Mmmmm. Moroccan Meatballs

Morocco has long been on my list of must-visit countries. Twisty alleys, markets crowded with vendors, scampering trained monkeys… I need to see it all.  The country sits in the northwestern corner of Africa, and the influence of Arab and Moorish invaders can be tasted in traditional Moroccan cuisine. Lucky us! Spices like aromatic cinnamon, cumin, and paprika are prevalent, along with herbs like mint and parsley. These meatballs are seasoned with essential Moroccan spices, then simmered in tomatoes that cloak them in a sauce that tastes like mystery and adventure.

Moroccan Meatballs WITH TINY SWORDS IN THEM!Moroccan Meatballs

Prep 15 min. | Cook 1 hour | Serves 6-8 (about 36 meatballs) | Whole30 compliant

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds ground lamb

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 2/3 cup tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • garnish: 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped


In a large mixing bowl, combine the parsley, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper with a fork. With your hands, crumble the lamb into the bowl and knead until all of the ingredients are incorporated.


Moisten your hands with water and shake to remove excess. Measure a level tablespoon of lamb and roll into a ball between your palms. Line up the meatballs on a baking sheet until it’s time to put them in the sauce.


Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or pot. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the water, chopped tomatoes, and parsley to the pan and stir to combine.


Bring the sauce to a boil, then gently place the meatballs in the skillet, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 40 minutes covered, then remove the lid and cook an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Sprinkle each serving with a few teaspoons of chopped pistachios. Bonus points if you serve them on top of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice.

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  • Kat says:

    Melissa, these were great! I love the spice combo with the cilantro- and the sauce came out perfectly. Next time I'm making double batch so I can freeze them for later. 🙂 Thanks!

    • jamie says:

      where do you see cilantro in the recipe? are you subbing that for the parsley? they are such diff tastes and I love them both so I’m confused on which one to use!

      • Mel says:

        I always use parsely, but you can sub cilantro instead. Both taste great. My husband hates cilantro, hence the parsley — but cilantro is often used in Moroccan food.

  • Michelle Sharma says:

    Love the idea of swapping out the rice! I'm going to remember that for some of my other favorite recipes as well! We cook a lot of Indian food and am looking forward to finding a way to enjoy it without all the carbs from the rice.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Michelle! Have you tried cauliflower "rice"? It's a great substitute for the grain. I have a recipe here: You can easily make it plain without the dried fruit and spices if you want it as a base for curries, etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    These are great. I've adapted it to a paleo/dino-chow meatloaf too.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Oooo, that's an awesome idea, too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Cari/Burdnurd says:

    YUM!! I made these tonight. I ate mine over the Cauliflower FousCous Pilaf… wow!! I made a double batch simply because I didn't feel like figuring out what to do with the other 1/2 pounds of my proteins! I think next time (which there definately WILL be) I'll add a little jalepeno or some Rotel for a little extra kick!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Cari! I'm glad you liked them. I hadn't made them for a while then I cooked up a batch for New Year's Eve, and was, like, "Yowza! I forgot how freakin' good these are!"

    Love the idea of a little jalapeno in there!

  • Lena says:

    My husband is Moroccan and I make this for him ALL the time with one addition, eggs. Once the dish is ready, I crack a few eggs on top and let the sauce cook them until the yolk is cooked. For those who love eggs, this is a nice addition to the dish.

  • Amanda says:

    I made this last night with a few variations (I didn’t have cilantro and I used one can of tomato puree instead of tomatoes and tomato paste.) I served it over sauteed cabbage that I cooked with onion and garlic in olive oil. It. Was. Ah-maze-ing.
    It will be a weekly staple in this house! YUM!
    I can honestly say that while many Paleo/dino chow/whole 30 meals are very tasty, I often miss things like potatoes, rice, and bread. It’s been a slow transition. This was the first meal where I did not miss anything. The sauteed cabbage with onion and garlic was so delicious, it trumped rice AND pasta! Nom nom nom…

    • Mel says:

      I’m glad you liked them! It’s one of my favorites, too… and it’s pretty easy to swap ingredients in and out without ruining the flavor. I don’t always use cilantro, either.

