Moroccan-Inspired Meatballs

at a glance
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings
5 — Votes 4 votes

Every item on this page was chosen by The Fed & Fit team. The site may earn a commission on some products (read more here).

A more stunning meatball dinner has never been so easy! These meatballs are made with vibrant Moroccan-inspired flavors, cook right in the sauce, and if you plate them with the yogurt, mint, crushed almonds, and lemon, you are going to feel like an all-star gourmet chef.

Top down view of a brown plate with a serving of Moroccan-inspired meatballs sitting on a spread of white, Greek yogurt garnished with Aleppo flakes, sauce, parsley, and lemon.

Moroccan Meatballs

These meatballs, inspired by the bold and vibrant flavors in Moroccan cuisine, are an absolute showstopper. Warming spices are lightly toasted, a simple red sauce is stirred in, garlicky meatballs cook directly in the sauce, and then (if you choose to follow our lead), the sauce and meatballs are spooned over a generous smear of greek yogurt that’s drizzled with fresh olive oil and dusted with mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper flakes, and crushed almonds.

That may be the longest sentence I’ve ever written and I’m not sorry. These meatballs are worth it.

If you don’t want to serve them over the yogurt with a pita, these would also be great over rice or even with a baked potato.

Moroccan Meatballs Ingredients

The list may look long at first glance, but everything on it is really simple and easily accessible! Here’s everything you’ll need:

Moroccan-inspired meatball ingredients on a grey and white marble surface.

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 1 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper flakes (or ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes)

For the Meatballs

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of fresh chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon of Aleppo flakes to meatballs (or ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes)

For Garnish

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, leaves lightly torn to garnish
  • ¼ cup crushed almonds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Crushed black pepper

Ingredient Variations and Modifications

  • Make it dairy-free: to make these meatballs dairy-free, simply swap the plain Greek yogurt for a thick dairy-free yogurt (Culina’s plain option is our very favorite).
  • Swap (or nix) the aleppo pepper flakes: don’t worry if you can’t find aleppo pepper flakes! Sub them for red pepper flakes (½ teaspoon for the sauce and ¼ teaspoon for the meatballs). If you’re sensitive to spice, omit the aleppo pepper flakes altogether!

Spices for Moroccan Meatballs

These meatballs (and the sauce) are so wonderfully spiced! They’re loaded with all of the Moroccan spices – paprika, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon – giving them the most incredible depth of flavor.

How To Make Moroccan Meatballs on The Stove

There is a wooden cutting board with diced onion and minced garlic with a chef's knife.
A red sauce in a yellow dutch oven with a wooden spoon.
Hand placing meatballs into a red sauce in a yellow dutch oven.
Onion and garlic sautéed in a yellow dutch oven.
Hands mixing together ground beef with garlic and parsley in a white bowl.
Yellow dutch oven filled with meatballs.
Spice covered onions and garlic in a yellow dutch oven with a wooden spoon.
Hand holding a rolled meatball over a bowl of meatball mixture.
Cooked meatballs in a red sauce in a yellow dutch oven.
  1. Saute the onion and garlic – heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion and minced garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add the spices – add the spices to the onion and garlic and toss to coat. Toast the onions in the pot for 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, and broth – add the crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, and broth to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Make the meatballs – while the sauce is coming to a boil, make the meatballs by combining the ground beef, salt, parsley, Aleppo flakes, and garlic into a bowl. Use a #40 scoop to form your meatballs (or roll 1” meatballs).
  5. Simmer the meatballs – gently drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce. Partially cover the pot and keep at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes.
  6. Garnish, serve, and enjoy – serve over a spread of Greek yogurt with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh mint, crushed almonds, freshly chopped parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!

A Few Tips for These Meatballs

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but if you’re looking for tips and tricks, we’ve got you! 

  • Toast the spices – don’t skip this step, y’all! Not only will toasting your spices make your house smell delightful, but it’ll also really enhance their flavor.
  • Make the meatballs while the sauce is heating – to be extra efficient, make the meatballs while the sauce is coming to a boil.
  • Don’t skip the garnishes – although the meatballs (and sauce) are unbelievably delicious, the garnishes really MAKE this dish! Don’t skip them!
Side view of a brown plate with a serving of Moroccan-inspired meatballs sitting on a spread of white, Greek yogurt garnished with Aleppo flakes, sauce, parsley, and lemon.

How to Serve Moroccan Meatballs

This dish may seem super fancy and the “styling” (how we plated it for the photos) may feel unattainable, but I promise that it’s actually REALLY simple.

