This scrumptious Moroccan lamb casserole (or tagine) with apricots and carrots is one of my favourite slow cooker recipes. It’s hearty, rich, nutritious and easy to make and is paleo and gluten-free. Can be done on the stove or in your Instant Pot.
About Moroccan Lamb Casserole
When the days get colder or life gets hectic, I ditch the stove and throw myself into a love affair with my slow cooker or my Instant Pot.
Stews, curries, soups and even roasts get going in my magic pot on an almost daily basis. This slow cooker lamb casserole is one of my regulars, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you guys.
I love lamb with sweet dried fruit, like apricots, and warm spices. This combination goes way back and spans multiple culinary traditions from North Africa to the Middle East. Dried fruit and spices cut through the fattiness of the lamb, and highlight and even enhance the savoury and meaty notes of the dish.
Served with a simple cauliflower ‘couscous’ or ‘rice’, or regular rice or potatoes, this meal will make you dream of Marrakesh, sandy desserts and perfumed apricot orchards.
Love this recipe? Try my Scrummy Coconut Lamb Curry or my Quick & Easy Pumpkin Chicken Curry. You might also like to try making your own harissa sauce. Find more African recipes here.
Making Moroccan Lamb Stew
- I used diced lamb steak in this recipe. You can buy lamb leg or shoulder and cut it into chunks. Other cheap cuts of lamb, beef or pork meat would also work well in this recipe.
- Dried apricots can be replaced with a few dates or figs for a similar result. When buying dried apricots, go for the darker, brownish-looking fruit, which hasn’t been treated with sulfites – a preservative used to give dried apricots that gorgeous, orange colour.
- I love adding toasted almond flakes to this stew but you can easily go without. I think it adds a nutty flavour and lovely texture to the dish.
- Make simple cauliflower rice or regular rice for this dish. Check out this gorgeous, fragrant cauliflower couscous recipe I shared over at the Balance Festival website. Or, a side of greens will do just fine as well.
- Stovetop: repeat steps 1 and 2 in a large pot on the stove. Then cook covered, over low-medium heat, for 2 hours, until the lamb meat is tender. Then uncover, and cook for a further 10 minutes over high heat, allowing the stew to thicken.
- Instant Pot: do steps 1 and 2 on Sauté function in the Instant Pot. Then cover, set to Manual, HIGH for 25 minutes. Allow natural release for 5-10 minutes, then follow with quick release. Finally, switch back to Sauté and cook for 10 more minutes uncovered, stirring a few times.
Moroccan Lamb Casserole ( Slow Cooker)
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours 15 mins
- Total Time: 4 hours 25 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Slow Cooking
- Cuisine: Moroccan
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 700 g /1.5 lb lamb steak, diced
- 1 large carrot, sliced thick
- 4 peels of lemon (not 4 lemons, but rather 4 small peeled ribbons of the rind)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed powder
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional, a few cloves can be used instead
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced
- 6–7 dried apricots, sliced in thirds
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley
- If your slow cooker vessel is heatproof, place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Alternatively, use a large frying pan or saucepan for this first step.
- Add the onion, coconut oil and salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Follow with the lamb, carrots and lemon peel, and stir through for a minute. Now add the spices and stir through to release the aromas before adding the rest of the ingredients (except for almonds and parsley). Stir through and bring to a boil.
- Place the vessel with the lamb stew back on the slow cooker base and set to HIGH for 4 hours, MEDIUM for 6 or LOW for 8 hours. If using a different saucepan, transfer the contents to the slow cooker vessel and set the timer as mentioned above.
- After 4 or more hours, as per your heat setting, transfer the slow cooker vessel to the stove and set the heat to high. Again, if the vessel is not heatproof, transfer the casserole contents into a saucepan. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, allowing some of the liquid to evaporate. Add the almonds half way through and mix together (reserve a few almonds for garnish). Taste for salt and feel free to add some chilli, if you like.