      The cabbage bed is one of my favorite Whole30/paleo tricks. I hear you on missing potatoes, rice, and bread — but it gets so much easier. I’ve been eating this way for two years and it gets less difficult every day.

  • Angela says:

    Made these for dinner tonight along with the suggested garlicky green beans and some roasted squash, and it was magnificent! I’m making your vampire-fighting pork stew tomorrow and really looking forward to it 😀


    • Mel says:

      Thank YOU for letting me know you like them. That vampire-fighting stew is a winner, too. Enjoy! And, ya know, sleep soundly knowing your safe from blood suckers 😉

  • Mary says:

    How long would you bake them for and at what tempature..

    Thank you

    Mary ( a newbie to paleo 🙂

  • Mel says:

    To bake the meatballs separately from the sauce, place them on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Happy New Year!

  • Carrie says:

    These look fabulous! I’ve been looking for a no-sugar cocktail-type meatball recipe for a while…this totally fits the bill. I’m loving all of the ingredients in that sauce!

  • Oh man, these look great! I have been on the search for more protein snacks. I could make a big bunch of these on Sunday and snack all week! 🙂

  • Terran says:

    I made these last night and there was absolutely no conversation at the dinner table because everyone was too busy chewing! I served it with the fouscous (made with dried apricots and pistachios) and it was a hit. I’m pretty sure my 7-year-old is going to turn into a meatball! Thank you so much for making my family’s transition to Paleo easier!!!!!

  • Jen Mac says:

    This was pretty good but I thought it needed some jazzing up. I’m not on a paleo diet so I don’t know if my additions work or not.It’s probably not even morroccan anymore 😉 To the sauce I added 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of green olives with 1/4 tsp of ground allspice and a dash of cayenne. I topped it with a pistachio, cilantro, mint pesto with lemon zest. Wicked tasty!

  • Jen Mac says:

    This was pretty good but I thought it needed some jazzing up. I’m not on a paleo diet so I don’t know if my additions work or not.It’s probably not even morroccan anymore 😉 To the sauce I added 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of green olives with 1/4 tsp of ground allspice and a dash of cayenne. I topped it with a pistachio, cilantro, mint pesto with lemon zest.And served with crusty whole wheat sourdough bread. Wicked tasty!

  • Justine says:

    Hi Melissa

    I am making these again tonight for the second time in as many weeks. Absolutely beautiful! I serve them with steamed zucchini spaghetti. This recipe and also your ‘Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat’ recipe are by far my favourite meals since (happily) going Paleo 6 weeks ago. I am so enjoying feeding my body properly and your recipes are such a joy to create and enjoy.

    I bought your book a couple of weeks ago and am finding it is my regular ‘go to’ book now as your recipes are so easy and are so damn tasty! Thanks for writing a fabulous book!

    • Mel says:

      Right on! Congratulations on making the switch to paleo — so great!

      Thanks for buying Well Fed. Glad to know it’s making your meals tastier!

  • DrM2011 says:

    These sound wonderful…can I make them with ground beef, turkey, or pork? Even if I could find lamb in my neck of the woods, I don’t think I could bear to eat it. Thanks!

  • Jannine says:

    I just made them with beef as well. They are delicious! I subbed Rogan Josh instead of the cumin and paprika… it is very tasty.
    Thanks for another great recipe, Melissa.

  • Maggie Cain says:

    These were quite good, a great base from which to experiment, like so many of your recipes. It was a hit with the whole family, and I didn’t even have time to make cauliflower rice to put it on. I just heated up a leftover side of roasted turnips and we were set for dinner.

  • Alexis says:

    I’m going to try this tonight! Also, where are those little sword picks from?… they are amazing for entertaining!

  • Toni says:

    This is the most amazing thing I have ever eaten!

