You’ve got your eye on a great Moroccan tajine recipe but you’re stumped wondering what to serve alongside the main dish. The good news is there is no hard and fast rule about what you should do. That being said there are some ideas about what is typically done in Morocco.
The first thing I want to point out is that couscous is not a side dish to the tagine. Sure, if you want to you can serve it any way you like but many people assume and use couscous the same way as you might use rice as a side dish to a curry. That’s not how it’s served. Generally, the side dishes to a tagine are a variety of Moroccan salads. It can be a single salad or it can be half-dozen!
Many Moroccan side salads are actually cooked. So they’re a bit more like a side dish than a salad – though salad is the term you’ll hear them referred to. While in Morocco these are often cooked until very soft, you can cook to the firmness you prefer.
How to Serve Tagine and Side Dishes
In Morocco, the tajine is the central dish on the table. Everyone generally sits around a round table to eat. On smaller plates around the table are the salads. Each is meant to be for 1-2 people. In some homes, you might find individual small salads for each person. Generally, there are no individual plates, everyone eats from the dishes using bread to pick up their food.
If you’re making a tajine then you also should include some bread. If you’re short of time, any crusty bread like a French baguette will work. If you have the time, try your hand at Moroccan khobz!
Side Dishes that Work for All Tagines
There are always a few dishes that will work for everything. I like to use at least one of these to make things easier on myself!
- Traditional Cucumber and Tomato Arabic Salad
- A mixture or single type of cured olives, you can try my recipe for spicy olives too.
- A simple green salad with dressing
- Moroccan carrot salad
- Cheese Briouats (try my air fryer briouats too!)
- Moroccan Harira
- Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese and Harissa Oil
What to Serve with Chicken Tagine
Some ideas for chicken tagine side dishes include the following options;
For more ideas on what to serve with chicken tagine
What to Serve with Moroccan Lamb Tagine
A lot of these suggestions would work as well for beef dishes. The higher fat content of the meat means that dishes that have a bit more acid or are lighter make a better pair for these dishes.