To serve your Moroccan meatballs: add a dollop or two of Greek yogurt to your plate, and using the back of a spoon, smear it so that it spreads out a bit on the plate. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over the yogurt, then place your meatballs (with as much sauce as you want) on top of the yogurt, and finish with mint leaves, fresh parsley, crushed almonds, lemon zest, flaky sea salt, coarse ground black pepper, and allepo pepper flakes (if you want some extra spice). Add some toasted pita bread, serve over rice, or for a lower carb option, eat as is!

How to Store and Reheat

Store any leftover meatballs in the refrigerator in an airtight container with the sauce. Store leftover yogurt and other garnishes separately. 

To reheat your meatballs, simply microwave them for a minute or so or heat them in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. Then add the yogurt to your plate, followed by the meatballs, and top with leftover garnishes!

Top down view of a brown plate with a serving of Moroccan-inspired meatballs sitting on a spread of white, Greek yogurt garnished with Aleppo flakes, sauce, parsley, and lemon.
Q Should you use fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes for the sauce?
A

To keep things extra easy, this recipe calls for 28 ounces of canned crushed tomatoes!

Q Do you have to cook the meatballs before adding them to the sauce?
A

No, you don’t have to cook the meatballs before adding them to the sauce. While the sauce is coming to a boil, you’ll form the meatballs, then plop them into the sauce and let the two simmer together for 45 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked through.

Just for You

Beef Recipes

Want more recipe ideas like this?

Shop Supplies

Olive Oil Shop Now
Sea Salt Shop Now
Smoked Paprika Shop Now
Turmeric Shop Now
Ground Ginger Shop Now
Simply Organic Ground Cinnamon Shop Now
Aleppo Pepper Flakes Shop Now
6-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven Shop Now

Moroccan-Inspired Meatball Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 — Votes 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients  

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup broth chicken or beef
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes

For the Meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes

For Garnish

  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves lightly torn
  • ¼ cup crushed almonds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • Lemon zest from one lemon
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion and minced garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the spices to the onion and garlic and toss to coat. Toast the onions in the pot for 1 minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, and broth to the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • While the sauce is coming to a boil, make the meatballs by combining the ground beef, salt, parsley, Aleppo flakes, and garlic into a bowl. Use a #40 scoop to form your meatballs (or roll 1” meatballs).
  • Gently drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce. Partially cover the pot and keep at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Serve over a spread of Greek yogurt with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh mint, crushed almonds, freshly chopped parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Moroccan-Inspired Meatball Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
749
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
49.1
g
76
%
Saturated Fat
 
15.4
g
96
%
Cholesterol
 
160
mg
53
%
Sodium
 
2908.9
mg
126
%
Carbohydrates
 
27.9
g
9
%
Fiber
 
8.3
g
35
%
Sugar
 
12.4
g
14
%
Protein
 
53
g
106
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Variations and Modifications
  • Make it dairy-free: to make these meatballs dairy-free, simply swap the plain Greek yogurt for a thick dairy-free yogurt (Culina’s plain option is our very favorite).
  • Swap (or nix) the aleppo pepper flakes: don’t worry if you can’t find aleppo pepper flakes! Sub them for red pepper flakes (½ teaspoon for the sauce and ¼ teaspoon for the meatballs). If you’re sensitive to spice, omit the aleppo pepper flakes altogether!
Tips and Tricks
  • Toast the spices – don’t skip this step, y’all! Not only will toasting your spices make your house smell delightful, but it’ll also really enhance their flavor.
  • Make the meatballs while the sauce is heating – to be extra efficient, make the meatballs while the sauce is coming to a boil.
  • Don’t skip the garnishes – although the meatballs (and sauce) are unbelievably delicious, the garnishes really MAKE this dish! Don’t skip them!
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

Show us!

Did You Make This Recipe?

Share a photo and tag us! We can’t wait to see what you make!

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




  1. Sophie says

    Sophie —  01/14/2023 At 19:24

    5 stars
    This recipe was so good! Served with rice and roasted curry cauliflower ❤️

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  01/19/2023 At 11:03

      YUM! This is one of my very favorite recipes! Thanks so much for sharing, Sophie.

  2. Annette says

    Annette —  01/25/2023 At 20:43

    5 stars
    YUM! I made these tonight and served them with hummus, feta and GF pita bread (from Costco!). I also roasted some cauliflower and had that as the perfect side dish. It was so good! The sauce is super flavorful and this recipe is so easy to make. We have a good amount left over too, which I love. ALSO my toddler approved of this meal which means we will for sure be making it again!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  01/27/2023 At 10:27

      Wahoo!! That’s amazing, Annette. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us!