Kefta – Moroccan Meatballs

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.

This Kefta Moroccan 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.

This Moroccan meatball 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.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.

This Moroccan meat balls 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.

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!

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Moroccan Kefta served on a plate.

Moroccan Meatballs (Kefta) Recipe

Savor the exotic flavors of Morocco with this mouthwatering Moroccan Meatballs (Kefta) recipe, blending juicy ground beef and aromatic spices for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a flavorful addition to any main meal.
4.5 from 27 votes
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Moroccan
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Linda
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Ingredients

  • 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 garlic - minced
  • 1 lemon - zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 inch fresh ginger - minced
  • 1 tablespoon Moroccan spice blend - or ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground cumin, and ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro - chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of Black pepper

Instructions

  • 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 fresh 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 that your meatballs are cooked through and taste the sauce to verify the seasonings. Add more salt if necessary.
  • Serve with rice, salad, or couscous.

NOTES

For the dried chile arbols, I buy them in large bags in the Hispanic foods aisle and keep them in a mason jar.
Storage Info:
To store Moroccan Meatballs (Kefta), place any leftovers in an airtight container. Wrap them with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them. They should stay good for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2-3 months.
When reheating, you can microwave them or place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through, typically around 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 679mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1091IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 4mg

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Comments:

  1. 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…

    1. Hi Edna,

      Thanks for your Moroccan approval on this recipe! I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      – Linda

  2. 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

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

  3. 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!!

    1. I love that place! Portland has a serious lack of good Moroccan restaurants – the only other one I know of is out in Wilsonville.