Visiting Tunisia? 14 Mouthwatering Traditional Tunisian Foods To Try

Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah is a content marketing specialist, with a passion for the food niche, she writes engaging content that celebrates the joy of food and its power to bring people together. Having worked on different projects. Her curiosity and creativity shines through in her writing.
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Tunisia, a country located in Northern Africa, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and, most importantly, its delectable cuisine. Tunisian food is a fascinating blend of Mediterranean and native Berber influences, offering a unique culinary experience characterized by bold flavors and aromatic spices. When visiting Tunisia, trying the local cuisine is a must. Here’s a guide to fourteen traditional Tunisian foods you should try, they include appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.

14 Delectable Traditional Tunisian Foods


1. Mechouia Salad

Mechouia salad is a mouthwatering Tunisian dish that proves the country’s love for grilled vegetables and bold flavors. This salad is made with grilled onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, which are coarsely chopped and mixed together.

Drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with caraway, salt, and black pepper, Mechouia salad offers a smoky, spicy taste that is refreshing and satisfying. Often garnished with hard-boiled eggs, olives, or tuna, it can be enjoyed on its own or served atop toasted bread or baguette slices. This versatile salad is a staple in traditional Tunisian restaurants and is often part of a mixed appetizer platter.

Mechouia Salad
Image Credit: Facebook

2. Tunisian Brik

Brik is a beloved Tunisian appetizer made from thin, flaky pastry dough called malsouka, which is often substituted with phyllo pastry. The most popular filling for Brik includes tuna, capers, parsley, and a raw egg, which is folded into a triangular shape and deep-fried until crispy.

The egg cooks partially inside the pastry, creating a delightful contrast between the runny yolk and the crunchy exterior. This dish is often enjoyed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a side of harissa for added heat. Brik’s combination of textures and flavors makes it a must-try starter. See Recipe.

Brik - African street food
Image from SoDelicious.Recipes

3. Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Soup)

Lablabi is a traditional Tunisian chickpea soup that is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for colder weather. This dish is made with chickpeas cooked in a spicy broth seasoned with garlic, cumin, and harissa. The soup is typically served over chunks of stale crusty bread, which soak up the flavorful broth.

A drizzle of olive oil, a splash of vinegar or lemon juice, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley complete the dish. Lablabi is often garnished with additional ingredients such as capers, olives, or tuna, adding complexity and depth to its flavors. See Recipe.


Main Dishes

4. Tunisian Couscous

Couscous is the national dish of Tunisia and a staple in many North African cuisines. In Tunisia, couscous is typically made with semolina flour, which is steamed over a stew of meat and vegetables. The couscous grains are light, fluffy, and infused with the aromatic steam from the stew below.

Tunisian couscous is often prepared with lamb, beef, fish, or other seafood and is flavored with harissa for a spicy kick. It is traditionally served on Fridays, when families gather for the most important meal of the week. The dish’s versatility and comforting flavors make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. See Recipe.

Tunisian Couscous

5. Tunisian Makrouna

Tunisian Makrouna, or pasta, is a comforting dish that highlights the Italian influence on Tunisian cuisine. This hearty pasta dish is typically made with a tomato-based sauce seasoned with garlic, onions, and different spices such as caraway, cumin, and paprika.

It can be prepared with various types of pasta, including spaghetti or penne, and often includes ingredients like ground meat or seafood. Makrouna is a popular family meal, known for its rich flavors and satisfying, homestyle appeal. See Recipe.


6. Tunisian Mloukhia

Mloukhia is a traditional Tunisian stew made with dried and ground jute leaves, which give the dish its distinctive green color and slightly gummy texture. This hearty stew is typically prepared with beef or lamb and flavored with garlic, coriander, and olive oil.

Mloukhia is cooked slowly to allow the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and savory dish that is often served with bread or over rice. While its texture may be unusual to some, Mloukhia’s deep, earthy flavors are truly unique and worth experiencing. See Recipe.

Tunisian Mloukhia

7. Tunisian Loubia (White Bean Stew)

Loubia is a comforting white bean stew that is a staple in Tunisian households. This dish is made with white beans simmered in a tomato-based sauce flavored with garlic, onions, and spices such as cumin and coriander.

Often cooked with lamb or beef, Loubia is hearty and satisfying, perfect for a cozy meal. The stew is typically served with bread, allowing you to soak up the rich, flavorful sauce. Loubia’s simplicity and wholesome ingredients make it a beloved dish among Tunisians. See Recipe.


