I don't know much about Tunisian food, so I have little to compare this dish to — but I do know this is a fascinating and delicious meal. The way the layers and flavors are put together, it's kind of like having cheesy French toast over tomato-y bean soup. Sounds strange, but it tastes delicious. This also comes together in about 30 minutes from start to finish, so it's a great option for a busy weeknight. I wouldn't exactly call this healthy because of the topping — which features a layer of cheese, a layer of bread crumbs, cinnamon and a layer of beaten eggs — but you can lighten it up by using thin layers of cheese and breadcrumbs across the top.
This recipe is adapted from "The World of Street Food" by Troth Wells.

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 40 minutes 

Yield: 4 servings

Tunisian Tagine with a Cinnamon Bread Topping


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Saute the onions until they are translucent, then add the tomato puree, paprika and water. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
  2. Add the beans and simmer for a few minutes to heat them through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Grease a 9-inch casserole dish with a little bit of olive oil and pour the bean mixture into it. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, parsley, bread crumbs and cinnamon. Stir to mix, then layer it over the beans in the casserole dish. Pour the beaten eggs on top of the cheese layer.
  4. Place the dish in the center rack of the oven, uncovered, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The top should be a bit crispy and the eggs should be completely set.
  5. Cut the dish into wedges, and plate. Serve hot, and enjoy!

tunisian tagine

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Tunisian Tagine with a Cinnamon Bread Topping
The filling is delicious, but it's the topping that really makes the dish.