- Serve with cauliflower rice or couscous, regular rice or some greens.
This is such a beautiful dish! The spices in this are so yummy, I especially love the allspice, one of my favorites! I love that you can make it in the slow cooker too, so perfect for this time of the year.
I love lamb! This looks divine!
I have some cubed grassfed stew beef that has this recipe written all over it! I love these flavors and can’t wait to try it! Thank you!
I love Moroccan flavors and I love slow cooker recipes – so this looks like a definite winner in my book! A perfect warming dish for us here in the cooooold US right now!
I love Moroccan food! This is a slow cooker recipe, so I’m book marking this one 🙂
Thanks Stacey x
This sounds so delicious! I used to avoid lamb because of its strong flavor but have really come around to it recently. I think I’ll try this in the Instant Pot so I can simmer at the end right in the same vessel!
Irena! This looks *heavenly*. I can’t wait for an excuse to make it! Hell, I’m not waiting for an excuse…I’m adding it to my weekly meal plan now.
I love slow cooker recipes and this lamb casserole looks so scrumptious ! Perfect for winter cold weather !
This looks like an incredible recipe full of rich and deep flavor. And, it makes it even better that it is a slow cooker meal. Slow, easy, fast, and fun.
Always looking for new, fun and delicious slow cooker recipes! This looks perfect!
I think I literally have everything for this already except the lamb and apricots! #winning
This was delicious! And I don’t even like lamb all that much 🙂
I made it in the Instant Pot..I just sautéed everything and then did the slow cooker for 4.5 hours on normal. It was great with cauliflower rice and sautéed kale. Thanks for a great recipe!
Oh, glad you enjoyed it. I have an Instant Pot too but used my slow cooker. Thanks for sharing the times here as I will try it in the IP as well.
This was DIVINE!! I made it ahead of time, froze it & then reheated it. The lamb was melt in your mouth tendor and bursting with flavors. Served it with a carrot salad & rice.
When do you add the fruit?
In this step: “Now add the spices and stir through to release the aromas before adding the rest of the ingredients (except for almonds and parsley). Stir through and bring to a boil.” – fruit would be with the rest of the ingredients, so just after you add the spices.
Hope that helps 🙂
Thanks for the recipe Irey – it was delicious!
I made it with lamb shanks and added a tin of tomatoes for some extra sauce 🙂
Can this meal be frozen?
Yes! Freezes well 🙂
I can tell from the ingredients that this recipe will be delicious. I love my slow cooker as well, and then I think this could easily be converted to a Tagine for presentation purposes. Thanks for sharing, Pauline
Thanks Pauline, give it a go and you absolutely should serve it in a tagine 🙂
Loved your introduction to this recipe. Inspirational. Haven’t even cooked yet but the way you wrote about it, had me feeling the warm barmy nights of Morocco. Haven’t been there either!
I will give it a go as I love Moroccan food. Perhaps write further after cooking. I too enjoy my slow cooker as it is good smelling the aromas of the pot through the day. Thank you for thinking of your wider audience in gifting this recipe. Beverley Phelan
My whole family loved this recipe. I could have made a double recipe because they all wanted seconds.
Thanks, Majella Glad they enjoyed it so much!
This recipe was great and was enjoyed by the whole family – surprisingly all gone in one meal. I wouldn’t have thought of this combination of spices myself. Very nice. Tasted great served on pumpkin mash.
I have a multi-cooker, so sautéed in the pot before putting to slow cook for 8 hours, then back to sauté for 20mins prior to serving. I replaced water in the recipe for home-made chicken stock. Thanks.
Thanks, Ken. I imagine it would taste super nice on pumpkin mash. Thanks for the multi-cooker tips as well, I have an Instant Pot and so sometimes I make it in that.
Hello – couldI use some raisins or peach preserves instead of the dried apricots? (I don’t have any on hand.) Also, can I make this in my Instant Pot?
Love this recipe! Its become a family favourite.
Thank you 🙂