If you’re looking to make the best lamb stew, this recipe is all you need! Comforting, fall-apart tender braised lamb with loads of veggies, chickpeas and warm Moroccan flavors. (You can also make this in your crock pot or pressure cooker). Serve it with my 15-minute couscous!
Be sure to grab my tips and watch the video below for how to make this lamb stew.
I happen to be of the school of thought where any one-pot recipe is a good recipe!
As a bonus, this lamb stew recipe is nearly impossible to mess up, so even if you're not a super experienced cook, you can still make something delicious!
Lamb stew has that rich heartiness with deep and well-developed flavors that taste as if it has been cooked in an oven all day. My version takes only a few minutes of hands-on time and about two hours in the oven, making it a shortcut version without sacrificing any of the flavors. No special tagine pot needed!
And for those who swear by pressure cookers and crock pots, you can totally use either to make this lamb stew (see my notes below!)
What Goes in this Flavor-Packed Moroccan Lamb Stew?
This lamb stew recipe with vegetables begins with familiar hearty ingredients: like onions, garlic, carrots, gold potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas...
But to give it that wonderful Moroccan twist, I use a combination of sweet and savory flavors--from dried fruit to a host of warm spices!
I know you see those dried apricots! Using dried apricots--or other dried fruits like figs or raisins--may sound like an unusual choice, but trust me, it gives a mild, very subtle sweetness to help round out the flavors in the dish without being at all overpowering. And, if using whole apricots still sounds a bit too adventurous, chop them up into small bits using a sharp knife. Mincing the apricot will help it better dissolve in the sauce and give the flavor it needs without being too obvious.
Now let's talk about the warm Moroccan spices...
The Winning Spice Mixture to Flavor your Moroccan Lamb Stew
Ras el Hanout is a decidedly North African/Moroccan spice blend that includes notes of turmeric, cloves, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and more! I love it because of its deep aroma and the layers of warm, deep flavor it adds to dishes, especially in something like lamb stew. You can find Ras el Hanout here at our online shop.
A little bit of Ras el Hanout goes a long way in this recipe!
Two Important tips for making this stew
1.What cut of Lamb to Use for Lamb Stew?
To make the perfect lamb stew, I use boneless leg meat compared to other cuts of lamb. This is a cut that's pretty available in most grocery stores and easy to cut up into pieces.
Although lamb leg is a leaner cut of lamb, stewing (or slow-cooking in a crock pot) breaks it down. And the little bit of marbling dissolves right in during the cooking process, making the lamb buttery and melt in your mouth tender. You can substitute leg meat in this lamb stew recipe for lamb shoulder, or even substitute the lamb completely with beef if lamb meat is not available to you.
2. Braising is the way to go!
If you're wondering what is the best way to cook lamb stew? Braising is where you begin.
Braising starts with searing the meat before stewing it in a little bit of liquid. Essentially, you brown the meat in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil until you get a nice crust and seal in all the juices before cooking in your Dutch oven (or even crock pot) with the rest of the ingredients and broth. Cook until the meat is nice and tender.
Let me just repeat this one tip: don’t skip browning the meat, it is so easy to do and makes a world of difference in developing depth and flavor right off the bat.
Step-by-Step for this Lamb Stew Recipe
- To make Moroccan lamb stew at home, in a large heavy pot or Dutch Oven (affiliate), saute the chopped vegetables with a little oil. I use Private Reserve Geek extra virgin olive oil.
- Once the vegetables soften, remove them from the pan and add in the lamb with a little bit more oil if needed. This stage is the braising stage where you want each piece of lamb to have that crispy crust from a deep browning that will seal in the juices, keeping the lamb tender and moist. The braising process will likely cause some of the bits to stick at the bottom of the pot—and that’s a good thing. Any browning adds flavor and richness to the sauce.
- Once the meat is brown on all sides, add the vegetables back to the pot with the apricots, spices, tomatoes, and broth. Bring everything up to a boil, then cover and transfer to the cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours (check part-way through to add water if needed.) Remove briefly from oven, add in the chickpeas and cook another 30 to 45 minutes.
Note: Oven braising helps evenly distribute the heat that keeps the meat tender and retains its juiciness.
