This simple meatball dish is delicious, rich, and fresh. It was taught to me by my Algerian husband, one of his favorites from home. The tomato sauce can be used for anything and the amounts of flavors can be adjusted. I like a lot of garlic and pepper. I have also found halal hamburger to be much leaner and lighter than regular. You can find it at international food stores and halal butcher shops in bigger cities. Serve this dish with a French baguette.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
30 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
3
Yield:
12 patties
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Ingredients

3
Original recipe yields 3 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine the ground beef with half of the minced garlic and a tablespoon of chopped onion. Mix with your hands until fully incorporated. Shape the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch oblong patties; you should have 12 to 14 meatballs.

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  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the patties in batches until they are crispy on both sides and are no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Set the meatballs aside in a rimmed serving dish and repeat with the remaining patties.

  • Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the remaining chopped onion. Add salt and pepper. Cook the onions in the drippings, stirring constantly, until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining half of the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

  • Stir in the roma tomatoes, dried parsley, ras el hanout, and water. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and serve.

Editor's Notes

Halal beef is butchered according to religious law, similar to Kosher beef. You may use regular ground beef in this recipe.

Ras el hanout is a spice blend common throughout North Africa. It's available from some grocers and specialty purveyors, or you may try this Ras el Hanout recipe.

Nutrition Facts

424 calories; protein 27.8g; carbohydrates 5.3g; fat 31.5g; cholesterol 113.5mg; sodium 110.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (46)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
01/31/2011
These meatballs put inside a French baguette make a pretty good meatball sandwich. However, I think I would throw a little ras el handout into the ground beef if I made it again to give the meat a little more flavor. Read More
(23)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/19/2012
This was good but I didn't find that the meat had enough flavor. The flavor was mostly in the sauce. Read More
(4)
61 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 35
  • 4 star values: 20
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
01/31/2011
These meatballs put inside a French baguette make a pretty good meatball sandwich. However, I think I would throw a little ras el handout into the ground beef if I made it again to give the meat a little more flavor. Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
11/17/2010
Wonderful dinner! I served it over rice and substituted a few pinches of cumin and lemon zest for the ras el hanout, and fresh parsley for dried. Also left out the water as the tomatoes made it saucy enough and made the meatballs a bit more bite-sized. Otherwise, terrific! Read More
(20)
Rating: 5 stars
01/18/2011
I loved these. I made them exactly as called for - but used minced onion instead of chopped. For the tomato sauce - I got creative and added: 1 can rotel, 1 can of italian stewed tomatoes, sofrito (from the spanish isle), some salsa, splash of A1 bold, a 1/2 lime (squeezed), more sofrito, pepper and some cumin. Sofrito adds a little zip and spice to the sauce, as I did not have ras el hanout. Simmer on low and added on top of the meatballs. It was SO good and my company for dinner that night were AMAZED! This is my new "go to" recipe for meatballs. My FAVE! Read More
(20)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2010
These were very tasty! I followed the recipe exactly except I didn't have any ras el hanout so I checked AR for what it's made of and simply sprinkled said spices over the tomatoes towards the end. My 3-year old and I gobbled them up for lunch today along with zucchini patties and it was a delicious meal. Read More
(11)
Rating: 4 stars
02/17/2011
Good meatballs and a nice change from the "run of the mill" meatball recipe. I used a few sprinkles of cumin in place of the ras el hanout and served them in hoagie rolls since we've had a lot of rice lately. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
07/20/2012
The recipe is perfect and even better with ground goat or lamb! I happened to have all the ingredients for the ras el hanout spice/herb mixture- I think you really do need at least some of these spices. We'll be making this again lots of times. Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/06/2011
Fantastic! Made as directed. I did put a little flour in the sauce to thicken it up a bit. I served it over white rice. Even my picky eater went back for seconds! Next time I will double the sauce. This will be a regular at our house from now on. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2018
Delicious. Followed the directions except that I took the advice of another, and added the Ras el hanout to the meat as well. Delicate and distinct flavors make this dish a simple, clean, culinary delight. My children are not necessarily picky eaters, but spice can be challenging to a child’s palate and this dish won them over. I doubled up on the recipe, and it fed a hungry family of 4 with leftovers for a single lunch (in other words- it was devoured!). Beautiful recipe and very simple to make. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family dish and I will be adding this recipe as a staple menu item. Also, I made the ras el hanout. Very easy to make and requires readily available spices. I give this recipe 5 stars all around- looks nice, smells wonderful, tastes amazing, takes under an hour from start to finish (even with making the spice), but most of all- will be enjoyed by all sorts of eaters- from finicky to those that will eat anything. Read More
(5)
Rating: 4 stars
10/28/2011
I wanted something different to add to my low carb menu. This was a nice addition. I found the ras el hanout at Central Market and am glad I didn't omit it or substitute anything for it - it has quite a unique flavor. I followed the recipe except used ground turkey instead of beef. The tomatoes were tasty but seemed like something was missing. My boyfriend and I will definitely keep it in the rotation and experiment some with the tomatoes. Read More
(4)
Rating: 3 stars
06/19/2012
This was good but I didn't find that the meat had enough flavor. The flavor was mostly in the sauce. Read More
(4)
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