Moroccan Meatballs Recipe

This summer was a dream come true for me. My family gathered at our home in Colorado. It was where most of us grew up and most of us got married, and most of my parents’ ashes are buried in the backyard rose bushes. I hope it will be the center for our enormous family for many years to come. This summer was its inaugural season and it was perfect.

The first day, my sister and her husband from Wyoming helped us put up hay in our pastures, another sister arrived bringing some wonderful home-grown beef from her ranch in Montana, my brother and daughters were up at the barn taking care of the horse, and I suddenly needed to make dinner for eleven people!

Even though it was last minute – it was a total joy working in my kitchen. I love having TWO kick-ass Jenn-Air® Wall Ovens – total luxury. And the six-burner Jenn-Air® Rangetop and Warming Drawer made making dinner for eleven feel effortless.


I had veggies and eggs from the local farmers market, beef from my sister’s ranch, and vodka made from potatoes grown in our very own fields – plus 11 Huffmans all together in our family home. LIFE IS SWEET.

I made my girls’ favorite meatballs, my favorite roasted veggies, and my sister’s favorite salad. The roasted veggies were the classic version: olive oil and salt, bake at 350. The salad was a romaine and hardboiled egg version that everyone loved. But the meatballs were the main attraction. I found them on Bon Appétit and have made a few tweaks over the years.

Here’s the recipe:

Moroccan Meatballs

  • 1½ pounds of ground beef

  • ⅓ cup grated onion

  • ⅓ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 large egg – beaten to blend

  • ¼ cup of club soda

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper

  • ½ tsp coarse Kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 3½ cups chopped onions

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (¼ for stew, ¼ for garnish)

  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves

**The original recipe calls for raisins and carrots – but left them out because of high sugar content.


Line large-rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all meatball ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands and scant 2 tablespoonfuls for each, roll meat mixture into 1½-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on baking sheet.

Heat oil and butter in large, ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté about 15 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, turmeric; stir 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring stew to simmer. Carefully add meatballs to stew; gently press into liquid to submerge. Sprinkle ¼ cup cilantro over. Cover pot; place in oven.


Bake until meatballs are cooked through, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle spinach over stew. Cover and bake until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes longer. Gently stir to mix in spinach, being careful not to break meatballs. Remove cinnamon sticks. Season the stew (also called tagine) with salt and pepper.


I made couscous in chicken broth and served it under the tagine, garnished with cilantro.

Here’s to family!

This post was sponsored by Jenn-Air. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.