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Instant Pot Chicken Tagine

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 373
instant pot chicken tagine in a large white bowl topped with fresh mint and cilantro

An intoxicating blend of spicy, sweet and savory ingredients make this Instant Pot chicken tagine a memorable meal that’s ready fast.

Chicken Tagine: A Perfect Instant Pot Chicken Recipe

Classic chicken tagine—a deeply flavorful North African stew—cooks for hours and hours. But, thanks to the Instant Pot, chicken tagine is now officially a weeknight dinner option! Succulent chicken thighs simmer in a spiced tomato-y sauce along with tender, sweet apricots and pale green pistachios and the whole gorgeous meal is ready in about 30 minutes. Whether you’re serving this luxurious North African stew at a dinner party, or just whipping it up for your family, it has a seriously enticing combination of sweet-savory-spicy flavors that everyone is sure to love.

chicken thighs, chicken stock, shallots, tomatoes, dried fruit, chickpeas and herbs in small bowls for chicken tagine

What’s In Chicken Tagine?

Recipes vary quite a bit—in fact, Moroccan tagine doesn’t even have to be made with chicken. The word “tagine” does mean a meaty, tomato-y, slow-cooked North African stew, but “tagine” is also (and primarily) the name of the conical clay pot that the stew is traditionally cooked in. All of that said, our Instant Pot tagine is obviously not cooked in a traditional tagine, but it does have traditional tagine ingredients! Therefore, it still qualifies as a tagine (at least we think so). Here’s what’s in our chicken tagine recipe:

  • Chicken thighs. We’re opting for boneless, skinless chicken thighs here, because the fat from the chicken thigh skin can make the tagine sauce overly fatty.
  • Shallots
  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Spices: cumin, turmeric, cinnamon
  • Tomatoes, two ways! Tomato paste, and canned, diced tomatoes.
  • Dried apricots
  • Pistachios
  • Brown sugar
  • Chicken stock
  • Chickpeas
  • Fresh mint
  • Red onion
  • Fresh lemon
browned chicken in an instant pot
shallots, garlic and cinnamon browning in an instant pot
shallots caramelized in an instant pot
caramelized shallots with crushed tomatoes, pistachios and dried apricots in an instant pot
chicken and shallot mixture in an instant pot
chicken tagine cooked in an instant pot
chicken tagine with chickpeas in an instant pot
instant pot chicken tagine

How to Make Tagine in Your Instant Pot

Chicken tagine—like all traditionally low-and-slow cooked stews—is an optimal recipe for the Instant Pot. It really showcases what pressure cooking can do, and how much it speeds things up! Here’s how to make chicken tagine in the Instant Pot:

  1. To begin, brown the chicken thighs. Set your Instant Pot to sauté on high, and sauté the chicken thighs in batches until they're crisp and browned. Set them aside.
  2. Now you're going to make the saucy tagine base that the chicken will simmer in. Sauté all of the good-smelling things! Shallots, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon. Tip: use a little chicken stock to deglaze the pan if it looks too dry.
  3. Once the onion is soft, stir in the tomato paste, chicken stock, apricots, some pistachios, brown sugar and tomatoes. Add the seared chicken thighs back to the Instant Pot.
  4. Put on the lid and lock it, making sure the steam valve is in the 'sealing' position. Set the pot to pressure-cook on high for eight minutes. After eight minutes, let the pressure release naturally for ten minutes. Then, carefully turn the steam valve to the venting position to manually release the remaining pressure. Turn off the pot and remove the lid.
  5. Lift the chicken out of the tagine mixture, and shred the chicken thighs until you've got bite-sized pieces. then add it back to the pot along with the chickpeas to finish.
  6. And you're done! Time to eat!
chicken tagine with a bowl of cous cous next to it topped with fresh herbs and purple onions

What Do You Serve with Chicken Tagine?

Tagine is so full of flavor, you could almost call it a meal in itself. But it is better with something to soak or sop up all of that delicious tagine sauce. We love to serve it with:

  • Couscous — most classic tagine accompaniment.
  • Cucumber Salad would be a refreshing side dish to serve with chicken tagine.
  • Moroccan beet salad is be a bright, vibrant contrast to the warm, slow-cooked flavor of a tagine.
Instant pot chicken tagine over cous cous on a white plate

Tools You’ll Need:

Instant pot chicken tagine in a white bowl topped with fresh herbs

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

We’re still warming up to the Instant Pot, but we’re getting more into it by the minute. In addition to this killer Instant Pot tagine recipe, we’re pretty proud of these two Instant Pot recipes—if you haven’t yet, give them a try!

Weeknight Tagine, Anyone?

Well, we’re finally on the Instant Pot bandwagon, and it’s a pretty delicious place to be. If you are too, and you give this recipe a go, let us know how it turned out! Snap a photo of your Instant Pot tagine and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Instant Pot Chicken Tagine

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 373

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup halved dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice from ½ lemon, optional
  • Cooked couscous, for serving
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, optional

Method

  1. Pat the chicken dry. Season all over with the salt.

  2. Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté, and Adjust to select the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of the oil heating, working in batches as needed, add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  3. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon and stir to combine; cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Use a little chicken stock to deglaze if necessary.

