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Moroccan Meatballs with Couscous


Moroccan Meatballs with Couscous

Food Network Star and best-selling cookbook author, Melissa d’Arabian, takes us on a tasty and budget-friendly trip to Morocco. The sauce is the star here! These amazing meatballs are made with ground beef, herbs, spices and wow, are they delicious!
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Moroccan Meatballs with Couscous 

Melissa D’arabian 

Yield: 4 servings 


Prep Time: 25 Minutes 

Cook Time: 45 Minutes 


Ingredients (North African Sauce): 

2 tablespoons of olive oil 

½ small onion, diced 

2 garlic cloves, chopped 

1 lemon, zested 

½ cup of pitted and chopped briny olives 

½ cup of white wine 

¼ cup of chicken stock or broth (beef broth is okay too if preferred) 

1 (14 oz) can of crushed or diced tomatoes 

1 teaspoon of light brown sugar 

½ teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes 

Pinch of ground cinnamon  

Salt and freshly ground black pepper  


Ingredients (meatballs): 

1 egg 

2 tablespoons of tomato paste 

3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves 

1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger 

1 teaspoon of ground cumin 

Pinch of ground cinnamon 

¾ pound of ground beef 

1/3 cup of finely ground rolled oats or fine bread crumbs 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, for cooking 

4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley leaves 

1 cup of water 

1 cup of chicken stock or broth 

1 tablespoon of olive oil 

¼ cup of finely chopped dried dates 

1 cup of quick-coating couscous  


Directions (Sauce) 

1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and olives and cook for 1 more minute. Add the white wine, deglaze the pan, and let it reduce for a 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, canned tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon, and simmer to blend flavors, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 


Directions (meatballs): 

1. In a medium bowl, add the egg and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Stir in the ground beef and oats, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and combine gently after each addition. Do not overmix. Rolling with your hands, make about 32 meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter. 

2. In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat, and brown the meatballs in batches until golden on all sides. Add more oil, as needed. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes.  


Directions (couscous with dried dates): 

1. Bring the water, stock, and oil to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the dates followed by the couscous. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. 


Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve over the Couscous with Dried Dates! 









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