Moroccan-spiced Meatballs with Couscous

Go big on flavor with spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and paprika for this North African-inspired dish.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 inches peeled gingerroot, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb (½ bag) Armanino Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 ¼ cups pearl or Israeli couscous
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish


  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add garlic and ginger; cook and stir 30 seconds. Add cumin, cloves, and half of all remaining seasonings (reserve the rest to use with couscous). Stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes, frozen meatballs and bell peppers; stir to combine. Cover. Cook on low heat 15 to 20 min. or until peppers are softened and meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tablespoon oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add reserved seasonings; stir 1 minute. Stir in couscous and carrots until coated with oil. Add 1-¾ cups water; bring to boil. Cover. Cook on medium-low heat 8 to 10 minutes or until couscous is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with additional salt and ground black pepper.
  3. Mix yogurt, cilantro and 1 Tablespoon water in small bowl. Add more water if needed to create a slightly thin sauce. Serve meatball mixture on top of couscous. Drizzle with yogurt mixture and garnish with additional cilantro.

Chef’s Tips

  • Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous is much larger than traditional couscous, providing a pleasant, slightly chewy texture. Unlike rice, it’s important to stir pearl couscous while cooking to avoid clumping and allow for even cooking.
  • The spice blend in this recipe is inspired by Moroccan ras el hanout, a unique fragrant mixture that is found throughout Morocco and other parts of North Africa. If you like a bit of spice, add up to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper.
6 servings
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

More Recipes