  • Theresa says:

    All I can say is – WOW! Just got your book about 2 weeks ago, and can’t wait to make EVERYTHING…. The Best Chicken receipe was great; this one was a solid winner. Love anything with lamb in it, and the flavors in this were absolutely amazing. The husband and I switched to Paleo over the summer; I’m currently doing about 80 Paleo/20 nonPaleo (but organic, with no preservatives, chemicals, additives if I can help it…) We feel so much better and have lost weight without trying! (He has lost 40+ pounds; I have lost 25…)
    An added bouns: my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is under control for the first time in YEARS. The doctor just looked at me at the check-up; shook his head; and said “what do you call this again?! I’m going to look into it for all my thyroid patients!” Our daughter (who will be 5 years old in January) also has the disease, so really glad we’re putting her on the path to healthy eating far before I ever was.
    I also really like the conversational tone of your book; your personality really comes through. I think it’s so fun that we must be about the same age (I will be 44 on January 1). Two of my favorite bands are Social D AND Duran Duran, as well. You couldn’t move in my teenaged bedroom without seeing a picture of Simon LeBon (ha!)
    In any event, keep up the good work and I look forward to following you in the future!

    • Mel says:

      Hi, Theresa! So glad you dropped by to comment… thank you! I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying Wel Fed. Congratulations on your weight loss and improving your health. That’s SO great.

      I had my thyroid removed (due to a nodule) in 2008, and eating paleo has definitely helped me manage my health since then.

      When I was a teenager, by bedroom door and two closet doors were COMPLETELY covered with photos and posters of John Taylor – like they were wallpapered with his face. I still listen to them on most of my morning runs around the lake — love the new stuff and the old.

      Keep me posted on how you’re doing!

  • Ilissa says:

    I want to make this dish and I have everything on hand except tomatoes. Can I use crushed tomatoes and just omit the water and tomato paste?

    • Mel says:

      That should work just fine. You’re basically trying to make a pretty thick sauce for the meatballs, so just let it simmer until most of the water has evaporated.

  • Jenny V Root says:

    Great dish. Like the ingredients and presentation. will try it soon, looks delicious.

  • sarah says:

    These are great! Any thoughts on making them in a slow cooker…high vs low and time? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Your biggest problem with the slow cooker is that the sauce won’t caramelize and thicken, but if you don’t care about that, it will work fine.

      You’ll still need to make the sauce on the stovetop, then transfer the sauce and the uncooked meatballs to the slow cooker. I recommend you cut the water down to 1/2 cup instead of 1 1/2 cups. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

      let me know how it turns out!

  • sarah says:

    Thank you! It’s too late for tonight, but I will report back next time! sarah

  • Mel says:

    I just made this tonight and put it over garlicky cooked spinach:

    OH. M. GEEEE!!!!

    Today is my 28th day of Whole30 and If I had known about your book earlier (and this recipe) I think my first week would have been MUCH easier! So glad to have found this site/your book/this recipe/you!

  • Kristi Cooke says:

    You know, your unique, delicious-yet-healthy recipes ROCK, Melissa. My biggest dilemma is which meatball recipe to try tonight. Think I will pick up some lamb and cauliflower for my next meal. Thanks for sharing!

  • Neens says:

    Can you make these with ground chicken instead? My family is not big on lamb and we don’t eat beef. Would it be the same amount of cook time? Any help would be appreciated!

  • K says:

    How is 1/2 cup parsley equal to 2 tbsp.? 1/2 cup should be 6 tbsp.

    • Mel says:

      The 2 tablespoons refers to the amount you should end up with AFTER it’s minced. 1/2 cup to start, then mince until it equals about 2 tablespoons.

  • Kathryn says:

    I have a confession: I don’t follow a Paleo diet. I do love cooking, though, and am always looking for tasty recipes, regardless of source.

