Spiced Pumpkin and Lamb Tagine is a seasonal twist on a traditional Moroccan dish of braised meat and spices. It’s typically served over a bed of couscous or rice, perfect for sopping up every last delicious drop of the sauce. This recipe calls for roasting two pie pumpkins. The puréed flesh of one pumpkin adds depth to the flavour and thickens the sauce of the tagine.

The other pumpkin becomes a stylish serving vessel for some of the tagine. Pass the rest in another serving dish alongside the couscous, which is a quick last-minute preparation.

The dish is elegant enough for company and homey enough to be a family favourite. In our house, everyone looks forward to Spiced Pumpkin and Lamb Tagine at least once every autumn. I often bake a few extra pie pumpkins while I am at it and freeze the roasted flesh. Once puréed, it can be used in place of canned pumpkin purée to add a tremendous depth of flavour to Pumpkin Soup with Rosemary and Walnuts or Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter.


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Spiced Pumpkin Tagine Lamb

Spiced Pumpkin Tagine with Lamb

Spiced Pumpkin and Lamb Tagine is a seasonal twist on a traditional Moroccan dish of braised meat and spices. Roasted pie pumpkins make a stylish presentation, accompanied by couscous.

  • Yield: Serves 6. 1x


  • 2 small pie pumpkins
  • 60 ml or ¼ c olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 30 ml or 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 900 g or 2 lb ground lamb
  • 24 g or 3 tbsp tagine spice
  • 8 g or 1 tbsp harissa spice
  • 8 g or 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 14 g or 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 g or 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 50 g or 1½ oz shallot, thinly sliced (1 large)
  • 72 g or 2½ oz carrot peeled and diced into ½” pieces (1 large)
  • 227 g or 8 oz diced yellow flesh potatoes, peeled and diced ½” pieces (1 large)
  • 227 g or 8 oz diced tomatoes (¼ inch dice)
  • 85 g or 3 oz dried apricots, chopped (about 8)
  • 85 g or 3 oz dried dates, pitted and chopped (about 8)
  • 750 ml or 3 c chicken or vegetable stock
  • Steamed rice or couscous for serving


Prepare the pumpkins

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut off the top one-third of each pumpkin; reserve the tops. Remove and discard the strings and seeds from the pumpkins. Rub the inside of each pumpkin with olive oil; season each with salt and pepper. Wrap each pumpkin separately in aluminium foil and place on a baking sheet. Rub the flesh side of the pumpkin tops with olive oil and season with salt; place flesh side up on the baking sheet. Roast until the flesh is tender (15 minutes for the tops; about an hour for the wrapped pumpkin).
  3. When the pumpkins are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh from one of them; reserve the other to serve as a serving vessel for the tagine. In the bowl of a food processor, blend the pumpkin flesh with ¼ c of olive oil until completely smooth. Set aside.

Prepare the tagine

  1. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the lamb and sauté, stirring occasionally, until well browned (8–9 minutes). Add the spices, stirring constantly (2 minutes.)  Add the tomato paste and garlic, stirring constantly (1 minute). Add the onion, carrot, potatoes, tomatoes, apricots, dates and stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the carrot and potatoes are tender (20 minutes).
  2. Gently fold in the pumpkin puree until combined—season with salt.
  3. Place the roasted pumpkin on a small platter and fill with some lamb mixture. Cover with the top. Spoon the remaining lamb mixture into a serving dish. Serve immediately with steamed rice or couscous.


Adapted from a recipe by Chef Michael Voltaggio of Williams Sonoma.

  • Author: Helen Kain