New dinner motto: if it’s good, ball it. Moroccan Turkey Meatballs are the edible evidence that these are words upon which great meals are made.

Healthy Moroccan Turkey Meatballs with Whole Wheat Couscous

Spicy ginger and warm cinnamon are two of my favorite spices, and while they appear most commonly in baked goods here in the U.S., they are also two important components in Moroccan cooking, As it turns out, when combined with other traditional Moroccan ingredients, such as cumin, parsley, and lemon, they make for killer turkey meatballs too.

Sorry Italy—you might be the first country named in a meatball word-association game, but meatballs are a dish loved around the world, and today Moroccan flavor is taking the first bite.

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs. Super juicy and flavor-packed meatballs!
The juiciest turkey meatballs.

the best turkey meatballs with Morrocan spices

How to Make Easy Moroccan Meatballs

While ginger, cinnamon, and cumin might not be the first spices out of the cabinet in most meatball recipes, their oomph is absolutely perfect with ground turkey, a meat that (while healthy) lacks flavor on its own. Not so with Moroccan turkey meatballs—these little hunks of love are vibrant, richly aromatic, and super juicy too.

Moroccan turkey meatballs are also 1,000% comforting, a requirement for any self-respecting meatball recipe. I kept them extra moist with a quick spritz of Pompeian Avocado Oil Spray prior to baking. It’s perfect for roasting and made entirely from avocado oil, an ideal tool for healthy cooking.

I also swapped the pasta for whole wheat couscous. It feels truer to the Moroccan theme and does a champion’s work sopping up the precious meatball juices and flavorful tomato sauce. It would be delicious served with this Moroccan Couscous.

The juiciest turkey meatballs with Morrocan spices

Delicious Moroccan Meatball Sauce

Let’s talk about that sauce, boss—it’s super easy (canned tomatoes make quick, happy work), hearty, and addictively spicy-sweet.

  • Red Pepper and Cinnamon. Add the punch
  • Golden Raisins. Plump golden raisins bring the sweetness.

It’s a fine meatball balance best studied via second helpings. I’m thinking an international trip based entirely around meatball consumption is a reasonable life goal. This list agrees.

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs—warm Moroccan spices are the perfect flavor for these juicy homemade turkey meatballs

More Tasty Meatball Recipes

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs—juicy turkey meatballs with the warm spices and flavors of Moraoco

In the meantime, I’ll take a bite of North Africa right in my kitchen, courtesy of Moroccan turkey meatballs.

The juiciest turkey meatballs with Morrocan spices

Moroccan Meatballs

5 from 2 votes
A healthy turkey meatball recipe with the rich and aromatic flavors of Moroccan cooking.

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Servings: 28 meatballs, approx. (serves 4)

Ingredients
  

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock divided
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (14-ounce cans)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • Prepared whole wheat couscous for serving
  • Pompeian Avocado Cooking Spray or substitute regular cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion and cook until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper, and cinnamon. Let simmer 8 minutes. Stir in the golden raisins.
  • Prepare the meatballs: Place rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a baking rack on top. Lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, lightly combine the turkey, parsley, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil and eggs, combining lightly with a fork and being careful not to compact the meat. Roll the meatballs into 1-inch balls (about 28 balls total), then arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil (or coat with additional cooking spray), and bake until cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to the skillet with the sauce, then use spoon to coat the meatballs. Serve warm with prepared couscous.

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I’m sharing this recipe and post in partnership with Pompeian as a member of its #PantryInsider program. As always, all opinions are my own, and thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to provide quality content to you!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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58 Comments

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    1. I am so happy to hear that Jennifer! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and leaving your review. It’s great feedback for me and truly helpful for others looking at the recipe too.

  1. I bought the ingredients to make these before reading all the instructions — oops! I don’t have a baking rack, unless you mean a cooling rack (which I still can’t use, because the coating can’t go in the oven). Do you have any suggestions for cooking these? Thanks!

    1. Hi Angela, I think it would be okay to bake the meatballs directly on the foil-lined sheet if you don’t have a cooling rack that will work. They may get a flatter side from resting on the baking sheet but should still taste the same! I hope you love the recipe!

  2. This recipe was easy to make and was full of flavor. I cut the amount of red pepper, because I can’t eat spicy foods, but other than that I stayed true to the recipe. Definitely a keeper and I will make it again. Everyone raved over it!5 stars

  3. Hello — this is a throwback, but I’m thinking of making these with your moroccan couscous recipe from this week (in 2020!). Have you ever tried making these lamb meatballs to go with the moroccan theme? Just wondering if it would be a simple ground-meat swap or not so easy…

    Our family is grateful for your recipes. Have been following for about a year now and we cook multiple of your recipes (now family favorites) each week! God bless :)

    1. Hi Ricky! That’s a GREAT idea! I haven’t tried using another type of meat in this recipe, but you could experiment with it. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Hi Brian! The eggs act as a binding agent in the recipe and help hold the meatballs together. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

    1. Hi Rogneda! Nutritional information is something I started adding to recipes in January 2016. Unfortunately, it’s a time-consuming process, so I’m unable to go back to all my past recipes to add it. The good news is that you can calculate the calories for free at MyFitnessPal (there are other similar sites too). I hope that can be a helpful resource for you!

  4. We really enjoyed this! The flavours were great and overall much cheaper to make then the Moroccan lamb meatball recipe I usually use. The only thing I found was that the meat mixture was really wet so next time I’d only use 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Served it with lemon spinach couscous and green beans. Delicious!5 stars

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