    I was pointed in your direction by a friend, and this was the first recipe of yours I tried. While I’m not sure I followed the recipe exactly (used canned tomatoes (I don’t like fresh ones, so I don’t have them around), halved it, and ran out of paprika), it was AMAZING, and I used the leftover sauce to poach eggs.

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  • Sarah says:

    These were great- thanks for the simple recipe. I braised my balls 😉 before placing them in the tomato mixture. Served on quinoa. (I know, I know.)

  • Rory says:

    My husband wants to use ground pork. I see you’ve given the green light to beef, chicken and turkey, what about pork?

    • Mel says:

      Sure. They’ll be kind of mild since pork doesn’t taste as “meaty” as lamb, but they should still be really good.

  • Erin says:

    I made these last night, made a few little tweaks, like sauteing 2 strips of bacon in the pan before adding onions, & tomatoes. I had ground elk on hand so that’s what I made my meatballs out of. Definitely needed the extra fat. I also left out the cloves, added a little cinnamon and some dried currants. These were amazing!! Thank you for the idea.

  • Melindy says:

    I made this recipe tonight and loved it! Hubby liked it as well. Made it with a mix of beef and lamb. I’ve not really had Moroccan food, but the spices reminded me of chili (which I love), so it was all good. I’m so happy to have a meatball recipe with out a binder. Will make these again for sure!

    • Mel says:

      My new cookbook Well Fed 2 has 15 (!) meatball recipes with no binders… you might want to check it out if you like meatballs as much as I do.

      Happy cooking!

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  • jennifer says:

    these sound delicious. I will make them with chicken or turkey. My kids love meatballs, are these kid friendly, meaning not too spicy?

  • jennifer says:

    just typing another post so I can check that I want to receive follow up comments. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Hala says:

    Making these right now for my W30 Week 2!! Thanks for all the amazing recipes, Melissa! 🙂

  • Lulu says:

    Made these last night for guests—no leftovers. Simmering another batch for dinner tonight! Love the Fouscous too!

  • Joan says:

    This awesome recipe was referenced on Day5 of Whole30, where I am now. I had been looking for finger-food like meatballs-without-binders- and you have given this to me on a platter! I’d tried cauli mash with heaps of butter and parsley years ago. I enjoyed it but my 40+ non-paleo, potato-addicted, picky son would have complained. However, this has possibilities! He loves Moroccan after a visit, and this should disguise its ‘cauli-ness’… and nourish both of us! Sneaky! 😉 Loving the Whole30 adventure

  • Leeeah says:

    Had to comment – made these this evening (with the bonus points fauxcous) and it was great – and I’m not even a big fan of lamb. What kicked butt? Serving it with a cup of mint tea. The perfect pairing.

  • Susan S says:

    Can I use olive oil instead of coconut oil? These sound amazing! And judging from the comments – they are. Can’t wait to try them this weekend!!

    • Mel says:

      Taste-wise, it’s just fine to use olive oil… but it’s healthier to use a saturated fat — coconut oil, ghee, lard — when cooking at higher temperatures. The fat in olive oil can oxidize at high heat, which can lead to inflammation. But the flavor will be just fine, so up to you!

  • Mary says:

    Oh my, so delicious! I made it with ground turkey. I was especially excited that I had all the ingredients in the house and got going great guns….. Then saw the 40 and 20 minute cooking times- groan! The pressure cooker saved the day! I cooked up the onions and friends, added the spices, water and paste, gave it a good stir, then plunked the meatballs in and topped with tomatoes- no stirring and under pressure for 5 or 6 minutes. I was shocked that the meatballs didn’t fall apart; indeed they were really packed tightly (if that makes any sense). When I bake meatballs in the oven they are always fall apartish. I served them with the Cauliflower fouscous – what a great pairing!

  • Debbie says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to try these! Alas my oven/stove has broken on my very first week of Whole30! I’ve been using only my BBQ, slow cooker and electric wok. Would these work in a slow cooker? Is tomato paste Whole30 compliant? TIA 🙂

    • Mel says:

      This recipe is Whole30 approved and yes, tomato paste is always Whole30 compliant.

