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North African Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa

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Spiced Lamb Meatballs are filled with fresh herbs, garlic, onion, my homemade Ras el Hanout and smoked paprika. Serve with a delicious roasted red pepper Harissa!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine North African
Keyword harissa, lamb, meatballs, Ras el Hanout
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 342
Author Laurie McNamara



  • 1/2 medium red onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 pound Lamb
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon Ras el Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil for frying


  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 large roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 to 2 roasted chili peppers or Fresno chile 1 pepper for moderate heat, 2 for spicy -- you can do this yourself of buy them
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper



  • In your food processor, pulse the red onion and garlic until very coarsely chopped. Then add in the fresh herbs and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
  • In a large bowl combine the ground lamb, onion/herb mixture, quick oats, Ras el Hanout, paprika, salt, Aleppo pepper and the beaten egg. Use a fork to mix all of the ingredients together. Then use a tablespoon to measure out 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture and roll into balls.
  • Heat a large, 12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of extra light olive oil and work in batches of two, browning the lamb meatballs on all sides and until cooked through. Repeat with remaining meatballs.


  • While the meatballs are browning, sauté the yellow onion until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute. Remove the skillet from the heat for a moment.
  • In your food processor (don't bother rinsing it out form the herb/onion mixture) add in 3 large roasted red peppers, 1 to 2 roasted chili peppers, salt, coriander, cumin and black pepper. Secure the lid and pulse until it reaches a desired consistency. NOTE: If too thick, add a little of the water from the bowl (or jar) that held the peppers. Next, pour the red pepper Harissa into the skillet (with the sautéed onions and garlic), stir and heat on medium-low. Simmer for 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Serve meatballs with spoonfuls of the roasted red pepper Harissa, next to couscous (rice or even cauliflower rice), naan and a vegetable of your choice!


  • IPuree sauce one last time (with the onions and garlic) for a smoother dipping sauce. Serve meatballs with toothpicks on a platter next to the red pepper Harissa.


Serving: 6meatballs | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 804mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1065IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg