Recipe by Kayla Howey, The Original Dish
These Moroccan chicken meatballs are going to become a new go-to! They’re easy to make, packed with so much good flavor thanks to Spice Tribe’s Moroccan spice blend, and they’re topped with a very exciting parsley yogurt sauce. It’s a dish that’s fresh in flavor and good for you, too.
Kicking off a really exciting partnership today with Spice Tribe! I’ll be sharing a few recipes coming up using their beautifully unique spice blends, starting with these Moroccan chicken meatballs. The team at Spice Tribe focuses on using high-quality ingredients to create vibrant blends that celebrate different cultures.
Each blend tells a story and takes you on a true journey around the world. I was immediately drawn to the Marrakesh Sitar, a Moroccan Ras el Hanout blend made of ginger, coriander, honey, turmeric, cinnamon, cassia, paprika, rosebud, cumin, orange peel, allspice, and green cardamom.
You can only imagine the bold, intriguing flavor this blend has. It works perfectly mixed into these chicken meatballs.
The key to the chicken meatballs is to “toast” the spice blend first by heating it. I cook down some onions and garlic, then add the spice blend to perfume in the oil. It’s the best way to bring out all of the vibrant flavors.
The meatballs come together really simply. They’re seared off in a skillet until crisp and golden, then roasted in the oven. I’m serving them on a bed of couscous (you could do any grain you’d like here) with a lemony parsley yogurt sauce over top.
Some thinly shaved cucumbers, toasted pecans, and salty feta cheese are the finishing touches. With a good drizzle of olive oil over top at the end. It’s one of those dishes that’s approachable enough to make on a busy weeknight, yet exciting enough to serve at a dinner party. You’re going to love it.
- Parsley Sauce:
- 2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Moroccan Chicken Meatballs:
- olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp Spice Tribe Marrakesh Sitar (Moroccan spice blend)
- 1 cup fresh, coarse breadcrumbs*
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 lb ground chicken thigh
- ½ lb ground chicken breast
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- Couscous & Toppings:
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 mini cucumbers
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Combine the parsley, mint, yogurt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend until smooth and incorporated. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom. Add the onions. Let cook until tender and slightly caramelized, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spice blend. Cook for a minute or two longer to allow the garlic and spices to toast. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the fresh breadcrumbs. Pour the warm water over top. Toss well, then let sit for 5 minutes so that the bread can absorb the water.
- Add the ground chicken thigh, ground chicken breast, salt, and onion mixture to the bowl. Use your hands to mix really well. Form the mixture into approximately 16 (2-oz) meatballs.
- Wipe out the skillet and heat again over medium heat. Coat the bottom with more olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place half of the meatballs into the skillet, leaving them about an inch apart. Sear the meatballs on one side until crisp and golden, flip, and sear on the other.
- Transfer the meatballs to a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Once all of the meatballs are seared, transfer them to the oven to finish cooking for about 6–8 minutes, or until fully cooked through.
- Meanwhile, combine the water, salt, and olive oil in a saucepan for the couscous. Bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.
- Use a mandolin to shave the cucumbers thin. Toss with the lemon juice.
- Mound the couscous onto a serving plate. Place the meatballs on top. Spoon the parsley yogurt sauce over the meatballs. Garnish with the cucumbers, toasted pecans, feta cheese, and scallions. Drizzle olive oil over everything to finish. Tear more mint and parsley on top (optional).