      You can make these in a slow cooker, but the sauce won’t thicken and caramelize. It will still taste good, but it won’t look like my photo.

  • Annie says:

    Melissa–I think I’ve told you this before, but Well Fed has changed my life! Thank you for all of the great recipes and ideas! I love cooking ahead all week– makes it so much easier.

    Just made your butternut squash recipe and it was to die for!

    Anyway, I’m NOT a fan of tomato sauce. Is this one more like a light, chunky sauce? Any ideas how I can make something different to take to a potluck? I’m definitely making the lamb meatballs.

    Thanks for everything!

    • Mel says:

      I’m so happy our recipes are helpful… yay!

      If you cook these meatballs long enough, the sauce really cooks down until it’s a coating on the meatballs. It’s not really chunky at all. However, if you don’t like the taste of tomatoes, you probably won’t like this sauce. You can make these meatballs without the sauce — just roll the balls and bake in a 400F oven for 20 minutes. Serve them with the Moroccan Dipping Sauce in Well Fed.

  • Annie says:

    You rock, Melissa! Would Sunshine Sauce go with them??? 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I think those flavors would really clash — the Sunshine Sauce has an Asian profile that won’t mesh well with the more Middle Eastern seasonings in these.

  • Annie Smyth says:

    LOL. I think you’re right and I’m sorry to drive you crazy. I’m not a super confident cook at this point and I’m so nervous about this potluck! I think I’m gonna do the tomato sauce but use more chopped tomatoes and skip the paste. Then make cauliflower rice with the olives, scallions, cucumber. Sound ok? 🙂

  • Kristin O says:

    I just made this tonight! it was amazing! I am on day 15 of the Whole30 and wanted to have something a little different than bland! The spice factor was just perfect, not super sweet with the tomatoes and not too spicy with paprika. I live in India, so this is a special treat of reminding me of meatballs from home! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Victoria says:

    Melissa, flavor-wise, do you think they would still be okay if I used ground turkey as opposed to lamb?

  • Kathy says:

    Just received my WellFed cookbook. This was the first recipe I tried and I’m in love! Thanks for a delicious recipe. I will try the addition of the eggs next time!

  • ginger says:

    This turned out better than I thought. I put cabbage in with the tomato sauce, other than this modification, followed to the T. Thanks!

  • Susan says:

    Just made both meatballs in sauce and cauliflower. OMG…amazing! Perfect blend of spices.

  • Aymie says:

    Made these a couple of months ago, and the sauce was much “runnier” than I expected, so I cracked a few eggs on top and let them poach in the liquid. It must have made a good impression on my husband be cause tonight he asked me if I would make it again- with more eggs this time! (He rarely requests that I make a particular meal, so this is a compliment to you and I both! Thanks, Melissa!

  • Stefanie says:

    Made these tonight for the first time and they were soooo good! One question though – I made them with ground lamb from whole foods, but noticed a lot of oil on the top of the sauce towards the end of the cooking time. I ended up using a spoon to remove it – just didn’t seem super healthy. Do you have any problems with too much oil or fat from the lamb (which I’ve not used before, so unsure what to expect)? Also made cauliflower rice for the first time, worked great, loved the flavor, but thought it would end up creating more servings – I got 2 out of 1 head of cauliflower. Is that about normal and I should just double up the batch?

    • 1. Re: the lamb. The fat content of lamb varies depending on where and how it’s raised. The easiest way to remove fat is to chill the cooked meatballs (or whatever it is you’re making with meat), then remove the solid fat that forms on the top. Reheat and eat.

      2. Cauliflower. The # of servings depends on the size of the cauliflower. It’s really easy to double (or triple) if you roast it in the oven:

      • Stefanie says:

        Thanks Melissa! Yes buying a couple of cauliflower heads to double up the next time around. For the meatballs, so if I follow the recipe and put the uncooked meatballs into the sauce and the fat is visible on top, just chill the whole thing and scoop off the solid fat and then re-heat to eat? Or better to maybe bake the meatballs separately and then add to the sauce?

