Moroccan Meatball Bowlswith couscous / roasted cauliflower
Juicy ground beef meatballs in a velvety tomato sauce are seasoned with a homemade Moroccan spice mix of coriander, paprika, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. Served over fluffy couscous with roasted cauliflower on the side - this is comfort in a bowl!
Smarts:The egg in the meatballs acts as a binder to hold the ingredients together. If you find the meatball mixture to be too wet to form meatballs, add some breadcrumbs. To keep the meatballs tender, try not to overmix.
- Parsley - 1 Tbsp, chopped
- Beef, ground - 2 lbs
- Eggs - 1
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Stock, any type - 3/4 cup (sub water)
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Couscous, uncooked - 1/2 cup
- Parsley - 1 Tbsp, chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
- Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
- Cumin - 1/2 tsp
- Ginger, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
- Cauliflower, florets - 16 oz, chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Make couscous - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Combine stock, salt (portion for couscous), and butter in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and cover with lid. Let stand for ~5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cauliflower / Parsley (for meatballs and bowls) / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make spice mix - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Combine coriander, smoked paprika, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make meatballs - (This makes enough for two nights.) Combine parsley (portion for meatballs), ground beef, eggs, salt (portion for meatballs), and black pepper. Form into 1.5” / 3.75 cm wide meatballs. If the filling feels too wet to form into meatballs, you can add some breadcrumbs. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Heat oven to 450F / 232C degrees.
- Arrange cauliflower on a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil (portion for cauliflower) and season with some salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Roast cauliflower in the oven, stirring halfway through cooking, until the edges are brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.
- While cauliflower roasts, heat a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Add oil (portion for bowls) and then meatballs and saute until cooked on the outsides, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add spice mix (reserve half if doubled) and garlic to meatballs and stir until fragrant, ~1 minute more. Pour tomatoes over top and cover with a lid. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer meatballs until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
- When meatballs are cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove half the meatballs for Thursday night’s meal (no need to reserve any sauce).
- To remaining meatballs / sauce, taste and season the sauce with some salt and pepper. Add a pinch of sugar if you’d like a bit of sweetness.
- If couscous was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Squeeze lemon juice over roasted cauliflower.
- Assemble bowls by topping couscous with meatballs and sauce. Serve cauliflower on the side. Finish with parsley (portion for bowls). Enjoy!
This meal has 65 reviews
This was tasty and I enjoyed the Moroccan spices. My kids (4 & 2) complained when I told them what was for dinner but asked for seconds of the meatballs. For some reason, I had a really hard time following the directions in the recipe and found myself reading and rereading over and over again trying to make sense of them. I think the "Moroccan Meatballs with Sauce" header confused me because I thought they should all be combined, but that's not how the directions are written. User error, for sure...but I was confused for some reason.
This is so good! We subbed rice for couscous because we had it on hand already. I also just put my cauliflower in the bowl with everything else when I was done. I love this spice mix!
I didn't have fresh parsley, so I used dried with no problem. Both my kids (2 and almost 5) loved this meal, so that's an extra win! When you use the can of tomatoes, make sure you use the 28 oz can, or two 14 oz. Another reviewer said their weren't enough tomatoes, but 28 oz was plenty! Also, you can use an instant pot for the quinoa if you have one. 1:1.25 quinoa to broth in a Pyrex dish on the trivet in the instant pot (don't forget to add water to the pot before you add the Pyrex). Cook for 6 minutes and then natural release.
This was good. The meatball mixture was really wet so I added about 1/3C of panko crumbs to the mix and it helped. I had more than enough sauce for the meatballs as it is written. Next time, I will double the spice mix and maybe add some of the spices to the meatball mixture itself. I couldn't taste much of the spices. It was still good but it could have had more flavour. I swapped out the couscous for rice. I will make again.
1 can of tomatoes seems a bit too few for the amount of meatballs esp if you are cooking a double batch for the thursday meal, but was easily fixed with some water and some tomato paste that i had on hand for the thursday meal. It turned into a lovely rich sauce with subtle warm spices.