Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives

4.67 from 18 votes
4 hours 30 minutes
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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives is a lovely, budget-friendly, low-stress exotic dinner you’ll love coming home to or serving to guests!

“Gosh, we adored this dish tonight. My 93-year-old mother kept going back for more. I made it in the afternoon and set it on high for 4 hours, and it was fabulous. It felt like we took good care of ourselves tonight.”

Photo of Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives on gray-rimmed platter garnished with lemon wedges and cilantro.

Hey, friends!  It’s that slow-cooker time of year!  I’ve got a super-easy and budget-friendly dish you’re going to love!  Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives!

Now, I’ve clearly got a butternut squash thing happening in my life right now but we have about a bushel of it in our pantry so please stay with me!  And who doesn’t love a creative butternut squash recipe?

This Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives has got it goin’ on!

What is a tagine?

A tagine sounds exotic but it’s really only the Moroccan version of a slow cooker.

A tagine is both a dish and a cooking vessel.  The cooking vessel has a conical shape which is meant to preserve every single drop of precious moisture in a climate with very little moisture.  Steam from the dish collects on the sides of the tagine then drops back down to continue the slow cooking process.  The same thing happens in a slow cooker!

How to make Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives in a slow cooker:

  • Start by combining the vegetables, chickpeas and olives at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Combine the spices in a small bowl and sprinkle half on the chicken thighs.
  • Brown the chicken thighs well then place on the vegetables.
  • Stir the remaining spice mixture into the vegetable combination.
Photo of chicken thighs in slow-cooker after being browned.
  • Set the slow cooker on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours and let it go!
Photo of Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives in slow cooker after being cooked.
  • Add cilantro, place it on a platter, garnish and look like a global culinary superhero!  That’s it!
Photo of Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives on gray-rimmed platter garnished with cilantro and lemon wedges.

If you add the olives near the end, they’ll keep their beautiful black color.  However, I put them in at the beginning and I think they added more flavor to the whole dish.

Mwwaaaah!!!

Photo of one serving of Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives in black bowl.
Photo of one serving of Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives in black bowl.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives - Close-up shot of butternut squash, chickpea and olive combination in black bowl

Be sure to try my other Moroccan-inspired dishes!

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives - Hero overhead shot of dish on gray-rimmed platter garnished with lemon wedges and cilantro

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash Chickpeas and Olives

4.67 from 18 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Olives is lovely, budget-friendly, low-stress exotic dinner you’ll love coming home to or serving to guests!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 4
Calories 505 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 small butternut squash - peeled and cubed (1/2-inch cubes — approximately 2 cups)
  • 2 large plum tomatoes - seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 can (15-ounce) garbanzo beans (chickpeas) - drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives - halved
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs - with the skin on the bone
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro - plus sprigs for garnish
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions
 

  • Combine first 8 ingredients in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  • Combine coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, salt, cinnamon and cayenne in a small bowl.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or saute pan. Sprinkle approximately half the spice mixture over the chicken thighs. Stir the remaining spice mixture into the butternut squash/chickpea combination.
  • Place chicken thighs in hot oil then brown well 6-8 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side in the hot, spicy fat for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Place chicken thighs in the slow cooker and pour any accumulated fat from the skillet into the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  • Stir chopped cilantro into butternut squash/chickpea combination.
  • Place butternut squash/chickpea combination on a platter, top with chicken and sprinkle with cilantro. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lemon wedges and serve immediately.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD: Assemble the vegetables, chickpeas and olives in the bottom of the slow cooker. Brown the chicken thighs and place on top. Refrigerate until you’re ready to cook it.

Nutrition

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 870mg | Potassium: 1247mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 20472IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




29 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this a couple of days ago. It was a hit! Had to make a couple of substitutions due to laziness to go to the store. Used black instead of Kalamata, boneless/skinless (HUGE) and pulled a few tomatoes off of the vine. Regardless, it went over quite well. I’ve never worked with this combination of spices and the aroma made us anxious for the meal. Served over brown rice.

  2. Oh this recipe looks so good can’t wait to try it. If your using a Tagine is the cooking time the same as a crock pot?

    1. Hi, Donna, Thanks so much for your great question! After all, it IS a tagine. A slow cooker can be considered a modern-day tagine. If you’re doing it on the stovetop which is direct heat, use a diffuser and keep the heat on low. The slow cooker is going to take about four hours on high. The stovetop might only take around two. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. Hi! This was a great hit in my house. Thank you for posting! Very tasty! I think my butternut squash might’ve been too big though. If you guessed how many cups of cubes what would it be?

    1. Hi, Kim, Thanks so much for your awesome question! I would say about 2 cups since it would be a small butternut squash. I’ll revise the recipe. Thanks again so much and glad everyone enjoyed!

  4. Hi! We loved this recipe. I was wondering about the olives. The dish seemed to need a brinier olive than Kalamatas even an unstuffed green olive or castelvetrano. May try one of them going forward. Doesn’t change how easy this recipe is!
    Thank you!

    1. Hi, Cindy, Thanks so very much and so glad you enjoyed! I love olives and love your suggestions. You could try adding the olives in at the end, too. Thanks again!

  5. We love Morrocan flavors in my house! I love making them and when I can use the slow cooker, even better! This is such a flavorful dish and you have really showcased the Morracan spices! I love the Progressive Eats that you have put together with some of my favorite food bloggers! Delicious recipes by the best!

  6. This is such a lovely and comforting dish with all my favorite flavors and proteins. What a great main course – it will be a huge hit in our house.

  7. My husband and I both love Moroccan flavors and this dish will definitely be on my to make list soon! Beautiful photos and a great recipe to try!!

  8. This looks like the perfect weeknight meal. So flavorful and healthy, yet simple. I bet I could put together most of it the night before and then enjoy the results (and the smell wafting out of the slow cooker) the next day. Yum!!

    1. Hi, Laura, It’s super easy to pull together the night before. Just get everything assembled and the chicken browned and refrigerate until you want to cook it. That’s it!