        • I prefer the flavor when I cook the meatballs in the sauce because they really add a lot of depth to the sauce and they get tender from cooking in the liquid.

          So… my preference is to chill the whole thing, then reheat. I do that with chili and soups, too, if there’s too much fat from the meat. But you can cook the meat and sauce separately, if you prefer; in my opinion, it won’t taste as good.

  • Susan Lerner says:

    The sauce is delicious. But to me the meatballs need something. What else can I add to the meatballs?

    • feb27start says:

      I made a version of this over the weekend where I soaked some cashew meal in water for a while and then blended that in with the spices and the meat. This was the first time I tried the recipe at all, so I don’t have anything against which to compare it, but thinking back to other meatball recipes with tons of breadcrumbs soaked in milk, I thought this might be a reasonable alternative to adjust the texture/flavor or plain ground meat.

      I also forgot to buy the tomatos for the sauce, so i used the onions, spices, about 1tbsp of tomato paste and some water. After the sauce was cooked, i blended it and made almost a ketchup. Pretty freakin’ good.

  • Dave H says:

    This was a wonderful recipe. I could actually eat a bowl of just the sauce it was that good!

  • Marybeth says:

    So I’m fairly new to this and I’m doing the whole 30. I want to make these but isn’t there sugar in the tomato paste?

    • There are natural sugars in tomatoes, yes. But the Whole30 does not exclude ALL sugar; the Whole30 is all about eliminating ADDED sugars. The sugar in tomatoes are fine.

      Also, all of the recipes on my site that say they are Whole30 approved have been officially approved by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. You can find all of my Whole30 recipes here:

      Happy Whole30-ing to you!

  • Tira says:

    Hi! What can I use in place of paprika? I REALLY want to make these but my husband is allergic to paprika!! help!!!

    • The paprika adds a little kick, so you want something that creates that same kind of flavor. Some options: substitute an equal amount of mild chile powder like ancho powder or chipotle powder, or you can use a pinch of cayenne.

      If your husband can’t have ANY peppers, omit the paprika and use an equal amount of powdered ginger instead. Let me know how it comes out!

      • Tira says:

        Thanks! I’ll try the chipotle since I have some in the cabinet 🙂 No clue why paprika gives him a rash but it does, every time! Ill let you know how it comes out!

  • Cassie says:

    I started another whole 30 yesterday and always got bored on a prior whole 30 but had not discovered your cookbooks and site until last week! So I ordered well fed, then loved everything about it, so ordered well fed 2.
    I made these Morroccan Meatballs with the cauliflower rice pilaf last night and they were a big hit- my husband even said “this doesn’t even taste like diet food!” LOL I cant wait to try more of your recipes this week!

  • Camille Guimaraes says:

    Hey Melissa,

    I have made this a couple of times and love it! I am considering it for my holiday party menu so my questions is, if I wanted to make a double batch, do you think I could use a large pot? It would mean submerging some of them while cooking so I wasn’t sure if that would alter the taste/texture or if the meatballs might fall apart. Any sugestions on cutting corners? And could i do half beef or would that ruin the fun?

    • The meatballs will be just find if they’re surrounded by sauce, just keep the heat to a low simmer. You can absolutely to half beef, half lamb.

      When I make them for party food, I usually make them a little smaller so they can be eaten with a toothpick. You could bake the meatballs instead of simmering them in the sauce, then serve the sauce on the side to make it a little neater/easier.

  • Lena says:

    I made these today with beef instead of lamb and added sweet potato chunks to the sauce (and a little additional water). I really love how those turned out and will keep them in my dinner repertoire. They do take a while to cook but are mostly hands off so I don’t mind at all.
    Thanks for such great recipes!

