Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Prunes

This main dish—a slowly simmered Moroccan stew made of tender lamb, dried fruit, and aromatic spices—is for a dinner party or special meal. 

Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas, Lemon, and Mint

Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas, Prunes, Lemon, and Mint

Recently, I served it in a four-course dinner that began with a delicate tomato soup served with hot cornbread, followed by the lamb served over rice and accompanied by steamed fresh spring asparagus.  The third course, in the French style, was a salad to cleanse the palate made of mixed greens and tomatoes, garnished with thinly sliced endive, crumbled goat feta cheese, and a handful of dried cranberries.  The finale—the dessert—was a fresh fruit salad of mixed berries accompanied by warm, rich chocolate brownies.

In other words, the menu was gluten-free, dairy-free, and about as diet-conscious as a dinner party can be.  If you’re Weight Watching, Lamb Tagine is a dish for your extra points.

 Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 8 servings of approximately 1 cup


  • 4 carrots
  • 2 tbsp. chicken broth powder, mixed with ½ cup of water
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup finely minced onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • Zest of 1 lemon, removed in a long strip
  • 2 cinnamon sicks (each about 3 inches long)
  • 1 ½ cups pitted prunces, halved
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 carrots
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves


  1. Peel and halve carrots lengthwise, and cut lengths into 1-inch sections. 
  2. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Drain and set aside.
  5. Heat chicken broth-water mixture in large, heavy pot over low heat.
  6. Sprinkle in paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and ginger.
  7. Cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes (if pot gets dry, add ¼ cup water).
  8. Add lamb and stir to coat with spices.
  9. Stir in ½ cup of onions and all the garlic.
  10. Add broth, wine, lemon zest, and cinnamon sticks.
  11. Bring to boil over high heat.
  12. Reduce heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  13. Add remaining ½ cup of onions, prunes, and chickpeas.
  14. Simmer for 15 minutes (stew will be thick).
  15. Add carrots to stew and cook until meat is tender, about 15 more minutes.
  16. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  17. Remove lemon zest and cinnamon sticks.
  18. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and chopped mint.
  19. Remove lemon zest and cinnamon sticks.
  20. Serve over rice.

For Weight Watchers: 14 points for 1-cup serving on the Points plan and 15.5 points for 1-cup serving on the PointsPlus plan.

 (Adapted from “Lamb and Vegetable Tagine” in Ten: All your favorite foods… by Sheila Lukins)