Moroccan Spiced Meatballs & Couscous

A flavorful meatball dish cooked down in a vegetable stew & served with couscous -a tasty meal you’ve got to try!

My husband and I grew up in a household where Caribbean food was typically served. While we both love the cuisine we grew up eating, we also love to try various foods from different cultures. I’ve been on a couscous fix lately… It’s so fluffy and so good! I honestly could enjoy it on its own but it also pairs well with seasoned meats, stews and grilled vegetables!

For Sunday dinner I decided to make some meatballs along with my beloved couscous but I wanted the meatballs to burst with flavor so I did some research and was drawn to Moroccan spices. Something I also found out during my research is that couscous is the national dish of Morocco! It was all coming together & seemed like the perfect pair to make a delicious meal.

Let’s take a moment to admire the artistic beauty of Morocco… the food, the art, the decor… all so beautiful!

In Moroccan cuisine some herbs and spices commonly used in cooking include: Cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, ginger, paprika, turmeric, coriander & mint.

The flavor profile can be described as fresh, smoky, slightly spicy and sweet. I was so excited to eat this while I was cooking… the aroma of all the spices melding together is a delight!

The main meats that are typically used in Moroccan cuisine include: beef, lamb and chicken. I had some ground turkey that I wanted to use up so I decided to go with ground turkey for my meatballs. By all means if you have ground beef, lamb or chicken, feel free to use any of those.

Here’s the recipe for my Moroccan Spice Meatballs

Serves 5– Each serving includes 4 meatballs | *See notes at the end of the recipe

Ingredients
  • 4 oz Ground Turkey
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Zucchini (diced)
  • 1 Large tomato (diced)
  • 1 Medium onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp All purpose Flour
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Diana Maple BBQ sauce (you can use any BBQ sauce you’d like; I used maple for a sweet/smoky flavor)
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 4 tsp Paprika
  • 3 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp All Spice (or cloves)
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste… I omitted this because my son also eats what we eat for dinner)
  • 1 tsp dried Parsley (This is not typically apart of the Moroccan spice blend but I added it because we love parsley!)
Directions
  1. In a bowl blend all the spices; Set aside.
  2. Dice zucchini, Onion and tomato; set aside.
  3. *Add oil to a medium pot, and set to medium heat.
  4. Add Ground turkey (or whichever ground meat of your choosing) to a large bowl.
  5. Add flour and spice blend to ground meat- *reserving 1 tbsp of spice blend
  6. Blend spices and flour into meat well.
  7. Use a tablespoon to scoop meat and roll into balls – This should make Approx. 20 meatballs (a couple of them may be smaller in size)
  8. Add meatballs to the heated pot and cook on each side for 5 minutes.
  9. Add diced vegetables and the reserved 1 tbsp of spice blend to the pot.
  10. Mix everything together until everything is coated.
  11. *Add the ketchup, BBQ sauce and water, stir together and let simmer on low heat.
  12. While the meatballs and stew are simmering, you can cook the couscous according to the instructions on the box.

*you can add less oil depending on the leanness of the meat you are using- some meats have higher fat content, therefore less oil is needed since they produce their own fat/oil.

*You also can omit the BBQ sauce altogether, I just wanted an extra smoky flavor but using smoked paprika may also enhance the smokiness in this dish

And there you have it! A flavorful delight for dinner. I really hope that you enjoy this as much as I did. If you have tried any other Moroccan dishes please share them with me, I’d love to give them a try!

Best,

Tiyana

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