  4. Stir in the chicken stock, tomato paste, apricots, ⅓ cup of pistachios, brown sugar, and tomatoes until combined.

  5. Return the chicken to the pot and turn to coat. Secure the lid, moving the valve so it is in the sealed position. Hit Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook. Pressure cook for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually vent to release the remaining pressure.

  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Add the chickpeas to the pot and stir to submerge in the sauce. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the pot along with the lemon juice, if using, and stir to combine.

  7. Serve the chicken and sauce over cooked couscous. Top with onions, mint and remaining pistachios.


To make on the stovetop:

  1. Pat the chicken dry. Season all over with the salt. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches as needed, add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  2. Add the shallots and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant, another 1-2 minutes. Use a little chicken stock to deglaze if necessary.

  3. Stir in the chicken stock, tomato paste, apricots, 1/3 cup of pistachios, brown sugar, and tomatoes until combined.

  4. Return the chicken to the pot and turn to coat. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Stir, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the chicken is very tender and can be pulled apart easily with a fork, about 1 hour.

  5. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Add the chickpeas to the pot and stir to submerge them in the sauce. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken back to the pot along with the lemon juice, if using, and stir to combine.

  6. Serve the chicken and sauce over couscous; top with onions, mint and remaining pistachios.


To make in a Slow Cooker:

  1. Pat the chicken dry. Season all over with the salt. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high. until glistening. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches as needed, add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and repeat on the other side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  2. Add the shallots and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon, stir to combine and cook until fragrant, another about 1-2 minutes. Use a little chicken stock to deglaze if necessary.

  3. Stir in the chicken stock, tomato paste, apricots, 1/3 cup of pistachios, brown sugar, and tomatoes, until combined.

  4. Transfer everything to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

  5. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Add the chickpeas to the slow cooker and stir to submerge them in the sauce. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker along with the lemon juice, if using, and stir to combine.

  6. Serve the chicken and sauce over couscous; top with onions, mint and remaining pistachios.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories373
  • Protein5 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat6 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium251 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Instant Pot Chicken Tagine

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jill Talbot

    This looks amazing, I don't have an instant pot, so planning to do in the slow cooker. How long would you suggest and do you think I need to add broth? Let me know what you think, thanks!

    We haven't tested this in the slow cooker yet so not sure about adding broth. Timing wise chicken usually takes 5-6 hours on low.

  • Mary

    How would you adapt this recipe to use a crock pot instead of an Insta pot?

    We haven't tested this in the slow cooker.

  • Sara

    How would you do this in a crock pot or stove?

    We haven't tested this in those methods yet.

  • bethany economos

    So when do the chickpeas get cooked?

    Hi Bethany, the chickpeas are added in step 5. Since they are canned they are already cook and they get heated when you stir them in. Hope you enjoy!

  • Randall Ellicott

    Do you use roasted or unroasted (and salted or unsalted I guess) pistachios?

    Unsalted, unroasted. Hope you enjoy it Randall!

  • It's Me?

    I've made this several times and enjoy it immensely! I also went a little wild and turned it into a pizza with a few adjustments. (pistachio mint yogurt drizzle) It was enjoyed by many! I also enjoy doing it over forbidden rice. Super tasty!

    We are so glad you loved it!

  • Debbie

    I found this recipe searching for make ahead ideas to have dinner ready after my son's baseball game. I was able to prep everything in advance, then before the game add to pot and set on delay. My chicken thighs were still partially frozen so I did not brown them. I also made up the Moroccan beet salad in the morning. I suggest doing the salad in advance to allow the onion to marinate which softens the flavor.
    This recipe was easy and used ingredients I generally have on hand. I served with couscous which cooked up as I shredded chicken and tossed the herbs in the salad. Very easy and quickly came together after the baseball game. Flavor was great and the family loved it, including the salad. I plan to freeze the left overs.

    This is so great to hear Debbie! We are so happy you and the family loved it! You also sound extremely efficient in the kitchen, nice work prepping so much in advance!

  • Molly

    Also wanted to add this is very delicious with naan bread I typically will make olive oil infused with roasted garlic. Sprinkle infused olive oil, roasted garlic, and I cut up extra red onion. Roast on top of the naan and serve on the side.

    Sounds delicious, thanks Molly!

  • Molly

    This is my favorite go to recipe. Part of my job is cooking for crew so I like to change up flavors. It’s turned out delicious every time. The time it takes to make it is WAY off but that is the case with every instant pot recipe. I’ve also made this on the stove using the same everything just eyeballing it till it was done. 10/10.

    Thanks Molly, we are very glad you loved it! Not sure why the instant pot timing was off for you glad you made it work.

  • Chris Killian

    First off, this is a wonderful recipe. As the recipe states, all of those sweet, savory and (slightly) spicy flavors are there in this dish. I didn't have dried apricots, so I substituted about a cup of raisins and that was fine. Also, to make the stew just a tad bit creamier I added a few large dollops of plain yogurt at the end, which turned out to be a good idea. All in all, if you are looking for a hearty, warm, comfy stew to cozy up to on a cold evening, this is your dish!

    Thank you Chris, we are so happy you enjoyed it. Thanks for trying it out!