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5 from 2 votes

Moroccan Meatballs (Kefta Mkaoura)

Moroccan meatballs are made with ground meat, onions, and herbs, and served with a flavorful tomato sauce. Pair with olives and couscous!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Moroccan
Servings: 4
Author: Kevin



Tomato Sauce



  • In a bowl combine the ground meat, onion, herbs and spices. Using your hands, squeeze and mix the ingredients to combine but don't over mix.
  • Make small cocktail size (1-2 tablespoons) meatballs. This mixture should make between 32-36 total. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven or deep pot (See Note 4) over medium heat, when hot add the olive oil. Saute the onion and bell pepper for several minutes until onion is transparent. Add the garlic and spices, stirring and saute another minute.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes or passata, stirring to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cook 15 minutes with lid partially on top to avoid tomato sauce splutter and mess.
  • At this point the vegetables should be soft and can easily be broken down using a spoon if preferred. I use an immersion blender to create a smooth sauce.
  • Add the meatballs and gently stir to combine and coat. Cook 10 minutes more with lid partially on top to avoid tomato sauce splutter and mess.
  • Add the parsley, cilantro and olives at this point and stir. Add some water if necessary (too thick) and cook another 5 minutes. Serve as is or with steamed couscous.

Optional Eggs

  • If serving in a tagine with eggs, carefully move the meatballs to make 4 small wells with the back of a spoon and crack the eggs in them. Cover and continue simmering the tagine just until the whites are firm and the yolk is beginning to set You want the yolk runny). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


  1. I peel, then cut the onion in half. Use a cheese grater and grate each onion right over the bowl.
  2. You can make a quick Moroccan Spice Blend for this recipe with the following:
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. Instead of 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne powder, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  4. Typically a traditional cooking vessel would be a clay or ceramic tagine.


Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 599mg | Potassium: 1213mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1537IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 246mg | Iron: 9mg