait close up image of a vegetarian sweet potato tagine garnished with flaked almonds and zaatar

Can You Make Harissa Paste at Home?

I use harissa paste a lot, it features in everything from my Rabbit Tagine to my Harissa Garlic Prawns.

As a result of this I have given making harissa paste a real good try. I have to say that my results have been disappointing!

I have tried everything from my own experimentation to ALL of the top 10 results on Google and plenty aside.

Nothing has come close to the spicy complexity you get from a good quality store-bought harissa paste.

So in short, yeah you can make it at home. I don’t because as far as I am concerned store-bought is better.

This is coming from a guy that insists on everything from ketchup to curry pastes from scratch.

Portrait overhead image of a vegetarian sweet potato tagine garnished with flaked almonds and zaatar on a bed of couscous

Hints and Tips.

As you can see from the video, I do not use a “tagine” to make a tagine.

I broke mine a very long time ago and never got round to replacing it.

Fortunately, you can make them in a pan.

You do have to be sure that you do not overload the pan, but apart from that anything with a well-fitting lid will be fine.

If you are relatively new to North African ingredients then Zaatar may be new to you.

Zaatar is both a herb and a spice blend, I refer to it here as the spice blend.

It contains toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, oregano or marjoram and salt. On occasions, it will also contain sumac and other bits.

The herb is called hyssop in English and can also appear in the spice mix.

It varies massively across North Africa into the Middle East and it is glorious.

It is usually used as a seasoning for food after it has cooked and it tastes fantastic. I even make a paste out of it to coat chicken in this zaatar chicken leg recipe!

As for a side dish, for me it has to be either some simply cooked couscous or bulgur wheat.

Landscape image of a vegetarian sweet potato tagine garnished with flaked almonds and zaatar
Yield: 2 Servings

Sweet Potato Tagine

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

Vegetarian recipes can be really exciting and this Sweet Potato Tagine with Carrots and dates is great at breaking down carnivore barriers!


  • 25 g Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 100 g Onion
  • 400 g Sweet Potato
  • 100 g Carrot
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa paste
  • 100 g Dried Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tsp Dried Mint
  • 1 Tsp Sumac
  • 125 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • 50 g Blanched Almonds
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 15 g Flaked Almonds
  • Zaatar to Taste


  1. Top and tail then peel and cut the onion into 8 wedges.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and carrot and cut into 1.5-2cm pieces.
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based pan that you have a lid for over a medium-high heat.
  4. When the oil and butter mix is hot add in the cinnamon stick and onions and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add in the carrots and sweet potato.
  6. Throw in the Harissa paste, dates, mint, honey, sumac, lemon juice, cumin and blanched almonds.
  7. Pour in the vegetable stock, season, stir then cover with a lid,
  8. Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
  9. The vegetables should retain some structure but be soft to the tip of a knife!
  10. Just before serving toast off your almond flakes making sure not to burn.
  11. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and zaatar before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 778Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 971mgCarbohydrates: 109gFiber: 19gSugar: 60gProtein: 14g

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!

Jacqueline Debono

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

I'm like you, not a big cake or sweet eater but I love the combination of sweet and savoury, especially using dried and fresh fruit. This is just up my street!

Brian Jones

Saturday 24th of March 2018

All the best foodies feel that way Jacqueline ;)

Amy Nash

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

Wait, so I can make this without buying a tagine? Because I'm definitely sold on that idea! I also love North African and Arabic food but I almost never make it at home (unless you count baklava?). But the flavors are wonderful and I need to branch out.

Brian Jones

Saturday 24th of March 2018

Of course you can, a tagine adds a little more steam to the mix which alters the dish very slightly but I've not noticed a massive difference not cooking in a tagine since I broke my old one. Admitedly the joy of lifting the lid on a tagine at the table is magic but hey, I can live without it.

Dawn - Girl Heart Food

Thursday 22nd of March 2018

Looks delicious Brian! Love the sweet and savoury components of this dish and I just happen to have a bunch of sweet potatoes in the pantry just waiting to be used ;)

Brian Jones

Saturday 24th of March 2018

Enjoy Dawn, I love this recipe... Me and sweet potatoes don't really get on but this is one recipe using them that I really do love!

Brian Jones

Monday 9th of October 2017

Thanks Natalie... Fruit in savoury courses doe seem to divide people, I happen to love it and use it a lot. Those two dishes sound wonderful, particularly the Diane Henry one, will hunt it down and have a try.


Thursday 21st of January 2016

I love all kinda of African food, but I've never made a veggie African dish before. I have a tajine and I love it. I've only cooked meat in it though. I will have to give this one a try!

Brian Jones

Sunday 24th of January 2016

Really, Onion Tagine is pretty much the classic North African Vegetarian Tagine, I will try and remember to post it up at some point but hunt a recipe down it is unbelievably good!

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