Grilled Moroccan Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

These charred meatballs are laced with warm spices and served with a cooling yogurt sauce.

I have a quirky habit of perusing the Internet late at night in search of gently used cookbooks to add to my collection. I always find great buys — beautifully photographed books that have barely been opened — and it’s such a treat when they arrive on my doorstep, full of inspiration.

One of my recent finds is Curtis Stone’s What’s for Dinner? I’m slowly cooking my way through the book and this recipe is one of my favorites. Ground beef is laced with warm spices, fresh herbs, and garlic, and then grilled in meatball form until smoky and charred. Served over couscous with a cooling yogurt-cucumber sauce, it’s a quick and easy meal that’s big on flavor.

What you’ll need to make grilled moroccan meatballsingredients

How to make grilled moroccan meatballs

Combine the egg, garlic, cilantro, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

seasoning

Mix until well combined.

mixing-seasoning

Add the ground beef and panko bread crumbs.

ground-beef-and-breadcrumbs

Mix together with your hands until just combined.

mixing

Use a 1/3 cup measure to portion out the meat and shape into discs.

ready-to-grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and grease well.

greasing-grill

Place the meatballs on the grill and cook for about four minutes per side, until charred and no longer pink in the center. As they cook, the centers will dome slightly, creating nicely shaped meatballs.

grilling-meatballs

Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce by combining the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, fresh dill, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

sauce-ready-to-mix

Mix to combine.

cucumber-yogurt-sauce

Serve the meatballs over couscous, topped with the yogurt sauce.

Grilled-Meatballs-with-Cucumber-Yogurt-Sauce

Note: In the original recipe, Stone forms the meat into kebabs onto long-stemmed rosemary, which is beautiful but hard to find. I’ve simplified the recipe by shaping the meat into meatballs. However, you can easily form the meat mixture into kebabs around wooden or metal skewers. I’ve also reduced the salt, adjusted the spices, and swapped regular yogurt for Greek yogurt in the sauce, but, in essence, the recipe is the same.

You may also like

Grilled Moroccan Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

These charred meatballs are laced with warm spices and served with a cooling yogurt sauce.

Servings: 8 meatballs, 4 servings
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1¼ pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • ⅓ cup panko
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling

For the Yogurt Sauce

  • ½ English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 cup plain low-fat or whole milk Greek yogurt (do not use non-fat)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Meatballs

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 500 degrees).
  2. Mix together the egg, garlic, cumin, allspice, cilantro, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the ground beef and panko and mix with your hands until well combined.
  3. Using a ⅓ cup measure, form 8 disc-shaped meatballs. (They will dome slightly on the grill, forming nicely rounded meatballs.)
  4. Lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over the grates several times until glossy and coated. Grill the meatballs, covered, for about 4 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned on the exterior and no longer pink in the center. Transfer the meatballs to a serving plate and let rest for 3 minutes. Serve with the yogurt sauce and couscous, if desired.

For the Yogurt Sauce

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The meatballs can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve them, reheat them tightly covered in a 300°F oven, until hot in the center.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 418
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 34g
  • Sodium: 1028mg
  • Cholesterol: 152mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Comments

  • Another hit with everyone. This was a super simple weeknight dinner that tasted much more fancy. I did mix up the recipes on my counter and accidentally added garlic to the yogurt sauce which essentially made it tzatziki but it still went great with the meatballs.

    • — Kelley on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Really nice change of flavors and the whole family enjoyed. I just got comments that they thought the meatballs were too salty. Next time I will cut the salt 1/2 for sure! Otherwise so yummy!

    • — Tara on May 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I want to cook the meatballs in the oven. I’d form them into smaller balls. How long and what temperature do you recommend?

    • — Stephanie H on April 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, I’d use the guidance from this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious, entire family loved. Served with grilled asparagus salad, farro and pita. Will be making again many times!

    • — Brenda on April 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe! Definitely a redo in my house. Everything I have made from this site and your cookbooks has been successful and so delicious. Thank you, Jen!

    • — Jill Rokosz on April 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • I love these meatballs and have been making them to take to work for my lunches (I put them in a bowl w/ greens, right rice, and a couple of different sauces). I was wondering if there are any substitutes for the eggs or panko. Trying to give my body a little bit of a reset – eggs seem to bug me and just looking for an option a little less processed than panko. I would appreciate any guidance! Thank you!

    • — Morgan on February 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like these, Morgan! Two of the best substitutes I’ve heard about (I haven’t personally tried either of them) are a combination of water, oil, and baking powder, and carbonated water. Scroll down to the bottom of this article for more information about both. I would assume many recipes would also work with some kind of store-bought egg substitute. Regarding the panko, you could make your own healthier bread crumbs by processing whole wheat bread in a food processor until it resembles the texture of panko. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much!

        • — Morgan on February 11, 2022
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Would ground turkey work as well in this recipe?

    • — Mona. Koenig-Kroner on November 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2021
      • Reply

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]