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Instant Pot Chicken Tagine

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 569
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: 20 min
  • Calories: 569

Ingredients

  • 8 Boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 Large shallots, sliced (about 1lb)
  • 4 Large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Dried apricots, halved
  • 1/2 cup Pistachios, roughly chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Chopped fresh mint (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Small red onion, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced for finishing

Method

  1. Season the chicken thighs with salt. Set an Instant Pot to sauté on high (hit saute button 2 times until it says “more”. When the pot registers hot, add the olive oil. Working in two batches, add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Move the seared chicken thighs to a plate.
  2. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon to the Instant Pot. If the temperature seems too hot, simply hit the sauté button again until it registers a “normal” or medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about five minutes, use a little of the chicken stock to deglaze the pan if necessary.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, remaining chicken stock, apricots, 1/3 cup of pistachios, brown sugar and tomatoes. Stir until tomato paste is evenly incorporated then turn off the pot.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot, stir to combine. Put on and lock the lid; make sure the steam valve is in the sealing position. Set the pot to pressure-cook on high for 8 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 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. Move the chicken to a plate to shred. Before you shred the chicken, add the drained, rinsed chickpeas, to the pot, stir to submerge them in the sauce. Add shredded chicken back to the pot, stir to combine.
  6. Serve the chicken and sauce over couscous; top with slivered onion, mint and remaining pistachios.