Moroccan Meatball Bowls
with quinoa / 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 quinoa 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
- Quinoa, uncooked - 2/3 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 1/3 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
- Quinoa - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (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, 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 quinoa was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Squeeze lemon juice over roasted cauliflower.
- Assemble bowls by topping quinoa with meatballs and sauce. Serve cauliflower on the side. Finish with parsley (portion for bowls). Enjoy!
Not enough spices and I would have preferred the sauce to be thicker.0 Helpful
This recipe was very confusing, at least for the 2-person option. But in the end, it tasted great. I wish Cook Smarts wrote their directions like most cookbooks (ingredients grouped in the way they will be used and more clear directions). Being a seasoned cook, I can usually figure it out - or figure out a better way - but it's kind of frustrating. Overall, though, this was a very tasty meal and I will probably make it again.0 Helpful
Needed more meatballs, doubled the spices (except the cinnamon), made the whole box of couscous. Very tasty though!0 Helpful
I liked the flavors - increased spices a bit per other comments. But my meatballs came out a bit dry even though I cooked for less time than prescribed. I checked the temperature about 8 minutes in and they were already well done. We liked the veggie side though! Nice and easy!0 Helpful
We accidentally threw all the doubled spices into the pan (whoops!) but it still turned out great. Swapped out couscous for quinoa and made the meatballs 50/50 turkey and beef.0 Helpful
The meatballs were good even though the sauce was a little blah. I think the veggies could have used a little more seasoning, but roasting them was good. This was an easy recipe that didn't dirty half the dishes in the kitchen, so that is good.0 Helpful