Usually referred to as Kefta, Moroccan meatballs are traditionally cooked in a tagine, but since that is one more cooking tool I just cannot squeeze into my already overstuffed kitchen, I’ve found that using my Instant Pot or Slow Cooker gets the job done just as well.
And you won’t believe how wonderfully they turn out! These Moroccan Meatballs are super tender, juicy, and wonderfully seasoned with Moroccan spices and fresh herbs. They are simmered in a delicious, rich tomato sauce that is so good, everyone will want seconds!
One of the best things about living in such a diverse community is that I get to enjoy so many different foods from other cultures! And I am fortunate enough to have a Moroccan friend who cooks the most AMAZING food. I love learning from her and experimenting with new Moroccan recipes.
As soon as I had her Moroccan meatballs, I knew I had to learn how to make them for myself, and share the recipe with you all. My version is sort of an amalgam of a few recipe I found online, one from a Moroccan cookbook I have, and of course, my friend’s traditional recipe. I have to say, this is one of the best parts about being a food blogger – finding a dish you love, and then making it your own.
I did try a couple of times to make these with a lighter meat, like ground chicken or ground turkey, and it worked, but they were never quite as good as the version made with ground beef. The flavor is just incomparable, and worth the extra couple of Points, so I highly recommend to stick with the beef.
Because the meat is slow cooked (or pressure cooked) in the tomato sauce, the rich flavor it develops is incredible. The meatballs have the perfect balance of Moroccan spices, without being spicy. And the acidity of the fragrant sauce also helps the meatballs to become so moist and succulent. This has become a dish that my whole family adores.
These meatballs are pretty versatile too, so you can serve them in a lot of different ways. When I’m trying to keep my Points low, I’ll enjoy them over a bed of cauliflower rice. When I’ve got a few extra Points to spare, I’ll serve them over homemade couscous or steamed rice. My kids will also eat these over pasta, or inside a warm pita. There’s really no rules here, so eat ‘em however you like!
I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing these Moroccan Meatballs are. My husband and I were literally fighting for the leftovers the last time I made them. So next time, I’m going to need to double the recipe. These meatballs will literally melt in your mouth.
If you give this recipe a try, please let me (and others) know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo of it #laalooshrecipes on Instagram. I always love seeing how you all put it together!
Want more Moroccan Recipes? Try these!
Moroccan Meatballs Recipe for Instant Pot or Slow Cooker
FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef (95/5)
- 1 small onion (very finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp allspice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 23 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- ½ cup pitted green olives (chopped)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Using your hands, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Then form about 24 meatballs, gently with your hands.
FOR THE INSTANT POT
- Set to Saute. When hot, mist lightly with oil. Add in the onions (from the sauce ingredients), and saute about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients, and mix well.
- Place the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow to naturally release for another 10 minutes.
FOR SLOW COOKER
- Add all ingredients for the sauce into the slow cooker, and stir well to combine.
- Place the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.
- Serve meatballs and sauce on top of rice, pasta, or cauliflower rice.