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Horizontal image of a white square plate and a pan of meatballs in tomato sauce, with the ones on the plate over couscous and herbs.

Moroccan Meatballs

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 (makes approximately 24 meatballs) 1x


Give your meatballs a flavor vacation. In this Moroccan-inspired recipe, ground lamb meets warm, earthy spices and lemony cilantro.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced, divided
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Moroccan Spice Blend (Ras el Hanout), divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray


  1. In a large, wide stew pot over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. 
  2. Add half of the onions and half of the garlic, and season with 1 3/4 tablespoons of the Moroccan spice blend and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Saute until very fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute, and then pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices. Allow the sauce to come to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and cover with a lid.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. In a large bowl, add the lamb, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, remaining Moroccan spice blend, remaining onions and garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Gently fold the mixture together, making sure not to overwork the meat. 
  6. Using about 2 tablespoons as your size guideline, form the mixture into equal-size meatballs. You’ll end up with approximately 20-24 meatballs that are about 1 inch in diameter.
  7. Place the meatballs onto a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  8. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cover the pot. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  9. Divide the meatballs and sauce among plates. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve over rice or couscous, with crusty bread on the side.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Meatballs
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Keywords: Moroccan, meatball, lamb, ras el hanout