Moroccan Meatballs

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Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner. Whole30, gluten-free and Paleo.

Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner. Whole30, gluten-free and Paleo.
Moroccan Meatballs

Traditionally called Kefta, this Moroccan meatball meal is usually cooked in a tagine (an earthenware pot with a cone-shaped cover) but you’ll find the slow cooker or pressure cooker works just as well. With cumin, paprika, cinnamon, parsley and cilantro, this Moroccan dish is highly spiced, but not spicy. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner.Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner.Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner.

Hey there, I’m Heather K. Jones—I’m a registered dietitian, a wellness coach and the co-author of the Skinnytaste cookbooks.

If you struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, or food or body image issues of any sort, visit me at Feel Better Eat Better! You can sign up for the free workshop right HERE, and you can join the Feel Better Eat Better Facebook support group right HERE.

Many years ago, my husband and I spent a few months traveling through Moroccan. We loved everything about this magical country, especially the food! This delicious dish (along with the chicken and olive dish right HERE) is one of our North African favorites.

How To Make Moroccan Meatballs on The Stove

Follow the same directions in a large pot or Dutch oven and simmer, covered on low until the meatballs are tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Moroccan Meatballs Variations and Tips

  • Swap the beef for ground turkey.
  • Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze leftovers in a freezer safe container. To thaw, transfer to the refrigerator the night before eating. Heat up on the stove or in the microwave.

 

Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner. Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner. Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner. Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner.

More Meatball Recipes You May Enjoy:

Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner. Whole30, gluten-free and Paleo.
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4.57 from 51 votes
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Moroccan Meatballs

334 Cals 36 Protein 18 Carbs 15 Fats
Total Time: 4 hrs
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Moroccan Kefta Meatballs made with tomatoes and olives are simmered together in the slow cooker or Instant Pot in this easy and exotic Moroccan dinner.

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 14-ounce cans no salt added diced tomatoes
  • teaspoons sweet paprika
  • teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoons hot paprika
  • ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup green olives, chopped

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Place the onions in a bowl and microwave about 2 minutes to sweat them out (or you can saute on the stove).
  • Add all sauce ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients, leaving 2 tablespoons of cilantro for garnish.
  • Gently form into 20 small meatballs. (Please note: Form the meatballs with gentle hands, if you pack them tight they will get tough while cooking.)
  • Place the meatballs on top of the sauce, cover and cook low 4 to 6 hours or high 2 to 3 hours.
  • Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro and serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice, if desired.

Instant Pot Directions:

  • Press saute and spray the cooking insert with oil, add the onions and saute 3 to 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
  • In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients, leaving 2 tablespoons of cilantro for garnish.
  • Gently form into 20 small meatballs. (Please note: Form the meatballs with gentle hands, if you pack them tight they will get tough while cooking.)
  • Place the meatballs on top of the sauce, cover and cook high pressure 15 minutes, natural release.
  • Top with remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro and serve over brown rice or cauliflower rice, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 5meatballs with sauce, Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4.5g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 977mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 8g
WW Points Plus: 9
Keywords: instant pot meatballs, Kefta, Moroccan Kefta Meatballs, moroccan meatballs, whole30 meatball recipe

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134 comments

  1. This was AMAZING. I doubled the recipe and added potatoes. It took much longer to cook, but not an issue if you put it in the crock pot early in the day! Family approved. 

  2. Loved this…and so did hubby. Will definitely be a regular in our family. The only thing I did different was to use 99% lean ground Turkey and no one didn’t notice with all the spices!,,,

  3. Love this recipe. For something fun we’ve been substituting the beef for lamb or goat when we can. We seem to have a hard time finding “hot” paprika so we’ve been using a pinch of chili powder or harrisa for a bit of heat.

  4. I love that you have the personal WW points link here now. But when I open it, it does not allow me to save the recipe to track it in my plan. It only allows me to view your recipe and ingredients?

  5. This was just the second dish we’ve prepared in our new Instant Pot, and it was a real winner. Easy to put together, very tasty, and makes for great leftovers. We found that the sauce was a little thin after cooking, so next time I will remove the meatballs and reduce the sauce a bit before serving. I would also reduce the salt in the sauce and then adjust to taste after cooking, but I thought the seasoning in the meatballs was just right. Definitely have some crusty bread or naan on hand to sop up the sauce when you’re done. Cheers!

  6. Another slam-dunk ST recipe! I didn’t have the fresh cilantro, but even with dried, these were delicious. I also didn’t have the hot paprika, so I used cayenne pepper for some zip. Served them over farro for a heartier grain. The sauce was delish! Another keeper!

  7. This was good, but possibly a one and done. I halved the sauce based on other reviews but should have also cut the cumin. I love cumin and this was overpowering.

  8. Not my favorite, didn’t have much flavor even though it smells like all the great spices. Don’t think I would make again.

  9. I made this vegan with Impossible burger in the Instant Pot and my entire family loved it. I have a 4 and 6 year old and they devoured the meatballs. I used smoked paprika and regular in the sauce. I used smoked paprika, regular and a dash of cayenne pepper in the meatballs.  The sauce to meatball ratio was great. This recipe is a keeper. 

  10. I made this today and the flavor was very good. I did add about a teaspoon of coriander to the sauce. My only complaint is that the “sauce” was way too watery. I used the pressure cooker method. Next time I will replace one can of diced tomatoes with a small can of tomato sauce to see if that helps. Another idea would be to let it simmer uncovered but I don’t want to ruin the meatballs. Suggestions?  

  11. Made these for supper today, so delicious! I baked the meatballs in the oven and finished on the stove top. This will definitely be a regular in our house, 

  12. This was so tasty! I used smoked paprika snd cayenne pepper instead of the hot paprika. Also I only had 1 can off tomatoes on hand, so i used a can of tomato sauce instead of the 2nd can. It was great and tasted even better on the second day. Oh yeah, i used a dutch oven on the stove.

  13. I made these and they were incredible!! Everyone in my family loves them. Super easy and super tasty. 

  14. I used one type of paprika, not the “hot” and “Sweet” so the paprika just overpowered the dish.