Moroccan Meatball Bowls
with 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!
So delicious for the entire family! We loved the spice blend, and even my picky toddler gobbled the meatballs up (after we finally convinced her to try them :-P)! We loved the roasted veggies finished with lemon, too. Great techniques!0 Helpful
I ended up using the doubled spice blend but the family loved it.0 Helpful
I also added a third of a cup of panko to the meatballs.0 Helpful
This was an ok recipe, I used lamb. I liked the flavors. Harissa would have worked instead of mixing up a spice mix, and zataar may have been nice in the side dish? Trying to learn these new spices, hard to if I never go to restaurant and order this type of food.0 Helpful
The vegetarian version was fine. I think using meatballs would have really enhanced the sauce. Without any meat, the sauce was very acidic and tomato-y.0 Helpful
This recipe was my first cook smarts recipe! The meatballs were extremely flavorful (I loved the hint of cinnamon!). Also my first time making couscous and cauliflower as I did not grow up eating these and I would definitely make them again.0 Helpful