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Moroccan-Spiced Meatballs

Moroccan-Spiced Meatballs with Spinach, Couscous, and Homemade Pita Chips

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Recipe Details


Chef Taylor adores the warming, earthy, aromatic flavors of Moroccan cuisine, and couldn’t resist bringing them back again this week. She’s blending ground beef with ras el hanout (new ingredient alert!), a Moroccan spice blend combining cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger, along with smoky harissa and bright green mint, oregano, and parsley. It’s all rolled into meatballs and served in a tomato sauce with more spices and harissa, plus couscous and crispy, golden pita chips on the side for dipping.


    Quick facts

    Serving size
    Prep & cook time
    Cooking Skill
    By Chef Taylor

    By Chef Taylor

    Nutritional info

    • Calories 930
    • Protein 53g
    • Total Carb 99g
    • Total Fat 36g

    Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

    Ingredients & Equipment

    What we send

    • pita breads
      pita breads
    • milk
      8 ounces
    • orange bell pepper
      orange bell pepper
    • lemon
    • garlic
      4 cloves
    • Israeli couscous
      1/2 cup
      Israeli couscous
    • baby spinach
      2 ounces
      baby spinach
    • ras el hanout spice mix
      1 teaspoon
      ras el hanout spice mix
    • harissa
      2 teaspoons
    • ground beef
      12 ounces
      ground beef
    • 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
      15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • parsley
      1/8 ounce
    • oregano
      1/8 ounce
    • mint
      1/8 ounce

    What You’ll Need

    • olive oil
    • eggs
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • 8" medium pot
    • aluminum foil
    • 2 baking sheets

    Cooking Steps

    1. Prepare ingredients

      Prepare ingredients

      Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Quarter pita breads. In a medium bowl, combine milk and 1 slice pita bread. Set aside to soak until Step 3; save remaining pita bread for Step 4. Halve bell pepper lengthwise, discarding seeds and stem. Cut into ¼-inch pieces. Roughly chop mint, oregano, and parsley leaves, discarding stems. Halve lemon. Mince garlic.

    2. Cook Israeli couscous

      Cook Israeli couscous

      Once water is boiling, stir in couscous and cook, still over high heat, until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl, reserving pot for Step 5. Add spinach, bell pepper, juice of ½ lemon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper as desired to bowl with couscous. Stir to combine and wilt spinach slightly, then cover with foil to keep warm. Line a baking sheet with foil for the next step.

    3. Form meatballs

      Form meatballs

      Gently squeeze milk-soaked pita bread, discarding excess liquid, and place in a medium bowl with half of ras el hanout, half of harissa, half of herbs, half of garlic, 1 egg, and ½ teaspoon salt. Pat beef dry with paper towel and add to bowl. Using your hands, mix well, then form into 10 equal balls, about 1 inch thick. Arrange meatballs on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart.

    4. Bake meatballs and pita chips

      Bake meatballs and pita chips

      Transfer baking sheet with meatballs to oven and bake until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, on a separate baking sheet, arrange remaining pita slices in a single layer. After 5 minutes of meatballs cooking, transfer pita to oven and bake alongside meatballs until pita is golden and meatballs are cooked through, 10 minutes more.

    5. Make sauce

      Make sauce

      While meatballs bake, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in pot from couscous over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add remaining garlic, remaining ras el hanout, and remaining harissa. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer until flavors are melded, 6-7 minutes. Add juice of remaining lemon and ½ teaspoon salt.

    6. Finish and plate meatballs

      Finish and plate meatballs

      Once browned, add Moroccan-spiced meatballs to pot with sauce and turn to coat. Divide couscous between serving plates and top with meatballs. Pour over any remaining sauce and garnish with remaining herbs. Enjoy!

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