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Moroccan Meatballs With A Fresh Carrot Salad

Suzy Karadsheh
This beef meatball recipe hails from Morocco. Moroccan meatballs, traditionally called kefta, are made with lean ground beef and boldly seasoned with Ras el Hanout and served with a bright carrot salad.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Beef, morrocan
Servings 4 People
Calories 260.7 kcal


For Morrocan Kefta Meatballs

  • 1 slice white bread toasted
  • ▢ Water or milk for soaking
  • Ib lean ground beef or lamb or a mixture of both
  • 1 small red onion grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ▢ Small handful fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems chopped
  • 3 tsp Ras El Hanout
  • ½ tsp teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ tsp teaspoon cayenne more if you enjoy spicy
  • ▢ Salt
  • ▢ Pepper
  • ▢ Extra virgin olive oil

For The Carrot Salad

  • 4 carrots peeled
  • 3 tbsp orange juice about ½ orange
  • ▢ Handful fresh mint leaves chopped
  • ▢ Salt
  • ▢ Black pepper
  • ▢ Extra virgin olive oil

For Serving (Optional)

  • ▢ Cherry tomatoes halved
  • ▢ Thinly sliced shallots or red onion
  • ▢ Handful of parsley sprigs
  • ▢ Marinated olives or feta
  • ▢ Tztaziki Sauce Tahini Sauce, or plain Greek yogurt
  • ▢ Pita pockets flatbread, or rice


  • Season the meat: Into a large mixing bowl add the bread and water or milk. Let it soak until softened, just about a minute or so, then squeeze the liquid out of the bread, discard the liquid and return the bread to the bowl. Add the meat, grated onion, garlic, cilantro, Ras El Hanout, ground ginger, and cayenne. Sprinkle in a generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Using clean hands, mix until the meat mixture is well combined.
  • Make and chill the meatballs: Roll the meat mixture into bite-sized meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each. Arrange on a tray and cover. If you have the time, refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This prevents the meatballs from falling apart when they’re cooked.)
  • Make a shaved carrot salad: While the meatballs are chilling, use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrots into ribbons (or you can slice them into very thin sticks.) Place in a medium mixing bowl along with the orange juice, mint leaves, and a good glug of olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set in the fridge for now. Get any other sides for serving ready to go, like Pita Bread, rice, Tzatziki sauce, Tahini sauce or Greek yogurt.
  • Cook the meatballs: Heat a large cast iron or frying skillet over medium heat. Drizzle the meatballs with extra virgin olive oil. When the pan is hot, cook the meatballs, turning occasionally, until they’re cooked through and charred, about 7 minutes. Work in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  • Serve: Arrange the meatballs on a large platter. Spread the carrot salad along the side of the platter, along with any other fixings of your choice. Roll up your slee


  • To help the meatballs hold their shape: Knead the meat mixture with your hands for a few minutes. Your body heat makes the meat tackier. If you have time, refrigerate the uncooked meatballs for about 30 minutes to allow the proteins to set and bond.
  • If you’re struggling with sticking: Coat your pan in a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil and make sure the oil is hot before adding the meatballs. Allow them to cook, undisturbed, until they release from the pan and form a beautiful brown crust.
  • This recipe will yield between 25 to 35 meatballs, depending on size. Served in pita pockets or with rice as dinner, it will serve 4 to 5 people. If you’re serving as an appetizer along with other items, it will serve up to 10 people.
Keyword beef dish, kebab, morrocan dish, poultry dish