Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs (Keftedes me Saltsa Domata)

Total Time:
29 min
12 min
17 min

4 to 6 servings

  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground lamb, or 20-percent fat ground beef
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled couscous (see Cook's Note)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Cook's Note: To make 1 cup cooked couscous, bring 1/2 cup water or stock to a boil. Add 1/3 cup uncooked couscous and cover the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.

  • For the meatballs: In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, couscous, scallions, garlic, egg, parsley, olive oil, mint, oregano, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Form the mixture into 15 to 16 (2-inch diameter) meatballs.

  • For the sauce: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, cinnamon sticks, and ground cinnamon. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, turning occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Transfer the meatballs and sauce to a large bowl and serve.

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