8. Tunisian Fricassé (Sandwich)

Tunisian Fricassé is a popular street food that consists of a fried sandwich filled with a delicious mixture of ingredients. The sandwich is made with a small, soft bread roll that is deep-fried until golden brown. It is then stuffed with a filling of tuna, boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives, capers, and harissa.

The combination of the crispy bread and the flavorful filling creates a satisfying and portable meal that is perfect for a quick snack or a light lunch. Fricassé is a favorite among Tunisians for its convenience and delicious taste. See Recipe.

Fricassé (Sandwich)

9. Tajin Sibnekh (Tunisian Chicken and Eggs)

Tajin Sibnekh is a traditional Tunisian dish that features chicken and eggs cooked together in a flavorful sauce. This dish is made with chicken pieces that are browned and then simmered in a sauce made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a blend of spices including cumin, coriander, and paprika.

Eggs are cracked into the sauce towards the end of cooking, allowing them to poach in the rich, flavorful liquid. Tajin Sibnekh is typically served with bread or couscous, making it a hearty and satisfying meal that showcases the bold flavors of Tunisian cuisine. See Recipe.

Tajin Sibnekh


10. Tunisian Masfouf

Masfouf is a traditional Tunisian dessert that is essentially a sweet version of couscous. This dish is typically made with extra fine couscous that is steamed and then mixed with cold butter or milk and sugar. Aromatics such as orange blossom water or rosewater are often added to enhance the flavor.

Masfouf is usually decorated with a variety of nuts, dates, and other dried fruits, creating a delightful combination of textures and flavors. This sweet and fragrant dessert is often enjoyed during the holy month of Ramadan, particularly for suhur, the pre-dawn meal. See Recipe.


11. Tunisian Sabayon

Tunisian Sabayon is a delightful dessert that showcases the country’s appreciation for simple yet elegant flavors. This creamy dessert is made with egg yolks, sugar, and sweet wine or Marsala, which are whisked together over a gentle heat until the mixture becomes light and frothy.

Tunisian Sabayon is often flavored with a touch of citrus zest or vanilla, adding a refreshing note to the rich, velvety custard. It is typically served in small glasses or bowls, sometimes garnished with fresh berries or a sprinkle of nuts. See Recipe.


12. Assidat Zgougou

Assidat Zgougou is a unique and traditional Tunisian dessert made from the seeds of the Aleppo pine, also known as zgougou. The seeds are ground and combined with sugar, flour, and starch, then cooked over low heat until the mixture thickens.

This forms a dark, earthy cream that is layered with a custard made from milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks. The dessert is often garnished with nuts such as toasted almonds or pistachios. Assidat Zgougou is particularly popular during the celebration of Mawlid, the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and its unique flavor and texture make it a must-try Tunisian delicacy.

Assidat Zgougou

13. Tunisian Maaqouda

Maaqouda is a popular Tunisian appetizer or side dish made from potato fritters. These fritters are typically made with boiled potatoes that are mashed and mixed with parsley, garlic, flour, salt, and pepper. The mixture is shaped into small disks and then deep-fried until golden brown.

Maaqouda can be enjoyed plain or stuffed with ingredients such as meat, tuna, or cheese. They are often served with harissa, coriander, and lemon juice, adding a burst of flavor to the crispy fritters. Maaqouda is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal.  See Recipe.

14. Bambalouni

Bambalouni are traditional Tunisian doughnuts that are particularly popular in the village of Sidi Bou Said. These doughnuts are made with a simple dough of flour, hot water, yeast, and salt, which is fried in hot oil until golden brown.

Once cooked, the doughnuts are sprinkled with sugar, creating a sweet and satisfying treat. Bambalouni are often enjoyed with coffee, either for breakfast or as a snack at the end of the day. Their crispy exterior and soft, airy interior make them a beloved Tunisian dessert.



Tunisian cuisine is vibrant tastes of flavors, aromas, and textures that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage and diverse influences. Including hearty stews and savory pastries to sweet couscous and traditional doughnuts, the dishes mentioned in this guide offer a delicious introduction to the culinary delights of Tunisia. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Tunis or enjoying a meal in a traditional restaurant, these dishes are sure to provide an unforgettable taste of Tunisia’s culinary treasures. So, when you find yourself in Tunisia, be sure to try out these traditional foods.

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Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah Olayiwola
Deborah is a content marketing specialist, with a passion for the food niche, she writes engaging content that celebrates the joy of food and its power to bring people together. Having worked on different projects. Her curiosity and creativity shines through in her writing.

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