Vegan couscous and dates dinner recipe

For a variety of reasons, I’ve recently gone vegan.  Gluten free too.  It’s been a long time coming and so far I feel amazing, even though I’m still trying to figure out what on earth I can eat.

vegan couscous and date dinner recipe

Up to this point its been a lot of protein bars and fruit shakes, but I’m having fun trying new vegan dishes here and there.  Wait until you try this new recipe I made over the weekend: vegan couscous chickpea and date tagine; even my picky-pants kids loved it.  You’ll die, you’ll swoon, your mouth will explode with happy, you’ll become world famous for your vegan couscous and dates.

It’s insane.

vegan dinner

I’d never heard the word ‘tagine’ before I made this recipe, but tagine {pronounced: ta-zheen} basically means a cuisine made in a special earthenware pot, typically in Northern Africa; Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya.  It’s a dish with a mixture of sweet and spicy served over couscous.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

Here’s the skinny:

Chickpea and Date Tagine with Couscous

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup pitted dates, diced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
vegan couscous dates dinner recipe

Here’s how to make it:

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add diced onions and stir constantly until browned.  Stir in grated garlic, cumin, ginger and cinnamon, sauté for about one minute.  In a separate pot cook the couscous; I like to add a little more flavor to the couscous by cooking it with vegetable broth, it really makes the flavor pop.

Meanwhile back in the sauté pan, add the tomatoes, chickpeas, minced garlic and about 1/4 cup of water.  Let all the flavors simmer and bubble together about 10 minutes or so, stirring it around every now and again.

It’s the now and again that really counts.

Once that’s all mixed together add the lemon juice and diced dates and serve over warm couscous.

vegan couscous and date dinner recipe

Vegan ta-zheen, ready to eat.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Eleni :

    Oh I love this sort of food and I was totally thrilled to eat tagine couscous and vegetables on my trip to Morocco!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe =)

    • Allison :


      You’re welcome! What I’d give to go to Morocco! How fun.

  2. Kerry :

    We are vegetarians who lean towards vegan ;) Here are 2 sites that I swear by: (the banana bread recipe is the best out there) Lots of wonderful dishes The writer of the blog is darling. Her enthusiasm is contagious!

    • Allison :

      Kerry, thank you so much! I need ALL the help I can get, truly. Thank you thank you.

  3. Erin :

    What is your couscous made out of? My partner is gluten free and I have a hard time finding it made out of anything except wheat (i.e. gluten). Thanks!

    • Allison :


      I’m totally going to look into this. Eating vegan and gluten free is so hard. I thought my couscous was gluten-free, but I may be mistaken. This was from a box from Trader Joe’s, but I’ll let you know if I find out.

  4. Lindsey Johnson//Cafe Johnsonia :

    Dude. I’ve got your back! Let’s do this together!

    I was just e-mailing with another friend about GF couscous. I’m on the lookout and then I’m making this STAT.

    • Allison :


      I’m serious I need your help. If anyone can help me, it’s you! Yes, maybe we get together a couple times a month and swap tips + recipes? Yes!

  5. Laura :

    I’ve been vegan for 1 1/2 years. I turned 40 and my body decided it’s anaphylactic when I eat animal protein of any kind.

    It’s a hard transition because there is so much hidden milk and eggs in our food. Whey is in almost everything it seems sometimes.

    A few of my favorite purchases:
    Earth Balance for butter. It bakes well too.
    Diaya cheese. It is shredded and it melts.
    Toffuiti brand for cream cheese and sour cream.
    Ener G for egg substitution when baking.
    Giradelli semi sweet chocolate chips
    I’m not sure if any of those are gluten free though.

    • Allison :


      Ooh that’s scary. I just feel so much better when I don’t eat animal. go figure. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to find food without animal products, isn’t it? Gah.

      Thank you SO much for your suggestions, I really appreciate it. I’m on the lookout for all the stuff you mentioned.

    • Allison :

      Yum, thanks!

    • Allison :

      Oh Erin, asparagus anything is delicious, thank you!

  6. Tashina :

    I just found your website through Stumble Upon and was thinking that it couldn’t get any better. Then I saw in this post that you’re now vegan! I have tons of links on my site and am trying to make it a great resource for vegans. Of course, I had to add your blog to the links page. :)

    • Allison :

      Thank you so much! Glad you found me, and so glad you’re a resource for vegans.

  7. kristen howerton :

    As soon as I saw you post this on instagram, I was hoping you would post the recipe! Can’t wait to try this.

    One of my favorite vegan blogs is Choosing Raw. It’s not all raw, but she does a great job of giving practical advice for moving in that direction.

    • Allison :

      You’re vegan too, right? It’s all pretty tricky at this point, but I’m excited to go forward. Try this though, it really is delicious. Thank you for sharing the blog, I’ll look it up!

  8. elz :

    You know I love you, but…this is not going to happen on our table. I’m from Texas remember? Married to Ted Nugent wanna be. It’s all about the cooked meat here! ;)

    • Allison :

      Elz, it’s okay I still love you anyway. And everyone loves Ted Nugent and his cammo! If I liked meat I’d eat it, but I don’t so I won’t.

  9. vanessa :

    I cook vegan at least once usually twice a week. I have some cookbook suggestions for you. But hurry and pick up raw melissa’s little one, its great.

    • Allison :

      I think I knew this about you! I’m ready for your vegan cookbook suggestions. I’ve checked Alicia Silverstone’s book out a few times, but I’m ready for a more practical one for cooking for the family. Thank you!

  10. Lia :

    January 19, 2009 dnimeo niya sa akin paano palabasin ang blade ng cutter at kung paano i-lock ang doorknob na parang nabuhay na something something for dummies. nakakatawa siya actually, bukod sa nakakainsulto. hahaha.