Moroccan Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (Kefta Mkaouara)

North African-style meatballs are eaten through much of the region along with the Middle East and France. They are easy to make. Showcasing the rich flavors of Morocco, these meatball are perfect as a main course, lunch, or cocktail party appetizer.

Kefta Mkaouara Moroccan Meatballs in Sweet Tomato Sauce

Kefta Mkaouara- Moroccan Meatballs in Sweet Tomato Sauce

These meatballs in a sweet tomato sauce will be an instant hit at any party. The tender and soft little meatballs are enhanced by a tomato sauce sweetened by raisins. They are a favorite in North Africa and the Middle East. Serve with some bread for soaking up the flavorful sauce. You will have family and guests begging for more! As a bonus, this recipe freezes well and can be made well in advance and warmed up whenever you want.
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Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: African, Morocco, North Africa
Prep Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large bowl
  • Large skillet



  • 2 lb Ground lamb (Sub: ground beef or turkey)
  • cup Plain breadcrumb
  • 2 large Egg
  • ½ cup Whole milk
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 medium Onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Ras el Hanout mix (see recipe below)
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 56 oz Canned tomato sauce (Sub: canned diced tomatoes)
  • 2 large Bell peppers, red, yellow, or orange, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 tbsp Ras el Hanout mix (recipe below) or buy
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Water or chicken broth
  • ½ cup Raisins
  • 1 cup Chopped parsley
  • 1 large Lemon, juiced

Quick Ras el Hanout mix (4 tbsp)

  • 1 tbsp Each: ground cumin, coriander, black pepper, ground ginger, and cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Each: ground allspice and cayenne pepper



  • In a large bowl, mix together diced onion, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, kosher salt, and Ras el Hanout mix. Add ground meat to the bowl and mix with hands to thoroughly combine. Careful not to overmix.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Roll the meat mixture gently into 1-inch balls. Place balls loosely in skillet and sear 1 minute, flip and sear 2 minutes more. Transfer meatballs to a bowl and finish searing any uncooked meatballs.

Tomato Sauce

  • In the same skillet still over medium-high heat, briefly fry diced onions for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook garlic and Ras el Hanout until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, cover, and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.


  • Reduce heat to low. Add the meatballs and their juices to the tomatoes. Cover and cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir. To serve, transfer to a serving bowl or crockpot, garnish with parsley. Serve hot.


  • Meatball dish can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days and reheated in the microwave on stovetop.
  • Meatballs can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Defrost before reheating so meatballs don’t get overcooked.


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1167mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1525IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 3mg

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