Moroccan lamb meatballs in tomato sauce with an egg is one of the best foods on the planet. You can’t beat how pretty this dish is and it tastes like a million dollars. It’s a great kinda-special weeknight dinner if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path — although, this is actually one of Morocco’s most famous dishes.

We have a rotating ‘family dinner’ thing among a small group of friends where each person takes on making a dinner for the group and we all just hang and chill. It’s like a dinner party but everyone involved needs to take a turn, which solves the usual dinner party problem of the best cook in the group taking on all the dinners. It’s a great way to bump up your cooking skills and cook for a larger table than you might normally be comfortable with. I think we’ve all turned into better cooks because of it. This week was my turn and with our local Moroccan place closed due to world events and all that, I thought it was high time to make these.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |

From beginning to end this whole meatball dish only takes an hour or so to make. The meatballs are made small, Moroccan style, so it only takes 8 minutes to braise them in the tomato sauce. Because they don’t have any egg or breadcrumbs in them, this is a great dish if you (or any friends or family you are eating with) are on keto or gluten free. But, because they don’t have any egg or breadcrumbs, you do need to take care not to overcook the meatballs, unless you like chewy meatballs (which I actually do).

It looks like a huge list of ingredients because I’ve broken them up into two parts, but the meatballs and the tomato sauce uses the exact same ingredients so you can prep for both parts at once as well as get the most out of any spices you need to buy.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |

These meatballs were so much fun to make and even more fun to eat. We paired them with israeli couscous and falafels for a pan-mediterranean feast. They were so good I’m planning on putting them into heavy rotation for our weeknight dinners.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |

If you like these flavors, try making Fattoush Salad, Roasted Red Pepper Dip, or Harissa Salmon too!

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce Recipe

Serves 2
4.63 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


For the tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 14oz cans of tomatoes see note
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped

For the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp coriander seed, crushed see note
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  • Make the tomato sauce: Add the olive oil and onion to a big deep saute pan or pot over medium heat and cook until the onions are translucent and golden (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn.
    Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |
  • Add the tomato sauce, herbs, and spices and reduce the heat down to low. Season with salt and pepper, then keep on the barest simmer while you make the meatballs. The sauce should simmer for at least half an hour.
    Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |
  • Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs together. Season with salt and pepper, then mix really well. Form one sample meatball about an inch wide and drop it into the tomato sauce for 8 minutes.
    Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |
  • Cut the sample meatball in half to ensure it’s fully cooked, then taste for seasoning. If the seasoning is good, form the rest of the meatballs.
    Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |
  • Drop the meatballs into the sauce in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan. Add water if the sauce has reduced too much to cover the meatballs.
    Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |
  • Serve immediately, topped with poached eggs (you can poach the egg directly in the tomato sauce) and chopped herbs.
    Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |


Note 1: I used one can of Mutti polpa and one can of Mutti cherry tomatoes.
Note 2: Coriander can be bought ground, but toasting and crushing the seeds with a mortar and pestle is a lot of fun and makes for a much better end product. 
Note 3: The meatballs are traditionally pretty heavily spiced. If you prefer less of a strong taste, halve the spices before making the sample meatball.
Inspired by taste of maroc

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce |


  1. Alami says:

    It is a long name for a recipe… Luckily its folks gave it a name : Shakshouka!
    Delicious indeed!

  2. Rachel W. says:

    5 stars
    It’s not a long name for a recipe at all lol! And yes, it’s reminiscent of shashuka, of which there are a plethora of versions floating around, with many cultures claiming it as their own. But this recipe is a bit different and I love it for that. We are definitely adding this to our monthly rotation! I used one can of stewed tomatoes and one can diced (more readily available here in the States). We liked the heavy coriander, glad I followed recipe first time around. Thank you for sharing!

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-Steph & Mike