  • Aisling says:

    Holy Moly !!! I made These moroccan beauties last week. I thought my non Whole 30 Family would stick their noses up at these but, no, they loved them. So too did The neighbours!!!
    The Sauce is very like a hungarian Gulasch so this evening I making the Receipe again but this time with diced beef….I am cooking it slowly over a few Hours so The Meat will become Tender!!!
    Hopefully I will get more of it this Time for myself!!!

  • Faye says:

    Wow, just made this and served over oven roasted cauliflower rice. I followed the recipe to the letter for this (just halved the quantities) but I tweaked the rice. I mixed in a carrot and some onion as somebody commented above and added some paprika, turmeric and ground coriander to the fat before tossing with the cauliflower. Roasted as normal and threw some pomegranate seeds on top for the last few minutes of cooking. It was all gorgeous! So glad I halved the meatball recipe or my husband and I would have snaffled the lot!

    Love your recipes. Can I make a request? I’m English and I cannot get my head around imperial temperatures/ measurements, I’m sure a lot of your European readers would appreciate metric units listed too! Xx

  • Jennifer says:

    I am OBSESSED with your recipes for 2 years now! But we got stuck in favorites ruts. Vowing to break out & move on from Choc Chili, Salmon Cakes, Tropical Chopped Salad & a few others, today I made these Moroccan Meatballs out of your WellFed Cookbook (came here just to rave), but with ground beef we buy from a farmer in Kansas (great quality). OMG SO GOOD. I have IMMENSE trust in any recipe you provide. I rave to others that your recipes are the only ones I don’t have to add way more seasonings than called for to make them taste wonderful. I have BOTH WellFed & WellFed2, and I hereby do gleefully swear to BRANCH OUT & start making so many more items in your amazing cookbooks!!! xoxo

    • You are so kind to take the time to leave me this LOVELY comment. I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the recipes — have fun branching out! And thank you for buying both of our cookbooks. Really appreciate the support.

  • Emily says:

    My meatballs were pink in the middle and I let it simmer with the lid off for an extra hour. How can I make sure the meat balls cook all the way through? Nervous to eat with pink in the middle.

    • If you cooked them for the specified time, plus an hour, they were done! Even if they’re pink the middle. If you’re concerned, the best way to tell if it’s cooked enough is to use a meat thermometer. Lamb is cooked at 160F for medium and well-done is 170F.

  • Arabella Cheng says:

    For the amount of parsley what does it mean by 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves then about 2tbsp? I wasnt sure which amount to use. Thanks

    • That’s recipe notation that means “start with 1/2 cup fresh parsley, then mince it to make about 2 tablespoons when you’re done chopping.” It’s the same amount, just in different form because whole parsley takes up more volume than minced. And getting it down to 2 tablespoons means I recommend that you mince it quite finely. Enjoy!

  • LD says:

    I finally made these. They didn’t quite look like yours, I must not have cooked the sauce down enough, but it didn’t matter…they were incredible. The tomato sauce is delectable. Cumin and paprika equals perfection. My whole family loved these meatballs. In other news, my husband and I are visiting Prague next year! And I’m seriously contemplating starting a food blog. You have inspired me in more ways than one. Thank you!!! Any tips would be appreciated. 🙂

    • Hooray! I’m glad you like them!

      How fun that you’re coming to Prague! It’s a pretty magical place. Feel free to email me, and I’ll send you my list of favorite things 🙂

  • Candice says:

    Cinnamon is mentioned in the description but not in the recipe here or in the cookbook. Can you advise? Made these tonight. They were good, but something seemed missing…maybe it was the cinnamon? One of the other commenters mentioned that they left out the clove and I don’t see that listed either. Thank you!

    • Cinnamon is mentioned in the intro but does not appear in this recipe—I was just explaining that cinnamon is common in Moroccan food. I advise very strongly against adding cinnamon to this recipe; it will not taste good.

      If it was a little flat for you, I have two recommendations: 1) add a pinch more salt; I was conservative with my salt recommendation in the recipe and/or 2) try cooking it a little longer to allow the tomatoes to caramelize more. That will add more flavor.