A few weekends back, we invited my parents and another couple with their parents over. We have all broken bread together before. The interesting thing about our friends is that I went to college and swam with the wife. She met my wife through coaching and we all became friends. She is an awesome cook. Her mom and stepfather both went to our alma mater. My wife and my friend is also distantly related on my mom’s side. So we are all connected. You get the idea.
What is amazing about this recipe is that I saw it from a vegan blogger. I do not remember exactly where I saw the image, but when I saw the image, I had to check it out. I looked at the recipe and said I could make it work with ground turkey. I always use ground turkey for my wife. When you create dishes with lots of spices, you will not miss the beef. This Moroccan Meatball meatball recipe teaches all of us is the adaptability of recipes if you have good ingredients and good spices. I would say that I have learned the spices I like. So I knew these Moroccan Meatballs were in my wheelhouse.
If you know me, you know that my meals and dinner parties have a theme. This dinner party was Southern Mediterranean. The 2 man dishes were these Moroccan Meatballs and Chicken Shawarma. My wife asked me for my tzatziki. You know what I said? I said that is from the north side of the Mediterranean. You know what I did? I made tzatziki with my Southern Mediterranean dinner. It went perfectly. Didn’t it?
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided
- 2 - 2 1/4 lbs ground turkey
- 1 Medium onion, diced
- 1 Stalk of celery, diced
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 Clove of garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoon Harissa
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili flakes
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Molasses
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Harissa paste
- 1 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp Beet sugar
- 1 - 14 oz Can of fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 - 14 oz Can of Stewed tomatoes
- 1 20 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 box of bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- In a large pan, sauté the onion and celery in the oil until soft - about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, salt chili flakes and cook, stirring, for a further minute.
- Add the harissa, smoked paprika and cinnamon and cook for a further minute.
- Transfer mixture to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and pulse lightly - 4 - 5 pulses. You want the mixture to maintain some texture.
- Put the ground turkey in a big bowl. Add the vegetable mixture and breadcrumbs and mix well.
- Add in the molasses and mix well.
- Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour and up to overnight.
- Take small spoonfuls of the mixture, and roll into compact balls. Place on a baking tray.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cook the meatballs for 10 - 12 minutes. Turn the oven to low broil and broil for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a medium pot, sauté the garlic over low heat for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the salt and smoked paprika and stir well. Add the cinnamon stick, harissa, bay leaf, beet sugar, tomatoes and water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for approx 30 minutes, or until sauce has thickened nicely.
- Add the lemon and check for seasoning.
- Finish by adding the meatballs into the sauce - both to reheat the meatballs and to draw out some of there flavor for the sauce.
- Serve and enjoy!
Celery, Onions and Red Pepper Flakes.
Harissa Added and Mixed.
Vegetables in Cuisinart.
Veggie Mix Added to Ground Turkey.
Ground Turkey/Meatball Mix.
Tomatoes & Tomato Sauce Added.
Meatballs Added to Sauce.