Moroccan Meatballs -- Tagine Kefta

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 25 mins

I was taught how to make this recipe during a vacation in Morocco, where I was lucky enough to spend some time with the chef of a restaurant, Naima. In Morocco, people eat it straight out of the tagine with lots of bread to soak up the sauce but it also makes the best spaghetti and meatballs I've ever tasted! The key is to use the freshest, juciest tomatoes you can find. If you aren't lucky enough to have a tagine, you should be able to make this dish in a deep frying pan, as long as it has a cover. I think a non-stick pan would be best. One other thing, be careful of adding onions to this dish as they are very watery and will make the sauce runny. If you do add onions, you will probably have to let it simmer uncovered for a few minutes to reduce the sauce.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in the tagine, cover and let simmer gently over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, use your hands to mix the ingredients for the meatballs together and then roll the meat into small balls, about 1 inch round.
  3. After the tomatoes have simmered for about 15 minutes, stir the sauce and add a little water if you feel it is needed.
  4. Place the meatballs in the sauce.
  5. Do not stir but just let them sit on top of the sauce.
  6. Lower the heat, cover and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Uncover and let simmer another couple minutes if you feel the sauce needs thickening.
  7. Serve with lots of crusty bread for dipping in the sauce or over spaghetti with parmesan cheese on top.
  8. If you want to make these ahead of time and freeze them, leave the parsley out and place the meatballs in a rigid container like a tupperware dish before freezing.
  9. To reheat, thaw in the fridge (you can do this overnight) and reheat on the stovetop over medium-low until bubbly. Add chopped parsley before serving.


Most Helpful

These were so good. I actually made them and put them in hoagie buns with some cheese and made meatball sandwiches, my family loved it. The sauce and meatballs have a completely different taste then the italian ones. Loved the cumin in this. Thank you for sharing this with us, a new family favorite.

mommyoffour February 16, 2011

Brilliant recipe! I was given a Tagine for my wedding and this came out perfectly. Instaed of beef mince (ground beef), I used sausage meat and added breadcrumbs to hold it together. The resulting meatballs were delicious. Couscous helped thicken the liquid and gave it a very Morroccan look and texture. The recipe made enough for three servings (my husband has claimed the extra for his dinner tomorrow night he liked it so much!)

HomeEconomy February 14, 2011

Made this for a Night at the Casbah dinner party. I did the appetizer. Made as instructed except augmented with canned crushed tomatoes and upped the seasonings to accommodate the extra sauce. Boy were these tender. Served warm with whole wheat pita, toasted, quartered then stuffed with a great fatoush made with preserved lemon. Easy to handle party fare and a big hit. Thanks so much for this terrific twist on kefta...

CampChatsworthCook May 24, 2010

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