Lamb Stew in the Crock Pot or Pressure Cooker
This recipe is super friendly for crock pots and pressure cookers as well. Here is how you can make it in either:
To make in a crock pot
Follow the directions below by sauteing the vegetables and browning the lamb. Once the lamb is seared, transfer it into a crock pot along with the sauteed vegetables, apricots, spices, tomatoes, and broth. Cook on low heat for 6 hours. Stir in chickpeas, then let cook another 1 to 2 hours (up to 8 hours in total.) Or cook on high for up to 5 hours.
To make in a pressure cooker
Instead of using a Dutch oven or other oven-safe cooking pot, follow the steps below to saute and braise using your pressure cooker.
Then, add in all the ingredients except for the chickpeas to the pot and lock the lid in place. Cook for 30 minutes on high pressure.
When the timer is up, allow the pressure to safely release for about 10 minutes before using quick-release according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to release again according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions
As with many stews, Moroccan lamb stew can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer without sacrificing any of the flavor.
To Make-Ahead and Refrigerate: If you’re planning a dinner party and want to work a bit in advance, you can make this lamb stew a day or two ahead of time and keep in the fridge. It helps to bring it closer to room temperature before reheating in the oven (be sure to add more liquid as well for reheating.) a day or two and then reheated in the oven, making a great option for dinner parties or preparing for a busy night.
To Freeze Cooked Lamb Stew: This stew can also be frozen for those who meal prep.Cool the stew to room temperature and store in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to one month. Thaw in your fridge overnight and reheat in oven.
What to Serve with this Moroccan Lamb Stew
This lamb stew is pretty hearty on its own, and does not require much else to complete the meal. I occasionally serve it with challah bread, or any crusty bread. It's also great, ladled on top of some beautiful Lebanese rice or plain couscous. For starters, I often serve a bright salad like fattoush and these Moroccan carrots.
Watch the Video for How to Make This Moroccan Lamb Stew:
Check out more Moroccan recipes.
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If you’re looking to make the best lamb stew, this recipe is all you need! Comforting, fall-apart tender braised lamb with loads of veggies, chickpeas and warm Moroccan flavors. You can make this in your crock pot or pressure cooker; instructions included for both!
Be sure to check out my tips above and watch the video for how to make this lamb stew.
- Private Reserve Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, cubed
- 6 Yukon gold potatoes (or any small potatoes), peeled, cubed
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2.5 lb boneless leg of American lamb, fat trimmed, cut into cubes (Or American lamb shoulder, bones removed, fat-trimmed)
- 3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ½ cup dried apricots
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 ½ tsp ras el hanout Moroccan spice blend (find it here)
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 6 plum tomatoes from a can, cut in halves
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas
- In a large Dutch oven (affiliate) or heavy oven-safe pot, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking.
- In the heated oil, saute the onions, carrots, and potatoes for 4 minutes or so. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pot and set aside briefly.
- In the same pot, add more oil if needed, and deeply brown the lamb on all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn heat to medium-high and return the sauteed vegetables to the pot. Add the dried apricots, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and spices and stir to coat.
- Add the plum tomatoes and broth and bring everything to a boil for 5 minutes or so.
- Cover the pot and place in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 1 ½ hours (check partway through to add water or broth if needed). Now stir in the chickpeas, cover and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve hot with your choice of Lebanese rice, couscous, pita bread or your favorite rustic bread.
- A simple Mediterranean salad like Fattoush makes a great starter for this hearty meal. Enjoy!
- Crockpot Instructions: If you prefer, after step #5 is completed, transfer the lamb stew to a large slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, then stir in chickpeas and cook another 1 to 2 hours (total of up to 8 hours.) Or cook on high for 4 to 5 hours in total.
- Pressure-Cooker Instructions:Instead of using a Dutch oven or other oven-safe cooking pot, follow the steps below to sauté and braise using your pressure cooker.Then, add in all the ingredients except for the chickpeas to the pot and lock the lid in place. Cook for 30 minutes on high pressure.When the timer is up, allow the pressure to safely release for about 10 minutes before using quick-release according to the manufacturer’s directions. Add in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to release again according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Recommended for this Recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil; all-natural Ras El Hanout spice blend; and ground allspice.
- Visit Our Online Shop to browse our olive oils and all-natural and organic spices.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 2 hours 15 mins
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stewed
- Cuisine: Moroccan
Keywords: lamb stew, Moroccan Lamb Stew
*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2017 and has been revised with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!