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Moroccan Meatballs served in Pita Pockets with Fresh Vegetables and Carrot Salad. A side of Olives

BEST Moroccan Meatballs


  • Author: Suzy Karadsheh
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 7 mins
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 30 small meatballs 1x

Description

These are the best Moroccan meatballs you will make at home Easy, bite-size skillet meatballs, grilled with just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. But the draw is in big flavors from aromatics and warm Moroccan spices. Serve these meatballs in pita pockets with minty carrot salad, olives, and other fresh items. Or, use them as a little party appetizer.


Scale

Ingredients

For Morrocan Kefta Meatballs

  • 1 small slice of bread, toasted and soaked in water or milk until soft
  • 1 1/4 lb lean ground beef or ground lamb (or a mixture of beef and lamb)
  • 1 small red onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tsp  Ras El Hanout spice blend (about 5 to 6 g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (about .87 g)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne, more if you enjoy spicy (about .88 g)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp (about 42 ml) extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil.)

For Shaved Carrot Salad 

  • 4 carrots, peeled (I used rainbow carrots of different colors, but any carrots work here)
  • 3 tbsp (about 48 ml) orange juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful fresh mint  leaves, torn (about 5 or 6 large leaves)

Option for Other Sides to Serve

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • shallots or onions, thinly sliced
  • Fresh parsley
  • Marinated olives
  • Tztaziki Sauce or plain Greek yogurt
  • Pita pockets or flatbread of your choice

Instructions

  1. Make the shaved carrot salad first. Using a peeler, go ahead and peel the carrots into ribbons (or you can slice the carrots very thin sticks.) Place carrots and the remaining carrot salad ingredients into a bowl. Toss by hand to combine. Set aside or in the fridge for now.
  2. If making other fresh sides to serve along, prepare those as well and save in the fridge. Toss the cherry tomatoes and onions with a little olive oil and lemon juice, if you like, and season with salt and pepper. Save in the fridge.
  3. If using, prepare Tzatziki sauce per this recipe; plain Greek yogurt is fine too. Save in fridge for later.
  4. Prepare meatball mixture. Squeeze any liquid out of the bread and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the meat, onions, garlic, cilantro, Ras El Hanout, ground ginger, and cayenne. Sprinkle a generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Using clean hands, mix/knead until meat mixture is well combined.
  5. Divide the meat mixture into small meatballs (mine were about 1 tbsp each). The size here is relative, but they’re meant to be small bite-sized meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a tray and cover. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (if you really don’t have the time, you can skip this part. See notes.)
  6. When you’re ready, heat a cast iron skillet (or a frying skillet) over medium heat. Drizzle the meatballs with some extra virgin olive oil and cook in your hot skillet over medium heat for about 7 minutes or so, turning occasionally, until cooked through and charred. Do this in batches if needed.
  7. Serve meatballs hot in pita pockets. Add the carrot salad and other prepared toppings in. Or, leave meatballs in skillet with the shaved carrot salad and other items on the side, let everyone decide how they’d like to enjoy them!

Notes

  • Cook’s Note: If you have the time, it’s good to refrigerate the uncooked meatballs for about 30 minutes or so. This just helps them keep their shape. However, if you’re working quickly and using already chilled meat, you can probably skip this part.
  • Cook’s Note: These small meatballs are meant to be grilled, not fried. That’s why, they are simply drizzled with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil before cooking in cast iron skillet or pan. Now, you may need to add a little more extra virgin olive oil to the skillet to make sure the meatballs don’t stick. Once they hit the skillet, make sure the one side gets a nice “crust” before turning over, this will also help them stay nice and intact.
  • Cook’s Note: This recipe will yield between 25 to 35 meatballs, depending on size. Served in pita pockets as dinner, it should serve 4 or 5 people. But, if serving as an appetizer along with other items, it should serve a larger crowd (1o or so).
  • Ras El Hanout is a complex North African spice blend combining  warm flavors like cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, allspice, cardamom, ginger, mace, nutmeg, and a touch of cayenne. Find, all-natural Ras El Hanout here at our online shop. 
  • Alternative Spice mixture: Ras El Hanout is hard to replicate, so it is best if you use it. However, other variations of Moroccan meatballs call for a mixture of 3/4 tsp each cumin, coriander, paprika, and 1/2 tsp each allspice, ground ginger, and cayenne.
  • Visit our online store to browse our extra virgin olive oils, all-natural and organic spices, and more
  • Part of this recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes
  • Category: Meat and Poultry
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Keywords: Moroccan Meatballs, Skillet Meatballs, Grilled Meatballs, Easy Meatball Recipe