This Moroccan Kefta recipe combines ground beef with Moroccan spices and other seasonings for a delicious, flavorful Moroccan meatballs appetizer or main dish served with rice, salad or couscous.
Holy cow, you guys.
These little balls of meat are incredible. The husband and I actually fought over who got to take the leftovers to work the next day for lunch.
But, wait a second, you might be asking: What is Kefta?
Kefta is a very popular food in Morocco. It is seasoned ground meat and traditionally kefta is served along with a super sweet teapot of Moroccan mint tea.
I just can’t seem to get enough Moroccan food lately, so I decided to use up some of the (32 lbs. of ) ground beef in our freezer to put together an easy and flavorful dinner.
You can also use lamb or a combination of lamb and ground beef in this kefta recipe if you prefer.
Basically, you just make some meatballs and then cook them in a fragrant sauce of onions, butter, lemon, and turmeric.
These Moroccan kefta meatballs just melt in your mouth and explode with texture and spices.
One of the hardest things about blogging about recipes (in my opinion) is developing a delicious recipe and then realizing it will probably be months before you get to make it again because you are too busy coming up with new recipes all the time.
The only list I have that is longer than the “future recipes” list is the “make again recipes” list.
So by my calculations I’ll be able to make this Moroccan meatballs recipe again some time in November. Sigh.
Some days I wish there were just more opportunities to eat dinner throughout the day. Somewhere around six or seven would work for me.
I actually made the meatballs and browned them the night before I made this dish so I could save time on the night-of by just simmering them in the delicious sauce until they were finished cooking.
But if you have all the time in the world, go ahead and make the whole thing at once.
Here’s the Recipe!
Kefta Recipe (Moroccan Meatballs Recipe)
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 large onion - sliced
- 1 small onion - very finely minced (I threw mine in the food processor)
- 2 dried chili arbols - stemmed, seeded, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 lemon - zested and juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 inch fresh ginger - minced
- 1 Tbsp. Moroccan spices - or ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground cumin, and ⅛ tsp. cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 3 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
- 1 1/4 cup water
- Pinch of Black pepper
- In a large bowl, add the ground beef, Moroccan spices, finely minced onion, minced garlic, ground ginger, zest of one lemon, salt, parsley, and a generous pinch of black pepper. Mix to combine. Go ahead, use your hands.
- Form the mixture into meatballs. I made mine about the size of a ping-pong ball.
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, dried chilies, minced fresh ginger, and ground turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add the cilantro, lemon juice, and water, stirring to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil.
- Add in your meatballs, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Let cook for 20 minutes, turning the meatballs once or twice to ensure even cooking.
- Remove the lid and continue cooking for another ten minutes or so until the sauce is thick. Check your meatballs to make sure they are cooked through and taste your sauce to check seasonings. Add more salt if necessary.
- Serve with rice, salad, or couscous.
I am from Morocco and have to admit this recipe for kefta beats all the ones I’ve followed before. It is not just SO tasty, but light – as it does not need browning in oil beforehand. Delicious…
Thanks for your Moroccan approval on this recipe! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!
YUM. These look so, so delicious! I am a Moroccan food fiend also. My spice ‘box’ is now overflowing into pretty much every cupboard! Great post xx
I love working with spices – so much flavor for so few calories! One of the most common things I hear from people about using spices is that they are too expensive – I always buy mine in the bulk section at the grocery store and put them in my own little jars. It is so much less expensive than purchasing the bottles on the spice aisle!
I definitely agree with you… I buy in bulk from the grocer also, then refill my smaller containers for ease of use 🙂 I’d probably give up cooking if it wasn’t for herbs and spices. I love them!
Love the spicing, Moroccan food is delicious. 32 lbs of ground meat, wow!! It’s too hot to cook so will put these on my need to make asap list!!
Yeah, my dad gave us part of a cow as a present so we have tons of beef to go through!
I love Moroccan food. We go to Marakesh downtown as often as possible… 😉
I love that place! Portland has a serious lack of good Moroccan restaurants – the only other one I know of is out in Wilsonville.