It’s Sunday, a time to cook and enjoy your family. If there’s one weekend meal I can always get my arms around, it’s meatballs. Most meatballs are combination of ground meat, a little breadcrumbs, an egg, and tons of herbs and spices to make them pop. I have several meatball recipes here on my blog, and looking through the list, do you think I love meatballs or what?! Today, we’re going to pretend we’re traveling to Morocco, even though I haven’t actually gotten there yet, and make meatballs with flavors reminiscent of this country. Cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves are just a few warming spices to add richness and depth to the meat, but if you want to really get a little more authentic, a few teaspoons of Ras el hanout, would do the trick because it’s all those spices combined with a pinch of something more.
What sets these meatballs apart from other Italian meatball recipes, other than the spice combination, is the sauce. The sauce is a simple combination of tomatoes, and chickpeas, with a squeeze of lime for a citrusy tang. I think you’ll find that they are rather unique for traditional meatball lovers, and I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised how delicious they taste. This meatball recipe seems a little lighter than some, and it’s probably because the sauce has such a simple balance of flavors.
The entire meal is made in just one skillet, so unlike some Sunday suppers, the clean-up is pretty easy. What’s also great is that you can repurpose the leftover meatballs for future meals during the week, or reheat them in the sauce, just as they were originally prepared. So, stay tuned for another meatball recipe using what you have leftover.
1 pound ground beef
1 red onion, diced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, divided
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
14 ounce can roasted diced tomatoes
14 ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 lime, cut in half
cilantro leaves for garnish
olive oil for cooking
- In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, feta, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes before forming into balls.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Form balls and place them in skillet for browning. Brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, remaining salt and cumin, stir. Place lid over top of skillet and reduce heat to low, cook for 8 minutes.
- Add chickpeas and squeeze of 1/2 a lime, stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes to combine flavors.
- Scoop couscous into serving bowl (if using) and ladle meatballs and sauce over top. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with remaining lime. Enjoy!