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Berbere-Spiced Meatballs with Collards (Gomen)
and cauliflower rice

Active: 40 Total: 40

Berbere spice adds unique flavor to these Ethiopian-inspired meatballs while a generous amount of ghee (or butter) adds a silky texture to the Gomen. We last featured this meal in 2021.
Smarts #1: Berbere seasoning is moderately spicy, so adjust according to your preference.
Smarts #2: It may seem like you have a lot of collard greens to start, but they will reduce a lot as they cook.



Ethiopian Collard Greens (Gomen):
  • Onions, medium - 1/2 , diced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Jalapenos (opt) - 1 , thinly sliced (seeds removed for less spice)
  • Collard greens - 2 bunches , stems removed, leaves chopped (sub kale)
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric, ground - 1/4 tsp
  • Cardamom, ground - 1/4 tsp
  • Limes - 1 , wedges
  • Ghee - 3 Tbsp (sub butter)
Berbere-Spiced Meatballs:
  • Beef, ground - 1 lb (sub any ground meat)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Almond meal - 3 Tbsp
  • Berbere spice - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee - 1 Tbsp (sub butter)
  • Stock, any type - 1/4 cup
Cauliflower Rice:
  • Cauliflower florets - 1 lb
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp


  1. Cauliflower rice - Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Onions / Garlic / Jalapenos / Collard Greens - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Make spice blend - Combine ground coriander, salt (portion for collards), cumin, turmeric, and cardamom. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Make meatballs - Combine beef, eggs, almond meal, Berbere spice, salt (portion for meatballs), black pepper, and garlic powder. Gently mix together with a spoon or your hands. Form into 1” / 2.5 cm balls. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  5. Limes - Slice into wedges.

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  1. Heat a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add ghee (portion for meatballs) and then meatballs to melted ghee. Cook, without stirring, until golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently stir meatballs until browned on all sides.

  2. Pour stock down the side of the pan and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low-medium and let meatballs cook, covered, for 8 minutes.

  3. Next, heat a second saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add ghee (portion for collard greens). Add onions and garlic with jalapenos. Saute until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in spice blend and collard greens and saute until greens are tender, 7 to 15 minutes. (Note: How much to cook the greens is a bit of personal preference. Cook them on the lower end if you like a bit more texture or on the higher end if you want them super tender and silky. If the pan looks dry at any point, add some water.)

  4. Return to meatballs and remove lid. Continue cooking with the lid off, stirring occasionally, until liquid has cooked off and meatballs are cooked through.

  5. Squeeze juice from about half the lime wedges into the collard greens. Season with some salt.

  6. If cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.

  7. Serve meatballs over cauliflower rice with greens and extra lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!



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