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Apr 16, 2021

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Garlic, Ginger, and Fennel

This shrimp tagine with garlic, ginger, and fennel is an amazingly flavorful dish. Shrimp lovers (and who isn't?) will demand that you make this over and over again. 

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Fennel

This easy shrimp tagine is a great way to explore the flavors of Morocco without having to spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen. 

It's spicy (but not "hot" spicy) and loaded with flavor, and the recipe doesn't require any exotic or hard to find ingredients. 

Serving shrimp is a great way to introduce seafood to your little ones. My grandsons fell in love with shrimp long before they realized that it was "fish." Some of their favorites include crispy snack shack tacos, mini shrimp quiches, and shrimp stuffed Cuban potato balls

Moroccan Shrimp with Garlic, Ginger, and Fennel

Tagines are a Berber tradition. A tagine is typically a slow cooked stew cooked in a vessel with a shallow and wide pot with a cone-shaped lid, which returns the moisture back into the food. 

Traditional clay tagines can be pretty fragile and you have to buy a special charcoal stove or diffusing plate for your stovetop so that you don't damage the vessel. For cooking on the stovetop, I use the flame ceramic Emile Henry tagine, which is pretty indestructable and works on all stovetops except induction. 

Le Creuset also makes one with a cast iron base and a stoneware lid. 

While this shrimp dish is not slow cooked, and you really don't need the specialized pot (a Dutch oven or covered skillet will work just fine), it's a wonderful way to present your dish and a great excuse to break out your tagine pot if you have one. 

Tagine pot

I also use my tagine for baking bread sometimes instead of a Dutch oven. Because of the shallow base, it's so much easier to load the shaped and risen loaf into the preheated pot. 

This shrimp dish is from the northern most part of Morocco, and it's flavors reflect some of influences from Spain just across the Mediterranian Sea. 

You can serve this shrimp either as an appetizer or a meal. Just be sure to serve it with crusty bread to soak up all of the juices. 

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Garlic, Ginger, and Fennel in pot

This shrimp is super easy to make and can be ready in about 30 minutes.

How to make this Moroccan shrimp tagine: 

First, you sauté the shrimp in olive oil until it is just opaque, and then move it to a plate while you sauté onions, garlic, ginger, and saffron for about 4 minutes. 

After that, add paprika, canned diced tomatoes, and a big handful of chopped parsley and cilantro. You cook this mixture for about 10 minutes to reduce it to a thick sauce. 

Sauce for shrimp tagine

While the sauce is cooking, steam sliced fennel in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, and then brown it in olive oil in a skillet. 

Once the sauce is ready and the fennel is browned, stir the shrimp into the sauce and place the fennel on top. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. 

Finally, sprinkle the finished dish with more freshly chopped parsley and cilantro. 

You can peel the shrimp before cooking or leave the shells on, which is what I did (I used easy peel shrimp). While leaving the shells on makes eating the shrimp a messy job, the shells add so much flavor. 

You can also peel the shrimp right after sautéing them and before adding them to the sauce, or just serve the dish with plenty of napkins and a bowl for tossing the shells. 

Shrimp shells

Welcome to this month's Fish Friday Foodies. This month, we are celebrating seafood dishes from Africa. Africa is a huge continent and we have a sampling of dishes from throughout. 

More Moroccan-Style Recipes

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Garlic, Ginger, and Fennel

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Garlic, Ginger, and Fennel

Moroccan Shrimp Tagine with Garlic, Ginger, and Fennel
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This shrimp tagine with garlic, ginger, and fennel is an amazingly flavorful dish. Shrimp lovers (and who isn't?) will demand that you make this over and over again.


  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch slices, lengthwise
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 20 raw jumbo shrimp, cleaned and heads removed. I used frozen easy peel shrimp that was pre-cleaned. 
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • Medium pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained, juices reserved
  • Half of a bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Half of a bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the fennel slices in a bowl with one inch of water and microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a deep skillet or tagine until just shimmery. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until just opaque. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. 
  3. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and saffron and sauté for 4 minutes, until the mixture softens and begins to color. 
  4. Add the paprika, tomatoes, and half of the cilantro and parsley. Stir in the sugar plus the salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the reserved juices from the drained tomatoes. Cook the mixture over low heat for ten minutes, partially covered, until thickened. 
  5. While the sauce is cooking, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a separate skillet, and cook the fennel slices for 4 to 5 minutes a side, until golden. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  6. Stir the shrimp into the tomato sauce and top with the fennel slices. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the parsley and cilantro and serve. 



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Shrimp, tagine
Main Dishes
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Recipe adapted from Flavors of Morocco

Would you like to comment?

  1. Okay. Wow. I have never baked bread in my tagine...or use it for something quick like shrimp. Now I will! Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. If your tagine can stand high heat in the oven, it works great with bread!

  2. That tagine is gorgeous - just like this dish! I can just imagine sopping up the flavorful broth... yumm! What a delicious meal!

  3. Love that tagine and such a flavorful dish!

  4. What a beautiful, colorful dish. Thanks so much for hosting Karen. I'm so sorry I couldn't join you but was happy for the theme because the stew I made was amazing.

  5. Your recipe inspired me to tweak it into a "one Tagine" dinner dish. While I prepared all the recipe ingredients (chopping and sautéing), I started the tagine with some lightly cooked arborio rice and a little butter. That cooked for about 10 minutes and then I added everything that was sautéed - minus the shrimp. About 30 minutes later, I added the shrimp, and a few slices of preserved lemons, increased the temp to 385 degrees for 10 minutes and it turned out so delicious - easy ingredients, easy clean up, impressive to serve. Now having done a trial run, I plan to cook this for guests. Thank you Karen.


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