Lamb Meatballs with Harissa

20 meatballs
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cast iron skillet Small food processorspice grinder

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Light and tasty lamb meatballs served with a spicy red harissa sauce. These are great served as an appetizer or over egg noodles as a meal!



1 small onion, diced
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 dates, diced
1 pound ground lamb
2/3 cup cooked couscous
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Olive oil for cooking

Harissa Sauce:

3-4 red jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 roasted red pepper
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked is best)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Course salt


1) To make harissa, roughly chop ingredients and add them to a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth. Season with salt and refrigerate until needed.

2) For meatballs, cook couscous according to directions. It should only take 4-5 minutes.

3) Toast your pine nuts in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant (a few minutes). Then chop roughly.

4) Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.

5) Form 1 1/2 inch meatballs with the mixture. YOu should get about 20 meatballs.

6) In a large cast iron skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add as many meatballs as will fit without crowding the pan. Let them cook until browned on all sides, about 10-12 minutes.

7) Optionally, you can also bake the meatballs in a mini muffin tin at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Turn once while baking.

8) Serve meatballs with harissa sauce and cilantro as an appetizer.

9) If you want to make a meal out of the dish, I recommend serving the meatballs and sauce over egg noodles stirred with a bit of butter.